Who are some of the better not very well known soloists?

April 3, 2010 at 06:33 PM ·

Who are some of the better not very well known soloists? Soloists who can play as well as the Changs and Repins of the world, but few know them. 


April 3, 2010 at 07:41 PM ·

The problem is deciding how famous is famous, and how less known is less known. It's very relative. I'm about to throw out some names off the top of my head. Most will/should be recognized by the serious violin community. But they're not quite the household names as soloists as some others have been to the general music-loving public. I'm thinking of the public that's been exposed to the point of saturation by public television to Pavarotti and Yo-Yo Ma and - let's face it, Andre Rieu. The folks who would 'never' confuse Itzy Zuckerman with Pinky Perlman!

OK -

Toscha Seidel, Oscar Shumsky, David Nadien, Charles Libove (less known perhaps, but up there with anybody), Aaron Rosand, Glenn Dicterow, etc. etc.

April 3, 2010 at 09:35 PM ·

Chloe Hanslip.

April 3, 2010 at 09:39 PM ·

It's hard to gauge how famous is "not so famous," as the first responder said.  I mean, I would really have never heard of any violinists if they hadn't managed to have a solo career of some kind and/or make some recordings.  But if you want to draw the line somewhere between "Making a living, getting a decent amount of work" and "major-label contract, regular appearances with the biggest orchestras on earth,"   I could toss out a few names.

Tasmin Little

James Ehnes

Agustin Hadelich

Stefan Jackiw

...there are many more, of course...

April 4, 2010 at 02:22 PM ·

Hummm????? Lisa Batiashvilli is an example of a wonderful player.  Also some of David Oistrakh students ought to be more known!


April 4, 2010 at 03:16 PM ·

Paul Rosenthal, founder and music director of the Sitka Summer Music Festival, student of Galamian and Heifetz.

April 4, 2010 at 06:13 PM ·

 Hi- With regard to violinists who are far less well known than they deserve to be: most of the violinists listed are good instrumentalists. Of the ones mentioned, Charlie Libove was certainly a stellar musician and David Nadien is so far above the others, both as a musician and violinist, that  he shouldn't even be in the same category as the they are. Like the great violinists of yore, his playing is instantly recognizable, as much as Menuhin or Heifetz. One might say, "What about Oscar Schumsky?" He was a superb violinist, but his music making was positively soporific. He, like all the others, simply didn't have the "stuff."                                                                                          But there is one hope for true greatness (meaning a musician in a league with Menuhin or Nadien with the technique to match): Sergey Khachatryan. He does have recordings out and there are several examples of his playing on You Tube. Compare him to, say, Hillary Hahn. She's one of the young superstars, but while she is very pretty and charming, she is not an instrumentalist of the top rank, and her music making is so icy that she's almost devoid of any real musical feeling. Mr. Khachatryan is a violinist of the first rank, and he is a musician who is original, honest, and profound in depth of feeling. He will be remembered long after the others are forgotten.   Charles Johnston

April 4, 2010 at 06:48 PM · A musician that plays bach the way Hilary Hahn does is not an icy player.... And most people would agree that she has a beautiful tone that is easily recognizable.. Now about the violinists not so recognized, i would say: Chloe Hanslip, Silvia Marcovicci, Eugene Fodor.. Sil

April 4, 2010 at 08:06 PM ·

Charles - can't agree with you re Shumsky and Hahn. Shumsky was greatly admired by the likes of Libove and Rosand. Hilary Hahn has one of the best tecniques around. She tosses off Ysaye sonatas and the Paganini concerto #1 like childs play, and has a lovely tone and subtle musicality. She plays The Lark Ascending like an angel. If that's cold playing, then ice has an odd way of drawing tears from my eyes. A friend of mine who studied with Heifetz thinks she's functioning on a whole other plane. A former teacher of mine, who studied with Shumsky, and has been on numerous sessions with Nadien, whom he admires to no end, feels similary about Hahn. I greatly admire Nadien. (After all, I listed him, didn't I?) But I really feel that Hilary's recording of the Mendelssohn compares very well with the great Nadien's. I studied with Rosand, who is one of my violinistic heroes. But there's nothing amiss about 'The Divine Miss H's' Sibelius in comparison with that of 'der Rosenkavelier'. OK - several years ago there was a whole thread just about her. 

