VC VOX POP | “Who is the Most Underrated Composer of All Time?” [Q&A]

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

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“Who is the most underrated composer of all time?”

The Violin Channel recently caught up with 30+ of the world’s top string players to find out …

British Cello Soloist Steven Isserlis:

“Perhaps Serge Taneyev … none of whose music is well-known … he’s a fascinating musical figure”

Canadian Violin Soloist James Ehnes:

“I do think Wieniawski’s music is underrated to a certain extent … and there are still people that don’t consider Mendelssohn to be in the absolute highest rank … which is completely crazy to me”

Italian-German Soloist, VC Artist Violinist Augustin Hadelich:

“There are many composers who should be played more … I am a big fan of Britten … I think he is one of the great composers and deserves more attention and respect than he usually gets”

Australian Soloist, VC Artist Violinist Ray Chen:

“I … haven’t heard of them”

VC Artist Dover Quartet 1st Violinist Joel Link: 

“I feel there are so many composers that are amazing and incredibly underrated … right now I’m thinking about Ernest Bloch … I really love his music”

Canadian Violin Soloist Lara St. John:

“I think there are many present composers who are not as well-known as they should be … including Americans Samuel Thompson and Michael Ippolito … also Australian composer Matthew Hindson should be much better known in the Americas”

VC Young Artist Violist Timothy Ridout:

“York Edwin Bowen … the English composer … sadly his language of writing went out of fashion in the mid 20th Century … I think that it is gorgeous music and would love to hear it more”

VC Rising Star Violinist Johan Dalene:

“The Swedish Composer Wilhelm Stenhammar”

Czech Philharmonic Concertmaster, VC Artist Josef Spacek:


Emerson String Quartet Violinist, Philip Setzer:


VC Artist Attacca Quartet Cellist Andrew Yee:

“I think my favorite composer who doesn’t get as much play as he deserves is my man Poulenc … his songs make my heart break and laugh and sing more than most other music out there”

VC Young Artist Cellist Zlatomir Fung:

“In my opinion … Jean Barraque”

VC Young Artist Violinist Richard Lin:

“Leonard Bernstein”

VC Artist Violinist Nikki Chooi:


Dallas Symphony Concertmaster, Alexander Kerr:

“Schumann … just listen to the intense beauty packed into each and every one of his songs and you’ll see what I mean”

New York Philharmonic Principal Cellist, Carter Brey:

“Gabriel Faure”

American Soloist, VC Artist Violinist Stefan Jackiw:

“Charles Ives … a lot of people dismiss his music as being thorny, difficult-to-listen-to stuff … but I think at its core, his music is deeply nostalgic, and reminds us of the bittersweet sadness of time passing us by …”

TwoSet Violinist, Eddy Chen:

“Probably every female composer that had to compose under their male partner’s names”

TwoSet Violinist, Brett Yang:


VC Artist Violinist Angelo Xiang Yu:

“Joseph Haydn … the Op.20 String Quartets are sublime”

Russian-American Violin Soloist Philippe Quint:

“William Schuman”

English Violinist Tasmin Little:

“Delius, of course … “

London Symphony Orchestra First Violinist “Queen of Bling” Maxine Kwok-Adams:

“Moszkowski … a few years ago a friend and I chose to perform his Suite for two violins and piano … the piece is pretty much unknown but really should be part of the core chamber music repertoire …”

VC Young Artist Francisco Fullana:

“I lately have been obsessed with the music of Erwin Schulhoff … his music unfortunately doesn’t get played often enough”

VC Young Artist Simone Porter:

“Most underrated composer … Erwin Schulhoff … whose incredibly varied artistic output is so evocative and gripping”