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The Weekend Vote weekend vote: Is your favorite musician a violinist?

May 20, 2012 at 4:53 AM

The death this week of the great singer Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau brought so many of his wonderful performances to my attention -- how inspiring! My thoughts turned to the importance of listening to musicians who are not necessarily violinists. Who do we emulate? Who do we admire?

You probably have more than a few "favorites," but who comes to mind first? Is your favorite musician a violinist? I'd love for us to share our favorites, whether they are violinists or not. Please vote, and share your thoughts:

From Martina Fortin
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 5:24 AM
As a musician, I feel as though I shouldn't really have a favorite musician. I'm certain that part of a musician's job is to appreciate every type of genre in addition to what they usually play. It should be impossible for a musician to favor any one musician/musical group. I listen to and sometimes perform in very diverse types of music, and because of this, I find it extremely difficult to just say "so and so is my favorite singer" or "blah blah is my favorite band/musician/violinist". I feel too well rounded or extremely open minded to pinpoint just one favorite; to me, they're all so different from each other, and it seems almost cruel and narrow-minded to favor only one musician. There should be many musicians that come to mind first, so many, that one's mind should explode!
From Asher Wade
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 7:22 AM
David Oistrakh - just watching, listening & analyzing his technique (on video clips) has been as if I've 'studied' by him for years: Super Star.
From steven su
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 7:01 PM
I feel that as musicians, we should appreciate all forms and genre of art. There are many amazing artists. Heifetz, Oistrakh,Menuhin, Kreisler,Pavarotti, to Bruno Mars, or Michael buble. To be honest, they are all my favourites as long as they do what they do best. I also believe one stops growing when he/she narrows his/her scope to one specific genre. It just seems too narrow minded to me. Just like how Heifetz liked to listen to the ocean for different sounds. They weren't all pleasant but they are all unique sounds. At last, it is hard for me to pinpoint one favourite musician because there are so many extraordinary individuals out there.
From marjory lange
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 7:45 PM
I've never been able to narrow it down to one.
From elise stanley
Posted on May 20, 2012 at 9:57 PM
Ditto Marjory - I voted other because the option was written in the singular.

Maybe I shoulda been a lawyer :-\

From Paul Deck
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 12:53 AM
My favorite musician is Brad Mehldau. My favorite violinist is Anne-Sophie Mutter.
From Louise Pallet
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 6:16 AM
it used to be pure violinists but the more you play yourself the more you realize that aqll musicians put in so much time to perfect themselves and the purest sound I heard was a violist by the name of Matthew Jones, his playing gave me goosebumps. I never thought I would love a viola, till you hear one who stands out.Of course I have a few favourites amongst the violinists. Like Joshua Bell and Anna Fortunella.
From Simon Streuff
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 8:12 AM
I appreciate Nathan Milstein not only for his performances but for his throughout good thoughts on music, art and culture. There are few musicians, also not violinists, who have the courage to say it all out loud. He did! Oistrakh is of course a great performer, but to personal reasons he stayed a slave of the russian regime. I don't blame him for that, how could I. Maybe he feared about his family. I also think, that he had a great Character to decide to only speak through his art, similar to Shostakovich at that time. That gave us incredible intensed and emotion loaded, speaking performances.
My second most beloved performers are Rock singers from the grounge age. Kurt Cobain to me was not only a great musician, but an not compromising artist. The Singer of Alice in Chains, Layne Staley created some of the most poetic music and lyrics, also his voice is something I always remember. In his best days, before drugs teared him down he was an incredible singer and also an intelligent person.
From Peter Kent
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 2:35 PM
Perhaps a bit off the usual but Brahms happens to be my favorite musician, in that the literature he penned has provided vicarious, personal, and at-large pleasure to me as a listener, player, teacher, and I hold his work as the most satisfying emotionally, intellectually and also in the undefinable area of musicality.
From Marsha Weaver
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 3:52 PM
My musical preferences are all over the map -- sometimes they can change almost from minute to minute, depending on which genre "grabs" me at any given time. I have favorites for Classical, Celtic, Country, Rock, etc. I really can't narrow it down to just one.
From Erik O'Malley
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 6:00 PM
I really like both Rubinstein and Horowitz
From Don Sullivan
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 11:24 PM
You put me on the spot. Now I can't seem to decide! It makes me smile. For longest time before I returned to the violin, my favorite musician was Phil Collins. He could really generate a mood with his use of percussion. I also really admire Yo Yo Ma. He cannot be defined by a genre. He moves seamlessly between styles. That is ultimately how I desire to be. To be able to flow into each musical landscape.
From Royce Faina
Posted on May 21, 2012 at 11:58 PM
My favorite musician is Neil E. Peart a percusionist and former student of the reknown Freddie Grubber. Neil is rated among peers and the percussion wolrd as the premier living percusionist/drummer. He is also a criticaly aclaimed author as well. He is honorary family with the Rich Family (Buddy Rich), drummer & chief lyricist of the rock band Rush, and is an Officer of the Order of Canada the 1st rock star (along with his other two band mates) I believe. Forgive me if I am wrong.. :)

From Francesca Rizzardi
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 6:02 AM
My favorite musician is Itzhak Perlman but I actually own some albums of Cecilia Bartoli. I haven't listened to them since studying the violin so I don't have a feel for how her singing compares to a member of the violin family.
From stephen kelley
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 6:11 AM
I'm already on record for several favorites, and there are more, but one is above all: Nathan Milstein, frequently cited by his contemporaries and peers as their favorite, "the violinists' violinist". I believe he was a primary model for Galamian, and Kreisler favored Milstein as his successor.
From Mark Roberts
Posted on May 22, 2012 at 1:40 PM
Julian Bream, not sure if classical guitarists are counted as string players in this context, I can nearly always tell if it is him playing but usually cannot tell the difference between various violin vituosos playing the standard display pieces.

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