Who are your favorite WOMEN violinists???

September 3, 2004 at 09:30 PM · I have a question for everyone, who are your favorite women violinists? And does anyone know why they are so overshadowed by the greats that all happen to be men?

My favorite women violinsts are

1. Sarah Chang and Midori (tied at #1)

2. Ida Haendel

3. Hilary Hahn

4? MAYBE, JUST MAYBE Annie Sophie Mutter without her EXTREMELY HORRIFYING rubato.

Replies (113)

September 3, 2004 at 10:01 PM · Maybe there are more men violinists because of physiological neurologic...whatever dispositions. I mean, the old term "the hysterical woman" is outdated and embarrassing, but there are differences between men and women when it comes to the way that nervousness plays out. I don't know of any research to back this up, but just from observing players all my life and teaching boys, girls, men, women...when females are nervous people in general, their stress tends to show itself in obvious ways, which are not condusive to performing, or even playing in lessons, for that matter. Their bows quiver, shake, sometimes even their left hand fingers are trembly. Thier heart starts beating very rapidly and they start to breathe wrong...sometimes my male students will say "oh, now I'm nervous" and might botch passages or rush or tense up their stomachs, but most of the time, I wouldn't have even known that they were nervous. I know that this is an overgeneralization to the extreme, but I think there is some validity to it. Men and women DO handle stress and pressure and nerves differently. Anyway. Just a thought.


September 3, 2004 at 10:10 PM · sorry, i dont like women.

no seriously, ida haendel is great, probably my favorite of those mentioend up top.

September 3, 2004 at 10:48 PM · Ginnete Neveu

Gwen Hoebig

Anne Shih

September 3, 2004 at 10:57 PM · Hillary Hahn

Laura St. John

September 3, 2004 at 10:53 PM · Greetings,

check out the following:


Ida Haendel- video of Brahms concerto.

Erica Morini- even her perforamcne of Mozart 5 with Szell on DVD (well past it) is superb.

Miriam Fried- on of the most underated artists of all time. Now leading the Mendelssohn quartet.

Sylvia Rosenberg.

Akiko Suwanai

Midori-up their with perlman, albeit completely different thing...

John Ludlow once told me that he had experienced top orchetras admitting women players to the violin section for the first time and thta even just one women radically altered the sound of the whole section. Not good or bad, just different. As to why, I have no idea...

Part of this issue is also to do with sex. In my youth I played in a quartet with one of the most beautiful viola players to grace the face of the earth . When I started getting zits the day before rehearslas I knew it was time to quit,



September 3, 2004 at 11:15 PM · -Erica Morini

-Sarah Chang (only for her recording of Sibelius)

September 4, 2004 at 12:04 AM · Ruth Waterman - her Bach is the business.

Tasmin Little

Do you think it's because women leave the profession in order to start families? Or because they can't find any decent men in orchestra?;)

September 4, 2004 at 12:23 AM · I think people's sound and musicality vary as much as people's personalities do, regardless of their sex.

September 4, 2004 at 01:04 AM · Camilla Wicks, Haendel, Mutter, Beilina

September 4, 2004 at 01:09 AM · hey i just said hi to camilla wicks this afternoon :)

nice to see buri here btw!

September 4, 2004 at 01:43 AM · I am obsessed with Anne-Sophie mutter's music. I think she is just the greatest living violinist ever, (I know most of you will disagree:). But anyways, I think male and female's sound are definetly very different. Anne-sophie mutter has a very femenine, womanly sound. Heifetz and Kogan both have a very masculine, more bolder, straighter line sound.

September 4, 2004 at 02:15 AM · Midori is my favorite violinist - male or female. I also like Mutter, Hahn, Chang, Leila Josefowitz (?) and Laura St. John and the lead violinist for Bond (Haylie something). And of course, Vanessa Mae.

My theory on the male/female violinist thing is quite cynical I'm afraid. I think it's hard for a woman to make it as a concert violinist unless she's got the right look, and most great female violinists don't. It's a marketing thing. If we were to blindfold every listener and have them select their favorites based solely on the music it would probably be 50/50 male/female.

September 4, 2004 at 02:37 AM · Kyung-Wha Chung, Hilary Hahn, Leila Josefowicz.

September 4, 2004 at 02:26 AM · You raise an interesting point, that one has to be able to market their product, and I believe that this is true for both men and women.

