Favourite Violinists

November 22, 2007 at 04:52 PM · Which violinists do everyone like best and why?

Replies (86)

November 22, 2007 at 05:08 PM · Milstein and Heifetz for me. Nigel Kennedy is a "hoot" to watch also :)

November 22, 2007 at 05:13 PM · Oistrack, among the old ones.

New generation: Kavacos... and I've just heard Vadim Guzman on NY.... wowww!!!!!

November 22, 2007 at 06:29 PM · Chee-Yun (She played here at The University of Wyoming five weeks ago.)Hilery Hahn, Charlie Daniels,Roy Clark,Heifetz, My Teacher Dona Cole, and Mike Myles my 1st violinist in, "The Fretless Traveling Side Show".

November 22, 2007 at 07:09 PM · Sean Child wrote; "Which violinists do everyone like best and why?"


First the "why": If someone's violin playing moves me, I like it. If it moves me deeply, I love it. If it doesn't move me, I'm not interested in it.

My list of favorites, based on the above criteria: Heifetz, Milstein, Kreisler, pre 1940 Mischa Elman and Toscha Seidel.

November 22, 2007 at 07:54 PM · Past generation: Heifetz

New Generation: Hilary Hahn

November 23, 2007 at 12:02 AM · Mr. Steiner, I think you are right about your appreciation from the 'why'. Please, let me share that appreciation and say my all-time favourite violinists.

It´s not easy to choose a few names, so many legendary violinists moved me deeply at several performances. But I´ll try to, probably omiting some wonderful artists: Milstein, Grumiaux, Suk, Rabin, Heifetz, Francescatti, Taschner, Martzy and Hassid.

(Sorry, so I wanted to include other violinists like Goldberg, Seidel, Rabinof, Szeryng, Stern, Ferras, Oistrakh (David), Szigeti, Polyakin, Neveu, Busch,... Oh, I cannot finish this list!!)

November 23, 2007 at 04:27 AM · Hilary Hahn

November 23, 2007 at 04:55 AM · Past: Milstein

Present: me--just kidding--Hilary Hahn

November 23, 2007 at 04:12 PM · My favorites are the trio of (in alphabetical order) Heifitz, Oistrakh and Szeryng. As a non-violinist(clarinet is my instrument), those of you who know the fiddle from the "inside" will please indulge this humble clarinetist's awkward attempt to describe my love for these masters without the benefit of a technical knowledge of the instrument.

I first heard Oistrakh as a mere lad of eight, when my father took me to Detroit's Masonic Auditorium to hear him in recital with Vladimir Yampolsky. In the middle of the "Kreutzer" Sonata he broke a string! But this didn't upset him in the least; he merely walked off the stage, grabbed another strad and returned to tune and continue where he had been so rudely interrupted. From that night I fell head-over-heels in love with Oistrakh's music-making. I later heard him play the Sibelius with the Detroit Symphony and the Franck Sonata in recital at Carnegie Hall. Here's a just few of my favorites:


1. Sibelius with Ormandy and Philadelphia

2. Prokofiev #1 with London Symphony

3. Beethoven Concerto

4. Brahms with Klemperer

5. transcription of "Claire de Lune" (the most delicate and shimmering of miniatures).


1. Mendelssohn with Boston

2. Tchaikovsky on RCA

3. Beethoven "Kreutzer" Sonata

4. Debussy Sonata

5. transcriptions of Debussy's "The Girl with the Flaxen Hair" and Gershwin's "Porgy and Bess"


1. Bach's Solo works (DGG/2nd version because of vastly improved sound)

2. Mozart's Concerti

3. Mozart's Sonatas with Igrid Haebler (a pianist who matches his purity of technique and style, reminescent of Casadesus or Lipatti)

4. Brahms' Sonatas with Artur Rubenstein (another pianist who equals and makes the most beautiful of music with this master)

Now comes the hard part - why? Without the benefit of a technical knowledge of the violin and its nomenclature, I will attempt to describe in however impressionistic a way what it is that I love about this masters. Here goes...