 Sergey Khachatryan is a new name to me. Just took a listen on his website and youtube. Quite good indeed! But to place him head and shoulders above HH or Shumsky? Hardly. Well,"de gustabus non dispitatum est." (There's no arguing about taste.)

But I want to ask you something else. I see that besides Nadien, you studied with Marvin Morgenstern. What happened to him? I heard that he just disappeared one day.

April 4, 2010 at 08:14 PM ·

I like this guy named Rob Moose.  He is a New York based avant garde violinist-composer-arranger-guitarist-mandolinist-et cetera.  He had played for Broadway musicals Spring Awakening, Cry Baby, and Burn The Floor.

April 4, 2010 at 08:47 PM ·

I think it's fair to say that it's a little easier for a "prodigy" who has reached superstar fame early on in life to continue onto a successful adult career. 

In Sarah Chang's case, her often told debut story (paganini concerto at age 8 with NY Phil and Mehta with no rehearsal) along with her high profiled EMI recordings at such a young age, established herself in the classical mainstream world.  And, I think, she received well-deserved praise for such an amazing level of technique and musicianship at such a young age.

In Repin's case, him studying with Bron and winning the Queen Elisabeth at age 16 or something crazy like that definitely helped the publicity side of things.

If you look at Chang, Repin, Hahn, Midori, Josefowicz, Bell, Vengerov, etc, they were all well established at a VERY young age...huge prodigy stories.  The same can be said for Perlman, Heifetz, Milstein, Menuhin, etc.

April 4, 2010 at 09:07 PM ·

For living players, Vadim Gluzman is in the top of my list, along with Leonidas Kavacos.  Here Gluzman's site:




April 4, 2010 at 09:52 PM ·

In 1978, the local Community Concert series in the isolated town where I lived had booked Eugene Sarbu for a violin recital. The week before his appearance in our concert, he won the Paganini Competition. What a thrilling performance he gave us - you can imagine!

There are lots of violinists who qualify to enter such competitions and can hold their own in any venue.

Anne Akiko Meyers grew up in that town and performed as soloist with our local orchestra first when she was 6 and again a year or two later, and then she returned to play the Mendelssohn with us at age 12 (and on the Tonight Show), after great success in front of the LA Phil. She is still a great world-class virtuoso.


April 4, 2010 at 10:22 PM ·

For sheer technique coupled with musicality: Ingolf Turban (amazing Ernst etudes)

For sheer knowledge of style coupled with technique: Christian Tetzlaff (amazing Bach and Bartok)

April 5, 2010 at 09:58 AM ·

Has anybody heard of the American violinist and teacher, Neil Weintrob? I haven't heard him personally, but a friend who studies with him thinks he's the bomb.

What about the Russian, Abram Shtern? There is a performance of his in Swan Lake on youtube. (It's audio only, while they show stills of him.) So we may dare to compare him with the great Nadien's youtube performance. I'd say that comparing him in this piece to Nadien is more or less like comparing Oistrakh to Heifetz. Not too shabby!

BTW, Patrick, you're certainly right about the head start that a prodigy can have, though many don't fulfill their early promise. One major exception is Elmar Oliveira, who started at 9, developed one of the greatest and most secure techniques, and went on to the gold medal at the Tchaikovsky, and a major career.

April 5, 2010 at 01:36 PM ·

 Echoing others, I'd vote for James Ehnes and Christian Tetzlaff. Sublime performers at the top of their game. But I don't think I could say that "few know them." They're still pretty high up there among the hundreds of world-class violinists. Just not that mega-star top tier.

Julia Fischer would fit into this category too, in the U.S., at least. She is even better known in Europe. And that, too, is a category to be aware of: players who are the Josh/Hilary/Sarah of their country/continent. I'd love to learn some more of those names.

April 5, 2010 at 01:45 PM ·

 >She's one of the young superstars, but while she is very pretty and charming, she is not an instrumentalist of the top rank, and her music making is so icy that she's almost devoid of any real musical feeling. 

Have to disagree. Have seen Hilary perform twice and I was deeply affected by her intelligent playing, her lack of posturing, her thoughtful musicality. She is also making a tremendous effort to reach out to the community, the schools, share classical music and herself with the public. Her integrity shines through to her music, in my opinion. But I suppose that's my personal bias. I also love her Beethoven VC recording. (Would like to say I love her Schoenberg recording, but I just can't love Schoenberg. But I love that she champions his work and I'm proud to own that CD.)

And I should add that any of the violinists Laurie has interviewed qualify as top tier. Check her archive for some great names to add to this list.

