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Top 10 living classical concert pianists? #2646963
05/25/17 02:46 PM
05/25/17 02:46 PM
Joined: Apr 2017
Posts: 66
California, U.S.
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CLM Piano Learner Offline OP
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Does anyone have a link to a ranking (top 10, top 20, etc) of living classical pianists? I realize any list like this would be extremely subjective, but what ranking of artists isn’t? ;-) Most pianist rankings I find online include non-living pianists or they include other genres of music – pop artists, jazz, etc. I’m only looking for classical pianists.

Also, feel free to include your own ranking!


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Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2646973
05/25/17 03:06 PM
05/25/17 03:06 PM
Joined: Nov 2009
Posts: 22,452
New York
Mark_C Offline
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Here's my list.
It wasn't very hard to come up with it, although if other people mention some other pianists I might agree that they should come in before some of the ones I mentioned.

BTW: I mostly mean this just according to general reputation, not by my own judgment, except to the extent that judgment inevitably is involved in perceiving general reputations. smile

Nor do I mean that the ones who are higher are necessarily "better" than ones who are lower. I'm talking about general reputations, including how well-known they are (which gives 'points' to someone like Lang Lang).

To be clear: It's not just according to how well known they are. Like, if it were, Lupu wouldn't be nearly that high, and Lang Lang would be much higher.

1 Martha Argerich
2 Evgeny Kissin
3 Alfred Brendel
4 Radu Lupu
5 Mauricio Pollini
6 Emanuel Ax
7 Mitsuko Uchida
8 Richard Goode
9 Lang Lang
10 Andras Schiff

edit: With the benefit of Who's list, I'd add Perahia (at #6) and move the others down a slot.

BTW, main difference between his list and mine, I think:
He's going younger, I'm going older.

.....and seeing the later posts:

I would definitely sneak Hamelin and Sokolov into the top 10.
Which would seem to leave out Lang Lang.

No can do. That would be ignoring "noted-ness."
On the other hand I can't see bumping any of those others out of the top 10.....some would feel OK bumping Uchida and/or Goode. I wouldn't.

Last edited by Mark_C; 05/25/17 06:16 PM.
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2646974
05/25/17 03:07 PM
05/25/17 03:07 PM
Joined: May 2008
Posts: 2,972
SE USA
WhoDwaldi Offline
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No particular order:

Pollini
Zimerman
Andsnes
Perahia
Brendel
Argerich
Trifonov
Grosvenor
Kissin
Pletnev

Apologies to anybody mispelled, dead, or a little too young (for such an accolade). ha


WhoDwaldi
Howard (by Kawai) 5' 10"
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2646991
05/25/17 04:08 PM
05/25/17 04:08 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 19
Boston
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Boston
Here's my list (not in order):

-Marc Andre Hamelin
-Sergei Babayan
-Daniil Trifonov
-Maurizio Pollini
-Krystian Zimerman
-Martha Argerich
-Murray Perahia
-Mitsuko Uchida
-Evgeny Kissin
-Stephen Hough

Though, I think if I were to make a list of the 10 greatest living pianists in terms of technique, my list would be quite different.

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647013
05/25/17 05:00 PM
05/25/17 05:00 PM
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wr Offline
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Only ten? Oh, well, here's a list of that many, culled pretty randomly from a much larger, unranked group of names that come to mind when I think of classical pianists who I think are usually worth hearing (and that's about as far as I want to go with the ranking and rating thing) -

Uchida
Aimard
Goode
Pletnev
Haefliger
Freire
Osborne
Serkin
Ax
Lupu

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647021
05/25/17 05:19 PM
05/25/17 05:19 PM
Joined: Nov 2007
Posts: 9,063
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wr Offline
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Of course, as soon as I had posted a list of ten, I thought of ten more that could just as easily have been on my first list -

Argerich
Ohlsson
Denk
Sokolov
Sudbin
Zimerman
Levit
Andsnes
Mustonen
Bavouzet

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647028
05/25/17 05:39 PM
05/25/17 05:39 PM
Joined: Aug 2016
Posts: 338
East Coast, USA
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Hamelin
I am not sure of the others, they all have their areas where they shine, but I have to put Hamelin first, his technique is fantastic, and he never shies away from performing something totally unheard of, and when he does, I have never ran across a recording where I felt it was a bad interpretation.