It is my firm belief that the actual greatest violinists in the world, no one knows of their existence. They are that meager farmer in Tuscany who gently plays in the early hours of the evening; the young lady who begins each morning with a little baroque music, the retired security guard who teaches on Saturdays etc., etc. They are able to cultivate a sound as beautiful as it is indescribable. Yet they are not known because they have not been marketed.

And that's the trouble, in fact, the downfall of the national schools (in it I am speaking of the Franco-Belgian, German, and [traditional] Russian schools) because they each were able to conjure a specific sound; players were able to have distinction among them. Not that I am saying any two can play exactly alike, but this hybrid school we see today has produced nothing but bland albeit competent virtuosity. Virtuosity in technical passages, and also virtuosity in music expressional incompetency. Perhaps, this isn't a result diminish of the national schools, but a diminish in the passion which many modern day violinists have to show.

A distinct group of individuals have been marketed and sold to the public, each different in their own respects, but not distinct enough for the general public to tell differences.

Years ago, anyone outside of the violinist community would be able to recognize between Issac Stern, Jascha Heifetz, and Fritz Kreisler, and later Itzhak Perlman. They were distinct, because they set no orthodoxies (Fritz Kreisler being the most unorthodox, if you will, among them).

In the nineteen sixties, or seventies (I am not exactly certain when) my father and grandfather, both carpenters, were working on a doctor's house in their little Italian neighborhood in Buffalo, New York. My grandfather had the opportunity to hear the doctor play as they were working on the house, and while they (the carpentars) were on a break period, my grandfather commented on the doctor's musicality, asking him why he had not gone professional with his abilities. The doctor replied that he had not known anyone in the buisiness, and it was nearly impossible for a meager Italian that day to get into the performing arts, when he was unknown, and had no other credentials.

Our abilites cannot carry us all the way, the old saying that "It is not what you know, but who you know" rings true in this case. When we talk about "the greats" all we speak of is who has been marketed.

But I would bet my fiddle that there isn't a greater unknown among us, perhaps even yourselves.

I seem to be rambling on; my apologies if I have ventured off the beaten path, but it seemed like an important issue to expound upon.

September 4, 2004 at 02:47 AM · that statement was certainly true in the age of the virtuosos (which i believe to be long gone) but women, or more usually teenage girls that pass into oblivion by the time they're 20, definitly dominate the stage in the present. i believe that this is not because they're so good (though some of them are) but because the men stink. i'd rather be jailed with a lion than watch joshua bell perform beethovens concerto.

i believe hilary hahn has a good future if she keeps her standard. mutter stinks. she wouldn't have been so famous without karajan.

September 4, 2004 at 03:22 AM · Ginette Neveu and Rachel Barton Pine are two of my favorite female violinists.

September 4, 2004 at 03:25 AM · Lucia Micarelli

Sarah chang

Kyung Wha Chung

Najda Salerno Sonnenberg

September 5, 2004 at 02:10 AM · Anne Sophie-Mutter

Akiko Suwanai

Viktoria Mullova

Ginette Neveu

Julia Fischer

September 4, 2004 at 03:46 AM · Erica Morini, Sarah Chang, and Hilary Hahn are my favorite but I also enjoy Akiko Suwani and Julia Fisher (I haven't heard much of her but her Khachaturian was amazing). I also have to give Kyung Wha Chung credit for being one of the first Korean musicians to make a statement in classical music.

September 4, 2004 at 04:30 AM · Buri crossdresses at times (kimono), does he count?

September 4, 2004 at 04:45 AM · 1. Neveu

2. Hahn

3. Mutter

4. Chung

5. Midori

September 4, 2004 at 04:53 AM · In some fields gender anatomy and physiology may indeed limit performance. But in violin playing? Women's lack of dominance in the number of (historically) well-known violinists is a cultural rather than a neurological (as was implied by an earlier comment)phenomenon. At the time of Heifetz and the rest of the Auer pantheon (and others) did women dominate any single profession that required intensive training - aside from teaching? Now the proportion of women pursuing advanced musical education far outstrips what was typical of conservatory enrollment in the past. Similarly at present there are more women entering medical school than there are men; in the near future breakthrough research in medicine will be dominated by the gender that feeds that occupation. So too is the number of female world-class violinistic talent increasing proportionatley. Having witnessed women I love giving birth as well as dying I can attest that they do the latter with as much courage and grace as any man, and will dominate the former for the forseeable future. It seems logical that musicianship emerges from the same fundamental force that activates all creativity and feeling, and is part of the heritage of humanity. Maybe some reductionist will employ brain-imaging techniques to seek a gender-specific "source" of musical talent. I hope his/her mother sends him/her to bed without his/her supper.

