Favorite Classical Artist

January 29, 2006 at 01:41 AM · Who is your favorite classical preformer that is still living?


1. He or She must be a classical player. (No rap, hip-hop, rock, etc.)

2. He or She must still be living today.

3. They can be anyone who plays any classical instrument except for the drums.

4. Don't deviate from the subject at hand.


5. Give the reason why.

Thank you

Mine is Yo Yo Ma because he can play cello very well. I love the cello.

Replies (86)

January 29, 2006 at 12:31 PM · Of the living classical players, overall, I'd have to say Hillary Hahn. And I don't even have any of her recorded performances, and I've never seen her live. But every time I've heard her on TV, listened on the radio, or seen a DVD, she seems to have just the right balance of technique, tone, vibrato, interpretation, professional stage presence, and ability to project the sound and to connect with an audience. There are others (living) I like for other characteristics, but Hahn seems to me to have a balance of everything you'd want in a violinist.

This really is a hard question to answer.

Cheers. Sandy

January 30, 2006 at 05:27 AM · Thank you

January 30, 2006 at 02:22 PM · It is hard to answer this one for violinists. I like different artists for different pieces. Overall, maybe Oistrakh because he plays everything so beautifully, but Szeryng for solo Bach. Same with cello. I like Casals for solo Bach but Feuermann for the Dvorak concerto. Sorry, but I do not have one favorite.

January 30, 2006 at 09:52 PM · The Great VILAYAT KHAN,indian sitarist,marvellous in all aspects:technic,rhythm,sonority,invention

he plays a sensuous music as noone!

February 1, 2006 at 09:55 AM · i choose gil shaham and i'll explain :

beautiful tone and musicality well many have that but i read interviews with him and he is so modest and a positive man qualities that are not to be taken for granted when you are on the top of the world.his "devil thril" of tartini is awsome can't express in words the feelings it makes me.

my ideal musician should be a very good musician + a mench (from yidish means a good hearted man with compassion to others etc)

in his soul

February 1, 2006 at 06:10 PM · Hi,

I think personally that to answer such a question is dangerous. There are many fantastic artists and personal tastes should not distract from what they are doing. To quote Ysaÿe : "One should listen to an artist for what she/he has to offer, not for what we wish them to give." Wise advice indeed from the great man.


February 1, 2006 at 06:55 PM · 1 Pinkas Zukerman

2 Daniel Baremboim

3 Itzhak Perlman

4 Lynn Harell

5 Ilya Kaler

February 1, 2006 at 09:17 PM · 33% 0istrakh

33% Heifetz

33% young Menuhin

1% Ricci

Sum all that and IMO you'll have the best violinist


February 1, 2006 at 10:49 PM · Greetings,

you still missed out the intellect of Szigeti...



February 2, 2006 at 01:30 AM · "that is still living"

Correct me if I'm wrong...Heifetz and Oistrakh don't meet that requirement...yes, I know Menuhin and Stern would have just a few years ago, but the rules for this thread were very specific.

Amongst the living artists I'd say...Perlman, partly because I grew up (and continue to grow up, given my age) on his sound, but I really love his playing. Other players...Gil Shaham, Hilary Hahn, Kyung Wha Chung, Sarah Chang...very nice.

There are good cellists out there too, Yo Yo Ma has a nice clean sound, Jiang Wang also sounds nice.

There aren't many pianists who blow me away, Emmanuel Ax is nice; my favorite recording of a particular Chopin piece is Yuko Ohigashi, but yea. I mean, I can tell "this is a baaaad recording" but I don't have pianists who I especially like....and that's about it ^^

February 2, 2006 at 01:57 AM · I'd pick Joshua Bell

February 2, 2006 at 10:18 AM · OK,OK,living violinists:

Hagai and Gil Shaham

Sergey Khatchatryan

Sasha Sitkovetsky

Ingolf Turban

Sherry Kloss

Yuval Yaron

Vilmos Szabadi

Andrzej Gebski

February 2, 2006 at 03:07 PM · I agree with meir sinetar: Gil Shaham is my favorite living artist: Not only is he probably the best all-around violinist in the world today(IMO), but he's also a wonderful guy. I've met and talked with him for a little bit - he's a loving husband, compassionate father, and a kind man. I think it comes out in his playing - just listen to his second movement of Barber, and you'll know what I mean.

February 2, 2006 at 05:03 PM · Boston Pops, London Symphony, London Voices, Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Hollywood Studio Symphony...

No one said specific people...