Oistrakh. A bowing arm that seems to go on forever. A range of sound, attack, "attitude" that includes the most shimmering and gentle "Claire de Lune" to the peasant savagery of the second movement of the Prokoviev #1. The sense that when he was playing the Sibelius or the Brahms concertos that he wasn't just a virtuouso showing off, but was a human being struggling with "destiny" (mind you, I've never used that word before)and an architectonic conception of each work he performed.

Szeryng. The most perfect technique. The most "aristocratic" (another word I never use) conception of Bach and Mozart. Even when there's another violinist's interpretation of a piece that I prefer, his is always 2nd or third.

Heifitz. The most "dazzling" technique, but never a mere virtuoso. His performances have the passionate intensity of George Szell's. If Szeryng represents the Apollonian, then Heifetz is the Dyonysian. Perhaps Oistrakh is a fusion of the two?

I pray that you of the violinistic profession will kindly indulge this humble clarinetist's purple prose graspings to describe the indescribable.

November 23, 2007 at 06:41 PM · No one mentioned Kogan yet, I am surprised

In my book he was better then Oistrakh and Heifetz

Better tone and phrasing then Heifetz and better intonation and technique then Oistrakh

November 24, 2007 at 05:21 AM · I'm surprised a lot of people are mentioning Heifetz, but not Ferras... Ferras to me was much more introspective than Heifetz and a much better musician with better tone than heifetz...

I love this video




I also love Oistrakh... omg, he just affects me at so deep a level that I cannot begin to describe...

November 24, 2007 at 07:03 AM · Concertmaster Steven Copes and Associate Concertmaster Ruggero Allifranchini with the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. I hesitate to single out just a couple performers from that ensemble since many of those players are fabulous.

Anne-Sophie Mutter. Recent Grammy-winning Hilary Hahn. Recent Grammy-winning Joshua Bell. Isaac Stern. (Saw him more than once as an Artistic Partner with the SPCO.) A nod to Grammy-winning Pinchas Zukerman (former director of the SPCO). Too many other great violinists not included here I have not heard yet but deserve recognition.

November 24, 2007 at 03:20 PM · As a violinist, it's hard to make a single choice, they all have dazzling technique, great tone, and superb performances. But if I had a pick my favorite violinist based on who I'd like best to have an interview or special project with, it'd be:

Itzhak Perlman, he is a great personality, humble and genuine (as seen in his interview with Laurie), cares about people, went on Sesame Street to inspire little kids, compassionate (did projects like Schindler's List), great sense of humor (dressed as Snow White, can you imagine Heifetz doing something like this?), has interests other than classical music (playing with klezmer bands). He's rumored to be a great teacher also, and of course his tone is "fantabulously" gorgeous. Oh, and he owns the fabled Soil Strad. So definitely Perlman.

November 24, 2007 at 04:30 PM · There are so many I admire.

Violinists that I have heard live:

Robert Mann, Arnold Steinhardt, Nicolaj Znaider, Daniel Hope, Pinchas Zuckerman, Aaron Rosand, Pam Frank

Violinists that I have not heard live, yet:

James Ehnes, Thomas Zehetmair, Gidon Kremer, Vadim Repin, Rachel Barton-Pine

Violinists that I won't ever get to hear live:

Kreisler, Heifetz, Milstein, Ferras, Zimbalist, Thibaud, Menuhin, Francescatti, Neveu, Rabin, Oistrakh, Grumiaux

November 24, 2007 at 09:12 PM · I have a whole bunch for different reasons but among my favorites are: Itzhak Perlman, James Ehnes, Nikolaj Znaider, and Vadim Repin

November 24, 2007 at 10:05 PM · Zukerman and Chang for contemporaries (you can add in Gitlis and Wicks there too)

and Oistrakh, Heifetz, and Szeryng from the "older" generation.

November 25, 2007 at 05:54 AM · Heifitz and Vengerov

November 25, 2007 at 06:10 AM · Josef hassid

completely raw and passionate playing. His tone is so colorful and penetrating.

November 25, 2007 at 06:57 AM · Royce: Chee-Yun canceled that Wyoming recital, and Stefan Jackiw replaced her.

