Classical The Best Pianists in the World  

Ranker Music
Originally by
121k votes 17k voters 450k views 205 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.

1
2,645 2,035
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Argentina

2
1,797 446
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United States of America, Russian Empire

3
2,345 1,716
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Russia

4
922 627
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Canada

5
1,845 1,795
Yuja Wang is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
MatthewMcCormick added China

6
908 1,283
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

7
1,583 282
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United States of America, Russia

8
1,556 1,328
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

9
872 407
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Massimo Fornetti added Italy

10
946 1,204
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

11
1,166 450
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

12
1,403 1,656
Valentina Lisitsa is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
AntoninScheidemann added

13
1,243 722
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

14
1,015 1,303
Daniel Barenboim is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Palestinian National Authority, Argentina, Spain

15
905 556
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Chile, United States of America

16
875 681
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

17
897 745
András Schiff is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Hungary, United Kingdom

18
706 744
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Massimo Fornetti added Soviet Union

19
678 777
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Poland, United States of America

20
885 814
Murray Perahia is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United States of America

21
367 494
Ekaterina Mechetina is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
ИльяИванов added

Russia 

22
557 910
Alfred Brendel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Austria

23
661 781
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

24
512 962
Maria-João Pires is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
JoséDuarte added Portugal

25
1,056 267
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

26
980 435
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary, Kingdom of Hungary

27
794 1,299
Li Yundi is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
China

28
990 301
Ivo Pogorelić is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

29
799 962
Danill Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Christine Daffe added

30
537 432
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Дмитрий Гаранин added Russia

31
686 131
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
markuka85 added Austria

32
396 541
Olga Kern is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
New Mexico added

33
456 125
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Vera Mancheva added

34
697 317
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
AGuzzoni added Brazil

35
602 667
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

36
831 960
Mitsuko Uchida is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United Kingdom, Japan

37
1,707 1,732
Lang Lang is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
China

38
1,821 929
Fazıl Say is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
CankutYakut added Turkey

39
380 801
Nikolai Lugansky is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
bo-franzen added Russia

40
486 269
Cyprien Katsaris is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

41
576 123
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

42
485 766
Hélène Grimaud is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

43
507 89
Heinrich Neuhaus is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
Konstantin Arama added

44
752 355
Denis Matsuev is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
gf1121 added Russia

45
473 464
Seong-jin Cho is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Pianists in the World

46
439 278
Leon Fleisher is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United States of America

47
493 391
Stephen Hough is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United Kingdom

48
194 355
Elisso Virsaladze is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
χαράλαμπος-αθανασόπουλος added

49
511 259
André Watts is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United States of America

50
457 199
André Previn is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Pianists in the World
United States of America, Germany