The violin has come a very long way as a musical instrument. Through this, we have seen many famous violinists who not only entertained the world, but also changed and directed everything we know about this instrument and how we enjoyed it.
From classical violinists like Niccolo Paganini and Pablo de Sarasate to those who have crossed genres with their instrument like Mark O’Connor and many others who take over the scene today, the list of the greatest and most famous violinists can be very long. However, we only collected 10.
10 Famous Violinists Who Are The Greatest We’ve Ever Seen
1. Jascha Heifetz
Heifetz is considered by many to be the greatest and most famous violinist of all time. Born on February 2, 1901, into a Russian-Jewish family in Lithuania, then part of the Russian Empire, the violinist later moved to the United States with his family in 1917.
Having started playing the instrument since he was a child, Jascha started earning his music from the age of seven. When he first performed in the United States at Carnegie Hall in New York in 1917, he immediately became a big name and was soon inducted into the Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia fraternity for men in music. At just 16 at the time, he was the youngest to be elected.
As a recording artist he was prolific with many recordings to his name before his death in 1987. He will always be regarded for his tone and style, as well as his exacting technique, which have come to influence the modern violin.
2. Yitzhak Perlman
Itzhak Perlman is not only one of the most famous, however, he is undoubtedly one of the greatest in the world. He not only performed all over the United States, including the White House, but also performed all over the world.
Born on August 31, 1945, Perlman first heard a classical violin being played on the radio and immediately fell in love with it. He tried to enter the Shulamit Conservatory when he was three years old but was turned down because he was too small to hold the instrument.
Since he began his career in 1958, he has come to work with personalities such as Andre Previn and Oscar Peterson and has released numerous albums, including Tradition (1987), Duos (1987), Concertos de mon enfance (1999 ), and The Sound of Perlman (Warner Classics, 2015).
Besides being a violinist, Perlman is also a conductor and music teacher. He has won numerous awards during his career, including several Grammy Awards, including the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award and the Emmy Award.
3. Mark O’Connor
One of the things that made Mark O’Connor one of the most famous violinists and, of course, one of the best at handling this instrument is how well he was able to play across genres. From jazz to country, from classical music to country to bluegrass, his music has been able to combine them.
Born August 5, 1961 in the United States, O’Connor grew up playing multiple instruments and had national titles for violin, mandolin and guitar as a child. He started his career at the age of 13 and at 19 he was already four times champion of the National Oldtime Fiddler’s Contest in Weiser.
With 3 Grammys under his belt, he has released numerous albums such as National Junior Fiddler Champion (1974), Soppin’ the Gravy (1979), The New Nashville Cats (1991), and Coming Home (2016).
4. Hilary Hahn
When it comes to the contemporary violin, Hilary Hahn cannot be missing from the list. Famous as a soloist, she said she had been playing Bach solo since she was 8 years old and it was one of the things that helped her to play to be honest.
She was born on November 27, 1979 in the United States. United and became known for her classical music. She started playing the violin before the age of 4 when she attended the Peabody Institute where she took the Suzuki program. She also studied under renowned violin teacher Klara Berkovich and later at the Curtis Institute of Music.
She made her major orchestral debut when she was 11 with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. However, it was in 1996 that she began her recordings and since then she has become one of the most famous in music. Although still young, she revolutionized the instrument.
5. Sarah Chang
Chang is considered a child prodigy who made her debut with the New York Philharmonic at the age of 8 while she started learning to play at the age of 3. She was born in 1980 to Myoung-Jun and Min-Soo Chang, composer, violinist and music teacher. respectively.
She was accepted into the Julliard School at the age of 5, and at the age of 6 she began her studies with Isaac Stern outside of school.
For her excellence and numerous recordings she received her name, she was recognized as the Avery Fisher Career Fellowship (1992) and Newcomer of the Year Award at the International Classical Music Awards (1994). She was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2004. She is now considered one of the greatest violinists in the world.
American violinist Joshua Bell has over 20 albums to his name and has spent over three decades as a violinist. He started playing the violin at the age of 4 thanks to the influence of his mother who was a pianist.
With more learning and work, Bell, who was born on December 9, 1967, made his debut as a violinist with the St. Louis Symphony in 1985, at the age of 17. as a soloist, recitalist and chamber musician. He has also played for 3 US Presidents, including former President Barack Obama.
7. Gidon Kremer
And then there is also Gidon Kremer who has become famous for the unconventional ways he has gone with his career. His journey to becoming a musician is by no means an accident, his father and grandfather being accomplished string players.
Born on February 27, 1947, Kremer began studying music at the age of four with the help of his father and grandfather. At the age of 16, he had already enrolled in the Riga School of Music and finished his studies, nine years earlier, and won the first prize of the Republic of Latvia. From there, he would win several awards before he even started his professional career.
More than five decades after his debut, the German violinist has become one of the biggest instruments, with numerous recordings, several books and numerous awards, including a Grammy.
8. Vanessa Mae
Vanessa-Mae’s journey to becoming one of the most famous violinists was not easy, she grew up with a mother who physically and mentally abused her for any mistakes she made while playing the instrument. Born in Singapore in 1978, Vanessa-Mae Vanakorn Nicholson moved to London at the age of 4 and it was then that she started playing the violin. Before that, she had already started playing the piano.
She recorded the violin concerts of Beethoven and Tchaikovsky when she was only 13, making her the youngest soloist to have achieved the feat.
She released The Fiddler which is her first pop-style album in 1995 and two years later appeared with Janet Jackson on his album The Velvet Rope. Also a skier, she has published 10 studio albums, 4 compilation albums and 1 Ep. She is one of the best-selling solo violinists.
9. Julia Fischer
When it comes to the famous violinists of the 21st century, there is almost no way not to consider Julia Fischer. Born in 1983, Fisher is a German classical pianist who has also made a name for herself as a pianist.
Like many others, she started acting when she was only 4 when she was taught by Helge Thelen. Long before that, his mother, who was a pianist, had learned to play the piano. She decided to learn the violin because her older brother also plays the piano, so she felt the need to know another instrument.
Fischer studied at the Leopold Mozart Conservatory at the age of 8, and at the age of 9 she enrolled at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. At the age of 12, she won the Yehudi Menuhin International Violin Competition in 1995, followed by the Eighth Eurovision Competition for Young Instrumentalists the following year. Since then she began the career that would see her become one of the most important violinists of the century.
10. Isaac Stern
Stern was more than a violinist, he was also a powerful force behind many great and famous violinists, including Itzhak Perlman. Highly respected in the violin community as a statesman and the premier violinist of the 20th century, he was both a violin teacher and player.
At the age of 6, Stern began to learn to play the piano, but he soon took an interest in the violin, which led him to study at the San Francisco Conservatory, then under Naoum Blinder.
Since his debut at the age of 15 with the San Francisco Symphony, he will then collaborate with the great Russian pianist Alexander Zakin before discovering great violinists such as Pinchas Zukerman.
Prior to his death in 2001 at the age of 81, Isaac Stern had already had numerous recordings and awards to his name.