Top 30 Famous Piano Players of All Time

Top 30 famous pianists of all time

Who are the best pianists who’ve ever lived?  Below, you will find top 30 famous piano players, some of their famous works and life. Most of them did not have easy life, but none of them gave up. It helped them to be successful regardless of it. Let us know if we’ve missed out your favorite in the comments below.

Here are top 30 famous piano players:

Vladimir Horowitz

He was a virtuoso Russian pianist. He made various interpretations of some dynamic composers’ works such as Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin, and Sergey Rachmaninoff. He was known for his flawless technique in performing traditional Romantic styles of music. He won 23 Grammy awards and many more internationally. Did you know that Vladimir once accepted chocolate, butter, and bread as modes of payment? Find out more:  Inspiration from the Life of Vladimir Horowitz


Glenn Gould

He was a Canadian pianist who made catapulted classical music. He was acclaimed by his vivacious translation of Bach and Beethoven’s works. He recorded one of the best-selling albums in musical history – J.S. Bach’s The Goldberg Variations. He can memorize a piece just by looking. Did you know that his mother taught him how to read music? Find out more: Inspiration from the Life and Music of Glenn Gould


Claudio Arrau

Claudio Arrau was a Chilean pianist who was known for his skillful interpretation of some Baroque music extending to the 20th century. He was also regarded as one of the supreme keyboard masters of the century. He made a hundred of concerts in both Canada and the United States. Did you know that at the age of four, he was fluent in reading the Beethoven sonatas and when he reached six years, he presented a piece for the President of Chile. Find out more: How the Piano Improved the Life of Claudio Arrau

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Ludwig van Beethoven

A German composer and pianist. He was considered as the “greatest composer of all time”. He composed a lot of piano music and became famous all over the world. He wrote total 32 piano sonatas; some of his famous sonatas are Piano Sonata No 14 in C# minor known as Moonlight Sonata, Piano Sonata No. 23 in F minor know as Appassionata, Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor know as Pathétique. Interesting Facts That You Don’t Know About Ludwig Van Beethoven


Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms was a classical pianist and composer. More specifically, he was a German pianist who spent much of his life in Vienna. His works are so mesmerizing that many people compare him with Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach. In fact, Hans von Bulow, a great pianist at the time, referred to these three talented people as the ‘three B’s of music.’ Sadly, doctors diagnosed Brahms with liver cancer in the last half of 1896. This condition did not dampen his love for music. Instead, it strengthened it. More specifically, Brahms attended musical performances despite his ailing health. In March 1987, he attended a concert where Hans Richter was conducting his Symphony No. 4. He also attended Johann Strauss’ opera performance three weeks before his death.

Find out more about Brahms: Brahms: The Inspiration of The Master and His Legacy


Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter

Sviatoslav Teofilovich Richter was one of the predominant piano player of the 20th century. He was commended by his deep interpretation Robert Schumann, J.S. Bach. Sergey Prokofiev and Franz Liszt and Modest Mussorgsky. His collections made a soulful impression among his listeners and music critics. His virtuoso technique gave him a great advantage. Inspiration from the Life of Sviatoslav Richter



Alfred Brendel

He was an Austrian pianist who was particularly known for having an excellent performance of Mozart, Schubert, and Beethoven. He made a dominant effect in classical music by using his intelligent style. His best album was Beethoven: Bagatelles which ranked 13 in the overall greatest album chart.


Daniel Barenboim

A German piano player and conductor was particularly famous for receiving a lot of awards including several Grammy awards, the British Empire, Prince Asturias Concord Award of Spain and many more. His music style was concentrated between the Classical and Romantic era.


Mitsuko Uchida

A superlative performer of the works of Mozart, Schubert, Schumann, and Beethoven. He performed in several respected orchestras such as Chicago Symphony, Berlin Philharmonic, and Royal Concertgebouw. Uchida’s gift in playing the piano combined with her musical intelligence made her one of the leading classical musicians of her day. 


