Update: Current Virtuoso Violinists

I'm not sure this list will ever be complete, but I will endeavor to continue to update when I find a violinist worthy to be called Virtuoso and performing on the world stage.

Sarah Chang (pictured) is a Korean-American violinist, born in Philadelphia to Korean parents, she recorded her first album at 9. While I find her playing a bit overly sentimental, the pieces I've heard her play are Dvorák and Sibelius which both tend to the sentimental category, so I don't think what I've seen is representative of her ability. She's certainly won plenty of awards. Here she is playing Dvorák's Violin Concerto.

Anne Akiko Meyers (pictured) performed with the Los Angeles Philharmonic at age 11. (good grief, all these child prodigies). Her debut album was of the Samuel Barber and Max Bruch concertos, not a small feat. Here she is playing the first part of the Barber Violin Concerto.

Realizing my list is dominated by women I thought I should include some men of note. Jiafeng Chen is Chinese, but moved to England in 2004 to study at the Chetham’s School of Music in Manchester. He recently performed Mendelssohn's Violin Concerto in Wales, but I don't have any samples of his performances.

James Ehnes (pictured) is a Canadian violinist who was the 2002 Young Artist of the Year at the Cannes Classical Awards. His crisp style of attacking the notes with clarity is evident in this clip of Wieniawski Etude-Caprice Op. 18 No. 4. He has released 20 albums since the turn of the century.

Midori Gotō is a Japanese violist who performed paganini's 24 Caprices at age 7. 1986 would come her now legendary performance at Tanglewood. An astonishing success, she broke the E-string on her violin twice; She thus had to borrow violins from the concertmaster and associate concertmaster in order to finish the piece and had Leonard Bernstein, the conductor, kneeling before her in awe. Here is Midori playing Tchaikovski's Violin Concerto.

Catherine Manoukian (pictured) is Canadian, but also has Armenian, Russian, German, and Japanese origins. She won grand prize at the Canadian Music Competition at the age of twelve. This video clip gives a nice close up of her finger work, although it devolves into more about her than the music.

For anyone who thinks classical music is dead, here is a list of these and many other classical violinists performing about the world - JUST violinists. With this many current and emerging violinists obviously there is still a desire to play and hear classical music. Listening to the various artists has been a real joy (and I'm no where near a quarter the way through).


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