Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
26.3k votes 2.5k voters 34k 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
784 225
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
695 271
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

3
211 46
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

4
208 52
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ignaz Friedman

5
475 249
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
189 88
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added William Kapell

7
182 83
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Alexander Scriabin Classical music

8
185 90
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

9
171 81
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Artur Schnabel Classical music

10
157 85
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Leopold Godowsky Classical music

11
173 99
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Anton Rubinstein Opera, Chamber music

12
161 90
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Alfred Cortot Classical music

13
482 365
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

14
243 164
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Claudio Arrau Classical music

The Best Classical Pianists in the World

15
145 82
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Walter Gieseking Classical music

16
430 327
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

17
570 448
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

18
389 296
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Classical music

19
173 109
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Vladimir Sofronitsky Classical music

20
75 24
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Edwin Fischer Classical music

21
86 34
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Josef Lhévinne Classical music

The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

22
138 80
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

23
188 124
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

24
427 339
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

25
294 222
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added Ervin Nyiregyházi

26
102 53
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Alicia de Larrocha Classical music

27
475 392
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

28
235 175
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Grigory Sokolov

The Most Famous Classical Guitarists

29
75 34
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added Nelson Freire

30
321 264
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

31
82 43
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
126 85
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Béla Bartók Opera, Ballet, Art song

33
79 43
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Jorge Bolet Classical music

34
82 47
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Samson François

35
95 60
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

The Worst Albums by Great Bands

36
266 227
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Sviatoslav Richter Piano, Classical music

37
165 134
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Emil Gilels Classical music

38
215 184
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

39
101 71
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

40
64 35
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Yefim Bronfman

41
86 59
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Daniil Trifonov

42
119 93
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Georges Cziffra Classical music

The Greatest Classical Guitarists of All Time

43
185 162
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

44
57 31
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ivan Moravec

45
49 24
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Benno Moiseiwitsch Classical music

46
355 342
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Frédéric Chopin Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

47
213 198
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marc-André Hamelin Classical Music

48
128 115
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
36 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
131 120
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Maurizio Pollini