Bands/Musicians The Greatest Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
21.6k votes 2.7k voters 25.6k views 121 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
727 105
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Art Tatum Stride, Jazz

2
699 222
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

3
520 176
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Józef Hofmann Classical Music

4
631 250
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

5
490 197
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
193 98
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
336 212
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added William Kapell

8
185 108
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Artur Schnabel Classical music

9
314 220
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

10
168 100
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Alfred Cortot Classical music

11
167 100
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Claudio Arrau Classical music

12
100 42
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

13
162 100
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Walter Gieseking Classical music

14
260 189
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

15
311 236
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

16
132 75
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Solomon Cutner Classical Music

17
208 145
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Leopold Godowsky Classical music

18
114 62
Byron Janis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Byron Janis Classical Music

19
250 193
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time

20
99 51
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

21
110 63
Robert Casadesus is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Robert Casadesus Classical music

The Best Survival Games of All Time

22
110 64
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Edwin Fischer Classical music

23
226 183
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

24
323 283
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

25
119 81
Alicia Delarrocha is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Alicia Delarrocha Classical Music

26
92 56
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

27
154 120
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

28
108 74
András Schiff is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added András Schiff Classical music

The Best Jazz Pianists in the World

29
159 128
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

30
87 55
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

31
105 76
Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Charles-Valentin Alkan Classical music

32
105 77
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Georges Cziffra Classical music

33
213 192
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sviatoslav Richter Piano, Classical music

34
72 47
Julius Katchen is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Julius Katchen Classical Music

35
203 192
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

36
59 37
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Samson François

37
91 73
Sigismond Thalberg is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sigismond Thalberg Classical music

38
123 111
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Emil Gilels Classical music

39
107 93
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

40
60 42
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Tom Islava added George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

41
86 72
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
64 47
Denis Matsuev is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Сергей Ильин added Denis Matsuev

The Best K-pop Dancers of All Time

43
90 79
Van Cliburn is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Van Cliburn Classical music

44
80 68
Myra Hess is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Myra Hess Classical music

45
61 49
Murray Perahia is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Murray Perahia Classical music

46
68 58
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Jorge Bolet Classical music

47
40 25
José Iturbi is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added José Iturbi Classical music

48
63 56
Clara Haskil is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Clara Haskil Classical music

49
44 34
Oscar Levant is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Oscar Levant

50
76 76
Daniil Trifonov is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Daniil Trifonov