Greatest contemporary violinist?

June 13, 2011 at 11:23 PM ·

Many violinists that focus on contemporary music are unknown to most people even a lot of people active on this forum I guess even though they are often greater musicians then the ones that only play old warhorses and romantic repertoire.

What are your favorite violinists for contemporary music?

My personal favorite is propably Irvine Arditti but Gidon Kremer is really good too of course.

Anne-Sophie Mutter has sadly not recorded a lot of modern works even though her finest recordings are her performances of Gubaidulina´s and Penderecki´s concertos (if you ask me).

Same with Hilary Hahn her best recordings are the more modern pieces like the Schoenberg concerto for instance.

 

Replies (27)

June 14, 2011 at 01:06 PM ·

It's now an old classic, but how do you get better than the Ivry Gitlis performance of the 2nd Bartok Concerto?

June 14, 2011 at 02:45 PM ·

Andreas -what do you include in that category?  Is Bartok too early, because Menuhin did some excellent Bartok recordings. 

June 14, 2011 at 04:10 PM ·

is there a distinction in meaning between "modern composer" and "contemporary composer" like there is between "modern luthier" and "contemporary luthier" (that distinction was drawn in one of the posts on v.com) ? i think contemporary would be someone alive, or almost alive, or had just been alive :o)

June 14, 2011 at 04:32 PM ·

 Kremer probably covers more contemporary material than just about anyone. The problem is, you have to like his sound...

And no, I wouldn't count Bartok as "contemporary."

June 14, 2011 at 04:45 PM ·

Oh boy,  I'm still trying to figure out what is the best possible interpretation for John Cage's 4'33'. The amount of skill necessary to *ahem* interpret that fiendishly difficult masterpiece is staggering.

Favorites anyone?

June 14, 2011 at 06:21 PM ·

 I thought Leila Josefowicz was rather good when I heard her in February. Is it realistic to say though, that one player is "the greatest"?

June 14, 2011 at 09:39 PM ·

I think Thomas Zehetmair is one of the more serious "New Music" Interpret I know.

Best Interpret for the Classics is my mostly loved Leonidas Kavakos!

June 15, 2011 at 01:20 AM ·

Greetings,

Arditti and the Arditti quartet are outstanding in the field.   I take a scontemporary only the most recent works.  Bartok is mainstream.   I playe din orchestras accompanying the cellist from the Arditti quartet many times.  His mastery of the unorthodox and often awful sound sof contemporary music was/is astonishing.

Cheers,

Buri

June 15, 2011 at 03:34 PM ·

The Arditti quartet is brilliant and so is the Kronos Quartet.

Underrated musicians for sure.

Many of the greatest violinists in history wouldn´t be able to even sightread some of the works these quartets have recorded.

I saw the score of a string Quartet by Klaus Huber recently and I can guarantee that extremely few of the most famous  violinsolists in history would be able to read and play it well. 

 

 

 

 

June 19, 2011 at 02:22 PM ·

 Here's another violinist who has performed a lot of contemporary music: Eiichi Chijiiwa

June 20, 2011 at 04:34 PM ·

Thank´s for the tip Nigel.

Always fun to check out new violinists,

Have you seen him perform perhaps?

June 21, 2011 at 05:30 PM ·

 Hi Andreas, yes, I've seen him performing in string quartet, but not yet as a soloist, but most significantly for me, I had the good fortune of having Eiichi play in one of my works - Tango Suite for Contralto, string quartet and double bass. That was a real pleasure to work with him, he had his finger on the pulse of the essential musical ideas immediately, really refined playing. 

 

June 22, 2011 at 07:37 AM ·

Nigel: Seems like great stuff. I love Tango rhythms.

I can imagine that it´s really hard för less famous composers to find musicians that are willing to learn and perform really demanding contemporary works.

I would have composed more if I could find good musicians that are willing to learn the pieces.

Wrote a short counterpoint etude för piano based on 2 themes by a progressive rockband (Dream Theater), a day ago, and I have some hope that someone is interested in learning it.

I can send it over as a midifile if you want :)

 

 

June 23, 2011 at 08:25 PM ·

 Andreas, not sure if you found this but Eiichi has a new CD out  called Solo Migration (March this year) that's not mentioned in his site discography. Here's a link for it: http://musique.fnac.com/a3441493/George-Enescu-Solo-migration-CD-album#ecoutes

June 23, 2011 at 09:49 PM ·

most exciting player I've seen on stage in person is Vadim Gluzman

June 24, 2011 at 03:56 PM ·

Paul Zukofsky is one of the foremost American musicians (violin, chamber music, conductor) in contemporary music.