Basically I am a soundtrack guy, and these are the best soundtrack performers.

February 3, 2006 at 12:25 AM · do pop strings players count

February 3, 2006 at 12:34 AM · hello! do pop strings musicians count in my opinion the do more for strings instruments than classical musicians.

February 3, 2006 at 01:48 AM · Gil Shaham...and I'm glad so many others agree! His playing is so *real* and emotional and just amazing.

I've heard him and his sister (Orli; plays piano) give a masterclass and a concert. Both were great.

February 3, 2006 at 02:02 AM · i guess no one is giong to reply to my statement oh well.

February 3, 2006 at 02:23 AM · VANESSA MAE! She's like a mixture of the best qualities of all the greats: Milstein, Heifetz, Oistrakh!

February 3, 2006 at 02:41 AM · true only you should add jimi hendrix after all she is a pop musician.

February 3, 2006 at 05:20 AM · don`t forget my bleedin` rabbit!

February 3, 2006 at 06:14 AM · I like Midori too for music with just violin and piano, forgot to mention that. Not so much for big concerti.

Anyway, the rules CLEARLY STATE that pop artists don't count. I BEG of you, don't spam the board >_<

February 3, 2006 at 05:05 PM · Buri's Rabbit. Because he's Buri's rabbit and unsurpassable.

February 3, 2006 at 06:05 PM · Hey guys. Hmmm by favourite living classical artists would have to be Perlman and Miss Hilly Hill Hahn.But i just have to add...is it a sin to love Milstein more than Heifetz because if i had to choose over every classical violinist dead or alive i'd have to say Milstein. Don't u think he looked so classy when u he played. Kinda like a Mafia god or something..then again all of them(heifetz,oistrakh ect) looked like Mafiosos always dressed immaculately with their suits and all!

February 3, 2006 at 07:15 PM · Gee, this is a really hard one to answer. Like others have said, I usually like artists in how they play specific pieces. Still, the only really famous musician I've seen life is Gil Shaham. Not only is he a superb musician with excellent taste, but he seems like such a nice person. Other of my favorite are Yo Yo Ma, Midori, and Hilary Hahn. I saw a dvd of Ma with Mark O'Conner and Edgar Meyer—they are so amazing! Ma especially plays just like a little kid sometimes; you can just see his awe and enjoyment of the music.

February 3, 2006 at 07:29 PM · Itzi, and then Nadia

Though his facial mannerisms and her body movement bother me to watch, they are both incredible to listen to.

Kinda mainstream superstars, I admit.

After them, Joshua Bell.

February 3, 2006 at 09:17 PM · I think Toni is right. Pop violinists, (as well as jazz violinists in my opinion) are the awesomest because they get to improv their own complex solos and they still sound bearable...I don't like those long show-off concertos in the symphony!

March 28, 2006 at 08:45 AM · My favorite living violinists today:

1. Itzhak Perlman

2. Pinchas Zukerman

3. Aaron Rosand

4. Kyung-wha Chugn

5. Midori

6. Leonidas Kavakos

7. Sarah Chang

8. Ilya Kaler

9. Gil Shaham

10.Joshua Bell/Hilary Hahn

***I have a question for you all, does anyone know if Kaler is still the only violinist to ever have won all 3 of the prestigious sibelious, tchaikovsky, and paganini competitions? I would think that someone would have achieved that feat again...


March 28, 2006 at 03:10 PM · Living musicians: Maxim Vengerov, Vadim Repin, the Takacs Quartet, Leonidas Kavakos, Yo Yo Ma, Alexander Bouzlov (great up-and-coming Russian cellist), Dmitri Hvorostovsky (baritone--most beautiful male voice in the world)...and don't make me put them in order! As for dead musicians, Oistrakh obviously, Bartok's piano playing, Wladyslaw Szpilman (but I might be biased since "The Pianist" is one of my favorite movies), Milstein, and SZIGETI.

OK, sorry for the stream-of-consciousness, I gotta go practice....


Sorry, that was off topic.

I'll put in a vote for Gil Shaham, too. His four seasons (accompanied by Orpheus) are incredible.

March 29, 2006 at 12:07 AM · Yeah it's a tough one to answer but here are mine:

1) Rachel Podger

2) Fabio Biondi

3) Nigel Kennedy

4) Elizabeth Wallfisch

I'm sorta more into Baroque styles

March 29, 2006 at 02:03 AM · No Andrew Manze, Clarissa? Reinhardt Goebel, even?

