Bands/Musicians The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
44.2k votes 3.2k voters 36.8k 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.
list ordered by
1
1,000 323
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music
2
422 146
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
3
436 154
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
4
875 443
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music
5
704 364
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music
6
347 212
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
7
499 331
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
8
339 210
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
9
330 203
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
10
560 385
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music
11
323 200
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music
12
594 432
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music
13
220 130
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
14
282 182
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
15
93 27
Moriz Rosenthal is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
16
295 200
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music
17
267 177
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
18
80 19
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added
19
162 92
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
20
138 73
Ferruccio Busoni is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music, 20th-century classical music
21
658 526
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music
22
290 206
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music
23
315 228
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music
24
440 338
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added
25
617 493
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music