Martha Argerich

She is a classical piano player who made remarkable concerts in History. Martha was born in Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires to a Russian-Jewish and Spanish parent. the year she turned 16, She won two important piano competitions. She is known for her incredible speed and heartfelt performances. Her technique is one of a kind, and for this reason, she was regarded as the greatest living pianist today. She recorded several works of Chopin, Brahms, and Liszt.


Sergei Prokofiev

He was one of the prime piano players in Viennese classical era. He was known for playing different kinds of music genres, including symphonies, concerti, film music, operas, and ballets. Some of his widely heard pieces are The Love for Three Oranges, Lieutenant Kije, and the ballet Romeo and Juliet.


Arthur Rubinstein

A devoted Polish American pianist. He was known for recreating various works of many prominent composers before his time. He was regarded as the greatest interpreter of Chopin’s works. He composed several piano soundtracks in films, including Song of love with Katharine Hepburn.


Artur Schnabel

A legendary classical musician who built a great significance in the music industry. He became the standard example for aspiring pianists after his time. His specializations are the music of Ludwig van Beethoven, Johannes Brahms, and Franz Schubert. He performed the 32 Beethoven sonatas in Berlin.


Felix Mendelssohn

He was the was a German composer, pianist, organist, and conductor of the early Romantic period. His great admiration of classical music inspired him to revive and composed precocious music. Among his most famous works are Overture to A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Italian symphony.


Clara Schumann

She is regarded as the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She was the wife of Robert Schumann and had the privilege to first perform some of his works publicly. Clara served in the music industry for over 61 years. Her compositions include works for orchestra and many character pieces for solo piano.


Ferruccio Busoni

He was an Italian pianist and composer. His career achieved its utmost peak after performing in several concerts. His compositions include works of piano, chamber music, operas, and orchestral work. His concerts were mostly devoted to Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, and Franz Liszt.


Robert Schumann

A widely known Romanticist and pianist. He dedicated his life using his musical ability and creating wonderful piano and orchestral music. Schumann was also a credible critic in his time, influencing many pianists with his musical views. His famous works are Carnaval, Kreisleriana, and Kinderszenen.


Maurice Ravel

A French composer of classical music. He was linked to Debussy because of his impressionist style but proved his independence and originality as he endeavored in different styles. Ravel was so good at composing music that many people regarded him as one of the greatest French composers that ever lived. Interestingly, he incorporated some elements of baroque, neoclassical, and jazz music into his style. It is important to note that Ravel composed a few pieces. However, his compositions were highly complex requiring great technical skill to play them. Some of them included the Gaspard de la Nuit & the Daphnis et Chloe. Ravel was most known for his perfect performance of his own masterpiece Bolero. A Quick Summary of Impressionist Music


George Frideric Handel

A renowned composer of the late Baroque era: Interesting Facts about Piano History: Baroque Era. His works vary from operas, oratorios, and instrumentals. The most famous one is entitled, “Messiah” – an oratorio consisting of scriptural text from King James Bible and Coverdale Psalter. It later became one of the most frequently performed choral works in Western music.


Alexander Scriabin

A Russian piano and orchestral music composer. He was known for his extra-ordinary arrangement of harmonies characterizing impressive musical symbolism. His greatest influencer was Frederic Chopin. He created outstanding symphonies such as Symphonic Poem in D Minor, The Divine Poem, and Prometheus along with 85 preludes and 10 sonatas.


Lang Lang

A Chinese concert pianist who created an impactful influence at present. He performed and led several orchestras in China, the United States, Europe, and Canada. He successfully incorporated classical to modern styles. His greatness was recognized and written in journals and magazines.



Edvard Grieg

He was one of the leading composers of the Romantic era. He dedicated his life to producing classical music in Norway. He gained international appreciation due to his flawless performances. Both Franz Liszt and Tchaikovsky acknowledged him as a great pianist and earned more privileges later in his life.