November 25, 2007 at 02:44 PM · Ooops. My last response had a cut and rearrange error. I meant to say that I have seen Bell a few times and not Stern. I should also add Paganinni to the list as a historical figure and maybe Jocham.

November 25, 2007 at 03:49 PM · Mr. Sords,

Another, all too often, one of my Oops moments. I could not go for one reason or another and had not spoken to anyone who went and would have known. Where I'm at on campus, it takes 45 minuets to walk to the Music dept. for myself and friends. My honest impression was that she played and two others thought so as well. Thanks for letting me know and not further embarass myself, I owe you one!!!


November 25, 2007 at 04:16 PM · Oistrakh and Vengerov.

November 25, 2007 at 08:28 PM · Grumiaux, for being the first ever violinist to make me cry!

Szeryng, for having the most fantastic intonation, and his ability in playing everything so beautifully!

Heifetz, for being so personal and leaving a huge print on all the violinists who came after him!

Kreisler, for his bohemian charm and noble elegance!

Szigeti, for his sincere playing and for always putting his phenomenal technique at the music's service!

And finally, all my admiration to all those who try, with all their heart, to bring through music, a moment of hope, love, beauty, light and truth in a suffering world!


November 26, 2007 at 03:48 AM · Beautifully written, Liviu.



November 26, 2007 at 04:46 AM · Frank Peter Zimmerman

Leonidas Kavakos

James Ehnes

"Anyone remember the good old days? These are the good old days." Robert Lipsett, 2007. Corny, but quite true.

November 26, 2007 at 08:21 PM · For pure technique, I would say Heifetz and Milstein; Hilary Hahn has it too. As for a great player that I would want to hang out and drink beer with, Kreisler would have been my pick.

November 26, 2007 at 10:41 PM · I agree, beautifully written, Liviu! (p.s. I love your Dvorak recording!)

And among the modern violinists, I have to say Joshua Bell. There are others like Hahn who have better technique and/or are more consistent, but no other violinist other than Bell has ever given me an experience that shakes me to the soul and leaves me physically trembling.

November 27, 2007 at 01:21 AM · James Sudakow. Violinist like him, cellist like Jami Seiber or Zoe Keating generaly are looked down on by the more traditional string players. however, their creativity and imagination impresses me especially when they use audible texture and colour to paint these wonderful musical minds-eye pictures.

November 27, 2007 at 02:31 AM · anne-Sophie Mutter.

Her ability to be different and not suck at it.

(Her phrasing, bowing technique and vibrato move me like no ther violinist.)

November 27, 2007 at 07:46 AM · Alright, I'm going to rock the boat here, but I really like Vanessa Mae and Bond. I know, they are pop stars, but heck, after seeing their concerts live, they have sooo much fun with they play, and get everybody involved, smiling, laughing, dancing. When I need a pick me up at work, I usually put their music on. Headphones of course. My coworkers hate this stuff.

And, yes, I like the Spice Girls too for the same reasons. I can't help it, happy music, is well, happy!

November 27, 2007 at 01:14 PM · Gil Shaham. I love his recordings, his rich, evocative tone, and I love how giving he is when he plays live. Not only did it (his San Francisco Davies Hall performance) sound good, and a wonderful musical spirit was evoked, but I just got this tremendous warmth emanating from him, as if he was saying, "Thank you so much for allowing me to stand here in front of you and do what it is I love the most." Even after he'd finished and the audience was roaring their approval (for the aurally-challenging Wm Schuman Concerto, to boot), he spent the next twenty seconds bowing to the orchestra, meeting their eyes, thanking THEM, before turning to the audience. It was so cool. He rocks.

Anne, your last category made me laugh. : ) And Arnold! I want to see Arnold play live. I just loved his Indivisible by Four, and the documentary High Fidelity.

November 28, 2007 at 03:46 PM · Wow, how do you answer a question like this! The only way is to realize this question will come up again in a few months and then you can just change your answers until you've mentioned everyone.

For me, at the moment:

Von Vecsey





and . . . okay okay okay HEIFETZ!

Also, Joshua Bell. I've never seen him live. Someday . . .

