In my work with musicians young and old, I have found that many have never really listened to a fabulous player on their instrument.  Without that "sound image" in their heads, they inevitably emulate their standmates, meaning, middle school musicians are imitating other middle school musicians!  As they listen to the wonderful musicians listed on this page, encourage them not to focus only on the fabulous technique and great range.  They should focus on: (1)  How do they start a note? (2) How do they end a note? (3) What do they do during the note (vary volume, timbre, vibrato), (4) What is it about their sound that you can emulate?
The following list (with hyperlinks) contains examples of performers who can serve as models of a sound that all of us should want to copy.  The list will continue to grow as I receive more suggestions.  Thanks to the musicians of the Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and The U.S. Army Field Band for their input.
These wonderful performers are not in any particular order other than that which they were suggested to me.  I have tended to include artists with good quality video recordings for while there is no doubt much to be learned from "the masters," a grainy B&W video with poor sound quality from the 1950's will probably not engage our young musicians.  Additionally, many of these musicians are experts in many styles however, I have generally included only "classical" musicians.  Would you like to add to this list?  Click here and send me your suggestions (with links if possible).

Strings, Harp, Percussion

Violin

Hilary Hahn

  Mendelssohn Concerto

  Paganini Caprice

  Beethoven Concerto

Anne-Sophie Mutter

  Dvorak Concerto

  Mendelssohn Concerto

  Brahm Sonatas

Gil Shaham

  Mendelssohn Concerto

  Korngold Concerto

  Barber Concerto

Lara St. John

  Gypsy Nocturne

  Variations on Dark Eyes

  Czardas Caprice

Viola

Tabea Zimmerman

  Bartok Concerto

  Stamitz Excerpt

  Brahms Sonata

 

Lawrence Power

  Salonen Pentatonic Etude

  Debussy Beau Soir

  Secrets of the Viola

 

Roberto Diaz

  Two Brahms Songs

  Paganini Viola Quartet

  Brahms Song

Cello

Steven Isserlis

  Dvorak Cello Concerto

  Tchaikovsky Cello Concerto

  Bach Cello Suite No. 6

Pablo Casals

  Bach Cello Suite No. 1

  Haydn D Major Concerto, Mvt.1

  The Swan

Jaqueline Dupre

  Dvorak Cello Concerto

  Elgar Cello Concerto

  Haydn Cello Concerto in C​4

12Cellos!

Double Bass

Bozo Paradzik

  Schubert Sonata

  Franck Sonata

  Theme from Schindler's List

Rinat Ibramagov

  Bottesini Concerto

  Bach Cello Suite No. 3

  Koussevitsky Concerto

 

Gary Karr

  Bach Cello Suite No. 3

  Selections

  BBC Profile​

Uxia Martinez Botana

  Persichetti Parable

  Concerto "Misterio"

Double Bass Quartet!

Lauren Pierce

  Gliere Intermezzo and Tarantelle

  Bottesini Elegy

  A Bowing Lesson

You Must Watch This!

Harp

Elizabeth Hainen

  Debussy Petite Suite

  Boieldeu Harp Concerto

Jana Bouskova

  The Moldau (Smetana)

  Chopin Fantasie Impromptu

Isabelle Moretti

  Debussy Claire de Lune

  Faure Impromptu

Catrin Finch

  Clarach

  Debussy Claire de Lune

  Carnaval de Venice

Emmanuel Ceysson

  Pierne Impromptu Caprice

  The Colorado Trail

  Interview

Percussion

Nancy Zeltsman (Marimba)

  For Susanna Kyle

  Through the Looking Glass

  Levitan Suite No. 2

Rob Knopper (Snare Drum)

  Delecluse Etude #1

  Delecluse Etude #3

  Delecluse Etude #11

Jonathan Singer (Xylophone)

  Xylophoning in the Kitchen

  March of the Marionettes

  Xylophest 2014

Timothy Adams

  Triangle Performance Tip

  Cajon

Keith Aleo (everything!)

Matthew Strauss (everything!)

Tympani

Shannon Wood

  Kraft Tympani Concerto

  Raise the Roof Cadenza

  Practicing the Kraft Concerto

David Herbert

  Bartok Intermezzo

  Kraft Concerto No. 2

  Performance with Friends

Woodwinds

Flute

Jasmine Choi

  Paganini Caprice No. 24

  Chaminade Concertino

  Carmen Fantasie

Amy Porter

  Chaminade Concertino

  Koehler Romantic Etude

  The Gaubert Cycle

William Bennett

  Mozart Concerto No. 2

  Home from the Storm

  Tango Variation​

Emmanuel Pahud

  Mozart Flute Concerto in G

  Kachaturian Flute Concerto

  Syrinx  

Jean-Pierre Rampal

  Mozart Flute Concerto  

  With Miss Piggy!

  Sentimentale

Oboe

Alex Klein

  Strauss Oboe Concerto

  Gabriele's Oboe

  Schubert Sonata Arpeggione

John Mack

  Mozart Concerto

  Le Tombeau de Couperin

  Scheherazade

Diana Doherty

  Spirit of the Wild

  Audition Masterclass

  Mozart Concerto

Elaine Douvas

  Lakme Flower Duet

  Gymnopedie No. 3

Bassoon

Milan Turkovic

  Weber Concerto

  Vivaldi Concerto

  Kozeluch Concerto

Klaus Thunemann

  Mozart Concerto

  Hummel  Concerto

  Vivaldi Concertos

Arthur Weisberg

  Bach Partita

  Two Songs

  Up Tempo

Julie Price

  Mozart Sonata

  About the Bassoon

  Mozart Concerto

Clarinet

Martin Frost

  Mozart Concerto

  Copland Concerto

  Artie Shaw Concerto

David Schifrin

  Brahms Sonata

  Weber Concertino

  Martinu Sonatina

Ken Poplowski

  The Single Petal of a Rose

  Menina Flor

  Clarinet in Springtime

Ricardo Morales

  The Holy Grail of Sound

  Clarinetfest Trio

  Mozart Concerto

Sabine Meyer

  Mozart Concerto

  Debussy Rhapsody

  Strauss Romance

Sharon Kam

  Mozart Concerto

  Kovacs Homage

  Arirang

Saxophone

Tim McAllister

  Deep Flowers

  Tichelli Concerto

  Streetlegal

Kenneth Tse

  Rock Me!

  Kalinkovich Concerto Capricio

  Scaramouche

Vincent David

  Tzigane by Ravel

 

PRISM Sax Quartet

  Fascinating Rhythm

  Pagine

  Bop

Stephen Page

  John Adams Concerto

  Jellyfish

  Libby Larsen Concerto

 

Colin Stetson

  Spindrift

  "Among the Sef" and "In Mirrors"

  Live in Concert

Amy Dickson

  Philip Glass Violin Concerto

  La Strada

  Moon River

Erin Royer (Tenor Saxophone)

  Aria and Finale

  In Memory of Shirley Horn

Brass

Trumpet

Philip Smith

  Someone to Watch Over Me

  Arutiunian Concerto

  The Maid of the Mist

Alison Balsom

  Libertango

  Italian Concertos

  Various Selections

Ryan Anthony

  Gabriel's Oboe

  Stephenson Concerto

  Song for Hope

Caleb Hudson

  Bach Partita

  Albinoni Adagio

  Master Class

Mary Elizabeth Bowden

  Totem Voices (Fluegelhorn)

  Tomasi Concerto: Nocturne

  Girl with Flaxen Hair (Piccolo Tpt)

  Rain Has Fallen

French Horn

Stefan Dohr

  Strauss Concerto

  Tchaikovsky 5 Solo

  Pictures at an Exhibition Solo

Sarah Willis

  Master Class

  Reicha Introduction and Rondo

  Rosetti Adagio

Barry Tuckwell

  Strauss Concerto

  Mozart Horn Concertos

Genghis Barbie (Female Quartet)

  Sweet Dreams are Made of This

  Somebody to Love

  Hallelujah

Andrew Bain

  Masterclass

  Happy Holidays

Trombone

Joseph Alessi, Jr.

  Mackey Concerto

  Bryant Concerto

  Blue Bells of Scotland

Nick Hudson

  Traumerei

  You Are So Beautiful

James Markey (Bass Trombone)

  Master Class

  Williams Tuba Concerto

  Bach Sarabande

Carol Jarvis

  I Think of You

  In the Wee Small Hours

  Stars and Stripes Forever

Euphonium

David Thornton

  Respectfully Yours

  Endearing Young Charms

  Warm-up Tips

Demondrae Thurman

  Barfield Concerto

  Deep River

  Saint-Saens Cello Concerto

Tormod Flaten

  Brillante

  Blind Spot

  Song

Ben Pierce

  Moto Perpetuo

  Butterworth Partita

  In Recital

David Childs

  Gabriel's Oboe

  How to Warm Up

  A Troika? Tidy!

  In Recital

Bente Illevold

  Paganini Caprice

Mai Kokubo

  Song of the Circling Stars

  Donegal Bay

Tuba

Carol Jantsch

  Uptown Funk

  Reflections on the Mississippi

  D'Adonna Concerto

Oysten Badsvik

  Tuba Virtuoso Ted Talk

  Bach Flute Sonata

  It'll Be Alright

Velvet Brown

  Floating Dreams  

  A Simple Song

  Blues

 

Alan Baer

  Williams Concerto

  La Virgen de la Macarena

  Shostakovich Adagio

Samantha Lake

  Vaughan Williams Concerto

  Bach Cello Suites