September 4, 2004 at 05:43 AM · Awwwwww....

September 4, 2004 at 07:02 AM · A few things:

Actually, men have more extreme biological responses to stress than women. This is because in pre-historic times, before humans were fully evolved to our current state, men tended to do all the hunting. This caused the 'fight or flight' response in men to be greater (ie. greater release of adrenaline) and thus the male stress response is greater. Maybe women tend to perceive stressors such as performing a concert greater than men, which is why they get more nervous.

By the way, the greater stress response in men is the reason for a man's increased risk of coronary heart disease compared to women; long term frequent adrenal release can lead to the arteries getting clogged.

I would disagree that women tend to have more feminine sounds than men. To me, Anne-Sophie Mutter and Ginnette Neveu have quite butch sounds, whereas a player like Joshua Bell has a feminine sound.

Although it is easy to understand the cynicism surrounding female musicians and their looks, I'm not sure I agree 100%. Much as I don't want to call anyone unnattractive, there are a few soloists around these days (and in the past) who don't really have the sex appeal to justify the idea that you've got to be sexy to make it.

By the way, my favourite female violinist is certainly Midori. I'm not sure about her being Perlman's equal, but she certainly has something that eludes other violinists.


September 4, 2004 at 07:51 AM · My favorite woman violinist is Kyung Wha Chung. I also like Ida Haendel and Midori sometimes. Ginette Neveu's sound seems too forced to me.

September 4, 2004 at 08:54 AM · I respect Ginette Neveau for her Chausson Poeme, Mullova and Midori for their technical excellence and Hahn for her Bach.

September 4, 2004 at 08:50 AM · There are (or at least, were)a number of great women violinists (besides the issue of those whose potential wasn't revealed). Personally, I think that if circumstances had allowed, Neveu and Wicks would have been counted among the Oistrakhs, Heifetzes, Milsteins. One problem is that women tended to have short careers, which has the knock-on effect of them having made few recordings and so being gradually forgotten,etc. Their legacy is now often dependent on smaller labels specialising in historical archives. No one's mentioned Gioconda De Vito or Johanna Martzy. Definitely GREAT violinists. Actually, I'd say De Vito and Morini were the exceptions in actually sounding feminine, not generally the case with Wicks, Haendel, Neveu, Martzy, Bustabo, to name the best-known of the "Golden Oldies". There were others. For example, as a kid some 18 years ago I studied with Miriam Solovieff in Paris. She passed away last year, a rather tragic figure who had seemed set in her youth for an important solo career before life circumstances got in the way. In the social setting of the time, I think the women were more vulnerable to adverse circumstances than the men, ie received little encouragement/protection from society at the slightest hiccup. So, in a sense to succeed they had to be not only great but also doubly tough. Among the more famous ones, Wicks is the only one, I believe, to have had both a rich career and raised a family more or less in tandem, and she's till nowhere near as recognised as she ought to be. Which brings me to the beauty factor: I suspect that until recent decades, good looks were perhaps even a disadvantage in a way, at a time when classical music was seen unshamedly as something lofty and above visual commercialism. As an illustration of the attitudes of the time, I heard an anecdote by a well-known English violinist, about when he went to hear her playing the Beethoven Cto in London c.1950: he knew nothing about her and when this gorgeous blonde walked on stage, he said to himself "surely SHE can't really play the Beethoven!" He was suitably chastised 45'later, and many years on he still thought it was the best performance of the piece he'd ever heard.

(by the way, there's a Music & Arts CD of Wicks coming out in a couple of months that includes the Beethoven, and an article about her in next November's Strad issue)

September 4, 2004 at 01:03 PM · Greetings,

Mattias I only get cross dressing if I find a centipede in my sock the hard way. Thatreally hurts!



September 4, 2004 at 01:25 PM · Eeh, centipede?

September 4, 2004 at 02:46 PM · I'd say Kyung Wha Chung and Midori for their recordings of Scottish Fantasy.

