music The Greatest Cellists of All Time  

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List Rules The best musicians who are known for playing the cello. Vote up the best cellists in history.

The cello is an extremely popular instrument and a staple in any orchestra. The cello is much deeper in sound than a violin but is still played with a bow. Some of history’s greatest composers wrote for this powerful instrument, and, played without a symphony behind it the cello can be one of the deepest, most moving instruments in the world, especially when played by one of the musicians on this list, all of whom are considered as a best cellist! Who are the greatest cellists of all time? Who is the best cellist in the world?

Since the cello has such a rich and unique sound it is often played without any other instruments; perhaps the most famous cellist of all time is Yo-Yo Ma who often prefers to play this instrument solo. He has become a household name in modern music, and brought classical music to a new generation as one of the greatest cellists and most famous cello players.

This list features the all time greatest cellists ever and famous cello players, ranked by music lovers and including, Johann Sebastian Bach, Pablo Casals, Jacqueline du Pré, Zoë Keating, Alfred Wallenstein, and Dimitry Markevitch. Vote up the best cello players below and see where the musicians you think are great rank!
list ordered by

1
+ - 606 198
Mistislav Rostropovich is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Mistislav Rostropovich Classical music

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2
+ - 748 257
Yo-Yo Ma is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Yo-Yo Ma Classical music

3
+ - 585 195
Jacqueline du Pré is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Jacqueline du Pré Classical music

4
+ - 443 141
Pablo Casals is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Pablo Casals Classical music

5
+ - 271 90
Mstislav Rostropovich is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Mstislav Rostropovich Classical music

6
+ - 185 78
Mischa Maisky is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

7
+ - 155 64
Pierre Fournier is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Pierre Fournier Classical music

8
+ - 159 70
János Starker is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

9
+ - 144 61
Gregor Piatigorsky is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Gregor Piatigorsky Classical music

10
+ - 141 63
Paul Tortelier is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Paul Tortelier Classical music

11
+ - 112 54
David Popper is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
David Popper Classical music

12
+ - 100 51
Leonard Rose is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Leonard Rose Classical music

13
+ - 99 51
Emanuel Feuermann is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Emanuel Feuermann Classical music

14
+ - 83 45
Luigi Boccherini is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Luigi Boccherini Baroque music

15
+ - 60 31
Truls Mørk is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

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16
+ - 56 40
Heinrich Schiff is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

17
+ - 35 20
Steven Isserlis is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

18
+ - 24 10
Natalia Gutman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Natalia Gutman

19
+ - 47 34
Gautier Capuçon is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

20
+ - 10 1
Sol Gabetta is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Sol Gabetta Classical music

21
+ - 52 47
André Navarra is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
André Navarra Classical music

22
+ - 29 22
Anner Bylsma is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

23
+ - 37 33
Carlo Alfredo Piatti is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Carlo Alfredo Piatti Classical music

24
+ - 36 32
Julius Klengel is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Julius Klengel Classical music

25
+ - 41 38
Maurice Gendron is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Maurice Gendron Classical music

26
+ - 38 35
Zara Nelsova is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Zara Nelsova Classical music

27
+ - 40 39
Daniel Müller-Schott is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

28
+ - 24 21
Lynn Harrell is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

29
+ - 31 30
Jean-Pierre Duport is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Jean-Pierre Duport Classical music

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30
+ - 6 2
Daniil Shafran is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Daniil Shafran

31
+ - 36 38
William Pleeth is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
William Pleeth Classical music

32
+ - 44 49
Alisa Weilerstein is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Alisa Weilerstein Classical music

33
+ - 37 41
Beatrice Harrison is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Beatrice Harrison Classical music

34
+ - 40 45
Jacques Offenbach is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Jacques Offenbach Opera, Ballet, Ballet

35
+ - 30 33
Antonio Meneses is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Antonio Meneses Classical music

36
+ - 48 55
Julian Lloyd Webber is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Julian Lloyd Webber Classical music

37
+ - 8 7
Gaspar Cassadó is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

38
+ - 15 16
Stjepan Hauser is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

39
+ - 26 30
Heitor Villa-Lobos is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Heitor Villa-Lobos Opera, Ballet, Film score

40
+ - 21 24
Benyamin Sönmez is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Benyamin Sönmez Classical music

41
+ - 24 28
William Henry Squire is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
William Henry Squire Classical music

42
+ - 15 17
Auguste Franchomme is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Auguste Franchomme Classical music

43
+ - 15 17
David Soyer is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time

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44
+ - 18 21
Friedrich Grützmacher is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Friedrich Grützmacher Classical music

45
+ - 17 20
Victor Herbert is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Victor Herbert Classical music

46
+ - 15 18
Carlos Prieto is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Carlos Prieto Classical music

47
+ - 15 18
Bernhard Cossmann is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Bernhard Cossmann Classical music; baroque

48
+ - 11 13
Jean Spalding is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Jean Spalding Classical music

49
+ - 30 37
Giovanni Sollima is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time
Giovanni Sollima Classical music

50
+ - 6 7
Denise Djokic is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Cellists of All Time