Best Pianists of All Time
The Top Ten
First of all yanni on top come on man. a person with 0.1% knowledge in this field will tell you that's LIszt perhaps was and is still the best pianist of all time although chopin sir would come close but the Liszt is probably the only man till this date who has fully satisfied his girlfriends!
Stunning technical ability- outstanding musicality evidenced in his compositions- years and years of time to evidence that he did indeed leave a lasting legacy- Franz Liszt must be very highly regarded in any list of pianists.
Yanni is a modern pianist. How can he even be compared to the classical greats? The technical brilliance and the incredible composing and improvising abilities of the virtuosic pianists of the classical and romantic era simply cannot be put against some 'nice sounding' music. With all due respect to every other musician, Beethoven is the greatest composer ever and Franz Liszt is the greatest pianist ever.
Sight-read all of Chopin's etudes without hearing them and nailed the first try.
The other comments pretty much say it all! I have been a Yanni fan for over 25 years and have been to as many concerts as I can get to. In April 2011, we saw him followed by an unheard-of tour the very next year. I was lucky enough to see him twice in June 2012, to have attended my first Fan Event dinner, and especially to have inadvertently crashed rehearsal and chatted briefly with him from a distance! Meeting some of the world-class orchestra members at the dinner and finally meeting Charlie Adams after the concert made the night. Mary Simpson is from very near where I live and she was a joy. Sarah O'Brien, as lovely as always, was also generous with her time. Yoel del Sol has the most adorable smile, and they all were patient while group and individual photos were taken. Thanks also to Krystal Vinck with PR who brought "Santorini" and handed her off to my cousin who was wearing the Santorini shirt from the concert two nights before! I know Pam hated to part with ...more
"Yanni live at the Acropolis" was his finest hour as a pianist, no doubt about that. Despite playing among the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra and some world class band members, including a terrific Karen Briggs on violin, Yanni was in my opinion the best and most accomplished performer on the night. Here, he showcased all of his qualities as a pianist/keyboardist: musicality, sensitivity, technique, motoric skills, attention to detail, virtuosity, passion, accompaniment skills, courage, humility, ability to connect with the audience. Another great example of his abilities as a musician is the "In My Time" album - it's full of beautiful, deep piano solo pieces which will warm your heart and heal your soul. Yanni is without a doubt one of the best pianists of our time.
It's probably a once-a-century (or millennia) event that someone rises somewhere in the world; shoots up and keeps on going. Let's not forget that Yanni is a self-educated accomplished musician; his "musical shorthand" is an astoundingly innovative method to make oneself able to read music. He didn't stop at his inability to read conventional notes, but made his own notes to jump over that barrier -- simply amazing! And for someone who could do that, I'm not least astonished that he could come this far, to stand in the foreground of best world musicians and public performers. Yanni's psychology major is probably a contributing element in his success at conveying his music directly to the soul. Yanni you've been my #1 inspiration source and musical delight since August 1993, and still occupy that stature till this very day, 20 years later. God has indeed blessed such wonderful children of His; may He keep you both physically and spiritually, and shower you with His graces. Thank you ...more
I know there are many good pianist around the world and they play music very well, which is good. But Yanni, is the best of all, because his music touched your heart and soul, it enters in your mind and make you feel relax and help you to forget all around and when you start thinking again, your mind and heart feel peace, love, happiness, and feels a touch of God in your heart, relax. His music help you share with so many people around the world. He does not only plays good music but he also give you advises and good ones. It's so relaxing that you keep on. God bless him and I hope his music touch every soul in the world, from kids to ederlies. Keep on bringing hope and peace to each heart.
There are NO parrots on here. If you're not a fan of Sir Elton John, there's no point in your commenting here. Sir Elton John is the finest & by far the best, pop/rock pianist/musician ever. His understanding & interpretation of music is second to none.
Elton John was accepted at Royal Music Academy at 11 for playing a thirteen sheet piece by Chopin that he had never seen before without any mistake, I believe. He kept playing pieces by heart that he had heard once. Is there anything left to be said?
THE BEST EVER! His musical genius knows no boundaries.
Some comments are saying we need Beethoven and Mozart on instead of Sir Elton John. He is just as good in my opinion he is better
Anyone who voted for Elton John on this list has probably a -400 IQ.
Chopin was a person who used his expresions fellings and more to make his music look perfetional and sound amazing!
He s obviously the greatest pianist in the world. End of Story.
Chopin always first and then we can make a "list".
Sure Freddie Mercury could play the piano but he was certainly not the best piano player of all time.
