HPR's Top 10 Classical Stars

Apr 3, 2019

Yo-Yo Ma, your #1 Classical Star! Photo credit: Todd Rosenberg/Sony Classical Edit | Remove

For Hawaiʻi Public Radio’s 2019 Spring Fund Drive, listeners were invited to submit the names of their favorite classical music stars. The results were compiled and our classical music hosts, Gene Schiller, Craig De Silva, Howard Dicus, Sharene Taba and John Kalani Zak, wrote and produced brief vignettes on the life and music of the Top Ten.  We’re listing them here as they are revealed on HPR-2 during the ten-day drive.

10. Arthur Rubinstein - Pianist

Known as a risk taker, a model of technical refinement, and the greatest interpreter of Chopin, Arthur Rubinstein valued the element of surprise in his performances.

9. Leonard Bernstein - Composer & Conductor

A conductor from the piano and mentor to many, Bernstein introduced the power of classical music to young and old alike.

8. Joshua Bell - Violinist

You never know where you might encounter the violinist known to bring people to tears.

7. Sir James Galway - Flute Player

This consummate entertainer was the first wind player ever to be knighted, and played with the HSO in November 2013.

6. Renée Fleming - Opera Singer

Known as not "a" beautiful voice, but "the beautiful voice," Tony-nominated Reneé Fleming finds a world in each song she sings.

5. Itzhak Perlman - Violinist

This virtuoso for the ages made his national debut on the Ed Sullivan Show.

4. Luciano Pavarotti - Opera Singer

This king of the high Cs (hardly "just another tenor") believed that a life in music is a life beautifully spent.

3. Martha Argerich - Pianist

At 77 years of age, "rock star" pianist Martha Argerich is still at the top of her game. 

2. JoAnn Falletta - Conductor

JoAnn Falletta is one of the world's most sought-after conductors not just because of her skill and talent, but also because of her wonderful personality.

1. Yo-Yo Ma - Cellist

Your favorite classical star believes that music helps us understand our environment, each other, and ourselves.