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The KPAC Blog features classical music news, reviews, and analysis from South Texas and around the world.

KPAC's 30th Anniversary: 30 Great Violinists

Ernesto Tamayo

This month, KPAC celebrates thirty years in broadcasting. Our hosts are having some fun sharing "30 lists" - artists, music, movies, and recordings you might enjoy and help shape the great sound of your classical oasis.

Kicking things off is Afternoon Host John Clare with 30 Great Violinists! (They are in no particular order, and were chosen keeping in mind the artist was available to be heard on Spotify)

Click here to listen to these violinists on Spotify

  • Janine Jansen: I remember exactly when and where I was listening to Janine's debut CD, and hearing her live is even better. We did an interview in Washington, D.C. after a concert. This is her answer about playing Bach. http://classicallyhip.com/sounds/janine/ending.mp3
  • Itzhak Perlman: It was a dream to interview the violinist who inspired me to play the violin.
  • Jascha Heifetz
  • Mischa Elman
  • Leonid Kogan: I was delighted to see the Faure Piano Quartet on Spotify, an all star group from Russia - while there are LOTS of recordings that might have shown Kogan's talent, to me, this is supreme music making on all parts!
    Credit Michele Krier
    Josh Bell and John Clare.
  • Joshua Bell
  • Gil Shaham: Gil is as nice a person as he is a great artist - and now he runs his own recording company.
  • Midori
  • Sarah Chang
  • Maxim Vengerov
  • Isaac Stern: A modern masterpiece for the violin, and one I adore hearing Stern play - Penderecki's 1976 Violin Concerto. I also treasure Stern's unique sound.
  • Anne-Sophie Mutter: Every chance I get, I try to hear Anne-Sophie Mutter live. She was a large inspiration as a teenager and her playing has only deepened. It was a dream come true when I interviewed her: http://classicallyhip.com/sounds/asm/ASM.mp3
  • Viktoria Mullova
  • David Oistrakh
  • Gidon Kremer: If Gidon recorded John Cage's 4'33" I would buy it. Pretty much anything he touches is gold.
  • Nicola Benedetti
  • Yehudi Menuhin: There is so much to love about Yehudi and his playing, but I couldn't resist also sharing a portion of on of his unknown commissions, Andrzej Panufnik's Violin Concerto!
    Credit Ginger Bruner
    Hilary Hahn and John Clare.
  • Hilary Hahn: Since her Sony debut to her latest DG release of improvisations, Hilary plays perfectly. We also had a great run of yearly interviews as she played at the Las Vegas Music Festival!
  • Lisa Batiashvili
  • Nathan Milstein
  • Oscar Shumsky
  • Toscha Seidel: They say that if Jascha Heifetz was the angel in Leopold Auer's violin class, that Toscha Seidel was the devil - and with an instrument that is often associated with Ol' Nick, it certainly is a compliment to Seidel! I was delighted some of his artistry can be heard on Spotify!
  • Anne Akiko Meyers: This stunning virtuoso calls Texas home but plays worldwide, and is a great mom, too! How does she do it all? Listen to our interview about Air:  http://kpac883.blogspot.com/2012/02/annes-air.html
  • Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg
    Credit Zach Baldwin Way
    John Clare and Mark O'Connor.
  • Mark O'Connor: This amazing fiddler plays it all. Classical, jazz, bluegrass, swing, you name it. Nowadays not only does he share his artistry but has a new spin on technique, one that he teaches in various camps as well as method books!
  • Rachel Barton Pine
  • Pinchas Zukerman: Such an outstanding musician, known for his violin and viola playing, plus an international career as a conductor.
  • Simon Standage: A period performer, Simon does amazing things with music that you might not have realized you liked, or even heard of, all with a very old violin!
  • Lara St. John: I wondered about some of her album cover choices, but Lara proves you can't judge a recording by the cover!
  • Julia Fischer: Another musician who I would buy their recording if it were the phone book...she is also an amazing pianist - having recorded Grieg's Piano Concerto on DVD!

There are lots of great violinists - who are some of your favorites? Let us know in the comments below or on Facebook!

John Clare is comfortable behind a microphone, streaming video or playing violin. A former broadcaster for NPR, John has previously worked with Voice of America, the Canadian Broadcast Corporation and stations in Kansas, Nevada, California, and Pennsylvania.