Bands/Musicians The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time  

Ranker Music
9.7k votes 2.6k voters 75.2k views 89 items

List Rules The greatest clarinet players ever. Vote up the all time best clarinetists.

The clarinet is a member of the woodwind family and is extremely popular in symphonic movements, jazz, and swing. It has only increased in popularity and is a common instrument to find in any orchestra. The clarinet is not just for orchestras, even director Woody Allen plays the clarinet. This instrument produces a clear, smooth sound with rich bass and is perfectly paired with just about any instrument, from piano and guitar, to brass and percussion. Who are the greatest clarinetists of all time?

From contemporary to classical, jazz and swing, to blues and Dixieland, this list features the all time greatest clarinetists, ranked as the best by music lovers. No matter what kind of music happens to be your favorite, there’s sure to be a clarinet player who has left his or her mark on the genre.

This list features the all time most popular clarinetists, both within history and in today’s world of music including, Benny Goodman, Woody Herman, Artie Shaw, and George Lewis. Vote up the clarinet players you think are the best below and see how they rank!
list ordered by

1
732 243
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

2
468 176
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Big band

3
438 168
Martin Fröst is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Chamber music, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

4
368 175
Squidward Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JonathanPascale added Squidward Tentacles

5
324 150
Pete Fountain is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dixieland

6
319 154
Sabine Meyer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

7
197 90
Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
slaft added Ragtime, Jazz, Dixieland

8
196 93
Woody Herman is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Cool jazz, Swing music, Big band

9
146 70
Eddie Daniels is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
AlanBrown added Third stream, Hard bop, Smooth jazz

10
127 59
Karl Leister is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Karl Leister Classical; Contemporary

11
194 121
Henry Cuesta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JakeGibbs added

12
77 32
Ranker Video
Fernie Montes added Classical -

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Marcellus

13
129 73
Hüsnü Şenlendirici is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

14
106 55
Buddy DeFranco is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Post-bop, Bebop

15
121 69
Sharon Kam is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

16
117 77
Tony Scott is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

17
110 71
Julian Bliss is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; chamber music

18
153 108
Acker Bilk is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Pop music, Trad jazz, Easy listening

19
76 43
Anton Stadler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

20
69 39
Carl Baermann is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Carl Baermann Classical

21
103 69
Stanley Drucker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; modern

22
55 27
Anat Cohen is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
KamalSagar added Post-bop, Jazz

23
53 26
Heinrich Baermann is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Heinrich Baermann Classical

24
79 52
Giora Feidman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Klezmer

25
81 54
Barney Bigard is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Dixieland

26
69 45
Jack Brymer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Jack Brymer Classical

27
82 58
Charles Neidich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

28
49 28
Jimmy Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

29
94 72
Richard Stoltzman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

30
48 31
Richard Mühlfeld is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

31
28 13
Larry Combs is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Brian Johnston added

32
55 40
Béla Kovács is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Béla Kovács Classical; contemporary

33
22 10
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Bill Levine added Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

34
18 7
Philippe Cuper is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
saxi1954 added Philippe Cuper

35
44 35
Dieter Klöcker is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dieter Klöcker Classical

36
37 28
Louis Cahuzac is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Louis Cahuzac Classical; contemporary

37
49 41
George Lewis is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Blues, Dixieland

38
35 28
Buster Bailey is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; jazz; swing; dixieland

39
37 33
Gervase de Peyer is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical music

40
10 4
Ken Peplowski is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Swing music, Traditional pop music, Dixieland

41
27 23
Jon Manasse is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
abugames8 added Jon Manasse

42
33 30
Irving Fazola is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; jazz; swing; modern

43
36 34
Edmond Hall is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Dixieland

44
14 10
Anthony Gigliotti is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
TAT added Anthony Gigliotti

Classical

45
6 1
Frederick Thurston is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Frederick Thurston Classical music

46
8 4
Harry Sparnaay is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Mathijs Lemmens added Harry Sparnaay

47
26 25
Andrew Marriner is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary

48
9 6
Larry Paikin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Chris Daellenbach added Larry Paikin

49
27 27
Yona Ettlinger is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Yona Ettlinger Classical

50
4 1
Ranker Video
Wilfried Berk added Wilfried Berk