Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
24.8k votes 2.4k voters 33.7k 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.
list ordered by

1
743 223
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
687 234
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

3
172 45
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

4
171 50
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ignaz Friedman

5
443 236
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Arcadi Volodos Classical music

6
156 71
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Alexander Scriabin Classical music

7
157 77
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added William Kapell

8
563 415
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

9
145 75
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Artur Schnabel Classical music

10
154 84
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

11
222 146
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Grigory Sokolov

12
147 86
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Anton Rubinstein Opera, Chamber music

13
153 93
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Vladimir Sofronitsky Classical music

14
450 353
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

The Best Classical Pianists in the World

15
366 281
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Classical music

16
403 316
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

17
216 152
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Claudio Arrau Classical music

18
135 81
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Alfred Cortot Classical music

19
129 76
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Leopold Godowsky Classical music

20
121 69
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Walter Gieseking Classical music

21
259 193
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Sviatoslav Richter Piano, Classical music

The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

22
397 322
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

23
452 372
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

24
166 115
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

25
268 211
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added Ervin Nyiregyházi

26
111 68
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Béla Bartók Opera, Ballet, Art song

27
211 164
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

28
300 249
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

The Most Famous Classical Guitarists

29
113 74
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

30
158 118
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Emil Gilels Classical music

31
70 37
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Sergei Prokofiev Opera, Ballet, Ballet

32
82 49
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Daniil Trifonov

33
80 48
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Alicia de Larrocha Classical music

34
60 29
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Josef Lhévinne Classical music

35
51 21
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Edwin Fischer Classical music

The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

36
62 32
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added Nelson Freire

37
72 42
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Jorge Bolet Classical music

38
57 28
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ivan Moravec

39
75 46
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Samson François

40
97 69
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

41
88 60
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

42
60 32
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Yefim Bronfman

The Greatest Classical Guitarists of All Time

43
354 338
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Frédéric Chopin Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

44
115 93
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Georges Cziffra Classical music

45
178 160
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

46
46 24
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Benno Moiseiwitsch Classical music

47
208 197
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marc-André Hamelin Classical Music

48
127 115
Wilhelm Kempff is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Wilhelm Kempff Opera, Classical music

49
35 16
Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Charles-Valentin Alkan Classical music

50
37 19
Shura Cherkassky is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Shura Cherkassky Classical music