September 4, 2004 at 05:20 PM · Ginnete Neveu

Ida Haendel

Sarah Chang

September 4, 2004 at 05:47 PM · In my initail post on this thread, I suggested a few things about the differences between males and females regarding performance anxiety. I have since done some research, which proved my hypothesis incorrect in some way, but correct in others. Like someone else just posted, men DO experience adrenaline differently than women. Here are some very interesting links you might want to look at which will take you to some studies on the matter.


and (fifth paragraph of "introduction":



September 5, 2004 at 02:03 PM · Tasmin Little or Anne Sophie Mutter

September 5, 2004 at 02:51 PM · Some random recollections:

Many years ago, when I was in my twenties, I visited Ruth Ray who studied in Leopold Auer’s violin class in St. Petersburg. She had some very subjective opinions about some of the violinists who were there. These were all kids in their teens. I remember her telling me about the simple sincerity, playfulness and huge tone which was characteristic of Toscha Seidel’s playing. He was Ruth’s hero: un-assuming and amiable and as a result went on to become a reliable pit musician playing for Hollywood movie scores.

Ruth Ray herself was technically on a par with many of the male violinists there, but chose to teach violin in America. Her female student friends also chose to teach. The females in Auer’s class were usually rich and from well to do families. Practically all of the males were from poor or very modest families and it showed in their mode of dress. Paul Stassevitch was the oldest and strongest so he was picked to settle fights and protect the smaller students when class adjourned. Ruth told me that many of the students went stir crazy after sitting through a three hour group lesson and ran like hell to go out and play.

September 5, 2004 at 04:20 PM · ...from my limited experience I'm voting for Lara St. John and Bin Huang...and my instructor of course (but I won't mention her, in case she doesn't want to be mentioned :D)...

September 5, 2004 at 04:49 PM · I have a few recordings of Ida Haendel. I really don't like her playing at all. There's no control (in my opinion) to her tone. Her vibrato is like an old lady singing at church.

Call me a Hilary Hahn fan.

September 6, 2004 at 02:17 PM · There is a wonderful american violinist from the turn of the century, Maud Powell. First great american violinist. She was a child prodigy from Chicago that moved when she was around ten to study with Schradiak (SP). Eventually she moved to Berlin to study with Joachim. In America she premiered Dvorak Concerto, Sibelius, Glazunov and many others. I heard one of her recording this summer of Sarasate's Zigunerweisen and I was completely blown away! Not many people have heard of her but you should really try and get a CD! An absolutly outstanding violinist!

September 6, 2004 at 04:16 PM · Me.

He he. Just kidding.


September 6, 2004 at 07:00 PM · Neveu, Chung, Hahn, Morini, Mutter, StJohn, Mullova, Podger

...all wonderful to me

hey buri is back


September 6, 2004 at 08:11 PM · I think that Laurie must be a great violinist, just read her column! And for putting this site up, she definitly is a fave, and she is good looking to ;)

September 7, 2004 at 12:18 AM · Omg, how could I forget Viktoria Mullova?! An outstanding and innovative artist.

September 7, 2004 at 01:38 AM · how could i forget chung??

mullova is great too.

September 7, 2004 at 06:07 AM · Greetings,

I think i just have favorite women and favorite violnists and if they do happen to inhabit the same body my heart is well and truly broken,



September 7, 2004 at 06:52 AM · thanks for all your replies everyone! oh yeah i forgot Mae and Chung...lol im so stupid =).

September 7, 2004 at 03:01 PM · Ida Haendel is awesome, agreed. Hillary Hahn too (just saw her play the Prokofiev no 1 on saturday...fantastic! I liked it better than my recording of Stern on the same piece, and I like Stern). And her recorded Mendelssohn rocks. Sarah Chang as well (I especially like her Vitali's Chaconne, and the Carmen Fantasy on her first album.) Rachel Podger's solo Bach is amazing (played on period instrument, plain gut, etc...very different sound, which I much like on solo Bach). I agree with Liz Carrol (irish fiddle) as well - such fluidity! I know there's somebody else important that I'm forgetting...

September 7, 2004 at 09:13 PM · Forgot pam frank...

and how about kelsey and laurie, my all time favorites


September 8, 2004 at 02:40 AM · aww thanks, Scott! :)

September 8, 2004 at 10:47 AM · Get off this baord, pervert

September 8, 2004 at 11:26 PM · My favorites are:

1. Midori

2. Hilary Hahn

3. Sarah Chang

November 21, 2004 at 07:18 PM · I prefer Kyung Wha Chung.