March 29, 2006 at 03:47 AM · Cheng, you bring up very excellent violinists that deserve to be mentioned as well...

but I still have a weird feeling in my stomach...


(sorry stephen, but I'm sort of the rule-breaking kind of guy... ;D )

March 29, 2006 at 03:50 AM · ***I have a question for you all, does anyone know if Kaler is still the only violinist to ever have won all 3 of the prestigious sibelious, tchaikovsky, and paganini competitions? I would think that someone would have achieved that feat again...


WOW! HOW COULD I HAVE POSSIBLY FORGOTTEN HER? HER SIBELIUS IS ARGUABLY THE BEST RECORDING EVER! (even heifetz, oistrakh, and milstein stated that Camilla was on the same plateau as themselves....too bad she had babies and had to start a family!) =)

March 29, 2006 at 06:07 AM · Julian Sitkovetsky & Oleg Kagan too, Patrick.

March 29, 2006 at 06:08 AM · Yes - I saw Rosand in Singapore - play a magnificent Tchaikovsky VC there on his wonderful del Gesu. About 19 years ago.

March 30, 2006 at 01:17 AM · Richard Tongetti, leader of the australia chamber Orchestra. The way he makesthe violin speak in every note is amazing, I've never seen him but have heard him a lot on the radio and read interveiws. He reinvents things adds onto and reinterprts.

And what about Nigel what-his-name the "bad boy" I have a cd of Vivaldi that he made and he toatally reinterrprts it it sounds grea and you cant stop listening to it

March 30, 2006 at 02:18 AM · Richard Tongetti made a lovely recording of the Beethoven Concerto.

March 30, 2006 at 03:38 AM · Do pop strings players count?

March 30, 2006 at 03:46 AM · Who is your favorite classical preformer that is still living?


1. He or She must be a classical player. (No rap, hip-hop, rock, etc.)

March 30, 2006 at 08:00 PM · Rostropovich. I love the Russian Archives recordings of his performances of the Elgar concerto and the Britten cello symphony (the Britten is with the composer conducting).

March 30, 2006 at 08:02 PM ·

Ivry Gitlis (violin). I would love to meet him.

for Indian classical, it is Irshad Khan (Surbahar and Sitar)

March 30, 2006 at 10:10 PM · Wow I'd love to hear what Rostropovich's Elgar concerto sounds like.

March 30, 2006 at 10:19 PM · Toni,

You said earlier that pop strings players do more for classical music than anyone else. Somehow, I don't see that. I see pop strings players bringing classical instruments into pop settings. I don't really see them bringing pop listeners over to classical concerts. Therefore, are they really doing anything for classical music?

Also, for Patrick:

This is a thread asking for your favourite performer. So if your favourite performer is not up there, say that he or she is your favourite performer. My favourite performer might be Jacek Slawomirski (my teacher), but not many people will have heard of him, so obviously not many people will be putting his name up here. Yes, I have heard of Aaron Rosand, but I haven't heard any of his recordings, so I cannot add him to my list. However, just because someone is not up here, doesn't mean that they're not a good performer.

And to my favourite performer: Joshua Bell (heard his Weiniawski Concerto No 2 as I was waking up this morning, sublime), and Anne-Sophie Mutter.

March 30, 2006 at 11:00 PM · i think its a good thing that they are bringing strings instruments into pop settings,i have said it and i will say it again strings instruments are more adept to pop music than any other instrument,

March 30, 2006 at 11:30 PM · You've made your point, already!!

March 30, 2006 at 11:31 PM · I have so many favorites...!!!

First and foremost is Sergey Khachatryan, because he is just SO extremely talented and mature for his age. I find that I am most affected when listening to his music. It always pulls some string in me, and it was also a joy to see him perform live and meet him afterwards.

Leonidas Kavakos for his stunning tone and impeccable virtuosity.

Ilya Gringolts - LOVED his Shostakovich. Can't get over it at all. Plus, his humor and sarcasm on this site never fail to crack me up. ;)

Hilary Hahn is a wonderfully clean player. Technically sound, and beautiful interpretations for most of the things she performs. I'm looking forward to seeing her perform the Dvorak concerto with the Cleveland Orchestra next year.

Gil Shaham - Love his vibrato. Very nice, modest guy. Crazy good at violin.

My violin teacher - She's awesome. :)

March 31, 2006 at 12:39 AM · Hey Kannan,

The Elgar/Britten album is one of the "Russian Revelation" series. I picked it up in the sales bin at Tower Records on Rockville Pike for $6.99 (!!:)) I tend to doubt they still carry it. Anyway the Elgar is with the Moscow Phil with Natan Rakhlin conducting. The Britten, with the same orchestra and Britten conducting, is actually the world premier of the work. The sound quality is not so great but Rostropovich is in top form and you're right, his Elgar is really good (at least IMEHO).

