The piano is an important instrument in many forms of western music. It is a diverse instrument that can fit into any form of music. The world has seen many great pianists through time and most of them have given music a new definition through their exploits. Typically a pianist has a grip of many different styles and genres of music even if they specialize in one. Learning how to play the piano requires a lot of dedication through years of training. Most good pianists start off at a very early age and put in a good fraction of their lives into learning how to play the piano. Besides being a supporting instrument, the piano is also used to compose music in many different forms. Let us look at some of the most well known pianists that the world has known.
10. Alfred Cortot:
Alfred Cortot was one of the 20th century’s most respected and well known classical musicians. A well known composer and pianist, he specialized in recreating the great works of Chopin and others from the romantic period. He was born on 26th September 1877 and died on 15th June 1962. By 1907 he was already established as one of the best known pianists of the time and was also often travelling to play in many international shows.
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9. Emil Gilels:
Emil Gilels was a Ukraine born pianist who lived between 1919 and 1985. He was well known as one the greatest pianists of his time and is revered even today. He was born in soviet Russia which has given to the world many great piano players. He had no musical background and had started learning the instrument at the age of 5. He was well known in his time and has received many national and international honors for his playing.
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8. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli:
Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli was born in Italy in 1920 and died in 1995. He started off with music very early in his life at the age of 3 and initially started to play the violin but changed over top piano soon enough. He also began his career early as by the age of 18 he was already playing an international show. He won over several awards for his outstanding performance and impeachable technique. He was very specific about the way in which the instruments that he played on were used and had his own standards which could be upheld by none other than him.
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7. Walter Wilhelm Gieseking:
Walter Wilhelm Gieseking was a French pianist who was also heralded for his excellent compositions. Like most pianists, he also started out playing at a very early age but did not have any formal instruction initially. His first public appearance playing the piano was in 1915. He was always underrated despite the fact that he was able to make up his own styles of playing the piano.
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6. Fredric Chopin:
Fredric Chopin was a Polish composer who was born on the 1st of March 1810 and died on 17th October 1849. He is considered as one of the greatest influences on romantic compositions of all time. He was a child prodigy and by the age of 20 he had already composed many highly acclaimed works and although he died at a young age, he is still considered as one of the greatest masters of the piano to have walked this earth. His compositions are technically sound and have a depth about them that few can reproduce.
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5. Wolfgang Mozart:
Mozart is one of the un-omissible names when it comes to classical music. He has composed over 600 different works and most of them are amazing pieces of music. He is easily one of the most well known classical musicians of all time. He is a significant influence on all classical music that comes after his life and was also one of the major influences for well known composers like Beethoven. He did not live long and did not receive much acclaim while he was alive but he was recognized after his passing.
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4. Ludwig Van Beethoven:
The name of Ludwig Van Beethoven is known to every music lover on this planet. He was one of the most enigmatic music composers of all time and was born in Germany in 1770. One of the most startling things about him was that he was completely deaf in his later years but still managed to make some very captivating compositions. He had made a reputation for himself by the age of 20 as a virtuoso pianist and performed alongside most well known composers of his time.
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3. Vladimir Horowitz:
Vladimir Horowitz was a Russian born pianist and composer who was known for his exceptionally different style. He was born in September 1903 and lived till 1989 and in that time he was well respected as one of the greatest of the century. One of the things that he is known for is the tone color that he managed to use so well with his compositions. He performed his first solo at the age of 17 and never looked back from there.
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2. Josef Hoffman:
Josef Hoffman is known to the world as one of the greatest pianists to have walked the face of the earth and though many people disagree that there are others who were ahead of him. He existed in the era of great composers and they often managed to overshadow his talents. Only later when people delved deeper into his music did they come to find that he has more depth and genius than some of the worlds greatest. His contribution to music lives on through his compositions which have more in them than the greatest of composers of all time.
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1. Sergei Rachmaninoff:
Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian born pianist, composer and conductor. He is widely considered as one of the greatest pianists of all time by many people. All of his compositions were highly expressive and had many levels of depth that hardly anyone can reproduce. He always used his own skills as a performer to instill sense of expression in the music and was also a great instrumentalist who could take more out of an instrument than most people could manage. He was the last of Russian representatives of romanticism in an era when great Russian composers openly supported romanticism.