15 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Italian Pianists (2023)

Music historians regard Italian piano players to be some of the most influential musicians in the world. Throughout history, Italian piano players have stood out for their musical innovation and pioneering.

In this article, we’ll go over some of the most prominent and influential Italian pianists of all time. We’ll touch on their lives and work and explain why these individuals had such an impact on the world of music.

Table of Contents

1. Ludovico Einaudi

Ludovico Einaudi is regarded as one of the most important Italian pianists and composers of recent times.

He gained recognition early in his career for his classical compositions. Later, he dove into other genres and styles such as pop, rock, folk, and world music with his work being featured in multiple award-winning films and trailers.

Einaudi’s impact on mainstream pop culture is undeniable, and it’s why he is so inspirational to many people across the globe.

He continues to work and tour worldwide, showing off his amazing talents that are still changing the Italian music scene to this day.

2. Muzio Clementi

15 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Italian Pianists (1)

Clementi was an Italian-born English pianist and composer.

He was most famous for his series of piano sonatas. The impact of his sonatas is so great that he was nicknamed “Father of the Piano.”

He famously engaged in a piano duel with Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and the two were commonly considered rival pianists throughout their careers.

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Clementi’s legato-style music influenced some of the greatest pianists of all time, such as Ludwig Van Beethoven and Frédéric Chopin, among many others.

3. Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli began his formal study of music at the Milan Conservatory when he was only ten years old.

His passion for music never wavered, even when he studied medicine to appease his family’s wishes. Through his passionate ambition, he went on to be one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century.

Michelangeli was eccentric and often canceled performances if things were not exactly to his standards and specifications. His absolute inability to settle for anything less than perfection is considered one of the reasons he achieved such musical greatness.

4. Beatrice Rana

Beatrice Rana, born in 1993, is the youngest Italian pianist on our list.

Rana made waves by making her first orchestral debut at age 9, performing Bach’s Piano Concerto in F Minor. She later won first prize at the 2011 Montreal International Piano Competition.

This solidified her position in modern culture as one of the most prominent and exciting Italian pianists of our time.

She tours the world, allowing fans from all over to experience this modern legend.

5. Maurizio Pollini

Maurizio Pollini is well-known for his musical sophistication and integrity. Early in his career, he was inspired by left-wing politics and used his music as statement pieces in the Italian political climate.

He is most famous for his performances of compositions by Beethoven, Chopin, and Debussy. In these performances, Pollini is celebrated for his ability to accurately express the composer.

He has received many awards throughout his career, but one of the most noteworthy being the Grammy Award in 2007 for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance.

6. Romano Mussolini

Romano Mussolini, the youngest child of notorious dictator Benito Mussolini, achieved musical fame outside of his father’s shadow.

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Early in his career, he often played under an alias to avoid any association with his surname. He denounced his father’s anti-Semitic policies but did speak fondly of him as a father in his memoir.

Mussolini was an Italian jazz pianist but also had success as a filmmaker and painter. His melancholic playing style gained him widespread success in the world of pianists.

7. Maria Tipo

Maria Tipo gained fame and recognition at the young age of 17 when she won the Geneva International Piano Competition.

She played an impressive 300+ shows in North America in the late 1950s.

All praised her hard work and precision, but her reputation among other pianists was unmatched.

She is also a committed teacher who has taken on many students and given some significant master classes.

8. Ferruccio Busoni

Ferruccio Busoni was a pop culture icon of his time. He influenced and worked closely with many musicians, artists, and creatives of his time.

His skills as a pianist and composer paired with his intelligence catapulted him into fame.

He was renowned as a child prodigy and further proved his talents as an adult. His complex piano works shocked and amazed the world.

9. Gilda Buttà

Gilda Buttà of Sicily, Italy, graduated from the Conservatorio Musica Verdi Milano with the highest honors at only 16 years old.

She has success both as a soloist and in chamber ensembles working on many film soundtracks, and her music has had a clear influence on music in films.

