Bands/Musicians The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time  

Ranker Music
9.3k votes 2.5k voters 73.2k 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
695 230
Benny Goodman is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Big band, Jazz

2
445 162
Artie Shaw is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Big band

3
422 152
Martin Fröst is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Chamber music, Classical music, Contemporary classical music

4
312 139
Sabine Meyer is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

5
302 137
Pete Fountain is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dixieland

6
309 158
Squidward Tentacles is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JonathanPascale added Squidward Tentacles

7
190 88
Woody Herman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Cool jazz, Swing music, Big band

8
184 85
Sidney Bechet is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
slaft added Ragtime, Jazz, Dixieland

9
141 66
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
122 55
Karl Leister is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Karl Leister Classical; Contemporary

11
74 28
Ranker Video
Fernie Montes added Classical -

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

12
190 117
Henry Cuesta is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
JakeGibbs added

13
102 53
Buddy DeFranco is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Post-bop, Bebop

14
118 66
Sharon Kam is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

15
124 71
Hüsnü Şenlendirici is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

16
115 76
Tony Scott is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

17
107 70
Julian Bliss is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; chamber music

18
150 107
Acker Bilk is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Pop music, Trad jazz, Easy listening

19
75 43
Anton Stadler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

20
54 27
Anat Cohen is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
KamalSagar added Post-bop, Jazz

21
100 68
Stanley Drucker is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; modern

22
67 39
Carl Baermann is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Carl Baermann Classical

23
51 26
Heinrich Baermann is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Heinrich Baermann Classical

24
80 54
Barney Bigard is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Dixieland

25
82 57
Charles Neidich is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical

26
76 52
Giora Feidman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Klezmer

27
68 45
Jack Brymer is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Jack Brymer Classical

28
48 28
Jimmy Hamilton is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time

29
93 71
Richard Stoltzman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical music, Jazz

30
47 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
54 40
Béla Kovács is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Béla Kovács Classical; contemporary

33
44 34
Dieter Klöcker is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dieter Klöcker Classical

34
17 7
Philippe Cuper is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
saxi1954 added Philippe Cuper

35
37 28
Louis Cahuzac is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Louis Cahuzac Classical; contemporary

36
49 41
George Lewis is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Blues, Dixieland

37
35 28
Buster Bailey is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; contemporary; jazz; swing; dixieland

38
18 10
Eric Dolphy is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Bill Levine added Avant-garde jazz, Third stream, Post-bop

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

40
33 29
Irving Fazola is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Classical; jazz; swing; modern

41
10 4
Ken Peplowski is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Dennis Maher added Swing music, Traditional pop music, Dixieland

42
26 22
Jon Manasse is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
1475802059983 added Jon Manasse

43
14 9
Anthony Gigliotti is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
TAT added Anthony Gigliotti

Classical

44
8 4
Harry Sparnaay is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Mathijs Lemmens added Harry Sparnaay

45
34 34
Edmond Hall is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Swing music, Dixieland

46
5 1
Frederick Thurston is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Clarinetists of All Time
Frank Cranmer added Frederick Thurston Classical music

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