March 31, 2006 at 11:26 AM · Cheng Hooi,

Yeah Manze's a great player in his own right, though I don't really like his style - somewhat too careful and even on the verge of dull.

Reinhardt Goebel's good, too. I like the box set I have of all the Bach's Brandenburg concertos plus other sonatas with him directing. A pleasure to listen to indeed.

Richard Tongetti: I saw him and the ACO a while ago in Sydney and he was great. It's like he's playing into soft and soomth butter (if you can imagine this..) but yet the sound carries so well through the hall. wow...

On that note I should also mention Lucida Moon, principle of the Australian Brandenburg Orchestra. Her bow arm is SOOO relax and the sound she creats is soft but yet powerful and speaks for itself. After watching her I all of a sudden know what a proper bow arm is! =D


March 31, 2006 at 12:09 PM · Vengerov


Kennedy (for his Elgar alone)

March 31, 2006 at 01:17 PM · Clarissa - I'd seen Manze - no great shakes. Tognetti was here just last Tuesday. Great playing in the Mendelssohn VC (his arr. for string orch & solo vln) & the Octet Op.20. Great bow arm with lots of speed on the bow - flautando quite a lots of the time. CH

April 4, 2006 at 08:39 AM · Hello.

Iguess the best way to go about answering this is by going through the instruments.

VIOLIN: Ilya Gringolts;... Nobody today can play the Tchaikovsky with the true old fashioned flavor, as he does; trully a master that going to take us to new places with his playing.

Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg;... Just a master in all respects that is unsurpassed.

Rachel Barton Pine;... New Yorker's don't know her yet, but she is by far one of the greatest violinists ever.

VIOLA: Paul Silverthorne;... Outstanding and genius.

Pinchas Zukerman;... He is really a favorite of mine both on the violin and viola, but his viola playing is something special.

BASSOON:Judith LeClair;... Anybody from New York knows her...she is the amazing bassoonist of the NYP and she is just exquisite!

'CELLO: Janos Starker;... Old world but masterful...a bit more so than Rostropovitch.

April 4, 2006 at 02:39 PM · I guess I have to actually listen to some of Ilyusha's recordings now. :)

April 4, 2006 at 05:56 PM · Everyone knows mine ;-) Reason - The way he loves the music is astounding and he has great stage presence.

Other faves - Cho-Liang Lin (such passion), Anne-Sophie Mutter (a sweet tone), Hilary Hahn (strong, clean tone)

April 5, 2006 at 05:02 PM · I guess conductors are allowed to be mentioned (I'm a Berliozian, and Berlioz was of the opinion that a conductor is like an instrumentalist...the orchestra being his instrument):

Charles Dutoit--probably my very favorite

Nicholas Harnoncourt--his 'cello playing too is great

Rudolph Barshai--he is famous as a violist too; colaborated with Oistrakh a lot

Michael Gielen

Daniel Barenboim

Shlomo Mintz--I'm surprised nobody mentioned him among the violinists

David Robertson

Haim Elisha

Esa Pekka-Salonen

Neeme Jaarvi

Paavo Jaarvi

Christoph Eschenbach

Michael Tilson Thomas

Gerard Schwartz

Pierre Boulez--for his Berlioz, chiefly

and the older recordings of Lorin Maazel with the Pittsburg orchestra

May 29, 2006 at 04:40 PM · I don`t believe that in all this lists SZERYNG appears just once!

And the pianist Michelangeli.

And the conductor Celibidache.

Gitlis and Szering are the two faces of the coin named violin.

The others stay all on the rounded side of that coin.

i am completely aware of the gravity of what i say, but let`s speake about geniality and suprahuman inspiration guys... That`s fenomenal. The rest is just normal.

I know that 3 of them died... but i am not the first who breaks the rule...

so... Patricia Kopatchinskaja. She is young and promising.


May 29, 2006 at 04:43 PM · Based on this past weekend's concerts and listening to excerpts from her website, Julia Fischer is now at the top of my list.

Julia Fischer


Maxim Vengerov

May 29, 2006 at 06:06 PM · Itzhak Perlman and Aaron Rosand for me (NO PATRICK, NOT EVERYBODY HAS FORGOTTEN AARON ROSAND!!! AAAAUUUGGGH!!!).

