Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
28.6k votes 2.5k voters 34.6k 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
831 243
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
263 51
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

3
261 56
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

4
728 303
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music

5
518 264
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music

6
220 112
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

7
215 109
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

8
202 101
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

9
209 107
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

10
169 93
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

11
172 98
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

12
185 110
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

13
117 53
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added

14
510 387
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

15
461 346
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

16
180 108
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

17
416 312
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

18
267 189
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

19
212 143
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

20
192 126
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music

21
321 242
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added

22
588 480
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Romantic music, Art song

23
127 72
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

24
96 45
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

25
262 195
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

26
451 366
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

27
135 81
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

28
192 133
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

29
107 56
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

30
501 414
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

31
106 57
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

32
123 75
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

33
99 53
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added

34
148 101
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Ballet, Art song

35
90 48
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

36
82 41
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

37
337 289
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

38
144 104
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

39
242 205
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

40
70 37
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

41
285 255
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Piano, Classical music

42
207 178
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

43
234 206
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

44
45 16
Ferruccio Busoni is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music, 20th-century classical music

45
91 65
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Ballet, Ballet

46
147 123
Wilhelm Kempff is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Opera, Classical music

47
95 72
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

48
174 155
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

49
362 356
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

50
138 124
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added