Music

The Greatest Violists of All Time  

Ranker Music
6.8k votes 1.5k voters 23.5k 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
David Garrett is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music, Crossover
2
Niccolò Paganini ... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Niccolò Paganini Romantic music, Classical music
3
David Oistrakh is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
4
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Klezmer, Classical music, Jazz
5
Jascha Heifetz is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
6
Fritz Kreisler is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
7
Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz
8
Nathan Milstein is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
9
William Primrose is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added
10
Pablo de Sarasate is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
11
Pinchas Zukerman is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
12
Lindsey Stirling is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
NoahAlexanderNorton added Hip hop music, Dubstep, Electronic music
13
Leonid Kogan is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
14
Anne-Sophie Mutter is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
15
Kyung-Wha Chung is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical
16
Hilary Hahn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
17
Yuri Bashmet is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added Classical music
18
Kim Kashkashian is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Classical music
19
Lionel Tertis is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Lionel Tertis
20
Paul Hindemith is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Ballet, Classical music
21
Balabhaskar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
JishithGangadharan added Balabhaskar Fusion, Carnatic music
22
Nobuko Imai is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added

Classical

23
Henryk Wieniawski is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical
24
Joshua Bell is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music
25
Eugène Ysaÿe... is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music