lesser known virtuosos

Edited: June 11, 2020, 1:03 PM · This is a you tube performance by Stefan Buga of a rendition of Waxman's Carmen Fantasy that is really spectacular.


Are there other lesser known violinists that the rest of you know of?

Replies (22)

June 11, 2020, 3:55 PM · I am fond of this recording of the Viotti No. 22 by Lola Bobesco.


June 11, 2020, 4:00 PM · There were many great violinists in the 20th century that did not achieve fame for numerous reasons: Miron Polyakin, Louis Kaufman, Oscar Shumsky, Benno Rabinoff, Steven Staryk, David Nadien, etc. I can go on and on. And there are some wonderful elite violinists out there today who aren’t household names, but ought to be, like Antal Zalai, Kirill Troussev, Guy Braunstein, and Paul Huang.
June 11, 2020, 7:50 PM · My dear Dr. Berg, I'll bet you know more of them than most anyone who visits this site, and I'd wager that this is a pedagogical strategy to get us to explore more in this direction!

For me, Camila Wicks had a unique voice that was astounding...

June 11, 2020, 8:36 PM · Alan,
I really am interested in current violin players who we don't know about. It is not a survey strategy. It's just out of my own interest.
June 11, 2020, 8:58 PM · Callum Smart.

A wonderful young violinist.

Edited: June 11, 2020, 9:40 PM · As reputedly said on a TV show, "who 'we', Kemo Sabe?"

There are people who are largely unknown to the public but well-known in the trade. Chances are good that if I have heard about someone, he/she is really famous in conservatory circles. Even if not known to the average record collector.

David Nadien was mentioned above. He got 15 minutes of fame with the NY Phil, and then went back to making real money. (My mother grew up in his part of the world, and apparently the patrons who supported his earliest training were pretty peeved about that.)
Oscar Shumsky is another. A few solo recordings, renowned as far away as Oistrakh's studio, and would draw a blank from from most concertgoers. (Thanks, Isaac!)

Of current players, Yuval Yaron maybe fits that category in a few different ways. James Buswell is someone else who has carved out a career slightly out of the limelight.

Edited: June 12, 2020, 2:11 PM · Stephen. I like Shumsky - Working on the Rode Caprices, his recording of them is invaluable.

I like Ricardo Odnoposoff for older players. Really nice warm sound and great phrasing.

For current players, I don't think Tedi Papavrami is very well known, especially outside of Europe. I have a box set of his traversal of the great majority of the solo-violin repertoire, which includes his own transcriptions of various Scarlatti sonatas, which I think are fantastic. His Prokofiev 1st Concerto is my favorite rendition as well.

I'm incredibly taken with Donghyun Kim, who won 3rd prize at the last Tchaikovsky competition (he was the best), and I really like Soyoung Yoon, who won the Wieniawski competition a few years back. Both fantastic young players out of South Korea.

My suggestions aren't exactly deep cuts compared to what people are throwing out here.

June 11, 2020, 10:49 PM · Hard to say what exactly it means to be "lesser known".

Leonid Kogan, for example, is known to us dorks on this board, but due to a variety of...uh...extenuating circumstances is less famous than some other Russian violinists.

So yeah, there's my vote. Leonid Kogan.

June 11, 2020, 11:40 PM · Nikita Boriso-Glebsky


I will probably never be able to listen to this violinist live. Only learned of him via his Vieuxtemps 3 recording, which is pretty special.

There are many great violinists we will never hear about.

June 12, 2020, 7:24 AM · Seconding Alexander's nomination of Paul Huang. Brace yourself:


Edited: June 15, 2020, 10:22 PM · Just for starters, check out a list of Paganini Competition winners, for example:

Then you can do that for every international competition to build up your list of names.

Back in the 1960s - '70s the community I lived in was able to bring world renowned its 6 annual community concerts (for example from the first year we were there I recall concerts by Mischa Elman, Rise Stevens and the whole LA Philharmonic under Zubin Meta).
Some years later they were keeping ticket prices the same and slipped down to less expensive performers - but they were just as good - often better.

I remember the year that the series' violin soloist had won the Paganini Competition the week before his performance for us and He was just glowing and performed part of his winning performance at the Paganini for us including the Moses Variations. You could not imagine more incredible fiddling. If I recall his name in the future, I will edit it in.

EDIT: It was 1978 and his name is Eugen Sarbu. If you go down the list at the lower half of the following you will find names of all the prize winners of that competition from 1955 to 2018. I can't imagine anyone getting a prize there without incredible fiddling skills:

June 15, 2020, 3:04 PM · Andrew makes a good point. All these competitions maintain web pages where they list all their winners back to the days of Thibaud. And sometimes Wikipedia does it for them. You will see so many violinists that you've never heard of. But, if you had endless time and plenty of stamina in your wrists and forearms, you could Google them one-by-one and probably find that many of them had landed in various orchestras while others opted for "alternative" careers (in medicine and such).
June 16, 2020, 12:01 AM · I found Roman Kim's performances on his Youtube channel pretty jaw-dropping.


June 30, 2020, 3:35 PM · Bruce,

Here are some younger musicians to follow:

Viola -- Hae-Sue Lee and Ayane Kozasa

Violin -- Kevin Zhou and Nathan Meltzer.

June 30, 2020, 9:43 PM · Yuval Yaron, hands down!
Edited: June 30, 2020, 9:55 PM · Soyoung Yoon

June 30, 2020, 10:43 PM · Yaron for sure.

That Paul Huan video is HOT, though. So much control, I wouldn't enjoy it as much if I couldn't SEE him playing.

July 1, 2020, 9:33 AM · Is Yury Revich lesser known? I love his playing.
Edited: July 1, 2020, 4:57 PM · I agree Marty. Yuval Yaron is 1 of the greatest violinists in the world!
July 2, 2020, 10:26 AM · María Dueñas. She just turned 18.
July 2, 2020, 4:28 PM · Nate, that recording is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.
Edited: July 8, 2020, 9:29 PM · Passed: Josef Suk, Robert Gerle.

Preforming today: Kristóf Baráti, Clara Kang, Ziyu He.

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