November 28, 2007 at 07:57 AM · Nice to see Menuhin mentioned. When I first heard his playing it had a tremendous impact. Something eternal spoke through him. I have never heard that from another violinist.

November 28, 2007 at 02:54 PM · All of the above:) Also, looking at specific performances, I would single out Daniel Hope, whose recording of the Walton sonata is unbelievable, and Isabelle Faust, who has a fantastic recording of the Janacek sonata.

My single favorite would have to be Oistrakh because he left fantastic recordings of so much of the violin rep. and never backed down from the challenge of mastering new works even when he was world renowed. I mean, can you imagine mastering Shosty VC 2 at age 60?

November 28, 2007 at 03:06 PM · Ginette Neveu - for her emotional power and her hypnotic sound. I wish she had lived longer. :( Her Brahms is amazing.

Mutter - I love her concept of sound. Some of her interpretations are a little "wack," but when she gets it, God, she gets it. N.B. I can' tstand her Beethoven - it's a little too ugly for me. Her early Beethoven and Mozart with Karajan, however, are to die for.

November 28, 2007 at 05:01 PM · Terez - if you want to see Steinhardt live, you had better hurry. The Guarneri is only touring for another year or so.

November 28, 2007 at 05:39 PM · Who isn't my favorite violinist? It's impossible to choose! Every one that I've seen live has been inspiring, including:

Anne-Sophie Mutter, Barnabàs Kelemen, Gil Shaham, Joshua Bell, Stefan Jackiw, Brian Lewis, Stephanie Jeong, Nicola Benedetti, Pinchas Zuckerman, Elena Urioste, Mark O'Connor, Janine Jansen, Sarah Chang, and Jennifer Frautschi.

I'm also a fan of Hahn and Perlman.

November 28, 2007 at 06:07 PM · >Terez - if you want to see Steinhardt live, you had better hurry. The Guarneri is only touring for another year or so.

Eeee! Wonder if Arnold will continue to solo, tho? Okay, off to see if I can find any tour dates/venues for them online.

November 28, 2007 at 06:10 PM · Tom: You sound like a "sales manager" for the the Guarneri Quartet. Just thought it was funny....

November 29, 2007 at 04:13 PM · Terez - I don't think Arnold does solo, at least not that I have ever heard of.

Sung-Duk - just trying to pass on info that may of use to v.commers. I don't think the Guarneri is the best, but it is good and won't be around much longer.

November 29, 2007 at 04:38 PM · Tom..

Mr. Steinhardt was a fairly active soloist for a while, playing with some of the top orchestras. I think he played some solos as recently as last year.

November 29, 2007 at 04:52 PM · terez, you can see his engagements until 2009 at arnoldsteinhardt.com

go to "other" section, then concert schedule

November 29, 2007 at 04:54 PM · I know he has been active with the Steinhardt-Artymiw-Eskin Trio in past years.

I also heard him play a brahms sonata this past season that was gorgeous.

November 29, 2007 at 04:56 PM ·

November 29, 2007 at 05:14 PM · Thanks, Willie. Dang, they're not even coming close to San Francisco. Nor is he. Oh well. I very much enjoyed looking at the photos on his website. His wife is quite the photographer. Of course, it helps that he is quite photogenic.

December 5, 2007 at 10:34 AM · Racz Laci the prodigious last century gipsy violinist

Sandor Jaroka

December 5, 2007 at 11:49 AM · I listened to a concert by Vadim Guzman on the Frick Collection, NY... he is indeed one of the best violinists of the knew generation I've ever heard...

December 6, 2007 at 05:06 AM · Sarah Chang- There's a certain sweetness to her sound, almost a naivete that I love. There's a great youtube video of her playing Elgar Salut D'Amour which I'm sure many of you have seen.

Hillary Hahn for pure precision and logic in her interpretations. I love her Sibelius!

Perlman too... a couple of years ago I sat right up front at the Kennedy Center for a concert in which he played the Barber concerto. I coulnd't stop thinking about that sound for a long time!

December 6, 2007 at 11:53 AM · I haven't heard him play it, but Perlman and the Barber concerto sound like they go together like ham and eggs. Wait, let me rephrase that....

