Personality defeats Prodigy

October 21, 2007 at 01:54 AM · Who is a violinist you particularly like who is not considered one of the greats, but has a wonderful personality?

I like Jack Benny, no questions asked.

Replies (35)

October 21, 2007 at 02:25 AM · Natalie MacMaster---Cape Breton Island,Nova Scotia. She is the soul of Cape Breton !

Plus,she has tons of talent !

October 21, 2007 at 03:16 AM · Both of these have talent, but I think they would be a riot to see in concert:

Rachel Barton Pine and Natalie McMasters. (Natalie was was here, and was sold out at Denver Botanical and Chataqua in Boulder =( )

October 21, 2007 at 04:33 PM · :)

October 21, 2007 at 04:55 AM · Well not because of p v. t, but the Celtic Woman lady, Maria Nesbit(sp), because 'she' 'is' 'awesome' 'art'.

October 21, 2007 at 05:21 AM · Itzhak Perlman. He likes to clown around on stage and make people laugh.

October 21, 2007 at 08:56 AM · Currently, Andrew Bird.

It's a weird obsession I have. I listen to him every day, mostly because of his personality.

I've noticed that I tend to overlook technical shortcomings in the overshadowing of good charisma.

October 21, 2007 at 04:57 PM · For playing personality, I like Ruggero Allifranchini, associate concertmaster of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. With his expressive Italian features, he is a joy to watch. (Of course, he also is a terrific violinist and can make his "Fetzer" Strad sing.)

October 21, 2007 at 07:17 PM · Ruggiero is an old friend and classmate of mine. Certainly a 1st rate violinist!

October 21, 2007 at 08:39 PM · I would have to say Robert Chen, concertmaster of the Chicago SO. Watching him play chamber music is a joy because he loves to have fun and goof off a bit. My old teacher, CJ Chang, introduced me to him many years ago when he was last chair of the Philly O. and before I met him, I heard him warm up. Wow. He was just practicing scales, thirds etc. and what chops! But he also a great musician too. CJ told me "he is gonna win a huge job". Soon after, he won CM of the CSO. He is a real laid back guy and fun to hang out and smoke cigars with.

October 22, 2007 at 12:15 AM · Well,I get a huge charge from Maxim Vengerov--but he may be talented.

October 22, 2007 at 12:51 AM · Brian Lewis is super-charismatic. But then, Brian Lewis may be super-talented too.

October 22, 2007 at 12:58 AM · Giles Apap is awesome talented but a lot people do not liek his interpretations. But I still like him for his amazing care-free attitude.

October 22, 2007 at 01:52 AM · Another case of an awesome player WITH a great personality, but Barnab├ís Kelemen basically just radiates a passionate exuberance and love of music.

I don't think it's entirely possible to separate someone's playing from their personality btw, unless they're a total robot who never puts anything of themselves into their music.

October 22, 2007 at 03:55 AM · Without a doubt the most charismatic violinist I've ever seen is Donnell Leahy, Natalie McMaster's husband.

He is a monster.

October 22, 2007 at 08:54 AM · There is a video I saw once where you see Kreisler, I think he's just stepped off a plane or something, and he's talking to some people and smiling, and he just looks like the most wonderful warm-hearted man, and his playing is so great too! He just seemed to radiate congeniality.

October 22, 2007 at 12:43 PM · Niccolo Paganini (Wouldn't that have been something?)

November 23, 2007 at 07:16 AM · Nadja Salerno-Sonnenburg

David Oistrakh

November 23, 2007 at 02:04 PM · "who is not considered one of the greats." Did people see THIS line in the question. David Oistrakh, Perlman, Kreisler, Paganini...NOT considered one of the greats?

I think they mean more like under rated people.

November 23, 2007 at 06:56 PM · I always wonderd of Jack Benny could play better than that?

November 23, 2007 at 06:58 PM · I have heard Jack Benny play seriously live when I was a kid. The tone quality he pulled out of his Strad was very, VERY good. I believe I also seen him on TV play the Bach Double with Dorothy DeLay.

November 23, 2007 at 08:35 PM · i think jack benny did as much for violin as bob hope for golf. jack's timing for comedy was superb. just looking at that face will make you smile or laugh.

his bow arm motion may be exaggerated; nonetheless it is smooth and soft--tough to fake that.