June 25, 2011 at 11:00 PM ·

another vote for paul zukofsky. his modernist recordings set the benchmark for 20th century performance. an incredible player who understands the modernist language very well.

irvine arditti is also a great contemporary player in europe, and his american counterpart david harrington is equally visionary.

as much as i like his playing, i don't consider gidon kremer to be a contemporary violinist. rather he's a concert violinist who commissions contemporary compositions from time to time. same with anne-sophie mutter. zukofsky, arditti, and harrington are devoted to contemporary music and the large majority of their playing time is spent on new music.

June 27, 2011 at 02:37 PM ·

"i don't consider gidon kremer to be a contemporary violinist. rather he's a concert violinist who commissions contemporary compositions from time to time. same with anne-sophie mutter"

True, but they are extremely allround. Kremer in particular, and they are really convincing when it comes to contemporay repertoire i general.  I have a hard time imagining any of the contemporary violinists playing  Gubaiulina´s and Penderecki´s 2:nd concertos as well as Mutter does.

Sadly their gretness isn´t always recorded. I have a friend who heard Kremer play the Denisov Concerto and he told me that it was the most impressive performance he ever heard, live or recorded. and he has heard hundreds of the most demanding violinperformances ever recorded

Would love to hear that concerto, so far I think Kremer is the only one who has perfomrmed it actually.

June 30, 2011 at 07:54 PM ·

I'd like to explain why i think the way i do about contemporary violinists vs. concert artists that play contemporary music.

The level of scholarship needed to play the demanding new music is a bit much for a concert artist to really devote themselves to while still playing the standard repertoire with the proper feeling. Contemporary players such as Zukofsky and Arditti take the time to learn the language of contemporary music almost exclusively and help to develop interpretations of the music that serve the composers' best interests.

In a way, concert artists such as Kremer and Mutter are beholden to the grand romantic tradition of violin playing and much of what they play will be tempered through that tradition. By contrast, modern composers do not worry about the past violin masters, they have their own agenda.

I believe contemporary violin specialists such as Zukofsky and Arditti form a middle step between composer and popular violinists who may not always have the time to investigate new music or to live with the music and help develop interpretive guidelines for new commissions. They do the preparatory work of working with contemporary composers on a regular basis and developing the language of modern music, offering knowing musical suggestions for concert artists and popular chamber ensembles to elaborate upon in ways that the general public will appreciate.

I like to differentiate between contemporary specialists and modern-friendly traditionalists because their aims are different. Their work is symbiotic when done properly and i'd like to give the contemporary violinists their musical credit as early adopters

June 30, 2011 at 09:00 PM ·

 I realize that the thread is about "which violinist" but my vote goes to the Kronos Quartet.

July 1, 2011 at 07:36 PM ·

"The level of scholarship needed to play the demanding new music is a bit much for a concert artist to really devote themselves to while still playing the standard repertoire with the proper feeling. Contemporary players such as Zukofsky and Arditti take the time to learn the language of contemporary music almost exclusively and help to develop interpretations of the music that serve the composers' best interests."

Contemporary music in general is a lot more demanding. You have to have extremely good timing and technique if you want to play the most demanding works that for instance the Arditti Quartet has performed.

The greatest contemporary players could propably learn any of the old warhorses pretty quickly but extremely  few of the of the most famous violinsoloists could play the most demanding contemporary works.

 

July 3, 2011 at 08:56 PM ·

 could you guys help me find similar songs to the following:

odessa - martin tillman

still reprise - martin tillman

election by adoration - joshua bell

i love the sound of the low pitched notes on cellos and violins and its really hard to find these type of songs that are slower and beautiful

i can't even find this type of song from the guys that did those songs above.

 

thanks

July 4, 2011 at 08:35 AM ·

 Have you tried standing in an elevator?

...sry... couldn't resist :)

November 7, 2012 at 11:25 PM · Can someone help me identify a newly highly acclaimed soloist whose last name is something like Snyder and who apparently trains with weights? Somebody told me about him but I cannot recall his exact name. Your help would be most greatly appreciated.

November 8, 2012 at 02:35 AM · Hi,

Are you possibly referring to Nicolaj Znaider? He is an excellent and highly acclaimed violinist whose name sounds close to the way to you spelt the pronunciation.

Cheers!

December 6, 2012 at 09:18 AM · Here's a new work for solo violin that has just been put on youtube; Grand Tango for Violin and Video by Jeffrey Harrington. A tour de force from violinist Karen Bentley Pollick.

December 6, 2012 at 11:22 AM · Nigel, very nice Piece of music and Video. Although it is harmonically somehow in one room, it captures the attention. I'd like to hear it unamplified though, because with microphone nuances get lost.

Great Playing and athmosphere

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