I now have a signature.
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647029
05/25/17 05:48 PM
05/25/17 05:48 PM
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I dislike the designation "Top 10" (reminds me of pop charts.....). Therefore my list is of the ten pianists I'd make an effort to go to listen, live in concert:

Mikhail Pletnev
Krystian Zimerman
Lang Lang
Benjamin Grosvenor
Maurizio Pollini
Martha Argerich
Grigory Sokolov
Daniil Trifonov
Andrei Gavrilov
Sergio Tiempo

What they have in common is that their playing styles are all individualistic and immediately recognizable, and they are all great technicians. Boring Urtext pianists and technicians with no individuality don't get into my list.

I want to hear music (great or not-so-great) played with great panache, as well as poetry and plenty of dazzle where appropriate. I really don't care if they cross all the t's or dot all the i's or observe all the markings that are indicated in the score, or whether they use the latest scholarly Urtext edition. I want to hear pianists who have the courage of their convictions, even if (especially if) they provoke as well as enthral in equal measure. Classical music is for the here and now, not for museum curators, and I only visit museums to see the dinosaurs, who are tone deaf (so I've heard....... wink ).


"I don't play accurately - anyone can play accurately - but I play with wonderful expression. As far as the piano is concerned, sentiment is my forte. I keep science for Life."
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647062
05/25/17 07:41 PM
05/25/17 07:41 PM
Joined: Feb 2015
Posts: 1,654
Warsaw, Poland
Qazsedcft Offline
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Barenboim is not on anyone's list?


[Linked Image]
Working on:
Mozart Sonata in G major, K. 283
Moszkowski Etude op. 91 no. 18
Chopin Nocturne in C-sharp minor, op. posth.
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647066
05/25/17 08:01 PM
05/25/17 08:01 PM
Joined: May 2017
Posts: 44
NYC
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NYC
Zimerman
Argerich
Volodos
Pollini
Perahia
Ranki
Blechacz
Yundi Li
Kissin
Uchida

My choice for the best living in no particular order.

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647069
05/25/17 08:11 PM
05/25/17 08:11 PM
Joined: Feb 2013
Posts: 965
Miguel Rey Offline
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Vladamir Ashkenazy ( can't believe not mentioned!)
Evgeny Kissin
Grigory Sokolov
Ivo Pogorelich
Krystian Zimerman
Benjamin Grosvenor
Andras Schiff
Nikolai Lugansky
Maurizio Pollini
Nelson Freire
Murray Perahia


So many others that I really enjoy that are underrated and didn't benefit from youtube and marketing.

Last edited by Miguel Rey; 05/25/17 08:12 PM.



Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647070
05/25/17 08:13 PM
05/25/17 08:13 PM
Joined: May 2012
Posts: 6,177
JoelW Offline
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Even though he's insane today, I'd add Pogorelich.

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: XenondiFluoride] #2647076
05/25/17 08:40 PM
05/25/17 08:40 PM
Joined: Dec 2016
Posts: 19
Boston
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17curleyj Offline
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Boston
Originally Posted by XenondiFluoride
Hamelin
I am not sure of the others, they all have their areas where they shine, but I have to put Hamelin first, his technique is fantastic, and he never shies away from performing something totally unheard of, and when he does, I have never ran across a recording where I felt it was a bad interpretation.



I just saw Hamelin in concert ~ 3 weeks ago and it was an amazing experience. He displayed such a range of colors, which, coupled with his near unparalleled technique, made for a very memorable night. And, as you mentioned, he performed a Feinberg sonata ( a composer I'd never heard of) which ended up being one of my favorites of the night.

