Classical The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
28.1k votes 2.5k voters 34.3k 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
824 239
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Art song, Chamber music

2
256 50
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

3
254 54
Ignaz Friedman is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

4
720 300
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Guest added Classical music

5
512 261
Arcadi Volodos is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Classical music

6
218 105
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

7
200 95
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

8
210 106
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

9
204 103
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

10
180 101
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

11
170 93
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

12
182 106
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

13
163 92
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Classical music

14
505 381
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

15
414 307
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

16
454 343
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

17
112 51
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added

18
211 137
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

19
262 186
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

20
186 122
Anton Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music

21
317 238
Ervin Nyiregyházi is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
iub92564 added

22
584 476
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Romantic music, Art song

23
190 127
Vladimir Sofronitsky is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

24
132 76
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

25
500 405
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

26
447 360
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

27
91 41
Yefim Bronfman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

28
103 52
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

29
257 192
Grigory Sokolov is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

30
122 70
Alicia de Larrocha is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

31
102 53
Josef Lhévinne is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

32
120 70
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

33
95 49
Nelson Freire is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Marcos Lopes added

34
88 44
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

35
80 38
Ivan Moravec is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

36
143 100
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Opera, Ballet, Art song

37
332 286
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

38
140 103
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

39
240 202
Marc-André Hamelin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical Music

40
67 36
Benno Moiseiwitsch is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Classical music

41
232 202
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
stubb added Classical music

42
204 175
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Classical music

43
280 252
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
sander-dahlberg added Piano, Classical music

44
147 121
Wilhelm Kempff is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Opera, Classical music

45
42 15
Ferruccio Busoni is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Chamber music, 20th-century classical music

46
173 153
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Classical music

47
88 65
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Opera, Ballet, Ballet

48
92 71
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added

49
360 355
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
Romantic music, Art song, Classical music

50
137 123
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added