Frédéric François Chopin

Born in the Duchy of Warsaw, Chopin moved to Paris when he was twenty-one years old. He left Poland just as an uprising was starting in that country. Fortunately, he had completed his education on music before these events unraveled. While in Paris, Chopin developed a preference for salon performances as opposed to public concerts. In fact, he only gave 30 public performances from the time he arrived in this city to the time he died. Most of his income came from teaching the piano and selling his compositions. Interestingly, all of his compositions included the piano. He was known for his unique piano compositions such as mazurkas, etudes, preludes, nocturnes, and waltzes. His universal approach attracted most of his listeners. Find out about more about Chopin’s life: Inspiration From The Life Of Frederic Chopin



Johann Sebastian Bach

One of the pioneers and main contributors of Baroque classical music. He came from a family of musicians. Most of his masterpieces are made for church and instrumental music. Bach composed over a thousand music and some of his prominent works are Brandenburg concertos, Toccata, and Fugue in D minor, and Fugue in G Minor. Johann Sebastian Bach: Inspiration from The Greats


Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

He made a name in the history of Western music, and he was considered as the most versatile among all composers. He dedicated his career to playing different genres of music. He composed over 600 works during his lifetime. Many of them were piano concertos in addition to operas and symphonies among other works. Interestingly, Mozart started composing music at the tender age of five years old. In fact, he was so good at what he did that he composed his first symphony was he was eight years old. His notable works made an impact to this day. His most famous and last composition was the Jupiter symphony. Inspiration from the Life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


Franz Liszt

A famous virtuoso piano player and composer in his time. His works are widely known to be technically challenging and original. He was lined up among the greatest musicians in history. Some of his piano showpieces are Études, the Hungarian Rhapsodies, and the Mephisto Waltzes. Did you know that Paris Conservatory denied him admission into the institution? Find out more: Inspiration from the Life of Franz Liszt


Sergei Rachmaninoff

A talented Russian pianist and composer who became popular around the United States after showcasing his masterpieces on his concerts. He was regarded as the greatest pianist of the twentieth-century. Some of his most romantic pieces are Symphony no.2, Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, and Piano concert no.2. Inspiration from the life of Sergei Rachmaninoff


Claude Debussy

He was a gifted pianist who made an important role within the field of impressionist music. He won several awards including Prix de Rome. Since then, his career bloomed and later became a composer. He was famous for creating Prelude to the Afternoon of a Faun, which later performed in Ballet.


Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

The most famous Russian composer of all time. His style and originality made a lasting impression until today. He combined Russian melodies along with Western principles. Despite his depression, he managed to create more than a hundred compositions – most famous are Swan Lake, The Sleeping Beauty, and The Nutcracker.


Franz Schubert

The last composer of the Viennese era and one of the first composers of the Romantic era. He made a unique approach in creating various kinds of harmony and melody. Schubert’s works are still being played until this day. One of the favorites is Symphony no. 9 in C major (The Great, 1828).


Music can be your best expression. It is universal and all of us are qualified for it. It is one of the greatest investments that you can share and pass forward. Music remained yesterday, today, and forever.

If you are fond of music, it is never too late to start a piano lesson. It will make you feel more connected and involve in music. It can increase your productivity and effectiveness in doing a task. It will show impressive results in your daily activities. As you learn, you will discover new things and might bring out something greater about yourself that you never realize up to now.Who knows you have a talent as much as them? You can only find out if you give it a try. It is worth your time, money, and effort. You can start small by taking a beginner’s piano lesson and later upgrade your level until you become a professional piano player. Whether you want it to be your career or hobby, choosing it will give your life so much meaning. It will never be a waste.

Did you know that therapists often recommend their patients to take piano lessons? It is a form of music therapy that Researchers discovered to have a phenomenal effect on depression, anxiety, and stress disorders. It can make a trans-formative improvement to your brain and emotions. Studies have shown that it can also develop your motor skills.