If you’re a beginner and you want to find out who are the most famous violinists in Europe, you might also be interested in a clip-on tuner for your violin. And if you want to find more info about electric violins, we have written an article on that as well.
Born in the Netherlands in 1978, she has been a violinist and violist since 2001. She was raised in a family of musicians, with her father playing the organ, piano, and harpsichord. With her mother being a classical singer, and her brothers playing keyboards and cellos respectively, it’s clear that there is a lot of talent in her family.
She started studying the violin from the young age of 6 and she first appeared as a soloist in 2001 with the National Youth Orchestra of Scotland. Janine doesn’t like to record with a full orchestra but rather with six solo stringed instruments and she often includes her father and one of her brothers.
She got numerous standing ovations, most notably in Berlin and Los Angeles. When discussing her violins, she has performed on 3 different Stradivarius violins and currently, she plays one that was made in 1707 and that is owned by a Norwegian bank subsidiary.
Jansen is a classical player that played and recorded many of the most famous compositions, including Vivaldi’s Four Seasons, or compositions from Bach and Beethoven. When recording an album she usually chooses a composer and makes the whole album about that composer, or she makes renditions of chamber music.
At the age of 62, Nigel Kennedy is still one of the most famous and inspiring violinists and violists. He was also raised in a family of musicians, in England. He graduated the Royal Academy of Music in London at the age of 22 and went on to join the Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra.
He was considered a prodigy and after becoming a pupil at the Yehudi Menuhin School of Music at the age of 7, he learned music fast. He got to pick up musical notes without the help of written music by the age of 10.
He also got to study in New York and during his time there he used to busker with a friend and that’s how he paid for his studies there. His recording debut came in 1984 with Elgar’s Violin Concerto.
Kennedy continued to record and he sold millions of copies of his albums. In 1991 he published his autobiography, Always Playing, and soon after that stopped performing publicly, only to return to that five years later.
He is, however, a controversial person and one may argue that his personality is part of his success. Some consider that he has a “mockney” accent that shows arrogance when he speaks.
Nigel Kennedy isn’t the usual classical player, as he doesn’t conform to norms that well. He sometimes gets late to his shows, making his fans wait longer. In 2017, however, he offered his spectators more than they wanted and showed that he loved playing the violin – during a show he kept playing and playing for many more hours than he was supposed to. Some spectators eventually got tired of it and started to leave.
After starting to play the piano at the age of five, she soon switched to violin. She was born in 1963 in a small town in Germany near Basel called Rheinfelden. She didn’t go straight to a music school but rather took lessons. However, she was passionate and talented enough to win several prizes and that is why she was exempted from school so that she could focus on her musical career.
Mutter went to the Winterthur Conservatory in Switzerland and there she studied under the guidance of Aida Stucki, a great violinist too. Her debut came when she was 13 at the Lucerne Festival where she played Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 4 in D major.
She made her first recording at the age of 15 consisting of an album of Mozart’s Third and Fifth violin concerti. Her repertoire is a diverse one and although she has a lot of recordings of classical music, she is best known for her performances of contemporary music. She is the muse of many musical compositions dedicated to her.
The violins that she plays and owns are two Stradivarius ones, made in 1703 and 1710 respectively, and two fairly recent additions to her collection – a Finnigan-Klaembt from 1999 and a Regazzi dated 2005.
Born in Riga, Latvia, Kremer is the son of a German-Swedish mother and a Jewish father. His grandfather and his father were well known in Latvia for their skill with the violin and they had a huge impact on him as a boy. With their guidance, he started playing the violin at the age of four.
He studied at the Riga School of Music and later on at the Moscow Conservatory. Kremer managed to win a number of prizes while being a student. Because Latvia was part of the communist block back then, he mainly played in the Soviet Republic.
His first concert in the West was in Vienna, Austria, followed by appearances in Berlin, London, or New York City.
After settling in Germany, he founded a chamber music festival in Lockenhaus, Austria, where he served as an artistic director for 30 years. He was an artistic director for many other festivals and the creator of the Kremerata Baltica chamber orchestra which consists of young players from the Baltic area.
In terms of repertoire, his is a vast one, including the classical pieces that should be expected from a violinist of his standard. Furthermore, it includes music from the twentieth and twenty-first-century composers. Several compositions have been dedicated to him and he performed them as well.
His way of playing the music shows respect toward the initial composition and the tradition, and at the same time, it comes with something new, fresh. That is why he is considered one of the most important violinists to promote contemporary music and the composers that create music today.