That time he played the intro to "Seven Seas of Rhye" with only one hand or the time he improvised a beautiful melody for "Somebody To Love" at Milton Keyes
Freddie Mercury should be number 3. He was the best and still is. Legends never die!
What? Ok I’m sorry but Freddie Mercury is a great singer DEFINITELY not a great piano player.
Beethoven is no doubt the best pianist. He had incredible improvisation powers as Mozart witnessed in his only meeting. If Mozart lived longer, him and Beethoven would have performed together Europe wide.
Ludwig van Beethoven even if he was deaf he can make amazing music!
Beethoven deserves to be either number 1 or 2. He nearly had precise skills as Mozart.
As Mozart predicted during his first/last meeting with him that Beethoven will be a great composer after him. He really came close to Mozart's ability on his piano skills but he was quicker on improvisation than Mozart. If only Mozart lived longer to witness the greatness of Beethoven or perhaps play a piece together would make it sound legendary.
Billy Joel created some of the most amazing Rock Piano music of all time, and this was only due to his incredible skills with the Piano, and his skill with songwriting and composing. He combined Jazz and Rock perfectly and created a unique genre of Piano Rock music that cannot be replicated by anyone else. He is now nearly 70 years old, and his singing voice is just as good as it was 40 years ago! Billy Joel is overall an extremely skilled Pianist and musician.
Billy Joel - nobody compares.
Billy Joel is in the same category as a Mozart, Chopin, Beethoven. He writes the lyrics and the music AND sings. Pure absolute genius. Thank you Billy for bringing your music to the world. You will be remembered FOREVER!
He could do jazz, classical, pop, rock, ragtime, anything. Fantastic, and really made the piano a popular mainstream instrument like the guitar.
Mozart mastered the piano at the age of 5 and can write piano pieces in one day without mistakes or rehearsals. Due to his natural talent, he should have been first on the list!
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was like ten years when he made music it was talent!
It is blasphemous that mozart isn't number 1. Absolutely blasphemous.
Maybe if you dig out that 1785 vinyl from the ground where he played I would agree with you (sarcasm)
A great composer. Sad that autotune doesn't exist, as people such as Mozart would be more popular than untalented people such as Justin Bieber and Nicki Minaj.
John lennon? Really? TheTopTens lists always ends up being a popularity contest, smh
John Lennon was the greatest song writer of the 21st century. A genius in his own right but far from a top ten greatest pianist and this is coming from someone who regards Lennon as the greatest musical person of the 21st century.
She always smiles when she plays, as though she is enjoying the music she is playing.
I just love the way she plays
ı think it is a good pianist in the world
Horowitz is the greatest pianist, period. How on earth is it that he being beat by a music school DROPOUT. Horowitz had technically mastery, but also complete control over his dynamics. Just listen to his version of Movement 3 of the Moonlight sonata, a piece a doubt Elton John could even play.
Horowitz' touch was not of this earth. He is hands down, no pun intended the winner here.
And YANNI Before BEETHOVEN? Are you insane? Did you receive a blow to the head lately? Wow.
Touch, dynamics, emotion, repertoire, range of composers with such different styles... And totally overcoming the slight handicap of being short of stature... It is almost a joke to put Yanni, Billy and Elton in the same category list wise. There should be two separate lists at least... We aren't talking about playing music you've composed yourself here, we are talking about playing the piano... I have huge respect for the others as musicians and performers and all are very good at the piano but they cannot begin to come close to Horowitz. Rubenstein maybe can... Rachmaninov maybe can... Serkin maybe can... But the others? I'm sorry... Get real.
There isn't enough time allotted on this planet for me explain how I still feel about Horowitz.
Tim Minchin to me is a stand alone genius when it comes to showcasing what connecting with a piano is truly all about... Forget his comedic nature, which I'm sure is a major factor in the dismissal of his true talent in many people's option, and why he is void of the true recognition he aptly is deserved of. I am usually a man of very few words, but on this occasion my pallet has been moistened. Please don't misjudge or indeed prejudge. Forget your purism and let your passion for the instrument guide you on this one. Tim is in no uncertain terms, a modern day genius.
I don't agree with all of his religious ways but the way he connects with music is just imaginable, he has to be one of the most respectable pianists.
I can't believe Tim Minchin was not on the list! Literally, listen to any single one of his songs and you will see the amazement that is, Tim Minchin.
Top 10 no doubt. The sophistication in his compositions put him right up there with Chopin for musical genius. The very young generation knows what it likes to hear fun touching music and go for mainstream. Those of us that have been around for a while know the difference between great entertainment (something that probably all pianists mentioned here can provide) and great music (that only a few have the true gift of composing and playing at the highest level).
