bands/musicians The Greatest Violists of All Time  

Ranker Music
5.1k votes 1k voters 20.4k views 60 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.

1
189 91
Niccolò Paganini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Niccolò Paganini Romantic music, Classical music

2
193 94
Jascha Heifetz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Jascha Heifetz Classical music

3
192 95
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Itzhak Perlman Klezmer, Classical music, Jazz

4
191 96
Fritz Kreisler is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Fritz Kreisler Classical music

5
143 65
David Oistrakh is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
David Oistrakh Classical music

6
123 54
Nathan Milstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Nathan Milstein Classical music

7
414 266
Lindsey Stirling is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
NoahAlexanderNorton added Lindsey Stirling Hip hop music, Dubstep, Electronic music

8
111 63
Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Yehudi Menuhin Classical music, Jazz

9
75 45
Anne-Sophie Mutter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Anne-Sophie Mutter Classical music

10
128 95
David Garrett is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
David Garrett Classical music, Crossover

11
116 88
Pablo de Sarasate is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Pablo de Sarasate Classical music

12
53 30
Kyung-Wha Chung is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Kyung-Wha Chung Classical

13
90 67
Leonid Kogan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Leonid Kogan Classical music

14
20 6
William Primrose is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added William Primrose

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15
63 57
Hilary Hahn is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Hilary Hahn Classical music

16
63 59
Joshua Bell is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Joshua Bell Classical music

17
44 39
Henryk Wieniawski is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Henryk Wieniawski Classical

18
43 38
Pinchas Zukerman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Pinchas Zukerman Classical music

19
15 10
Yuri Bashmet is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added Yuri Bashmet Classical music

20
38 40
Sarah Chang is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Sarah Chang Classical

21
35 39
Janine Jansen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Janine Jansen Classical music

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22
5 2
Paul Hindemith is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Paul Hindemith Opera, Ballet, Classical music

23
6 4
Lionel Tertis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Lionel Tertis

24
25 30
Giuseppe Tartini is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Giuseppe Tartini Baroque music

25
3 1
Nobuko Imai is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Nobuko Imai Classical

26
21 27
Arthur Grumiaux is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Arthur Grumiaux Classical music

27
2 1
Kim Kashkashian is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Kim Kashkashian Classical music

28
21 29
Ida Haendel is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Ida Haendel Classical

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29
18 25
Henryk Szeryng is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Henryk Szeryng Classical; Baroque

30
20 28
Arcangelo Corelli is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Arcangelo Corelli Baroque music

31
2 3
Rivka Golani is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Rivka Golani

32
2 3
Milton Katims is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Milton Katims Classical music

33
17 25
Eugène Ysaÿe is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Eugène Ysaÿe Classical music

34
16 24
Louis Spohr is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Louis Spohr Opera, Classical music

35
9 14
Ranker Video
slaft added Robby Steinhardt Rock music, Progressive rock

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36
34 51
Isaac Stern is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Isaac Stern Classical music

37
8 14
Samvel Yervinyan is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
GabeVazquez added Samvel Yervinyan

38
12 20
David Aaron Carpenter is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
selebash added David Aaron Carpenter

39
13 22
Joseph Szigeti is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Joseph Szigeti Classical

40
7 13
Jean-Luc Ponty is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
slaft added Jean-Luc Ponty Crossover jazz, Jazz fusion, Post-bop

41
12 23
Michael Rabin is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Michael Rabin Classical

42
12 24
Henry Vieuxtemps is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Henry Vieuxtemps Classical

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43
11 23
Ole Bull is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Ole Bull Classical music

44
23 43
André Rieu is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
AndreasJanke added André Rieu Classical music

45
8 20
Ayla Erduran is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Ayla Erduran Classical

46
10 24
L. Subramaniam is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
L. Subramaniam Fusion, Carnatic music, World music

47
12 28
Rachel Barton is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
warren.shapiro1 added Rachel Barton Classical music, Heavy metal, Baroque music

48
7 20
Eric Stanley is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Famous Violinists added Eric Stanley Hip hop muisic, Pop

49
14 32
Stéphane Grappelli is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Stéphane Grappelli Swing music, Gypsy jazz, Jazz fusion

50
13 31
Gidon Kremer is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Gidon Kremer Classical music