Buttà also worked as a teacher, influencing the next generate of Italian youth.

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10. Alfredo Casella

15 Of The Greatest And Most Famous Italian Pianists (2)

Alfredo Casella had an undeniable influence on 20th-century Italian music. He was passionate about the study and revival of classic Italian music.

After his studies, Casella returned to Italy and founded the Italian Society of Modern Music.

The group played an integral part in the revival of interest in Italian music.

11. Renato Carosone

Renato Carosone was a popular Italian pianist of the later part of the 20th century.

He was from Naples and played traditional Naples music called canzone Napoletana. He was one of the first post-war Italian musicians to succeed in the US where he was able to tour and sell records.

In 1958, his song “Totero” hit the charts in the United States, becoming hugely popular with his other song Tu Vuò Fa’ L’Americano being another popular hit even to this day.

He retired soon after his peak in 1960 to relax and pursue painting.

12. Enrico Pieranunzi

Enrico Pieranunzi has a unique style where he combines classical elements with jazz.

He has recorded a staggering 60+ albums throughout his musical career.

At the beginning of his career, he worked as a music teacher before recording his music.

In addition to his impressive recordings and teaching, Pieranunzi also composed scores for films.

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13. Paolo Conte

Paolo Conte was an Italian pianist who successfully became a lawyer before achieving notoriety as a musician.

Conte’s songs have been used in both films and television.

His most noteworthy award came in 1999 when President Giorgio Napolitano gave him the Knight Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic for his musical achievements.

14. Elio de Angelis

One of the most interesting people on this list is ​​Elio de Angelis. He was not only a successful pianist, but he was also a professional Formula One race car driver.

There are stories of him playing the piano for his fellow Formula One drivers in their hotels.

Unfortunately, his musical and racing career was cut short in a tragic crash that led to his death in 1986.

15. Alessio Bax

Alessio Bax had an impressive start to his career, graduating from the Bari Conservatory at the astounding age of 14 years old.

He won first prize at both Hamamatsu International Piano Competition and the Leeds Competition.

These wins launched him to worldwide success.

He is renowned for his achievements as a recitalist, chamber musician, and soloist.

After his studies in Italy, he continued to study across Europe and then moved to the United States.

Bax is a Steinway Artist, who lives in New York, and is a faculty member of Boston’s New England Conservatory.

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FAQs

Who is the greatest pianists of all time? ›

The Six Best Pianists of All Time
  • Sergei Rachmaninoff. Born in Russia in 1873, Rachmaninov graduated from the Moscow Conservatorium in the same class as Alexander Scriabin. ...
  • Arthur Rubinstein. ...
  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. ...
  • Vladimir Horowitz. ...
  • Emil Gilels. ...
  • Ludwig van Beethoven.
4 May 2018

Who is the Italian pianist? ›

Ludovico Einaudi is regarded as one of the most important Italian pianists and composers of recent times.

Who is a famous pianist? ›

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Mozart is most famous for being a composer, and although he got an early start at that by creating music from the age of 5, he was also a virtuoso performer and also known as the child prodigy.

Who is the best pianist in the world right now? ›

Who Are Some Famous Pianists Today?
  • Mitsuko Uchida.
  • Lang Lang.
  • Marc-André Hamelin.
  • Pavel Zarukin.
  • Brad Mehldau.
  • Diana Krall.
  • Martha Argerich.
  • Yuja Wang.
23 Dec 2021

Who is the first pianist in the world? ›

Mozart could be considered the first "concert pianist" as he performed widely on the piano. Composers Beethoven and Clementi from the classical era were also famed for their playing, as were, from the romantic era, Liszt, Brahms, Chopin, Mendelssohn, Rachmaninoff, and Schumann.

Who is the world's best child pianist? ›

Lydian Nadhaswaram

Which country is famous for piano? ›

Despite the declining industry in the United States, the piano is one of the most popular instruments in the world and nowhere is it more popular than in China.