April 5, 2010 at 04:09 PM ·

re:  Hilary Hahn --- whatever.  She is famous, so this thread is not really about her...

Anyway, I thought of another one:  Yuval Yaron.  He made a recording of the Ysaye sonatas that is pretty incredible.  Apparently there were personality conflicts that got in the way of his becoming famous, not a lack of anything in his playing.  (A couple of things show up on Amazon)

April 5, 2010 at 08:03 PM ·

I second (third?) the motion For James Ehnnes - except that I would have put him in the rather famous category. So I'm back to my original dilemma - how do we decide who is in which catregory? I think someone earlier suggested that we look at what label they record for, which strikes me as a pretty good objective indicator of career rung, apart from considerations of comparitive quality - Sony or DGG as opposed to...(Of course, not everyone can be on the GuarneriRecords label!) But wasn't there something a few years ago about a major player - was it Gil Shaham? - who was droppped by DGG, and formed his own label? Of course, he remains a big name. Perhaps we can similarly look for the presence or absence of big-name management, and what major orchestras they regularly perform concertos with - if we really want to make the effort.

BTW, what about Steven Staryk?

PS What's Eugene Fodor up to lately??

April 6, 2010 at 09:09 PM ·

Big label contract, Big Five concerto performance, a Grammy, the cover of The Strad might all be ways to define "famous", although "famous" to violinists and "famous" to, uh, normal people are probably different things. 

That said, I've been listening to the "Sonatas for Solo Violin" CD by Steven Staryk, and it is amazing.  Chops, sound, musicianship, style, it's all there.  He went the concertmaster career route, but, yowza.  Whadda player!

Isn't he retired now?

April 6, 2010 at 09:24 PM ·

 I also agree that James Ehnes is already very well known, and that Steven Staryk (one of my teacher's teachers) definitely deserves more acclaim.  Its surprising that he isn't more well known, seeing as he was concertmaster of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (at 24), Concertgebouw, Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra.  He also taught at the Amsterdam Conservatory, Northwestern, the American Conservatory in Chicago, Oberlin, University of Victoria, Vancouver Academy, University of Ottawa, University of Western Ontario, The Royal Conservatory of Music (Toronto), University of Washington in Seattle, University of Toronto.........

April 6, 2010 at 10:21 PM ·

ME!!!! hehehe Im gonna be the fastest violinist ever. You will all bow to me someday. No - but I would be satisfied with being one of the fastest ever. Im really into speed.


I like this guy but I couldnt listen to all of it. Stupid dial up is too slow.




April 7, 2010 at 09:25 PM ·

Just my two cents:

I am a Hilary Hahn fan, but sometimes I feel that something has happened to her sound in the past years (which I noticed seemed to occur at the same time as her label change - so maybe its sound mixing or mic placement thing?). I enjoy her Sony albums more than the DG ones, but that could be an illusory correlation on my part.

One violinist I had never encountered before but now love is Dimitry Sitkovetsky. My first time hearing him was his live recording of the Dutilleux concerto with the Concertgebouw on the orchestra's label. I know Mutter is most identified with "modern" music, but I think this guy gets less attention than he deserves in playing modern music. A wonderful performance of a work I had never heard of by an artist I never heard of.

April 7, 2010 at 09:28 PM ·

 Paul Dateh




Amazing skills.



When he tries to copy what Ken Belcher is playing, holy moly.

April 8, 2010 at 01:19 AM ·


they are all great but Turban definitely deserves a third airing...



April 8, 2010 at 06:33 AM ·

Well here's some that I wish we could have more recordings from  :

Past Generation :

Berl Senofsky : The first and only American-born winner of the Queen Elisabeth Competition in Brussels

Charles Treger : In 1962 the 27-year-old violinist won first place in the Henryk Wieniawski International Violin Competition behind the Iron Curtain in Poland.

Philippe Hirschhorn : Sadly he was gone too early

Boris Goldstein :  Does not seem to have any available Cds 

Current Generation :

Leonidas Kavakos : He has a few but I cant enough.

Yuval Yaron : Sadly his Bach and Ysaye are out or print..

Though some may disagree with me but all opinions are welcome

April 8, 2010 at 06:07 PM ·

My five cents:

I think the criterea should be guys who don't get to do the big solo gigs much, for whatever reason. 

David Naiden, to me, has always been one of the best players anywhere.  

