30 Famous Violinists of History and News

There are famous violinists who have stood out among all the others for the quality of the music they have played or that they have been able to compose. Probably the best violinist who has ever been around the world is on the list that I will leave you next.

The violin is the smallest instrument in the family of classical strings (completing the viola, violoncello and double bass), but in its tiny body it keeps a sharp, powerful sound and with a unique charm.

Famous violinists

It is estimated that it was created in the seventeenth century, although some claim that it was before, but acquired its definitive form (that conserves until today) almost 200 years later.

Since then, the violin owns a versatility of sounds that make it protagonist stellar of any symphony orchestra, where it is the majority instrument with 40 representatives in scene. But other musical styles are also used, from the typical folklore of each country to rock, jazz and even techno music.

During the four centuries that compose its history, the violin underwent some modifications in its composition, the strings are no longer of gut and the wood with more and more sophisticated, but its importance in the music continues intact.

Numerous performers stood out rubbing their strings with mastery and solemnity, leaving a vast legacy of melodies in the ears of the world. We will review here the history of 30 fundamental violinists of all time, from the appearance of the instrument to our days.

Arcangelo Corelli (1653-1713, Italy)


He is one of the most inspiring violinists in history, thanks to his influence on the crystallization of the coarse concert, an instrumental baroque form between a small group of soloists and a complete orchestra.

He is known as the father of the sonata for violin and was an influence for the instrumentalists of his time and of all history. He is awarded a dozen works for violin, which set a record at the time.

Francesco Mar I To Veracini (1690 -1768, Italy)


Member of a family of musicians, Veracini began to stand out since he was a child because of his great technical ability to interpret the instrument. He composed several dozens of works although his most outstanding pieces were for opera.

Antonio Vivaldi (1678 -1741, Italy)


He began his career as instrumentalists thanks to the influence of his father Giovanni Battista Vivaldi, who worked as a violinist. Antonio Vivaldi was a virtuoso of the instrument but soon it was dedicated to the composition of masterpieces and counts on a repertoire of more than 500 pieces.

As a violinist he was one of the most outstanding of his time and distinguished by the complexity of his compositions for soloists. He achieved fame for The Four Seasons, a work that was rediscovered and revalued nearly a century after his death by Johann Sebastian Bach.

Francesco Geminiani (1687-1762, Italy)


Disciple of Arcangelo Corelli, stood out for its virtuosity like instrumentalist but also it had a praised race like composer by works like its concerti grossi opus 2 and opus 3.

It was an inspiration for the following generations thanks to his book"The art of playing the violin", one of the fundamental treatises on the interpretation of that instrument, which was first published in 1730.

He died after being stolen by the manuscripts on the general history of music.

Jean-Marie Leclair (1697-1764, France)


Known as the Corelli of France, he was one of the great composers of violin works of his country and Europe during the eighteenth century. Recognized for being the initiator of the French violin school, he composed numerous works and ended up becoming a legend after being murdered in a mysterious fact at home.

Leopold Mozart (1719-1787, Germany)


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's father (and great influence) is the creator of the"Complete Treatise on Violin Technique", one of the fundamental books in the study of the instrument from its publication to the present day.

He was recognized for the great variety of works he composed, some criticized for their quality, but his versatility for composition earned him a place among the great violinists of history. His detractors claim to be a man of unpleasant character and exploit the talent of his son.

Pierre Gavinies (1728-1800, France)


He surprised the world of music when at age 13 he did a masterful duet with Joseph-Barnabé Saint-Sevin on a work by Jean-Marie Leclair.

An adulterous affair with a noble lady of the Court of France took him to prison for a year. On his return he resumed his career as a violinist and achieved great success for his ability as an instrumentalist, composer and teacher.

Rodolphe Kreutzer (1766-1831, France)


He inherited the love of his father's violin and began to stand out as an instrumentalist from an early age. He was only 13 years old when he performed his first concert about his own work.

He ended up gaining relevance for his methods and studies for violin, and for the sonata that Ludwig van Beethoven dedicated to him. He was one of the most admired violinist of his time, founded the French School of Violin and is adjudged to be the impeller of the Violin Method of the Conservatory.