I like these two players because they make me feel as they're telling me stories when they play.

Yo Yo Ma, Wynton Marsalis, Edgar Meyer, and Bela Fleck all get the nod in my mind as guys who have successfully dared venture outside of classical music. These guys take the nonclassical stuff as seriously as any big concerto, and they also convey the fun to me as much as Perlman and Rosand do.

May 30, 2006 at 12:26 AM · Rachel Podger. Her playing maximizes the tension between expression and fidelity to the music/structure in a way I find particularly exciting. Her bowing has detailed inflection like speech. For me listening to her play is like listening to stories told by a great actress who communicates grand drama with both style and the immediacy of seeming realism.

May 29, 2006 at 10:27 PM · Gil Shaham is just wonderful, although my ex-teacher Leland Chen does the best Strauss sonata.

Hilary Hahn kicks some serious ass, just for her 8ves she gets a vote.

but my favourite four have to be the Alban berg quartet in Beethoven- oh and the Fitzwilliam for shostakovich.... and the Belcea qaurtet for schubert and janacek

May 30, 2006 at 12:26 AM · Kevin, edit or delete your message to get rid of the formatting mess.

Due to my powers of technology I know what you tried to type. Bela is an old, old friend of mine. He was never a classical player. Any classical he plays is "branching in." It's not classical branching out. I think of him as a good example of how classical can be approached "naturally." He doesn't even read music. However he reads tablature. In the Newgrass Revival days, if somebody asked him to, he would tab out a solo from his records and give it to them. I don't think he charged anything for it.

May 29, 2006 at 10:55 PM · wow, i guess it's not for nothing, this violin thing


May 29, 2006 at 11:26 PM · Back to the topic, my favorite classical artist is Ilya Gringolts. I definitely intend to hear one of his CDs someday!

May 29, 2006 at 11:38 PM · I heard that Bela Fleck was named after Béla Bartók. Jeez, can you imagine trying to explain that to your middle-school classmates??

May 29, 2006 at 11:45 PM · That's true, and it's a perfect name for a banjo player, because it brings to mind a pot-bellied guy in overalls, at least it does to me. His brother has a composer name too, I seem to recall.

May 29, 2006 at 11:46 PM · That's funny, to me the name Béla brings to mind a skinny Hungarian guy with prematurely white hair and big eyes. :)

May 29, 2006 at 11:55 PM · It's mainly the Fleck part. First name could be Bela, Zeke, Duke, Mose, Tractor,...

May 30, 2006 at 12:04 AM · Yeah, I can see that. ;)

May 30, 2006 at 12:04 AM · My top favs-


Sarah Chang

Hilary Hahn

Josh Bell

AS Mutter

Kung-Wha Chung

May 30, 2006 at 12:09 AM · I really love Midori for her luminous tone. I wouldn't imitate all aspects of her musical taste myself, but I totally admire her passion and commitment.

May 30, 2006 at 12:26 AM · Maxim Vengerov for his wonderful musicality and innovative ideas

Hilary Hahn because her playing is so clean, immaculate, perfect in many ways

Gil Shaham is one of my greatest heroes. His tone is so sweet, warm, and crystal clear. He is also a very nice and amiable guy.

Leonidas Kavakos is one astounding player. He is most unfortunately underrated, but nonetheless, his playing really stirs emotions in me.

Sergey Khachatryan for his dazzling virtuosity and musicality. He is also a really nice guy. He should smile more, though.

Ilya Gringolts' Shostakovich recording is SO hardcore. I think it's the one and only Shostakovich violin concerto recording I'll ever own. Amazing.

Vadim Repin is freaking amazing. His playing is flawless, effortless, clean, and beautiful. Sometimes I think he strives to "show off" a little too much, however (just my opinion).

I think that's about it.

May 30, 2006 at 01:19 AM · Leonidas Kavakos plays one hell of a fantastic Sibelius by the way.

I heard Repin on the radio once, not knowing it was him, and I could have sworn it was somebody from about 1940--he has that "Golden Age" sound and use of vibrato, slides etc. :)


May 30, 2006 at 01:45 AM · maura, you're right about repin. he really is something.

my favourite violinist right now is julia fischer. her sense of taste, interpretive decisions, and musicianship are all worthy of great praise. i single ms.fischer out because of the spirit in which she plays. the violin world is so competitive that it's easy to lose the joy of simply playing. with ms.fischer i always have the impression that she's giving the very best of her talent to her listeners with care. this goes beyond learning the piece and developing technique. her musical delivery is more like a gift from a close friend. that is an unusual spirit to note in a bravura artist but that's the impression that i get from ms.fischer.

other violinists i enjoy listening to:

sergey khatchatryan, hilary hahn (who i place on the level of szeryng, my all-time favourite), gil shaham (a real throwback to the good old days of great fiddling), and...