When I was in L.A. two session players could play as well as anyone I heard, and when I was there one of them was cirulating tapes of Emil Chudnovsky, and everyone who heard them realized he had world class chops.


Another player I loved when I was in Eastern Europe was Vilmos Sazbadi. Don't know what he is doing now.

I am not much for Tetzlaff, not sure what everyone hears in him? Maybe it's me. 




April 8, 2010 at 08:08 PM ·

Another vote for Christian Tetzlaff! I absolutely love his recording of Schubert's String Quintet in C.

I also love Mary Ann Mumm's playing ( I may be biased towards her since I know her personally). She studied with Gerald Stanick (Fine Arts Quartet), Ivan Galamian, and Josef Gingold, even serving as Gingold's teaching assistant for a time. She played in the Milwaukee Symphony, the Chicago Lyric Opera, and then spent 17 years in the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. Her chamber music collaborators have included such big names as Sarah Chang, Peter Wiley, Ida Kavafian, and David Soyer (RIP). Now she's mainly concentrating on teaching.

Also look up Brennan Sweet, he's the assistant concertmaster of the New Jersey Symphony (and has served as acting concertmaster for a few seasons). He also served as Josef Gingold's teaching assistant for a few years.

April 8, 2010 at 10:32 PM ·

If it wasn't for Isaac Stern, Aaron Rosand would be...Isaac Stern.

April 9, 2010 at 01:28 AM ·

Only better!

April 9, 2010 at 02:06 AM ·

 Leonidas Kavakos, James Ehnes,  J. Rachlin,  Julia Fischer, Stefan Jakiw, Janine Jansen, Sergey Kachatryan, Nicola Benedetti.

Henning Kraggerud (Norwegian violinist) whom I saw at Benaroya Hall recently  playing Brahms double was really great. 


April 9, 2010 at 01:51 PM ·

@ Raymond Paul - it's you  :-P  Tetzlaff is wonderful.

I cast a second vote for Nicola Benedetti.  She gets some flack for looking like a model & being a contest winner etc., but if she was a dumpy 50-year-old man, people would think she was good.

BTW has anyone mentioned Dylana Jenson?

April 9, 2010 at 05:22 PM ·

Philippe Quint...just heard him do Sibelius in Arkansas....absolutely amazing. Watch him play this Red Violin Caprice!


April 9, 2010 at 10:06 PM ·

Joseph Silverstein - a soverign master of the violin, this former BSO concertmaster has a really beautiful, if slightly contained sound,  plays with intelligence, ease and grace, and in the words of one critic is "surpasingly musicianly"

Anyone hear of  Misha Keylin? I knpw him personally, and have one of his Vieuxtemps CD's. Well worth hearing.

What about Rachel Barton Pine? I haven't heard her, but of course, have heard of her. I was reminded of her today because she's featured on the cover of this month's musicians' union paper, The International Musician. She's decked out as a punk-rock star!

April 9, 2010 at 10:38 PM ·

I second Raphael's mention of Elmar Oliveira. I've had a two-disc set of his recordings from VOX for many years. His recording of both the Brahms 3rd sonata and Bloch 1st in that set remain my favorites for each work. Ironically, I just heard his recording of the Rautavaara concerto earlier today, and was amazed.

In regards to Pine, she played the Tchaikovsky concerto with the community orchestra I'm in a couple of years ago. It was a wonderful performace (and quite a "get" for our town). Also, she is a nice as can be.

April 10, 2010 at 03:20 AM ·

 I third Oliveira.  Hands down the one of the best live performances I've ever seen.  I'm so jealous you have some of his recordings btw.  Gotta get some!  I've heard people say that perhaps he was just not as much of a self-promoter and hence known mostly among violinists rather than the general  population.... but yes, he should be as famous as any other modern player.  Even more IMHO.

Oh and must second two mentions.  One is Raphael Klayman's mention of Neil Weintrob, my teacher as well, so utterly musical and such taste, and a sound to die for.  The other, Alan mentioned, Boris Goldstein.  I first saw him on the art of violin, and the quality of his tone was just stupendous.

It's such a shame that so many phenomenal players aren't as known, but on the other hand, they do all have successful careers.  In the grand scheme of things fame is probably the least important factor.