December 8, 2007 at 07:42 AM · I'm really not very picky. More like...there are a few violinists I really don't enjoy listening to, but I have some people I could refer to as my favorites.

I really like Szeryng, Menuhin, Kogan, and Kreisler amongst the old guys (also one of my teachers is a big fan of Shumsky and I enjoy his playing...actually I wasn't alive when they were so I don't know how they were live), but I enjoy listening to most of the violinists from that time.

Amongst violinists still living today, I like Midori, Perlman, and Kyung Wha Chung...amongst the "younger" people I like Shaham, Julia Fischer, and Hilary Hahn (usually). Umm...I also have this amazing recording of Alia Ibragimova (I think that's her name). Akiko Suwanai has some nice recordings but I don't think she'd be one of my favorites. Anyway yea...long list.

December 9, 2007 at 07:17 PM · Anne Sophie Mutter and Heifitz. = )

Oh, and Sarah Johnson, naturally.

I don't like Joshua Bell. When he plays it's too... careful? I'm not quite sure how to describe it. Mutter and Heifitz are both kinda like "WHEEE!" and Bell is just kinda... blah. Anybody know what I'm talking about/ agree?

December 9, 2007 at 08:49 PM · NO!!!!!!!!

He has great recordings of Tchaik, Mendelssohn, and Brahms concertos. I agree some of his recordings leave something to be desired, but MAN! Listen to his West Side Story Suite, Fantasy for Violin and Orchestra on Porgy and Bess, Gershwin Preludes, and Kreisler! Man, he's awesome!

December 9, 2007 at 10:18 PM · "I don't like Joshua Bell. When he plays it's too... careful? I'm not quite sure how to describe it. Mutter and Heifitz are both kinda like "WHEEE!" and Bell is just kinda... blah. Anybody know what I'm talking about/ agree?"

I fully agree. There are much more interesting and in tune violinists to listen to

January 18, 2008 at 01:43 PM · Oistrach, Ferras ::: today: Leila Josefowicz, Susanna Yoko Henkel

January 18, 2008 at 06:01 PM · Sorry, accidental double post. See below.

January 18, 2008 at 05:46 PM · There are many: Milstein, Oistrakh, Menuhin, Heifetz, Perlman, among others. My favorite recording of the complete Mozart Sonatas is with Joseph Szigeti and Georg Solti (on piano) recorded in the early 50s (mono) at the Library of Congress. The interpretation may not be the best, and there are others out there that may have more "perfection" in the playing, but what really grabs me every time I hear them are the spots where Szigeti plays so very softly that the bow almost whispers or almost is on the brink of failing to produce a tone at all, or in the loud passages where there is almost a grating sound where he tries for the maximum he can get out of the instrument (in a chamber setting). You can hear and "feel" him WORKING to make the most of the performance, taking risks on the fortes and the pianos. It is mono; it is scratchy from a half century of playing, it was a live recording, single take, so there aren't re-takes to "get it right". It is just Szigeti right on the edge trying to do his best, and the listener can "feel" it. I LOVE those recordings.

BTW, it is amusing to hear Solti on those recordings take a large nasal intake of breath every violin entrance--ever the conductor, cuing in his musicians!

January 20, 2008 at 03:12 AM · I've always been a huge fan of Itzhak Perlman and Nathan Milstein... though I recently developed a taste for some of Gil Shaham's recordings.

January 20, 2008 at 03:40 AM · Joel, nice description of Szigeti! He's my all-time favorite. I've also recently been getting more into Heifetz--I used to not like him in the slightest, but he's growing on me. I also like Vengerov, Milstein, Oistrakh, Kelemen, Luca, Szekely, Chudnovsky ;-), Repin, Tetzlaff...ehh, it's an endless list. Really the only top-level violinists I actually dislike are Bell and Mutter.

January 20, 2008 at 04:13 AM · Has anybody already watched Alexander Markov's DVD where he plays in one shot the 24 Paganini's caprices ? He did it in Italy...

He is unbelievable great ! For those who believe in reencarnation, chances are that Markov is Nicolo Paganini reborn. It is very strange that no one (except me) mentioned his name as one of the greatest at present time. Any comments ?

