bands/musicians The Greatest Pianists of All Time  

Ranker Music
20.2k votes 2.6k voters 25.2k views 120 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
683 101
Art Tatum is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Art Tatum Stride, Jazz

2
656 222
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

3
609 226
Vladimir Horowitz is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Horowitz Classical music

4
474 169
Oscar Peterson is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Bradley Scroggs added Oscar Peterson Third stream, Hard bop, Jazz

5
479 173
Józef Hofmann is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Józef Hofmann Classical Music

6
313 190
William Kapell is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added William Kapell

7
290 202
Wilhelm Backhaus is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Wilhelm Backhaus Classical music

8
158 89
Fats Waller is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Tom Islava added Fats Waller Stride, Ragtime, Swing music

9
321 244
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Franz Liszt Opera, Romantic music, Art song

10
287 215
Mikhail Pletnev is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Mikhail Pletnev Classical Music

11
231 168
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time

12
185 130
Leopold Godowsky is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Leopold Godowsky Classical music

13
209 156
Sviatoslav Richter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sviatoslav Richter Piano, Classical music

14
152 103
Artur Schnabel is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Artur Schnabel Classical music

The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

15
133 91
Walter Gieseking is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Walter Gieseking Classical music

16
136 94
Alfred Cortot is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Alfred Cortot Classical music

17
199 156
Arthur Rubinstein is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Arthur Rubinstein Classical music

18
224 181
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Glenn Gould Classical music

19
134 95
Claudio Arrau is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Claudio Arrau Classical music

20
102 68
Solomon Cutner is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Solomon Cutner Classical Music

21
130 105
Krystian Zimerman is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Krystian Zimerman Classical music

The Best Survival Games of All Time

22
93 67
Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Charles-Valentin Alkan Classical music

23
82 56
Byron Janis is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Byron Janis Classical Music

24
92 67
Alicia Delarrocha is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Alicia Delarrocha Classical Music

25
136 115
Evgeny Kissin is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Evgeny Kissin Classical Music

26
64 38
Rudolf Serkin is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Rudolf Serkin Classical music

27
190 174
Martha Argerich is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Martha Argerich Classical music

28
87 63
Sigismond Thalberg is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sigismond Thalberg Classical music

The Best Jazz Pianists in the World

29
69 44
Dinu Lipatti is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Dinu Lipatti Classical music

30
79 56
Robert Casadesus is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Robert Casadesus Classical music

31
118 100
Emil Gilels is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Emil Gilels Classical music

32
84 63
András Schiff is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added András Schiff Classical music

33
79 58
Edwin Fischer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Edwin Fischer Classical music

34
73 53
Earl Wild is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Earl Wild Classical music

35
103 88
Vladimir Ashkenazy is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Vladimir Ashkenazy Classical music

The 37 Greatest On-Stage Falls of All Time

36
85 68
Sir Clifford Michael Curzon is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Sir Clifford Michael Curzon Classical Music

37
91 75
Georges Cziffra is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Georges Cziffra Classical music

38
65 46
Julius Katchen is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Julius Katchen Classical Music

39
56 36
Samson François is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Samson François

40
58 39
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
71 54
Radu Lupu is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
gnicholls added Radu Lupu Classical music

42
63 45
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
80 67
Myra Hess is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Myra Hess Classical music

44
68 57
Jorge Bolet is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Jorge Bolet Classical music

45
40 24
José Iturbi is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added José Iturbi Classical music

46
86 79
Van Cliburn is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Van Cliburn Classical music

47
59 48
Murray Perahia is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
markuka85 added Murray Perahia Classical music

48
62 56
Clara Haskil is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
Clara Haskil Classical music

49
65 60
Maurizio Pollini is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
ayşe-öktem added Maurizio Pollini

50
43 33
Oscar Levant is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Greatest Pianists of All Time
John Jozwiak added Oscar Levant