April 10, 2010 at 05:10 AM ·

Please allow me to add Serghej Krylov. OK, he's a friend, but he's a phenomenal violinist, in my opinion.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=idNeGnxe3Yc&feature=related (Sarasate)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ADm3obB18vA&feature=related (Mozart)


April 10, 2010 at 05:28 AM ·

 Massimo Quarta, J.J.  Kantorov, D. Garret,  J. Rachlin, P. Amoyal, S. Krylov, S. Milenkovic, Vadim Brodsky, Daniel Hope...

April 10, 2010 at 07:12 AM ·

And  I forgot Tedi Papavrami!, a wonderful violinist...

April 10, 2010 at 10:17 AM ·

Hi Elana. Look for my e-mail! Re Elmar Oliveira, I think he's another example of someone on the cusp between a good amount of recognition vs a good amount of celebrity. One thing I do know about this only American violinist ever to win the Gold Medal at the Tchaikovsky competition is that his career is still going strong. One of my former teachers, whom I keep in touch with, is a good friend of his, and has recorded with him.

There are so many, and in such a competitive and limited field. It's amazing in a way that anybody, no matter how great they may be, can develp and sustain a solo career. Of course many don't. But if something like this (or any other worthwhile goal) is important, it needs to be striven for, and the results will be what they will be. The journey itself is meaningful, and the developed artisitic skills will help in other areas as well.

April 10, 2010 at 03:45 PM ·

Dimitri, I have seen Serghej Krylov before and I always like his playing. I never mentioned Dylana Jenson because I always thought of her as well known. But to me she has always been one of the most musical players anywhere. I could say the same about Rosand, Oliveira, and Zimmerman. Another player not yet mentioned is Ilya Kahler. 


But I think these kinds of names: Jenson, Oliveira, Rosand, Zimmerman, are getting away from the thread, which is more than ok. 


April 10, 2010 at 04:31 PM ·

"But I think these kinds of names: Jenson, Oliveira, Rosand, Zimmerman, are getting away from the thread, which is more than ok."

Yes we're back to the basic problem of 'how famous is famous'. Speaking of Iliya Kaler - has anybody heard him play? I haven't. But somehow, just from still photos I've seen I get the impression of someone who can really play!

OK, just found him on Youtube. my 'still-life' impression was right!

April 10, 2010 at 09:38 PM ·

Hagai Shaham  is a fantastic player who deserves to be heard with the top orchestras today.

No relations to Gil.

Also see this  gypsy violin piece


April 12, 2010 at 10:23 AM ·

Has anyone mentioned Leila Josefowicz? I was reminded of her last evening when I caught a wonderful performance of hers on the radio of the very challenging Glazanov concerto. Frankly, having only heard snippets of her here and there before, I didn't realize she was that good. She brought to the Glaz. a commanding technique, a rich, full-bodied tone and a warm, rather old-world sensbility.

April 13, 2010 at 02:30 AM ·

Jennifer Koh!!

She played the Dvorak concerto with the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra a few months ago in Vancouver and it was one of the best versions of the concerto I've ever heard!!!  She was actually filling in for Arabella Steinbacher who backed out of the concert fairly last minute. The audience, including myself, did not know much about Jennifer Koh, but once she began playing, I could literally hear jaws drop.

She was passionate, strong, fierce yet was able to draw out the most beautiful and serene sounds out of her Strad.  And even though there were no encores, she had about 5 curtain calls which I guess meant that others enjoyed the performance as much as I did!
But unfortunately there aren't very many clips of Jennifer Koh on Youtube... I hope to see more of her in the future!!


April 13, 2010 at 03:39 PM ·

 I would recommend Maestro Nai-Yuan Hu, who is the first-prize winner of  Queen Elisabeth International Competition in 1985. He made a famous recording of Goldmark and Bruch VC no.2 with Gerald Schwarz, anyone interested should check this out! 

April 13, 2010 at 08:31 PM ·

 yes I heard him in Seattle. He was excellent.

By the way, it is Gerard Schwarz (not Gerald).

April 14, 2010 at 05:55 PM ·

 Going back in time.. to four ladies..

Michèle Auclair, Camilla Wicks, Gioconda de Vito, Guila Bustabo.

Actually better than Changs and Repins..

April 14, 2010 at 08:05 PM ·

Don't forget Lola Bobescu, Johanna Martzy, Erika Morini and the best of all: Ginette Neveu

April 14, 2010 at 11:19 PM ·

 Oh Ginette Neveu! what a player she was. Fabulous.


April 16, 2010 at 11:48 AM · Ida Haendel one of the legend of Violin...

