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Classical The Best Violists in the World  

Ranker Music
2.2k votes 396 voters 8.2k views

List Rules Living viola players only. Upvote the best musicians.

The viola is a complex instrument that involves years of mastering the craft. The viola, similar to the violin, is a member of the string family and is played with a bow. However, it is larger than a violin, and has a deeper sound as a result. The viola is essential to any orchestra, the middle voice between the violin and the cello. Who are the best violists in the world?

The musicians on this list are considered the best viola players today. Whether you recognize these musicians or not, they've all carved out a place out for themselves in the music business and have become influential and prominent figures in the industry and are among the many famous violists in the world of classical music. If you love geeking out on music, we definitely recommend finding some of their music.  

This list features the world’s best violists, and is waiting to be voted on and reranked by you. Vote up the best viola players below or add a musician you think is great on the viola, if he or she isn't already on the list.

1
63 18
Kim Kashkashian is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Classical music

2
76 56
Pinchas Zukerman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

3
26 8
Brad Vanfleet is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Brad Vanfleet

4
42 28
Yuri Bashmet is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Classical music

5
34 21
Nobuko Imai is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added

6
28 16
Maxim Rysanov is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Maxim Rysanov

7
32 22
Lawrence Power is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Lawrence Power Classical music

8
25 19
Roberto Diaz is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Roberto Diaz

9
21 15
Atar Arad is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Classical music

10
22 18
Paul Neubauer is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Paul Neubauer

11
21 17
Cynthia Phelps is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Classical music

12
57 78
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Klezmer, Classical music, Jazz

13
42 57
Maxim Vengerov is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

14
25 34
Christopher Sykora is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Jacob Redmon added Christopher Sykora

15
8 10
Karen Dreyfus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Karen Dreyfus

16
33 50
Janine Jansen is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

17
8 13
Lynne Ramsey is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Lynne Ramsey

18
8 13
Katrin Meidell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Amy Edmonds added Katrin Meidell

19
24 41
Leonidas Kavakos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

20
41 69
Hilary Hahn is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

21
26 46
Gidon Kremer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

22
28 51
Anne-Sophie Mutter is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

23
23 43
Julia Fischer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

24
27 50
David Garrett is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music, Crossover

25
14 30
Vadim Repin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

26
25 49
Sarah Chang is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

27
16 34
Shlomo Mintz is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

28
12 28
Kyung-Wha Chung is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

29
12 28
Frank Peter Zimmermann is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Violists in the World

30
17 37
Gil Shaham is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

31
25 51
Joshua Bell is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

32
13 33
Ivry Gitlis is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

33
10 29
Rachel Barton is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music, Heavy metal, Baroque music

34
7 25
Ida Haendel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

35
9 30
Nigel Kennedy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classic rock, Classical music, Jazz

36
7 26
Salvatore Accardo is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical

37
5 21
Alexander Markov is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Classical music

38
22 65
Lindsey Stirling is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Hip hop music, Dubstep, Electronic music

39
2 15
Leila Navarro is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Leila Navarro added Leila Navarro

40
1 12
Roby Lakatos is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Violists in the World
bermadotte added Roby lakatos

Jazz, Classical, Klezmer violinist

41
3 22
L. Subramaniam is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Fusion, Carnatic music, World music

42
1 23
Aaron Meyer is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Violists in the World
Jennifer Shaw added Aaron Meyer Concert Rock Violinist, Classical