...our very own ilya gringolts. dude you're really f'in good. you know what? i take you for granted. i want to give you an overdue salute... i propose a toast!

*raises a burnt piece of toast*

May 30, 2006 at 06:15 AM · many of my favourites have been listed so I'll have to add:

James Ehnes, I think people who say that no one is as perfect as Heifetz should listen to this guy. He is not really of this time as a player... his sound cannot be dated and his technique is awe inspiring.

Susanne (Yi-Jia) Hou: I studied with her dad for many years, and I can see where that unbelievable skill comes from. Unfortunately many violinists with her level of technical ability get lost in their own little violinistic world, but every time I've heard her play, it's been something really great. I heard her Saint-Seans, which truly, is probably one of my favourites of this concerto. Her Tchaikovsky is also incredible. Like James, she never learned how to make mistakes.

May 30, 2006 at 06:33 AM · Oh, yes! I agree with Pieter. James Ehnes is fantastic!

May 30, 2006 at 11:38 AM · Julie, that's a great list of who and why there...but we need some more female violinists on your list. Girl power and all that! How about Leila Josefowicz (for her power and vitality), Janine Jansen...I'm having trouble thinking of more myself actually.

May 30, 2006 at 01:16 PM · I'll second Josefowicz. The ragtime she recorded is probably my favorite violin of all time on record. Alena Baeva in worth looking for. I've heard a little bit of Mendelssohn, a little of Wieniawski, Mozart, a couple other things. Very playful in the Wien, and in the Mendelssohn and slow movement of Mozart there are places where she has a really nice caressing kind of personal stamp. She's great. I haven't heard much of Fischer but since everybody's raving about her I might listen some more.

May 30, 2006 at 05:05 PM · Jim, on Julia Fischer, go to her website www.juliafischer.com and check out the 'Listening Lounge'

I think the Prokofiev demonstrates very well both her sensitivity and power, with the result being more of the music shining through than with most artists.

May 31, 2006 at 01:51 AM · With Julia, a while back I listened to the Bach and wasn't crazy about it, mainly due to how it was recorded I think. I heard part of something somewhere else and it seemed to me at the time like every note was infinitesimally out of tune. It bugged me too much. Maybe I was out of whack that day. I'll do it over. With the Bach, I think I remember reading it was SACD, and hearing a phase issue and wondering if it was in the conversion to mp3.

Maura, I wanted to mention if you're ever down here in authentic bluegrass country and you try out someone's fiddle and like it, the right thing to say is "At's a Hoss!" If you don't like it you say "Hmmm."

July 20, 2011 at 05:47 PM ·

How come we don't hear more about this guy: József Lendvay.  I just listened to the beginning of the Bruch violin concerto played by umpteen superstars - and I like this version the best.  ITs just the most commanding and convincing.


Besides, who could not love Beethoven playing the violin? :D

July 21, 2011 at 05:51 PM ·

 Billy Childs is definitely my favorite still classical musician who is still living. Even by genre he is a classical jazz musician. [oops]. He is my favorite for many reasons but one main reason because of composition of his violin concerto. 

July 22, 2011 at 01:47 PM ·

 I'm not going with violinists-too many 'favorites', but my two favorite pianists are 

Mitsuko Uchida for her elegance and subtle depth

Murry Perahia for his lyric qualities, his Bach, and his introspection

(imo both elegance and introspection are rare these days on piano).

July 22, 2011 at 04:32 PM ·

Yo Yo Ma, and Christopher Hogwood, based on live performances.  I haven't seen anyone that provides as much "entertainment" thru the expression of pleasure they derive from the music/performance, and/or interaction with the audience.

July 22, 2011 at 06:10 PM ·

Evelyn Glennie! This is a musician who I've gained such a huge appreciation for and draw a lot of inspiration from. She's deaf and she's an amazing musician! I've been lucky to see her perform and as a musician who suffers from a chronic illness that greatly affects my dream of what my music life would be like at this point, she has given me a lot of inspiration to keep playing. Apart from that, she's just an incredible musician who has such musicality and technique. She is absolutely captivating to watch. I'm not sure that even an airhorn blown behind me could distract me from watching her play.

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