April 16, 2010 at 12:20 PM ·

Josef Hassid, and he would have been even less known if not for Bruno Monsaingeon's documentary - "The Art of Violin."

April 16, 2010 at 12:21 PM ·

I agree so much about Ida Haendel...  She was one of the first woman in a mostly men's field.  She is an example for all!  She deserves to be much more "knowned"!!!  Her Preludium and allegro is the best version (IMHO) I have ever heard... And she can play by memory unfront of camera anything even if she didn't play it for many decades... (as we saw this in a wonderful video of her on youtube!)


April 17, 2010 at 06:00 PM ·

Chloe Hanslip!

Am I the only one that has heard her playing? She's phenomenal!!!!

Whoops, some one other than me did!

My teacher John Fadial knows her personaly.

April 17, 2010 at 07:41 PM ·

 I think being "famous" or recognized is relative...violinists I have never heard of, are all recognized by others...and some violinists I have heard of, others have not.  I wouldn't call Jennifer Koh, Stefan Jackiw, Nicola Benedetti, etc not famous.  They're pretty well established in their careers...at least I would probably run up to them if I saw them on the street and ask for an autograph or something...

On another note, we just had a dress rehearsal with Stefan Jackiw playing the Prokofiev Violin Concerto 2, and boy it was just AMAZING.  Truly truly inspiring...I can see why his career has now skyrocketed...Apart from his immaculate technique, his interpretation was so musical and thoughtful.  I got lost today while listening to him play.  That second movement...it was beautiful.  And what's also great about him is how he's very engaging of the orchestra...a couple of times during the piece, we made eye contact when the violin sections play along side the soloist.  And sitting in the principle second spot gives me such a great view of his bow technique and set up that throughout rehearsal, I'm just constantly observing and watching what he's doing...he's truly a spectacular violinist.  He's also very fun and easy to work with.....he's now in my top 5 contemporary violinists groups...


April 17, 2010 at 07:58 PM ·

I just finished watching a DVD of the entire Bach Sonata's & Partita's recorded by Haruton Bedelian.  It was amazing and I'm not aware of any other DVD recording of the entire 6 pieces. I know there are recordings out there, but not DVD's.   Bedelian was a former long time student of Milstein, worked in Europe and is currently teaching at UCI (University of California at Irvine).  I'm sure his name is not well known, but he is incredible.  So I will add him to the mix. 

April 17, 2010 at 09:53 PM ·

Hagai Shaham,, Tedi Papavrami, Frank Peter Zimmermann today and Philipp Hirschorn, Ginette Neveu yesterday.

April 17, 2010 at 11:12 PM ·

 Re: Hagai Shaham, I've read that he was the last student of Ilona Feher (teacher of Zukerman, Mintz, et al).  Josef Hassid--definitely!  Also, we should mention the late Patricia Travers.  That clip of her playing as a kid was just something else.  Never has my heart just broken for the way a violinist's life unfolded the way mine did for hers.... Ginette Neveu... okay, now this topic is making me sad.  I just saw clips of Du Pre today, and it's a bit much!  Still, I love threads like these.  It goes to show that all the aforementioned players did achieve a fame all their own.

April 17, 2010 at 11:31 PM ·

Speaking earlier as someone did of pioneering women violinists, I don't remember if the name, Maud Powel was mentioned. She was important, and there is a book about her.

Speaking of going up to someone in the street, once a friend of mine decided to tease me. He "accidently" bumped into me and said "Oh sorry. Wait! Aren't you Raphael Klayman, the famous violinist?"  I said "No - but I get that a lot!" ;-)

BTW - Haruton Bedelian is a totally new name to me. Is that DVD commercially available?

April 18, 2010 at 02:57 AM ·

I think Franco Gulli has yet to be mentioned. I particularly like his Paganini.

April 18, 2010 at 12:12 PM ·

Yes, I second the motions re Hassid and Gulli!

April 18, 2010 at 01:09 PM ·

 Watch this clip:


The more I watch her, the more I am enamored of her sound.  That great golden glow around the sound like all the greats had.  She had it all.

April 18, 2010 at 06:47 PM ·

How about Louis Farrakhan. Here it is. Believe it or not.


April 18, 2010 at 09:08 PM ·

Chee-Yun is sensational.  www.chee-yun.com

April 19, 2010 at 09:55 AM ·

While we're at it, how about  Mussalini?

