Music

The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
78.2k votes 3.8k voters 39.2k views 153 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
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music
2
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
3
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
4
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music
5
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music
6
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
7
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
8
Moriz Rosenthal is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
9
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
10
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music
11
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music
12
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music
13
Ferruccio Busoni is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music, 20th-century classical music
14
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
15
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
16
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
17
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music
18
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
19
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
20
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
21
Robert Casadesus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
22
Grigory Romanovich Ginzburg is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
23
Emil von Sauer is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
24
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added
25
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music