5 Famous Contemporary Pianists You Should Be Listening To

Beethoven and Mozart aren’t the only famous pianists you should be listening to! Contemporary pianists from all over the world are keeping beautiful music alive and interpreting it in new and exciting ways.

Listening to a variety of piano artists is a great way to stay inspired as a musician, so here’s our list of the top five contemporary and famous pianists that you should be listening to right now!

5 Famous Pianists to Add to Your Playlist

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 has been 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, this famous pianist studied piano at the St. Petersburg Conservatory in St. Petersburg, Russia.

His energy and flawless technique have made him 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 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 she turned 16. Marvel at this famous pianist, and her interpretation of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in C Major, below.

Each of these famous pianists bring their own special and unique 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, and that’s why we call it “art”! Which famous pianist would you add to the list? Leave a comment below!

HeatherLHeather L. teaches piano and more in St. Augustine, FL. She is a graduate of the prestigious Westminster Choir College in Princeton, New Jersey, and has performed with the New York and Royal Philharmonics. Learn more about Heather here!

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Photo by Richard Avedon

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3 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!

    Reply
  2. Henrik Nielsen
    Henrik Nielsen says:

    Hiromi Uehara ought to be on that list. I have everything by Diana Krall. She is one of the best at what she’s doing, but she doesn’t belong in the company of Argerich and Lang Lang. Hiromi does!

    Reply

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