Bands/Musicians The Greatest Violists of All Time  

Ranker Music
5.4k votes 1k voters 21.3k 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
195 96
Niccolò Paganini is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Romantic music, Classical music

2
202 101
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Klezmer, Classical music, Jazz

3
198 100
Jascha Heifetz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

4
150 69
David Oistrakh is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

5
194 100
Fritz Kreisler is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

6
124 59
Nathan Milstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

7
427 277
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
118 68
Yehudi Menuhin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

9
81 50
Anne-Sophie Mutter is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

10
15 1
Balabhaskar is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
JishithGangadharan added Fusion, Carnatic music

11
133 102
David Garrett is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music, Crossover

12
119 91
Pablo de Sarasate is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

13
57 33
Kyung-Wha Chung is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical

14
91 71
Leonid Kogan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

15
24 9
William Primrose is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added

16
70 62
Hilary Hahn is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

17
68 62
Joshua Bell is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

18
47 39
Pinchas Zukerman is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

19
46 42
Henryk Wieniawski is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical

20
17 11
Yuri Bashmet is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
georgedeneff added Classical music

21
39 41
Janine Jansen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical music

22
40 43
Sarah Chang is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Classical

23
8 3
Paul Hindemith is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Ballet, Classical music

24
7 2
Kim Kashkashian is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Classical music

25
9 5
Lionel Tertis is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Violists of All Time
gnicholls added Lionel Tertis