Who is the king of pianist? ›

Louis Moreau Gottschalk
Photograph by Mathew Brady (late 1850s–early 1860s)
BornLouis Moreau GottschalkMay 8, 1829 New Orleans, Louisiana, US
DiedDecember 18, 1869 (aged 40) Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
OccupationComposer pianist

Who is the fastest piano player in the world? ›

ABOUT. Peter Bence is an internationally acclaimed virtuoso pianist, recording artist, composer, and producer who holds the Guinness World Record for being the “Fastest Piano Player”.

What is the hardest piano piece? ›

'La Campanella', which translates as 'little bell', comes from a larger work – the Grandes études de Paganini – and is famous for being one of the most difficult pieces ever written for piano. The piece's technical demands include enormous jumps for the right hand played at an uncomfortably speedy tempo.

Who is the number one musical artist in the world right now? ›

Popularity rankingArtistFans tracking
01DrakeFans tracking: 4,696,614
02RihannaFans tracking: 4,696,068
03ColdplayFans tracking: 4,655,152
04EminemFans tracking: 4,610,381
92 more rows

What is the oldest piano song? ›

The earliest music definitely written and published specifically for the piano were twelve Sonate da cimbalo di piano e forte detto volgarmente di martelletti (Florence, 1732) by Lodovico Giustini (1685–1743), dedicated to Don Antonio of Portugal, uncle of Maria Barbara and another student of Scarlatti.

What is a master of piano called? ›

Technically, a Master pianist is the highest level of pianist, exceeded only by the title of Grandmaster (which is something of an isolated case). Examples would include Kissin, Volodos, Schiff, Lugansky, Berman, Ashkenazy, Berezovsky, Lang, etc.

Who owns the oldest piano in the world? ›

Sitting in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is the world's oldest piano. Dating from 1720, the piano was one of the earliest creations by Bartolomeo Cristofori, the inventor of the piano.

Who was considered greatest pianist of 20th century? ›

Sergei Rachmaninoff (Russia, 1873-1943) Regarded as one of the greatest pianists of the twentieth century, Rachmaninov had legendary technical facilities and rhythmic drive, and his large hands were able to cover the interval of a thirteenth on the keyboard.

Can a 2 year old play piano? ›

Some piano teachers can even start as early as 26 months! A young child will need help from you when practicing piano. This can be a special time of bonding with your child as they explore making music.

Can 4 year olds play piano? ›

The structure of a lesson and even your child's hand size could hold them back when they are too young. Instead, try to wait until your child is at least five years old to explore full lessons. Until then, encourage them to sing and sing with them.

What is a Grade 8 pianist? ›

Remember: Grade 8 is the equivalent of an A-Level. Those who received their professional training at a Music College at postgraduate level hold a Master of Music in Solo Piano Performance.

Is piano French or Italian? ›

Borrowed from Italian piano, short form of pianoforte.

What country has the most beautiful voice? ›

Norwegians have the most beautiful voices in the world. Their voices sound even better when they sing.

What do you call a female piano player? ›

noun. pi·​a·​nist | \ pē-ˈa-nist , ˈpē-ə- \

What do you call a person who loves playing piano? ›

pianist Add to list Share. If you play the piano, you are a pianist. The word most often describes a professional piano player, like a pianist in the symphony.

Who is the most difficult piano composer to play? ›

Ravel's Scarbo is considered one of the most fearsome virtuoso works in the piano repertoire. The composer is said to have written the piece in 1908 in a conscious attempt to out-difficult Balakirev's Islamey – then considered the hardest piece ever written for the keyboard.

What is the fastest piano song? ›

Lydian performed “Flight Of The Bumblebee” by composer Rimsky Korsakov, a song notoriously known for being difficult to play. He played the piece in three different speeds, 160 beats per minute, 280 beats per minute and 325 beats per minute. If playback doesn't begin shortly, try restarting your device.

