Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
31.9k votes 2.7k voters 35.7k 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
882 296
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
318 94
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

3
783 351
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music

4
318 99
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

5
585 302
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music

6
246 148
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

7
584 426
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

8
258 160
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

9
254 157
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

10
240 148
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

11
230 141
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

12
512 380
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

13
468 343
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

14
208 125
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

15
208 126
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

16
240 154
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

17
156 83
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added

18
222 142
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

19
256 172
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

20
171 103
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

21
501 403
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

22
177 114
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

23
361 280
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added

24
545 446
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

25
634 527
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Romantic music, Art song