Niccolò Paganini (1782-1840, Italy)


Considered one of the most virtuous violinists of all time, he contributed to the development of the modern technique of instrument interpretation and composed"24 caprices of the violin", his masterpiece.

Talented and disruptive, he stood out for his ability to improvise and was defined as the"wizard of the violin", for achieving unequaled sounds in the instrument.

Antonio Bazzini (1818 -1897, Italy)


Bazzini's story is a story of transformation, he began his career as an organist in Italy but achieved consecration as a violinist in Germany and France.

He stood out as one of the great violinists of his time for his talent for interpretation, but at 47 he left the instrument and dedicated himself to composition.

Henri Vieuxtemps (1820-1881, Belgium)


Considered the greatest exponent of the violin in his country, he began his career with his father and at age 7 he made his debut as a concert performer, achieving success throughout Europe for his talent.

Already devoted as an instrumentalist, began his career as a composer and had to abandon the violin at age 53 due to a problem in his health. I continue composing but can not interpret his works.

Henryk Wieniawski (1835-1880, Poland)


He was one of the most outstanding violinist of Poland, his image appeared in notes of his country and he was given a varied amount of tributes after his death to the 45 years for being one of the most precious musicians of the time.

He is credited with having been the creator of vibrato, a ripple of sound to intensify the initial vibration of the string, which served as a tonal color element on the violin.

Pablo de Sarasate (1844 - 1908, Spain)


Subtle and speedy, Sarasate was one of the most outstanding Spanish violinists of his time and of all time. His technical ability to interpret the instrument earned him recognition from his peers, especially for his ability to achieve unique sound without showing too much effort.

This feature also distinguishes him like composer, whose works stand out for the technical difficulty that they represent. Before dying he donated one of his violins to the Conservatoire of Madrid, for the organization of a musical contest, which today is known as the National Prize of Violin Pablo Sarasate.

Eug and Ne Ysaye (1858-1931, Belgium)


His career as a violinist began with the first lessons that his father gave him, with which he acknowledged"learned everything necessary from the instrument." When he was old, he entered the conservatory but was expelled quickly for"not making enough progress."

In spite of this episode, Ysaye continued perfecting itself and was Henri Vieuxtemps its main mentor. Vieuxtemps heard him play the violin by chance when he passed by his house and was surprised by his talent.

This earned him a second chance at the conservatory, which he would graduate, then become a teacher and after his death would receive different honors for his career as a concert performer.

Fritz Kreisler (1875-1965, Austria)


Owner of a unique style, gave the violin a new life in the modernity by its capacity to obtain sounds unknown until the moment. Highlighted by his vibrato and his use of portamento (transition from one sound to another, without discontinuity), Kreisler is one of the most recognized violinists of all time.

He was the youngest student of the National Conservatory of Vienna, aged 7, and is the composer of two classics of this instrument as"Liebesleid"and"Liebesfreud".

Joseph Szigeti (1982-1973, Hungary)

Regarded as a prodigal violin child, Szigeti stood out for his analytical ability over music and his constant pursuit of new melodies.

For him, the four strings were different domains, because not only did they have their own record, but also their own tonal qualities, and from there he made"talk to the violin"with himself and with other instruments.

Those who shared scenarios with him emphasize his ability to imitate with the violin the sounds of other instruments.

Jascha Heifetz (1901- 1987, Lithuania)

He began his career as a concert performer at age 6 and is considered one of the great violinists of the twentieth century. Jewish by birth, he was the victim of a Semitic attack to interpret works of authors identified with the Nazis, but for Heifetz the music was only divided into good and bad.

In his 65 years as a performer he developed a unique style, which still inspires new violinists today. Dubbed"The King", he was a social activist and is one of the greatest arrangers of classical violin masterpieces.

Nathan Milstein (1903 - 1992, Russia)

"I started playing the violin not because it appealed to me, but because my mother made me do it,"Milstein explained of his beginnings. But over time he fell in love with the instrument and went down in history because of its technical ease, the flexibility of its movements and its tonal perfection.

He considered that anyone could acquire the fundamentals of mechanical technique with sufficient practice, and emphasized that the only truly original was in the expression of each musician's sound.

