Bands/Musicians The Greatest Violists of All Time  

Ranker Music
5.5k votes 1.1k voters 21.7k views 61 items

List Rules Vote up the best viola players in history

If you’re a fan of classical music, you're familiar with the viola. A member of the string family, it is often confused with the violin, but is slightly larger and as a result, has a deeper sound. It is played with the bow and is unique in classical music as viola parts are usually written in the alto cleft, which is rarely used otherwise. The viola plays a pivotal role in orchestral music and requires a great deal of skill to master. These best violists of all time are truly the greatest violists in history.

Who are the greatest violists of all time? This list features the musicians who have spent years honing their skills and becoming proficient on the viola. Their dedication comes through each time they pick up their instrument. The violists on this list come from all time periods, past and present, and have dazzled audiences for decades.

This list of the greatest violists of all time has been ranked by the community's votes and features musicians like David Garrett, Itzhak Perlman, and L. Shankar. Vote up the best viola players below or add a violists you think is the best if he or she isn't already on the list.
list ordered by

1
198 98
Niccolò Paganini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Romantic music, Classical music

2
204 102
Jascha Heifetz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

3
155 71
David Oistrakh is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

4
206 105
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Klezmer, Classical music, Jazz

5
196 101
Fritz Kreisler is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

6
125 60
Nathan Milstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

7
427 283
Lindsey Stirling is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
NoahAlexanderNorton added Hip hop music, Dubstep, Electronic music

8
122 70
Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

9
84 52
Anne-Sophie Mutter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

10
120 92
Pablo de Sarasate is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

11
58 34
Kyung-Wha Chung is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical

12
134 107
David Garrett is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music, Crossover

13
29 9
William Primrose is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added

14
93 72
Leonid Kogan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

15
51 41
Pinchas Zukerman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

16
73 65
Hilary Hahn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

17
16 5
Balabhaskar is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
JishithGangadharan added Fusion, Carnatic music

18
68 66
Joshua Bell is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

19
47 43
Henryk Wieniawski is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical

20
19 12
Yuri Bashmet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added Classical music

21
11 3
Paul Hindemith is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Ballet, Classical music

22
10 2
Kim Kashkashian is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Classical music

23
12 5
Lionel Tertis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Lionel Tertis

24
39 43
Janine Jansen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

25
42 47
Sarah Chang is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical