Music

The Best Classical Pianists in the World 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated March 28, 2020 48.1k votes 4.1k voters 32.2k views 97 items

List Rules Upvote your favorite living, classical pianists in the world.

The piano is one of the most popular and most diverse musical instruments in the world. The instrument has permeated through dozens of genres of music, lending itself to help create some of the most moving and emotional pieces of music in history. The people on this list are masters of the piano and are considered giants in the musical world.  

Whether you recognize these musicians or not, they've all carved a place out for themselves in the classical music world and have become influential and prominent figures in the industry. If you love geeking out on music, we definitely recommend finding some of their music. 

This list is votable and rerankable, so take a look through and vote up your favorite famous classical pianists in the world. If you don't see someone on here who should be, feel free to add them, but this list is for living musicians only.
1
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
asiantkl added Genre: Classical music; Nationality: United States of America
2
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
markuka85 added Genre: Classical music; Nationality: United States of America
3
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
4
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Russia
5
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
markuka85 added Glenn Gould Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Canada
6
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Jdoggy added
7
Zoltán Kocsis is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Hungary
8
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
markuka85 added Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Austria
9
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
10
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
sander-dahlberg added Genre: Piano and Classical music; Nationality: Soviet Union
11
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
markuka85 added Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Russia
12
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Levi Rojas added Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Chile
13
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
14
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
15
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Poland
16
Alfred Brendel is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Austria
17
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Argentina
18
Wilhelm Kempff is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
markuka85 added Genre: Opera and Classical music; Nationality: Germany
19
Ivo Pogorelić is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Serbia
20
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
21
Marc-André Hameli... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
22
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
23
András Schiff is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: Hungary
24
Андрей Владимирович Гавр... is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
25
André Watts is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Classical Pianists in the World
Genre: Classical music; Nationality: United States of America