January 20, 2008 at 05:48 AM · I just saw a video on YouTube of Markov playing Caprice #4. Awesome!

March 24, 2008 at 01:58 PM · MAXIM VENGEROV OFCOURSE

March 24, 2008 at 02:21 PM · by far, i like my kid's playing the best. she plays whatever i ask of, not necessarily how i like it:),,,others tend to be not that accommodating:)

March 24, 2008 at 02:32 PM · Heifetz !!!

and.. Xiang Chen ! :-))

March 24, 2008 at 02:42 PM · 65 responses and only one single mentioning of chamber musicians, shame on you all!

March 24, 2008 at 02:59 PM · why... ?......

March 24, 2008 at 03:17 PM · A few months have passed, so here's my new answer:


March 24, 2008 at 03:33 PM · It is not true that "Familiarity breeds contempt." What familiarity breeds are meaninglessness and boredom. Name who you think is (to you) the greatest violinist of all time - the one you can't get enough of. Then listen to that violinist exclusively - all of his or her recordings, over and over again. After a while, you'll be aching to hear someone different.


March 24, 2008 at 05:55 PM · Wow, this is really hard...but I have to say that one of my many favorite violinists is Gidon Kremer. Something about his tone, which I have not quite figured out...

March 24, 2008 at 06:36 PM · Well Benjamin K if it's chamber violinists you want fine I'll name two!!! :)

LINDSAYAN STRING QUARTET'S Javier Pinell and Naomi Gjevre.... so there! Have a nice day.

March 24, 2008 at 09:47 PM · F.P. Zimmermann

N. Milstein

I. Perlman

V. Repin

S. Mintz

March 24, 2008 at 10:46 PM · Greetings,

I like to point out somewhat tongue in cheek that Heifetz was a chamber musician. In his later years he repeatedly played the chamber masterworks with other greta players in public. I belive that by using the power of his name ot draw the public in he made a significant contribution to bringing `chamber music@ to the fore. More so than Isaac Stren who tended to claim like wise, although the latte rmay have been a `better` chamber musician;)



March 25, 2008 at 01:17 AM · Has Geza Hosszu Legocky or Giorgia Tomassi been mentioned? They kick some serious butt!

March 25, 2008 at 12:24 PM · Maybe, overall, Stern was a better chamber player than Heifetz, but the Heifetz chamber discography is dotted with passages of such originality, brilliance, and creativity in bringing out a musical line, that it's hard to get excited about any other performance by anyone else.


March 25, 2008 at 12:43 PM · Hi,

You want chamber music violinists, eh? Martin Beaver, the spectacular violinist, musician and artist (and person too...), currently first violinist of the Tokyo String Quartet. It's at such level that it makes you forget about the violin and hear only the music - that's impressive!


March 25, 2008 at 11:36 PM · Robert Mann, for his strength of mind, and his ability to make you look past any problems in execution and hear the music as he hears it.

March 26, 2008 at 03:23 PM · Hilary Hahn for her precise and focused sound. Her interpretation always convinces me, even when it's not what I would have done. Like her Mendelssohn -- it's very fast, but sacrifices no musicality.

March 26, 2008 at 03:56 PM · Tetzlaff is doing a lot of great work. His recording of the 3 Bartok violin sonatas is absolutely spectacular. IMHO it's simply a "must have" CD for anyone who likes Bartok's music.

Also props to Ehnes, Tasmin Little, Daniel Hope and Isabelle Faust for some outstanding recorded performances.

March 26, 2008 at 05:00 PM · My favorites are predictable from my posts--

Oistrakh-pere, Toscha Seidel, Szeryng of the older fiddlers. Of the younger ones I have been very impressed by Kavakos. For me he is a thinking virtuoso--very impressive. His Paganini somehow reminds me of Chopin in his ability to use ornamental writing to communicate deep emotion.

March 27, 2008 at 01:37 AM · This is very hard criteria to narrow down!

