Bands/Musicians The Greatest Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
22.6k votes 2.8k voters 26.1k views 124 items

List Rules The best piano players in history. Vote up the best musicians who play the piano.

The piano is one of the most famous instruments in the entire world. Almost every composition from some of the greatest composers in early classical music featured this powerful instrument to strike the perfect chords. The piano is extremely versatile and unlike the guitar, cello, or violin the strings on the piano are located inside and played with the keys. Many musicians have some knowledge of the piano, even if it isn't their primary instrument. But who are the greatest pianists of all time?
 
Classical and Baroque periods of music history definitely increased the popularity of the piano and almost every genre of music in today’s culture also uses it! It’s no wonder that mastering the art of playing the piano is such a desirable goal. It is also an instrument that once learned, makes it easier to learn other instruments and is popular among young music students.
 
This list features the all time greatest piano players including, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Sergei Rachmaninoff. Vote up the best pianists below and see where the musicians you think are the greatest of all time rank!

1
746 113
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Art Tatum Stride, Jazz

2
722 225
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

3
535 178
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Józef Hofmann Classical Music

4
649 255
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

5
505 202
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Bradley Scroggs added Oscar Peterson Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

6
200 106
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Tom Islava added Fats Waller Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

7
341 221
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added William Kapell

8
195 112
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Artur Schnabel Classical music

9
325 223
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

10
278 191
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

11
176 105
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Alfred Cortot Classical music

12
176 106
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Claudio Arrau Classical music

13
322 240
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

14
140 80
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Solomon Cutner Classical Music

15
217 150
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Leopold Godowsky Classical music

16
169 107
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Walter Gieseking Classical music

17
105 51
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

18
121 67
Byron Janis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Byron Janis Classical Music

19
119 66
Robert Casadesus is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Robert Casadesus Classical music

20
258 199
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time

21
118 68
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Edwin Fischer Classical music

22
107 58
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

23
245 189
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

24
104 56
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

25
171 125
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

26
129 85
Alicia Delarrocha is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Alicia Delarrocha Classical Music

27
331 291
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

28
100 61
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

29
116 80
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Georges Cziffra Classical music

30
84 48
Julius Katchen is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Julius Katchen Classical Music

31
169 136
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

32
114 81
András Schiff is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added András Schiff Classical music

33
221 201
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sviatoslav Richter Piano, Classical music

34
68 39
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Samson François

35
109 85
Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Charles-Valentin Alkan Classical music

36
213 198
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

37
117 98
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

38
131 118
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Emil Gilels Classical music

39
97 81
Van Cliburn is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Van Cliburn Classical music

40
71 52
Denis Matsuev is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Сергей Ильин added Denis Matsuev

41
91 76
Sir Clifford Michael Curzon is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sir Clifford Michael Curzon Classical Music

42
94 81
Sigismond Thalberg is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sigismond Thalberg Classical music

43
45 26
José Iturbi is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added José Iturbi Classical music

44
82 72
Myra Hess is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Myra Hess Classical music

45
72 61
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Jorge Bolet Classical music

46
65 53
Murray Perahia is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Murray Perahia Classical music

47
62 50
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Tom Islava added George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

48
48 36
Oscar Levant is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Oscar Levant

49
70 66
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Maurizio Pollini

50
82 81
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Daniil Trifonov