Rachmaninov's tonality and perfect clarity earn him the number one spot on this list (in my opinion). I think that Joel and John are talented, but really shouldn't be close to the top 5. Yanni is talented, but again, he's no where near as talented as Rachmaninov.
Furthermore, Rachmaninov's command of theory and timing is impeccable. Additionally, as seen with his predecessor Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninov's use of theme and the changes thereof within a piece is so masterful it seems as if he is strategically making the audience feel a specific way, just so he can make them feel different later on.
Well... This pool shows only that mainstream music is dominating and that's why they vote for it. Of course, that Rachmaninov is the best pianist we can listen to...
What about Freddy? He himself said that he was always scared of playing piano in concerts, because of mistakes... What about Elthon John comparing for example Horowitz?..
It's common to hear Rachmaninov's music but rare to actually hear him play. Besides others, a recording exists of Servei playing The Star Spangled Banner.! The technical quality is awful. Nevertheless, the artistry is so great that it shines through the noise. In my humble opinion, Sergei Rachmaninov is the greatest pianist of all time.
lang lang wow is he good he puts his fingers on the key board and let his fingers float and make beautiful music!
This guy is pretty sweet, he shows emotion in such a unique way.
CNN said he is the most famous classical artist of all times. Beating out Pavarotti. CNN also said he is more famous than The Beatles. Don't take my word for it. Search for CNN's Lang Lang online.
He is by far the best pianist today!
Damn, how is he so low on this list?! Joplin's legendary!
(I actually listen to his music while I'm on TheTopTens)
Achieved sheer perfection in his works
The king of ragtime
Definitely one of my favourites, everybody loves his works, he deserves to be in the top tens at least, or even the eleventh
YIRUMA ALL THE WAY! HE SHOULD BE #1! There is no doubt in my mind that Yiruma is the best pianist of all time.
Why isn't he even on the first page? He should be at least in the top ten...
My all time favorite song is river flows into you.
Seriously... listen to it, it's so peaceful.
I love his work.
She's also hot (when she was younger of course)
She is a legendary pianist.
Why? She should be in the top 5!
One of the most gifted pianists of all time.
Richter--separating the superhuman from the great.
His playing abilities can only be compared to Horowitz and Rachmaninoff. He also had GREAT memorization and gave his heart to his music.
Huge repetoire, incredible technique along with great musicality. One of the greatest of all time.
He is the best pianist ever! His albums inspire all of his listeners, and bring such a joy to the world. I think he should be number one on this list! He is young, charming, and well rounded. My most favorite pianist ever. :-) Keep rocking it William!
I was so fortunate to have seen William Joseph in concert. His music takes us on this great emotional journey leaving us inspired and rejuvenated. He is a great pianist, composer, songwriter and a wonderful person. He started composing at the age of five. Some of the fan favourites are his Piano Fantasy, Within, Sweet Remembrance of You. His latest collection of beloved hymns is a masterpiece. His rendition of Asturias is by far the best I've heard. If you haven't heard him yet please do watch his videos on YouTube. He is legendary and he will be remembered for generations to come.
William Joseph is an amazing piano player! He is passionate about it and it shows! I love his albums! They are wonderful and bring my family and I so much happiness! Plus, he is an amazing man!
No one can hold a candle to William Joseph. He is a magnificent composer, pianist and human being. I feel blessed to have met and chatted with him.
Lennon is very good at piano, and I believe they’re equal in music overall between all the categories, but you have to give piano to Paul.
McCa is better is then Lennon I'm every way! You people are dumb for saying McCa is worse than Lennon. McCa should be top 5. Billie Joel's really good, too.
You should listen "Black Earth" performance.
He deserve to be in "TOP 10".
A Turkish pianist and composer born in Ankara, Turkey.
Absolutely the best. For those that placed Elton John, John Lennon, and Freddie Mercury ahead of Glenn Gould, what were you thinking?
His performances suggest he attained a musical understanding nearly equal to some of the greatest composers. One of the greatest, worthy of top 10.
For me, one of the best pianist
Most enjoyable to listen to regardless of type of music. Brought the classics to the masses
Liberace had lots and lots of talent. Besides who is still living who ever heard Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, etc. ever play to know how well they played. Their written music may have been good, but that just tells how well they composed music.
The one to listen to for any child dreaming of becoming great on the piano in the 1950's.
Amazingly talented and a great entertainer!