Who is your favorite pianist?

12/15/2013 9:50 am

pianists

Who inspired you to play piano in the first place?

This is probably a better question to ask before we get to our main question because usually our inspiration for playing piano in the first place has a high place on our list for favorite pianists. I came into piano by chance in high school when I was given the choice between taking an art class or a music class. I chose music because I had grown up around art all my life since my father was a painter and my talent for painting was, let’s just say, arguable at best. Nothing to write home about for sure. So I went with music and my life was changed. As I began playing and practicing more and more and discovering the world of music and piano specifically, I was drawn to many pianists.

On the classical side, I was a fan of Vladamir Horowtiz, Claudio Arrau and Ignacy Jan Paderewski. There were many others but the interpretations of these three caught my attention over and over again, especially Horowitz. When it came to Jazz, I gravitated towards Chick Corea, Herbie Hancock and Michel Camilo. Camilo was not only an amazing Jazz pianist, but very influential in Latin Jazz and his playing is absolutely mind boggling to watch. Check his stuff out for sure.

One piece of advice to any aspiring pianists that I always give is to listen to as many pianists as possible and as many styles as you can. You will be amazed at how versatile the piano is and when you hear these masters play, it will open up your possibilities to what can be accomplished on the piano.

When it comes to pop/rock piano, there are many to choose from but some of my favorites are Billy Joel, Chris Martin from Coldplay, Sara Bareilles and Tori Amos. In pop/rock piano, you typically won’t find the technical level displayed by other genres but the songwriting by some of these artists is wonderful. Below is a list of some pianists that I think would be great to listen to in order to continue to get inspired on your journey to becoming a great piano player. The list is by no means exhaustive and would love to hear some other choices you may want to include.

So the big question for today is: Who is your favorite pianist?

Pop.Rock/Contemporary

Chris Martin
Elton John
Sara Bareilles
Tori Amos
Norah Jones
Jamie Cullum
Brian Eno

Classical

Vladamir Horowitz
Lang Lang
Martha Argerich
Claudio Arrau
Arthur Rubenstein

Blues, Jazz & Latin

Michel Camilo
Gonzalo Rubacalba
Chick Corea
Herbie Hancock
Oscar Peterson
Bill Evans
Count Basie
Duke Elleington