April 19, 2010 at 10:43 AM ·

 I concurr re Jenifer Koh. Heard her play sibelius at a recent concert and she was wonderful. Wasn't as impressed with Phillip Quint who played the Korngold. As for that concerto, can't her comparing with Hilary Hahn, who in my opinion is one of the all time great violinists. Her technique is noncomparible to anyone else. I believe she is sometimes considered to be cold because she makes everrything look so effortless.

April 19, 2010 at 10:57 PM ·

 Going back in time once again.. this time to a dude..

Vasa Prihoda

A violinist with unique sound and style..

April 21, 2010 at 01:48 AM ·

 As a Philadelphian I must say Jascha Brodsky.   His old recordings with the Curtis String Quartet are unbelievable!  

April 21, 2010 at 02:03 AM ·

 James Ehnes.  He has some great recordings of the Paganini Caprices.  I also saw him at the Peninsula Music Festival.  I've heard he's the best technical violinist in the world, but who really knows.

April 22, 2010 at 02:49 AM ·

I second the motion for James Ehnes as a player. But I'm not at all sure that he's not well-known enough for this category - which brings us back to our basic quandry.

Meanwhile, I'd like to cast a vote for a colleague of mine, Christopher Collins-Lee. Chris is concertmaster of one of the orchestras I regularly play with - The Orchestra of St. Peter by the Sea - a New Jersey based group. But he also tours the world as a soloist. Chris has a lovely tone, and a heartfelt approach to phrasing that hearkens back to to an earlier age. Here are just the first two paragraphs of his bio. You can find the rest by looking up his name:

 Christopher Collins Lee was a protégé of Zino Francescatti studying and traveling with him on his final tours. His other major teachers included Dorothy DeLay, Henryk Szeryng and Nathan Milstein.

Christopher has played as soloist under the batons of Leopold Stokowski, Leonard Bernstein, Herbert Van Karajan, Sergiu Commissiona, and Arthur Fiedler among others. He has won numerous awards such as the Carl Flesch International Competition, Fulbright and Guggenheim Awards, the J.S. Bach Competition and the Fritz Kreisler Prize.

April 22, 2010 at 04:01 AM ·

 I know him!  :)  He's played as concert master of a bunch of orchestras and has such a lovely tone.  Nice guy, too, friendly and professional.  I've always been curious about our fiddles being related.  It's possible that my violin was modeled after his because there are many similarities between the two instruments.  Nice nomination!

April 22, 2010 at 06:56 AM ·

And above all violinist just mentioned , and in the same league as an Oistrach or Heifetz  was 

Tibor Varga  , his recording of the Nielsen and  Bruch concertos are out of this world . .  Today I think very high ranking is Sophie Mutter .  I also liked Joseph Suk who had a a very beautiful tone .

And , Salvatore Accardo's Paganini caprices  recording is first rank . These violinist are in my humble opinion are top of the top . I would highly recommend listening to Varga on YouTube playing Bruch , Tchiakovsky  and Beethoven .

April 22, 2010 at 11:10 AM ·

Anthony - yes I heard great things about Varga. And Joseph Suk does have a lovely, suave tone. I have him in vinyl doing the Dvorak concero and Romance in f, and Brahms piano trios. However, Salvatore Accardo disappointed me when I heard some of his Paganini caprices a long time back on the radio. But, to get back to our basic 'how-famous-is-famous' quandry, I'd say he's pretty famous. But for sure, the wonderful, A.S. Mutter is very famous.

Elana - hi! Chris Lee has a collection of fine fiddles. He was using a borrowed Guadagnini for a while, and now, according to our mutual friend, he was recently lent an even better Guad. For some time he had a - I believe - Ruggieri that had once belonged to Mozart's father, Leopold! But its physical dimensions didn't suit him. Yes, he's also a hell of a nice fellow.

April 22, 2010 at 11:39 AM ·

Robert Gerle

Jaime Laredo!

April 22, 2010 at 01:20 PM ·

Agustin Dumay.

April 22, 2010 at 08:57 PM ·

To my taste:

Highest musicality-to-fame ratio of folks who are primarily soloists: Arabella Steinbacher, Phillipe Quint

Highest ratio among people most of you will not know: Irina Muresanu, Alda Dizdari

C'mon people, James Ehnes has one of the busiest schedules around.