November 23, 2007 at 09:46 PM · "Niccolo Paganini (Wouldn't that have been something?) "

Without any doubt

He could walk the tightrope and play virtuosopieces at the same time

Name one violinist today that can do that

November 24, 2007 at 12:15 AM · Greetings,

Jack Benny was clearly an entertainer and very popular in his day. Another view is that Charlie Daniels is a horrible violinist/fiddler,( in trained classical standards, or as a real fiddler ) but when I perform, the most requested song is "The Devil Went Down To Georgia". People love it over "Meditation from Thais". Although the "Flight of the Bumblebee" still does well. But in public, if you can play Charlie Daniels, it beats out any difficult classical piece and you are then considered to be a great violinist. Is Charlie Daniels a case of being over recognized or under recognized, when there are many unknowed great violinists out there? Either way he represents a genre of music/entertainment, and is great! I respect him very much! He is considered a great violinist/fiddler. Also he seems to be truly a good, sincere, down to earth person too.

November 24, 2007 at 08:25 PM · When Aaron Rosand helped me make the Stamford Symphony better he also graced us as a soloist waiving his fee. Actually over the years he worked his arse off on our behalf. Anyway when he performed the Tchaikovsky Violin Concerto with us he told me not to play the dress rehearsal but to sit near him and watch and learn. I learned alright. I learned how to play most of it with the bowings backwards. How to play a whole mega series of runs on one upbow and another series of runs on a downbow, spicato included. He looked at me and stuck his tongue out after that one. He was almost laughing showing how he could play it anyway but as written and still sound perfect.

Yes, he plays for a living, but he has enormous amounts of fun doing it. I'd watch a person like that anytime.

I think we would all agree that the man is gifted with incredible talent also.

November 25, 2007 at 03:35 AM · Lindsay Deutsch. I like the way she introduces her pieces and the way she takes her bow with the violin held out in front. And how she talks about watching Itzhak Perlman on Sesame Street as a 2 year old. "Me wanna violin, no piano! Wahhh!" (not her actual quote)

November 25, 2007 at 05:53 AM · Sort of a dangerous question...anybody I can think of who's name would be known at large might take exception to the 'not one of the greats' bit, sort of like the blind date thing, you know?

Has a great personality....hmmmm

Jack Benny is OK, 'cause he's

November 25, 2007 at 02:30 PM · ok, i will stick my neck out and suggest: andre rieu! :)

he has captured the attention of the mass and showed them what his version of classical music is about.

we are waiting to see your version:) better be good! or better!!

November 25, 2007 at 03:14 PM · sigh....sorry, but can I again point out that Andre Rieu's Viennese waltzes are popular music, and not classical music? Yes there IS a difference...and even in Strauss's day his waltzes were recognized as popular dance music and not as concert music. Andre Rieu, whatever he may be, is no classical violinist.

November 25, 2007 at 03:57 PM · mara, i concur with your assertion, thus my tongue-in-cheek "his VERSION of classical music":)

i will compromise by making a mental note to distinguish folks that i will coin as classical classical from those that are non-classical classical (with classical training), and then from "popular" music of today, some of which i simply do not know how to listen to with my dinosaur ears, not to say i have tried, despite blasting exposure at traffic lights:)

November 25, 2007 at 04:19 PM · Ah, sorry. Sometimes tongue-in-cheek doesn't come across so well in print. :)

November 27, 2007 at 12:05 AM · You! haha

(I think it's clear that Jasmine's high-energy, get-it-done personality will be part of her popularity, if she brings her work to the standard she seeks.)

November 27, 2007 at 12:10 AM · Definately Rachel Barton-Pine!!!

November 27, 2007 at 02:38 AM · Thank you, Bill Busen. :..0) (Crying)

November 29, 2007 at 12:02 AM · Mussolini

November 29, 2007 at 12:14 AM · Albert Einstien-Realy! He actualy gave math tutoring to a young girl in exchange for violin lessons (As the legend goes)

Not a violinist, but Alex Lifeson of the Canadian Prog. Rock group-"RUSH". Met him, the warmest humanbeing with the biggest heart "EVER"! Has a love for great musicians period! Always looks at the talents of others and modest of his own self evaluation. A Natural Born Comidean! He's a RIOT!

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