I recently saw Mutter and was very disappointed. Ida Haendel's great too

November 21, 2004 at 10:12 PM · Hilary Hahn, in some way Vanessa-Mae too (but I think Hahn is much better in classical music). I also appreciate Ga-Yeon Lee - she's really young (eleven now), but performs well. There are some of her recordings at Violin Masterclass.


November 21, 2004 at 10:15 PM · I love Hilary Hahn!! She is such a talented and wonderful player.

She has a good sense of humor too!!!

November 21, 2004 at 10:45 PM · There is a young violinist (16?) named Caitlin Tully who is playing with more and more orchestras....has not recorded that I know of. Has anyone heard her yet?

November 21, 2004 at 10:50 PM · Linda Lampenius.

November 22, 2004 at 06:53 AM · I've heard of Caitlan Tully hse played on From the Top and has a contract with the same music companies for other famous violinists...i don't remember what it is

November 22, 2004 at 09:35 AM · I wondered if Tasmin Little has crossed the pond to you guys? Off to see her on Sunday in my home town playing Bach, Mozart etc... looking forward to it. http://www.readingarts.com/whatson/event.asp?articleID=938

November 22, 2004 at 03:46 PM · Tasmin Little is great!

November 22, 2004 at 10:02 PM · Susanne Lautenbacher is definitely at the top of my list.

Then Midori and Sarah Chang.

Also Wanda Wilkomirska and Takako Nishizaki.

I'd love to hear some of Erica Morini.

November 23, 2004 at 02:28 AM · I think that Anne-Sophie Mutter is a genius, her tone is unbelievable, so expressive, her concentration is unrivalled (ive never heard a wrong note from her, live or otherwise). Her style is so set in the post - classical manner that I havent bothered to listen to her playing the beethoven concerto, but her sonatas are pretty damn good


John :-)

PS Andre previn is a jammy dodger

November 23, 2004 at 03:42 AM · My favourite female established solo performers are (in no particular order) Hilary Hahn, Leila Josefowicz, Sarah Chang, Ida Haendel and Johanna Martzy.

Each of the above has a very distinct musical personality. It's almost like having 5 completely different children. Hilary Hahn always strikes me as being very precise with a wonderful incandescent plaintive sound, whereas Sarah Chang is almost a complete opposite. Equally as thrilling but in a completely different way. Whilst Hilary's flame is incandescent, Sarah Chang is like a high powered fireworks display. I think she would be very compelling to watch live. Leila Josefowicz is a real "tonalist" and I think her playing borrows a lot from earlier times when interpretations were more personal affairs.

I think both Ida Haendel and Johanna Martzy have done an awful lot to progress women's violin playing. Ida, still performing now, brings wonderfully warm and passionate interpretations to her playing and I love her sound, phrasing and shifting. I think her Sibelius concerto recorded in the 1970s is one of the very best ever performances of that concerto.

Johanna Martzy is actually quite new to me. Although I have known the name previously, I had never really heard her play until very recently. Having now heard her play, I really have to wonder why she is not more frequently mentioned, as I would rate her right at the top of my list. She played on a magnificent Carlo Bergonzi that was loaned to her from 1950 onwards by a Swiss patron named Daniel Tschudi. Her playing is quite simply extraordinary - and many violinists of today - both male and female - would do awfully well to take a few leaves out of Martzy's book.

November 24, 2004 at 08:46 PM · Caitlin studies also with Mr. perlman and as far as I know, I think she is represented by IMG. She is a very bright young woman and a real pleasure to listen to when she plays in studio class (but honestly I have not heard her in the past year, since I was not there).

Caitlin is definetly heading for the top!

November 25, 2004 at 04:16 PM · If I am not mistaken there are some studies, or it is just anecdotal, I'm not sure, that would suggest that Asian women have the greatest hand sensorimotor coordination among population groups in the world. I think Akio Morita mentions this in his biography. Someone here may be interested in pursuing the issue and search more reliable sources on this and correct me if I'm wrong. Apparently, Asian women outperformed all other ethnies in consumer electronics assembly lines. Watching Midori yesterday on video (she's a few yrs younger than me), I was simply in awe, she really seemed superhuman and made me rethink what I had said about the impossibility of new Heifetzes.

November 25, 2004 at 05:01 PM · Tristan, I know what you mean. I'm going to see Midori in recital tomorrow - last time I saw her she played the Paganini/Liszt arrangement of La Campanella - this particular arrangement includes stretches of 12ths(!!!), and yet every note was dead centre. And her performance of the Sarasate Introduction & Tarantelle was jaw dropping, she played the Tarantelle so fast.


