bands/musicians The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
21.4k votes 2.0k voters 31.9k views 152 items Embed

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
645 192
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

The Best Classical Pianists in the World The Best Concert Movies Streaming on Hulu

2
611 196
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

3
424 165
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Arcadi Volodos Classical music

4
137 18
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ignaz Friedman

5
130 16
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest_1a6adad7-3fc2-4677-aebd-0d90f743d0c9 added Józef Hofmann

6
137 28
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added William Kapell

7
122 53
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

8
108 50
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Artur Schnabel Classical music

9
380 283
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

10
103 48
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Alexander Scriabin Classical music

11
98 46
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Leopold Godowsky Classical music

12
93 42
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Walter Gieseking Classical music

13
474 388
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

14
334 263
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli Classical music

15
404 326
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

The Most Famous Classical Guitarists Hottest Music Videos Of All Time

16
103 56
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Anton Rubinstein Opera, Chamber music

17
244 184
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added Ervin Nyiregyházi

18
100 61
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
378 326
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

20
95 58
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

21
176 136
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Claudio Arrau Classical music

22
139 102
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

23
107 72
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Vladimir Sofronitsky Classical music

24
165 130
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Grigory Sokolov

25
328 290
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

26
79 46
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

27
55 23
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Yefim Bronfman

28
67 35
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Samson François

29
85 53
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

The Greatest Classical Guitarists of All Time Signs You're a Trainwreck

30
265 234
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

31
69 39
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Alicia de Larrocha Classical music

32
82 53
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Béla Bartók Opera, Ballet, Art song

33
50 22
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Ivan Moravec

34
50 23
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Josef Lhévinne Classical music

35
44 17
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Edwin Fischer Classical music

36
202 180
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
61 35
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Jorge Bolet Classical music

38
99 80
András Schiff is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added András Schiff Classical music

39
104 87
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Georges Cziffra Classical music

40
80 63
Murray Perahia is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Murray Perahia Classical music

41
41 21
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Benno Moiseiwitsch Classical music

42
125 114
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Emil Gilels Classical music

43
194 190
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marc-André Hamelin Classical Music

The Hottest Male Classical Musicians The Best Pudding Brands

44
37 18
Denis Matsuev is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Denis Matsuev

45
43 25
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added Nelson Freire

46
33 15
Shura Cherkassky is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Shura Cherkassky Classical music

47
161 158
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

48
156 153
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

49
29 12
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
111 105
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Maurizio Pollini