Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
34.5k votes 2.9k voters 36.1k views 156 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
899 300
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
330 118
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

3
785 407
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music

4
332 139
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

5
599 345
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music

6
621 444
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

7
258 161
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

8
228 138
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

9
267 171
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

10
257 164
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

11
355 247
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

12
270 176
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

13
481 355
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

14
551 415
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

15
229 143
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Ballet, Art song

16
521 391
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

17
692 539
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Romantic music, Art song

18
239 153
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

19
216 137
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

20
267 187
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

21
232 157
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

22
247 178
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

23
162 102
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added

24
250 183
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music

25
551 460
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music