November 25, 2004 at 05:47 PM · Maude Powell comes to mind, although, she goes back aways, and I am not aware whether there is a credibile reproduction available of any of her performances.

Paul Entress

November 25, 2004 at 06:27 PM · The women mentioned in other responses are all great. A few more are: Kwung Wa Chung, Michelle Auclaire, Jeanette Neveau, Sarah Chang, Victoria Mullova, Stephanie Chase, Erica Morini, Nadia-Solerno Sonnenberg. They are all excellent soloists, and why men seem to dominate the field may simply be due to cultural conditioning and image. What sells, and fills the halls is always the bottm line. The same as female pop stars getting as much or even more attention then men.

It kind of goes in waves of popularity and appeal (for whatever reason) at that time. Keep in mind that though we appreciate music for love and enjoyment, it is a business concerned upon making money and survival.

November 25, 2004 at 07:28 PM · Recommend to hear Patricia Kopatchinskaja on her website www.patkop.ch

Like it or hate it, men or women - there is nothing like her.

November 26, 2004 at 04:16 AM · It was so nice to hear of other female violinist that I had forgotten to mention. One more for the record is : What ever happened to Delana Jensen? Her recording of the Sibelius was excellent. We also know that there are many other great violinist (female or male) that are not known or never will be . What a shame.

November 26, 2004 at 12:52 PM · Sorry, I might have missed this...but I just bought a CD featuring Takako Nishizaki : I find it odd that given she's the most often recorded female violinist...that I've never heard of her before (and I've been on this extreme violin/violinist music kick for a good year now)...

November 26, 2004 at 02:31 PM · I like Isabelle Faust alot too

November 27, 2004 at 04:43 PM · Nishizaki the most recorded violinist? Last I heard, Susanne Lautenbacher had that honor, with about 250 recordings to her credit...

November 27, 2004 at 05:45 PM · ...haven't heard of her either...I should see what that CD sleeve said again...

November 27, 2004 at 10:14 PM · Sarah Chang: "child prodigy syndrome"

Midori: same thing but a she sound better

Erica Morini: great

Victoria Mullova: wonderful

Hilary Hahn: great already, and a promising future

Tasmine Little: cant express anything on the violin, too many bad habbits

Nadja Solerno: Ugly sound

Mutter: alright in my book, sounded wonderful in the past

Kwung Wa Chung: finesse, poetic

Leila Josefowicz: as a violinist, she makes a good salesman ;)

yeah, i know, im mean. But those are just my immediate observations

Suggested recordings: Mullova's Shostakovich concertos, Hahn's Brahms/Bach, Morini's Bruch, Chung's Mendelssohn, some of Midori's caprices.

November 27, 2004 at 11:28 PM · Takako Nishizaki's husband I believe is the president of Naxos, which probably adds to why she has so many recordings.

November 28, 2004 at 12:47 AM · ...LOL...well, that would explain it...:D

November 28, 2004 at 02:29 AM · ...okay...here's a bit of what the sleeve of the Naxos CD says (Saint-Georges Violin concertos)...

"Takako Nishizaki is one of the most frequently recorded and among the best selling violinists of all time. Her recording of Vivaldi's Four Seasons was named the eighth best-selling classical CD of all time with sales exceeding 900,000 copid to date....Since settling in Hong Kong in 1974, Takado Nishizaki has become the best-known and best-selling performer of Chinese violin music...".

...sorry...I was a little off...I somehow read all that as the best-selling of all violin music...

November 28, 2004 at 01:38 AM · Forget Tasha schizowza, Rick has hit the nail on the head in his (much) earlier comment, Anne-Sophie Mutter is the greatest living violinist, her music just draws you in.

She kicks everyone else's ass, male or female.


November 28, 2004 at 07:35 AM · I don't mind Takako Nishizaki at all.

She has an amazing taste and great interpretations. Her main cons is her sound and shiftings, in my opinion, but i still don't mind listening to her recordings.

And her harmonics beats most :)

November 28, 2004 at 02:39 PM · ida haendel, gennette neveu

November 28, 2004 at 05:23 PM · I've only heard properly Tasnim Little-I have her CD tchaikovskiana and it's really entertaining. I really like her vibrato it sounds so unique and 'bright and shimmery' all the time.


I think Hilary Hahn plays really 'cleanly', which makes her Bach Partitas sound really crystal clear and sharp.

