Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
27k votes 2.5k voters 34.2k views 155 items

List Rules Vote up the greatest classical pianist in history

Classical music forever shaped the future of music. Most of contemporary music has influences from classical music in some way. Becoming a professional pianist is much more than just hitting the right note. It involves comprehensive music theory, having an ear for rhythm, and the passion for music that simply can't be taught.
 
The piano is one of the most powerful instruments in the music world. Classical composers like Bach and Beethoven used the piano to build the parts for all of the other instruments in their symphonies and other works. Who are the greatest classical pianists of all time?
 
This list features the all time greatest classical pianists, ranked by the community's votes and including Aaron Copland, Jacques Abram, Johann Sebastian Bach, Lang Lang, and George Frideric Handel. Vote up the best classical pianists below or add one you think is the greatest who isn't already on the list.

1
800 225
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
700 283
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

3
224 47
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

4
221 53
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ignaz Friedman

5
485 256
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Arcadi Volodos Classical music

6
190 89
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Alexander Scriabin Classical music

7
196 96
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added William Kapell

8
181 84
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Artur Schnabel Classical music

9
194 94
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

10
166 91
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Leopold Godowsky Classical music

11
493 368
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

12
168 96
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Alfred Cortot Classical music

13
252 170
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Claudio Arrau Classical music

14
178 108
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Anton Rubinstein Opera, Chamber music

15
153 87
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Walter Gieseking Classical music

16
398 301
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Classical music

17
438 337
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

18
578 458
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

19
180 116
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Vladimir Sofronitsky Classical music

20
195 130
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

21
145 87
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

22
248 180
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Grigory Sokolov

23
302 230
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added Ervin Nyiregyházi

24
92 42
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Josef Lhévinne Classical music

25
433 349
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

26
80 32
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Edwin Fischer Classical music

27
110 59
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Alicia de Larrocha Classical music

28
483 398
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

29
84 38
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added Nelson Freire

30
92 49
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Samson François

31
326 272
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

32
105 64
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

33
133 91
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Béla Bartók Opera, Ballet, Art song

34
112 73
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

35
74 37
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Yefim Bronfman

36
85 49
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Jorge Bolet Classical music

37
86 52
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Sergei Prokofiev Opera, Ballet, Ballet

38
128 95
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Georges Cziffra Classical music

39
223 190
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

40
270 238
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Sviatoslav Richter Piano, Classical music

41
65 34
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ivan Moravec

42
57 27
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Benno Moiseiwitsch Classical music

43
223 200
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marc-André Hamelin Classical Music

44
168 144
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Emil Gilels Classical music

45
191 169
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

46
90 67
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Daniil Trifonov

47
358 350
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Frédéric Chopin Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

48
135 117
Wilhelm Kempff is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Wilhelm Kempff Opera, Classical music

49
41 21
Shura Cherkassky is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Shura Cherkassky Classical music

50
39 19
Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Charles-Valentin Alkan Classical music