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: Qazsedcft] #2647086
05/25/17 09:10 PM
05/25/17 09:10 PM
Joined: Nov 2006
Posts: 9,392
Pacific Northwest, US.
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argerichfan Offline
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Originally Posted by Qazsedcft
Barenboim is not on anyone's list?

No.

But this is all merely personal opinion, and you're welcome to submit a list with his name on it if you feel he belongs amongst the other stellar names mentioned here. wink


Jason
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647165
05/26/17 05:51 AM
05/26/17 05:51 AM
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Estonia
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Estonia
1. Argenev
2. Pletnich
3. Katsarov
4. Sokoris
5. Voloduev
6. Matsos
7. Grosvenof
8. Trifonor
9. Kissiner
10. Goernin

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647174
05/26/17 08:21 AM
05/26/17 08:21 AM
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Posts: 111
Southern New Jersey
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Hank M Offline
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My list is based on a single, subjective factor: If this pianist is performing in my area, I would go to this concert, no matter what the program. So here's my list, in no particular order:

Argerich
Hamelin
Kissin
Ax
Yuja Wang
Zimerman
Schiff
Perahia
Volodos
Friere

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: Hank M] #2647293
05/26/17 02:11 PM
05/26/17 02:11 PM
Joined: Jan 2014
Posts: 3,542
California
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California
Originally Posted by Hank M
My list is based on a single, subjective factor: If this pianist is performing in my area, I would go to this concert, no matter what the program. So here's my list, in no particular order:


That's a good way to measure it.


Poetry is rhythm
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: Hank M] #2647449
05/26/17 09:37 PM
05/26/17 09:37 PM
Joined: Feb 2017
Posts: 135
Western New York State, USA
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P3T3R Offline
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Originally Posted by Hank M
My list is based on a single, subjective factor: If this pianist is performing in my area, I would go to this concert, no matter what the program. So here's my list, in no particular order:

Argerich
Hamelin
Kissin
Ax
Yuja Wang
Zimerman
Schiff
Perahia
Volodos
Friere


I agree with both your method and most of your list. I don't know Friere - time to do some research.


Peter
1949 Baldwin M
currently working on Brahms op. 10 Ballades, f-minor sonata and 2nd concerto
Mendelssohn Songs Without Words and E minor Prelude and Fugue
whatever strikes my fancy today.
Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: P3T3R] #2647478
05/27/17 01:07 AM
05/27/17 01:07 AM
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wr Offline
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Originally Posted by P3T3R


I agree with both your method and most of your list. I don't know Friere - time to do some research.


To search, you'll need the correct spelling - it's Freire. It's a weirdly hard spelling to remember, I think - I always have to check. His first name is Nelson.

His Brahms 2nd concerto recording is one of the best, IMO.

Re: Top 10 living classical concert pianists? [Re: CLM Piano Learner] #2647501
05/27/17 03:58 AM
05/27/17 03:58 AM
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Posts: 246
Sweden
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How very pointless. Music is art, not sports. You can rank sports stars according to their competition results. You cannot rank musicians, just as little as you can rank paint artists, chefs or moms.

From all the pianists I've heard in live performances, these totally blew me away:

Per Tengstrand
Leslie Howard
Murray McLachlan
Peter Donohoe
Zlata Cochieva
Noriko Ogawa

From video clips and recordings I also have loved these:
Michail Pletnev
Daniel Barenboim
Daniil Trifonov

I'm gonna see Sokolov in concert in a few weeks, maybe I will add him on the list too after that.

I know I have left out some "obvious" names from the list above, but they have not made a very lasting impression on me. There are lots of pianists who are very, very good and have a wonderful technique and flawless interpretations, etcetera, but I don't feel the magic in the air. What is "magic", then? Well, it is impossible to describe, you just know it when you hear it. And it is not there just because a certain someone is a famous name. It has to be a personal experience for me.

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