November 28, 2004 at 10:40 PM · Well I just spent the evening with Tasmin Little, well, me and around 500 other people.

What can I say? It was my first experience of Tasmin's playing. At first, largely due to comments on this site I was a little wary.

Her Mozart opener with piano was light, feathery, feminine even. I thought we were in for a polite and pretty evening.

Then the entire Bach Partita no 2 ... OMG that this lady feels, exudes emotion is without question. The playing was sincere, honest, even fairly masculine at times. With incredible stamina she showed us amazing colours from her violin. The amazing chord work was strong and powerful showing an incredible depth to her instrument. At times the imagery from said chords led from the sound of a feathery quartet paying in a garden, to a full tonal violin and cello duet played in your own drawing room. Unamplified, unaccompanied and only feet in front of me the full compliment of tone was a joy to behold. Very accomplished indeed and WOW, how fit do you need to be to play it in its entirety and from memory ! awesome !

For me the Debussy was just the cream on the cake. A real understanding of this exotic Sonata in G minor, Debussy's last work by all accounts,that grand waterfall opening. It was like standing in a shower of sound. Has she recorded this? I want I want......

The solo Bach piece alone produced an ovation that lasted near on 10 minutes.. The self written play on Tchaikovsky works produced stamping and whistles from the crowd. There were 5 curtain calls producing encores of Gypsy Girl by Kreisler, and a Hungarian piece that escapes me at present.

What an inspiring night.

If you doubt Ms Little's ability.. do please go see her live !


November 29, 2004 at 12:26 AM ·

November 29, 2004 at 12:20 AM · Tasmin Little is great, very expressive sound and faultless technique. She could make twinkle sound meaningful!

January 7, 2005 at 05:15 AM · Pam Frank and Mutter (she has a very beautiful and special "mutter" sound)

January 7, 2005 at 05:31 AM · Greetings,

you mean she mutters a lot?



January 7, 2005 at 06:11 AM · Go Wanda Wilkomirska!

January 7, 2005 at 08:01 AM · Ginette Neveau - no question.

I notice in my teaching (much as I think it is totally unfair by the powers that be) that boys are just plain stronger than girls. Annoying, but true. In many ways, I see violin playing as a sport and you need upper body strength to play well. That could be one possibility why men seem to succeed more than women.

But also, it is not that far back that there were no women in professional orchestras at all. I just watched the Milstein DVD a week ago (Mendelssohn Concerto) and was struck by that when there were shots of the orchestra. So now people don't think twice about men or women playing professionally, but less than 50 years ago it was unheard of. And a few years back, here in LA, there was a protest arranged when the Vienna Symphony came on tour because of their policy on not hiring women. They may be the last holdouts though - don't know.


January 7, 2005 at 01:08 PM · Hi,

violinists I like that happen to be female (in no particular order)

  • Mullova, Victoria
  • Pogostkin, Alina
  • Fischer, Julia
  • Hahn, Hilary
  • Haendel, Ida
  • Brown, Iona
@Lisa: strength, in my opinion, is not a very prominent factor for playing the violin. Viola, cello and double bass require a lot more physical effort and yet there are female double bass players, e.g. Lizzy Aumeier. The strength needed is probably more in the form of stamina than in the ability to lift or press so many pounds.

In fact, the body has to kinds of muscles:

  1. some for doing the heavy work,
  2. some for doing agile, micro-precision things
As far as I know, you can retrain kind 2. to work like kind 1., but not (or not as good) vice versa.

Talking anatomy, there are two basic hand types (in both genders):

  1. broad with short fingers
  2. slender with long fingers
Hand #1 would be more comfortable doing blacksmithing, hand #2 would be more comfortable doing needlepoint. Yet, there are violinist with broad fleshy hands (Perlman, Oistrakh and Stern come to mind) as well.

More important than sheer strength (in the body building sense) and anatomy, however, are musicality, determination, training and attitude.

I heard many square dancers say "in our club, we have to many female members". I've alwas responded with "No, there are just not enough male dancers". In the same sense, maybe we don't have enough female violinists.

Bye, Juergen

January 7, 2005 at 02:54 PM · For me it's Mutter and Neveu.

January 11, 2005 at 03:52 PM · Another vote for Wanda Wilkomirska, one of the greatest violinists of the 20th century. See the thread already existing on her on this board. Unfortunately, most of her greatest recordings (from the 1970s) are no longer in print. I hope that will change before too long.