April 22, 2010 at 10:34 PM ·

If you are interested in Listening to Tibor Varga here is a link to his You tube  recording . And there are many recordings of him on You Tube



April 25, 2010 at 11:02 AM ·

Oleksandr Semchuk is amazing. He lives in Italy and runs his own school in Mantova. Fantastic violinist and teacher.





April 27, 2010 at 02:46 AM ·

Sayaka Shoji

April 27, 2010 at 10:32 AM ·

A big talent well on his way is Rosand's protege, Ray Chen.

April 28, 2010 at 03:44 AM ·

 RE: all the previous mentions...

Oh, yes, I studied with Irina Muresanu at a music festival.  I remember she was so very musical!  And an extremely nice person!

Ray Chen... I pegged him to win the QE.  His setup is.... like what I teach.  I like it. :)

Jaime Laredo, definitely agree.  He's kind of famous though, but that doesn't make me enjoy his playing any less. ;)

April 29, 2010 at 05:03 AM ·

While we're talking Elisabeth Competition laureates: what happened to Peter Zazofsky? I loved his playing, but haven't heard of him in years.

A great musician you may not yet have heard of is Liza Ferschtman.

Simone Lamsma is probably better known in the US than in her home country.

May 1, 2010 at 11:59 PM ·

Mattieu Crickboom, a protege of the great Ysaye.

May 2, 2010 at 11:48 AM ·


O dear, Crickboom! He was the author of a number of method books, and they were my first introduction to positions and double stops.


May 2, 2010 at 12:18 PM ·

@ Bart-Realy now!  I may have to check those books out!

July 9, 2010 at 11:53 PM ·

 Philippe Graffin

July 10, 2010 at 12:58 AM ·

Oleh Krysa

July 10, 2010 at 09:50 PM ·

John: Hassid recorded nine, not six short pieces.The CD contains 8, but there's  an earlier Elgar that's included on a LP. A there's a rumor that somebody has a complete Elgar's v.c.recorded live..

December 31, 2011 at 11:04 AM · Raphael, I studied with Neil Weintrob at Ball State University in the late '90's. He is a wonderful teacher, and a friend.

December 31, 2011 at 09:30 PM · Roman Totenberg, who I believe is 101 years young this year!

December 31, 2011 at 10:34 PM · No one mentioned Lara St. John so I will. I'm a big fan.

January 1, 2012 at 12:53 AM · Isabella Faust

Feng Ning

October 17, 2012 at 10:29 PM ·

October 18, 2012 at 01:02 AM · I think Wayne Lee is a fine violinist.

October 18, 2012 at 12:12 PM · Okay, I think Hiro Kurosaki is a fine violinist too.

August 16, 2015 at 01:08 AM · Why is Chloe Hanslip not well advertised?! I've just watched some of her clips on youtube, and I've never hears such styled La Ronde de Lutins. I wish I could've seen her playing to pizzacato parts at least.

August 17, 2015 at 06:33 AM · From the past: Ralph Holmes - he died prematurely many years ago. I heard him several times and he could produce the most wonderful sound. Outstanding in solo Bach. He recorded some Sibelius pieces, the Bartok solo sonata and the Tchaikovsky concerto.

Josef Suk- probably in the 'well known' category. My 'favourite' violinist as a student and an outstanding chamber music player.

Ida Handel - definitely not as well known as she should be - one of the 'greats'

Joseph Silverstein - the best solo Bach I can recall hearing (radio broadcasts).

Present: Nicola Benedetti? Well-known here but not mentioned very often.

Giora Schmidt? Clearly a fine player, though I think I noticed some possible technical issues (can't remember what they were) which might keep him from the very front rank.

There are so many amazing players listed here that I have heard of but never had time to track down and listen to.........

August 17, 2015 at 09:42 AM · Speaking of fame I once tried to stake a claim to fame for myself in this humorous exchange with a stand partner:

"I'll have you know" said I "that I'm now considered to be one of the most famous violinists in all of western Coney Island! (a small part of Brooklyn, NY)" She gave me a look like "yea, right". "OK, OK," I ammended, "the ONLY violinist in all of western Coney Island!" That probably wasn't true either, but having recently moved to Long Branch, NJ I hope to make a similarly outrageous claim here as well! ;-D

August 17, 2015 at 11:17 PM · In the car today on the radio, I heard an amazing rendition of Paganini's variations on a theme by Rossini played by Ivan Pochekin.

August 17, 2015 at 11:19 PM · And now at the end I will reveal a great secret: I'm actually extremely famous. It's just that nobody realizes it! ;-D

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