Bands/Musicians The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
51.6k votes 3.3k voters 37.3k views 150 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.
list ordered by
1
1,054 359
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music
2
472 180
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
3
486 188
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
4
961 451
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music
5
758 400
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music
6
422 223
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
7
627 400
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music
8
381 225
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music
9
396 236
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
10
386 230
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
11
145 59
Moriz Rosenthal is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
12
654 456
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music
13
128 53
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
14
268 163
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
15
332 214
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
16
348 228
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
17
317 209
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
18
571 412
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
19
361 261
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music
20
202 131
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
21
492 375
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added
22
673 528
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music
23
148 86
Camille Saint-Saëns is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
MarkTaylor1 added Opera, Chamber music, Classical music
24
710 561
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music
25
178 112
Ferruccio Busoni is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music, 20th-century classical music