Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
29.5k votes 2.6k voters 34.7k 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
834 264
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
283 52
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

3
281 56
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

4
746 307
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music

5
538 267
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music

6
212 110
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

7
228 123
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

8
222 121
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

9
217 118
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

10
197 116
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

11
179 102
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

12
128 60
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added

13
470 355
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

14
180 107
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

15
427 320
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

16
518 400
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

17
187 118
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

18
140 77
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

19
148 85
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

20
222 151
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

21
274 199
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

22
118 61
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

23
330 250
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added

24
599 491
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Romantic music, Art song

25
200 136
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music

26
202 140
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

27
461 375
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

28
116 63
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

29
508 425
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

30
132 80
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

31
104 55
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

32
159 106
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Ballet, Art song

33
268 207
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

34
93 46
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

35
100 53
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

36
105 60
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added

37
153 109
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

38
344 297
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

39
252 209
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

40
77 42
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

41
213 184
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

42
52 21
Ferruccio Busoni is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music, 20th-century classical music

43
239 215
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

44
287 266
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Piano, Classical music

45
97 71
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Ballet, Ballet

46
100 76
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

47
151 131
Wilhelm Kempff is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Opera, Classical music

48
365 359
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

49
177 160
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

50
141 125
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added