Music

The Best Pianists in the World 

Ranker Music
Originally by
Updated March 29, 2020 247.1k votes 24.9k voters 519.3k views 158 items

List Rules Vote up the best pianists working today.

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 music business and have become influential and prominent figures in the industry. They are some of the most famous male pianists ever, and there are many talented famous female piano players as well. 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 modern pianist 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 contemporary musicians only.
list ordered by
1
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
2
Arturo Benedetti Michela... is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
3
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
4
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
5
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
6
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
7
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
8
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
9
Ivo Pogorelić is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
10
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
dbowden added
11
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
12
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
13
Fazıl Say is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
CankutYakut added
14
Van Cliburn is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
15
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
hyu added
16
Igor Levit is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
LeoT added
17
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
18
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
19
Heinrich Neuhaus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Konstantin Arama added
20
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Vera Mancheva added
21
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
22
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
23
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
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Zoltán Kocsis is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
hyu added
25
Benjamin Grosvenor is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
gnicholls added