Does playing piano help depression? ›

Studies show that time spent at the keyboard improves mental health: people who make music experience less anxiety, loneliness, and depression. Playing piano has also been shown to be a great source of stress relief, and provides ample opportunities to bolster self-esteem.

What is the easiest piano piece in the world? ›

9 easy piano pieces to get you started on keys
  • Beethoven: Für Elise. ...
  • Debussy: Clair de lune. ...
  • Mozart: Sonata No. ...
  • J.S. ...
  • Einaudi: Primavera. ...
  • Schumann: 'Einsame Blumen' from Waldszenen. ...
  • Beethoven: 'Moonlight' Sonata (I) ...
  • Satie: Gymnopédie No.
17 Aug 2020

What is the slowest piano piece? ›

Entitled "As Slow as Possible" (ASLSP), the composition by the late American composer John Cage is due to be played out over 639 years at the St. Burchardi church in Halberstadt in Germany.

What is the number 1 musical of all time? ›

The Lion King is the highest-grossing Broadway show of all time. Since its opening on Nov. 13, 1997, The Lion King has earned $1,539,318,552 and counting.

Who is the king of music in the world 2022? ›

English singer-songwriter Edward Christopher Sheeran is the top artist in 2022. 3. Who Is The Number One Artist In India? Arijit Singh is a musician and vocalist from India.

Who is the most famous female singer in the world? ›

1: Aretha Franklin

Topping our list of the best female singers of all time, Aretha Franklin also stands as the most-charting female singer in history. Starting out in the gospel choir at her Baptist church, in Detroit, Franklin began her career as a recording artist in 1960, aged just 18.

What is the most beautiful song played on piano? ›

12 Of The Most Beautiful Piano Pieces Of All Time
  • Ballade No. 1 – Chopin.
  • Les Adieux – Beethoven.
  • Italian Concerto – Bach.
  • Liebestraum – Liszt.
  • Fantasie in F Minor – Chopin.
  • Moment Musicaux No. 4 – Rachmaninoff.
  • Claire de Lune – Debussy.
  • Moonlight Sonata – Beethoven.
12 Jun 2022

What is that one piano song that everyone knows? ›

Beethoven's “Moonlight Sonata”

This song is made up of three movements, the first of which the most recognizable and popular. It is played pianissimo, which means very quietly, with a smooth moving triplet rhythm.

What is the most impressive song to play on piano? ›

The 15 greatest pop songs written for the piano
  • Gary Jules and Michael Andrews - 'Mad World' ...
  • Robert Miles - 'Children' ...
  • Alicia Keys - 'Fallin'' ...
  • Vanessa Carlton - 'A Thousand Miles' ...
  • The Beatles - 'Let It Be' ...
  • Billy Joel - 'Piano Man' billyjoelVEVO. ...
  • John Lennon - 'Imagine' johnlennon. ...
  • Elton John - 'Your Song' EltonJohnVEVO.
27 Mar 2020

Who is the king of pianists? ›

Gottschalk grew up in New Orleans and at the age of twelve was sent by his parents to study in Paris. There, tutored by Charles Hallé (founder of the Hallé Orchestra in England), Frédéric Chopin and Hector Berlioz, he was hailed as the “King of Pianists,” rivaling Franz Liszt and Sigmund Thalberg.

What is a master pianist called? ›

Master composers, pianists, cellists, guitarists, and conductors are often called maestros.

What is the number 1 hardest piano song? ›

'La Campanella', which translates as 'little bell', comes from a larger work – the Grandes études de Paganini – and is famous for being one of the most difficult pieces ever written for piano. The piece's technical demands include enormous jumps for the right hand played at an uncomfortably speedy tempo.

Who played the hardest piano song ever? ›

In many ways, Beethoven's Piano Sonata No. 29 more famously known as the Hammerklavier is the granddaddy of all difficult pieces for the piano.

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