David Oistrakh (1908 - 1974, Russia)

He was considered the best violinist of the first half of the twentieth century but despite this recognition cost him to earn the respect of his peers. With a particular talent for playing any high-speed score at first glance, Oistrakh was called the ideal violinist with steel fingers and gold heart.

His style was characterized by making any melody simple, thanks to his technical ease and an innate talent to get the sound indicated for each score.

Itzhak Perlman (1945, Israel)

Recognized for his virtuosity, he was a member of the world's leading orchestras and won 15 Grammy Awards. But its sound is its distinctive mark, defined as warm, luminous and pure tuning. He is also a prolific musician, with more than 70 albums edited in his career.

Andr and Rieu (1949, The Netherlands)

He is one of the most popular violinists of today and stands out for his descontracturado style and for his eagerness to take to a mass audience the classical music with its own orchestra. He is able to make the melody of his violin sing to a crowded football stadium.

He is known as the"King of Waltz", has fans all over the world and owns his own musical style and a life full of eccentricities. It lives in a castle of the fourteenth century, built by Charles de Batz-Castelmore D'Artagnan (the person who inspired Alexander Dumas for the novel The Three Musketeers).

Anne Sophie Mutter (1963, Germany)

She is one of the best violinists of today, surprised the world with his talent, even before becoming an adult and since then his career was in continuous rise.

Winner of two Grammy Awards, and another ten artistic awards, she recorded almost fifty records. It is characterized by wearing sleeveless dress during the performances and for not using its shoulder as support of the instrument.

Samvel Yervinyan (1966, Armenia)

He started to stand out from an early age because he won all the competitions he participated in before completing his musical training. Virtuoso as a violinist and composer, he has the ambition to be the best interpreter in the world, which leads him to be an extreme perfectionist of the violin.

Joshua Bell (1967, United States)

One of the most famous violinist of today, he surprised the world in 2007 when disguised as vagabond played as a street musician in the Washington metro before the surprise of thousands of people.

He began to study violin at age 4 when his mother discovered that with stretched elastic bands he tried to imitate the piano sound. Known for his television appearances, Bell owns a unique talent and a particular charisma. Defended for his performance, he is recognized for his ability to readapt works for violin.

Vadim Repin (1971, Russia)

Virtuoso and methodical, he is a specialist in Russian and French music for violin. For many years he used a violin that was by Pablo Sarasate and is one of the most acclaimed performers in the world.

Maxim Veng and Rov (1974, Russia)

Virtuous and controversial, Vengérov was born into a family of musicians and is one of the most recognized violinists in the world but also one of the most criticized. From a young age he obtained the recognition in the main competitions, thanks to his technical and sonorous capacity.

With the growth of its race its style was mutating until establishing itself like a violent and nervous interpreter. Lover of the physical activity and obsessive of the musculature, had to leave his race during some years by a shoulder injury.

This forced him to reinvent himself as a violinist, modifying his style, which made him one of the most sought after musicians by today's best directors.

Janine Jansen (1978, The Netherlands)

She was also born into a family of musicians and bent over the violin from a young age. Delicate, ethereal and adventurous, she owns a dazzling skill and makes each performance unique thanks to an original style. "Each person carries within him his own sound,"is the phrase with which he self-defines.

Vanes Sa Mae (1978, Singapore)

Possessing a unique natural talent, she began to play the violin as a child while taking dance classes, which gave her exceptional corporal dexterity.

She was the youngest violinist, aged 13, to play violin concertos by Beethoven and Tchaikovsky, earning her a place in the Guinness Book of Records. In addition, he competed in the Winter Olympic Games in the alpine ski discipline.

Hilary Hahn (1979, United States)

Talented and charismatic, Hahn won three Grammy awards in her short career in which she mixes classical interpretations with contemporary music. Its main objective is to be able to transmit musical emotions to a mass audience. It is also a star of social networks.

Ray Chen (1989, China)

He is one of the new talents of the violin, with a pure style, a youthful tone and an amazing technical ability. His ability to perform great classics makes him compare it in his style with Maxim Vengérov, one of the favorites of the directors.

Young and talented, Chen seeks to bring classical music to new generations using social networks, where he has thousands of followers.

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