My top two "old" favorites: HEIFETZ! and Oistrakh

My top two "new" favorites: Hilary Hahn and Itzhak Perlman

However, there are many violinists out there that many people have never heard, so this is sort of an ambiguous question; yes, there are famous, great violinists, but anyone that can move you with their music, to me, is a great violinist. It truly is a matter of extreme personal preference. For example, many people say that Heifetz was a very cold violinist; however, I find incredibly warmth and a huge variety of color in his music. The same goes for Oistrakh! I also believe that watching people play is very important; some modern violinists move/sway their bodies all over the place while playing. I find this distracts from the music, but others may disagree!

March 27, 2008 at 01:04 PM · 1. Milstein - overall perfect on all fronts. Very creative violinist and musician and artist. Great bow arm, bow hold. Also great violin hold. Great outlook as a human being. A sense of humor in his eyes, and obviously a positive opinion on humanity. My favorite for Bach. In some ways, he seems to also come across as humble. The meek shall inherit the Earth.

2. Francescatti - wonderful smoothness of tone and technique. Beautiful sound. A kind teacher and a human being also. Was happy gardening (a good sign).

3. Heifetz - my favorite as an exciting player of things like Tchaikovsky and Brahms (and Bruch Scottish Fantasy). A player misunderstood by many IMO. Not cold - just looked that way. Also a great violin and bow hold, despite what politically-correct violin teachers say these unenlightened days.

4. Ysaye - played on all pure gut strings (except for the g). Great sound for his time. Creative approach (what an understatement). Unique and independent.

5. Szigeti - a warm, intelligent man and very musical. A born writer. A very social person, which comes across in his writing. A wonderful player and interpreter of the Beethoven concerto and other great works.

6. Kreisler - what can you say? Wonderful!

7. Oistrakh - I like his Mozart - at least what I've heard him play.

8. Ricci - exciting violinist. Creative approach. Unique. Fresh outlook. Also comes across as a real character and human being.

9. Modern players - very fond of Perlman and Zukerman. Interested in Kavakos and others.

Clayton Haslop is another recent great find - he is amazing. I love his playing, and he had lessons with Milstein, my favorite. His playing is a treasure. I'm so glad I found him. He represents everything I look for in violin playing.

Also really like Hilary Hahn, Vengerov etc but don't get to hear them much.

10. Paganini and Bach - both wrote brilliant solo violin music, and neither used chin rests.

I'm wondering if I left anyone out. I also like assorted others of course: Elman, Menuhin, Huberman, Spalding, Sammons, Joachim and Morini.

March 27, 2008 at 02:43 PM · Jon- I just learned about Christian Farras (sp?). some people her at v.com mentioned him not being well known? anyway, I went to Youtube and this guy is my new favorite! Really in the pocket, solid!!!

March 27, 2008 at 05:33 PM · Wolfgang Schneiderhan, an austrian violinist (1915 - 2002). He was at the top list during the 50's. I wonder why he is not mentioned when listing the great ones (lack of publicity ?). His Bruch G minor is excellent ... he has a beautiful silky sound and great technique.

You can see him at :


March 27, 2008 at 11:11 PM · I knew I'd forget somebody! Ferras and Schneiderhan, two favorites as well. Schneiderhan for his Mozart and especially Beethoven (I haven't heard him play the Bruch).

August 21, 2008 at 03:16 AM · I want to add Accardo and Alessandrini for the Italian works. By the way, Accordo recorded a version of the Four Season at the Cremona Festival using a different Srad for each of the four seasons.

Chung, Grumieux (the undertones!) Chang, Midori, Hahn and Podger. There are many great women violinists in the last few decades.

August 21, 2008 at 01:13 PM · Hahn - technique, posture, clarity.

Perlman - specialty, interpretation, rhythm, articulation, romantic sound.

Those are my favorites, but I like everybody else, (I couldn't possibly remember them all) too.

August 21, 2008 at 04:00 PM · 1. Oistrakh,Ferras, Stern, Szeryng

2. Sarah Chang, Perlman, Maxim Vengerov, Shaham, James Ehnes, Hilary Hahn, Anne S. Mutter, Kavakos, Kyoko Takezawa, Tetzlaff,

3.Many of my violinist friends.

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Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine