Bands/Musicians The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time  

Ranker Music
8.7k votes 2.3k voters 70.8k views 83 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
650 218
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

2
415 156
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Big band

3
390 145
Martin Fröst is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Chamber music, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

4
290 130
Sabine Meyer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

5
282 132
Pete Fountain is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dixieland

6
278 149
Squidward Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JonathanPascale added Squidward Tentacles

7
178 84
Woody Herman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Cool jazz, Swing music, Big band

8
172 81
Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
slaft added Ragtime, Jazz, Dixieland

9
133 63
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
115 53
Karl Leister is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Karl Leister Classical; Contemporary

11
185 115
Henry Cuesta is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JakeGibbs added

12
67 26
Ranker Video
Fernie Montes added Classical - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robert_Marcellus

13
119 69
Hüsnü Şenlendirici is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

14
96 51
Buddy DeFranco is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Post-bop, Bebop

15
112 65
Sharon Kam is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

16
113 74
Tony Scott is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

17
72 41
Anton Stadler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

18
144 104
Acker Bilk is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Pop music, Trad jazz, Easy listening

19
101 68
Julian Bliss is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; chamber music

20
63 37
Carl Baermann is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Carl Baermann Classical

21
48 24
Anat Cohen is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
KamalSagar added Post-bop, Jazz

22
94 66
Stanley Drucker is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; modern

23
78 52
Barney Bigard is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Dixieland

24
47 25
Heinrich Baermann is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Heinrich Baermann Classical

25
47 26
Jimmy Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

26
78 55
Charles Neidich is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

27
71 51
Giora Feidman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Klezmer

28
63 44
Jack Brymer is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Jack Brymer Classical

29
87 70
Richard Stoltzman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

30
25 11
Larry Combs is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Brian Johnston added

31
44 30
Richard Mühlfeld is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

32
50 39
Béla Kovács is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Béla Kovács Classical; contemporary

33
49 39
George Lewis is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Blues, Dixieland

34
18 8
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Bill Levine added Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

35
35 26
Buster Bailey is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; jazz; swing; dixieland

36
41 33
Dieter Klöcker is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dieter Klöcker Classical

37
15 6
Philippe Cuper is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
saxi1954 added Philippe Cuper

38
34 27
Louis Cahuzac is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Louis Cahuzac Classical; contemporary

39
33 26
Irving Fazola is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; jazz; swing; modern

40
25 21
Jon Manasse is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
1475802059983 added Jon Manasse

41
34 31
Gervase de Peyer is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical music

42
34 32
Edmond Hall is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Dixieland

43
11 8
Anthony Gigliotti is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
TAT added Anthony Gigliotti Classical

44
8 5
Larry Paikin is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Chris Daellenbach added Larry Paikin

45
6 3
Harry Sparnaay is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Mathijs Lemmens added Harry Sparnaay

46
5 2
Dr. Michael White is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Jazz, Dixieland

47
5 3
Ken Peplowski is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Swing music, Traditional pop music, Dixieland

48
23 24
Andrew Marriner is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary

49
2 0
Ranker Video
Wilfried Berk added Wilfried Berk

50
24 26
Yona Ettlinger is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Yona Ettlinger Classical