5 Contemporary Pianists You Should Be Listening To

Mitsuko Uchida – http://www.allmusic.com/artist/mitsuko-uchida-mn0002172392/biography, photo by Richard Avedon

Beethoven and Mozart aren’t the only famous pianists you should be listening to! Here, St. Augustine, FL teacher Heather L. shares her recommendations for contemporary piano players to check out… 


The world’s getting smaller. Everything is global now. One great benefit is that the world gets to share music in ways that have never been seen before. Contemporary pianists from all over the world are keeping beautiful music alive and interpreting it in new and exciting ways. Listening to the piano is not only fun, but it’s a great way to feed yourself as an artist. Here’s a list of five contemporary and famous pianists that you should be listening to.

Lang Lang

Born in China, Lang Lang began playing the piano at the age of two, studying with a college professor at three, and won a regional piano competition at five. Now he performs and teaches globally, and is one of the most famous pianists in the music world. His intuition and sensitivity is clearly evident in his playing. Here’s Lang Lang’s “Ave Maria”.

Mitsuko Uchida

Born near Tokyo and raised in Europe, Mitsuko Uchida has built an amazing career of performance, scholarship, and conducting. She has appeared with the world’s best orchestras and honored with numerous awards. Below is her interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto no. 4 in G major. Notice her incredible attention to detail, especially dynamics and texture.

Pavel Zarukin

Now an elementary music teacher, Dr. Pavel Zarukin studied piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia. His energy and flawless technique have made him into a well-respected figure in the world of piano.

Diana Krall

Said to be the best-selling jazz artist alive, Diana Krall is a Canadian singer, songwriter, and pianist. Take note of her careful and thoughtful touch on the keys in this unexpected rendition of the Mamas and the Papas classic “California Dreamin'”.

Martha Argerich

Considered one of the greatest pianists of the latter part of the 20th century, Martha Argerich was born in Buenos Aires to Spanish and Russian-Jewish parents. She won two big piano competitions the year that she turned 16. Below is her moving interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major.

All of these artists may play the piano, but each of them brings his or her own special specific talents to the keys. A couple are sensitive and intuitive, others are clean and technical. Perhaps the greatest benefit of listening to many famous pianists is learning that we’re all different when we play. That’s why they call it art.

HeatherLHeather L. teaches singing, piano, acting, and more in St. Augustine, FL, as well as through online lessons. She is a graduate of the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and has performed with the New York and Royal Philharmonics, the New Jersey and Virginia Symphonies, the American Boy Choir, and the internationally renowned opera star Andrea Bocelli. Learn more about Heather here!



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2 replies
  1. Amber
    Amber says:

    I enjoyed listening to each of these artists. As a huge Mozart, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Grieg fan, these artists will make a great addition to spice up my playlist. Thank You!


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