January 11, 2005 at 06:47 PM · My favorite WOMAN violinist:

My first teacher, who had a giant mole on her chin with a big hair growing out of it! She would hit me on the bow arm, while screaming, "RELAX YOUR ARM!!!"

(No, it didn't work.)

January 11, 2005 at 08:23 PM · geatest woman violinist is in my opinion Ginette Neveu and Nadia Salerno-Sonnenberg.

January 17, 2005 at 10:23 AM · How old is Ida Haendal?

January 17, 2005 at 12:01 PM · Patrick!!!

That is not a thing you would ask a lady! Shame on you!!!

[she is going to be 81 this year...]

January 18, 2005 at 04:25 AM · Hmm, That was even worse than asking for someones age... :)

Yes, she still plays, and even more divine then ever.

January 18, 2005 at 04:28 AM · by the way in this video i have called "masters of violin" or something, there's this fat lady who plays the 3rd movement of the bruch

(the video begins w/ stern's intro and rondo and ends w/ ricci playing the tchaikovsky 3rd mov)

can someone tell me who this lady is who plays such a fantastic bruch 3rd movement?

January 18, 2005 at 05:40 AM · Although she doesn't do tons of solo performing, my teacher, Ani Kavafian is a fantastic player. Her Bach blows me away every time she demonstrates...completely effortless. And when she plays Mozart I just wonder how it couldn't be more perfect.


January 18, 2005 at 05:52 AM · Who's playing do you like better...Sarah Chang or Hilary Hahn's? I really am having trouble picking who I like better because I love Chang's "fireworks" display but I also love Hahn's "lyrical" playing...it's so hard to decide...I mean I also have things I don't like about them...like Chang's latest CD of the French Sonatas (it is very...unique? i would recommend Midori's recording) and i don't like Hahn's interpretation of the brahms violin concerto(she plays really legato-y in the third movement...if that's a real word and doesn't play all the notes clearly...i would recommend Milstein's or Oistrakh's recordings)

What do you guys think? Should I be even comparing two very different players?

January 18, 2005 at 07:11 AM · Robert,

That would be Erica Morini, a pupil of Sevcik.


January 18, 2005 at 11:51 AM · And she was NOT FAT!

[I am a knight in an shining armor with a destiny to save the honour of females in need. And Buri at all times. Except when the sun is shining. Or the moon. Or the stars. Or when there is clouds. Or...]

January 18, 2005 at 11:32 PM · Greetings,

my boy, couldn`t you save `females in need` -for Buri-?



January 19, 2005 at 04:15 AM · It is then they will be in need :)

January 19, 2005 at 10:36 AM · Hilary Hahn all the way :D

January 20, 2005 at 06:57 AM · Ginette Neveu is very mysterious and fascinating.

The next crop of big-time violinists will all be female. It's already started.

Preston - how did you concentrate during lessons??

January 20, 2005 at 10:56 PM · Men have more grey matter (by proportion of mass) and women have more white matter in brain tissue makeup (average across the population). I don't know if this relates to any part of this discussion but I thouhg I would put in my two cents worth

Peter Lynch

January 22, 2005 at 05:37 AM · Anne-Sophie. She is the best. I wish she'd come to canada.

But I did see Nadia Salerno-Sonnenburg play Shostakovich and I thought she was great also. I saw Sarah Chang play Bruch and enjoyedit, though I am not crazy about her records. And Hilary Hahn is hit-or-miss, but she has time.

January 23, 2005 at 04:09 AM · Yes!! Anne-Sophie Mutter!!!!!

What a character!!!

Hillary Hahn, clean and brilliant!! I like that!!

February 4, 2005 at 08:18 AM · Lucia Micarelli.

Never saw anyone with as much passion for playing in my life.

February 5, 2005 at 03:09 AM · I am a huge fan of Lucia too!! I actually will get to see her play on Feb 7th. Where did you hear her play? Check out the thread I started in the CD reviews about her. Nobody replied yet ;(


February 6, 2005 at 02:58 PM · Erica Morini. I think she brought remarkable musicianship and unique insights into the pieces she played, a great artist!

February 7, 2005 at 12:14 PM · EILEEN IVERS!!!

February 7, 2005 at 11:33 PM · Sharon Corr, Just Love her.

February 8, 2005 at 10:57 AM · Fredell Lack.

February 8, 2005 at 11:36 AM · Mine is Ana Chebotareva.

She's got grace. I like her Tchaikovsky.

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