Today's 12 Best Pianists You Should Know (2023)

This list of modern pianists includes artists who rose to fame in the late 20th or early 21st centuries. Some are much younger than others, but what they all have in common is that they are advanced, forward-thinking musicians.

These pianists are trendsetters who have influenced or will influence new generations of pianists. If you don't already know them, you should.

These are the top modern pianists you should know about:

Cory Henry

Today's 12 Best Pianists You Should Know (1)

Cory Henry is an American multi-instrumentalist who rose to fame as a member of a Grammy-winning groupBad Puppy. He was a child prodigy growing up playing the church organ, and his gospel roots can still be heard in his playing.

His main instruments are piano, organ and synthesizer, but he is also a very talented drummer. He's had a few moments in his career that have garnered worldwide attention, most notably his keyboard solo on Snarky Puppy's "Lingus."

Since Snarky Puppy he has collaborated with countless artists, toured with his band Cory Henry and the Funk Apostles and worked on solo projects. Whether he plays jazz, R&B, soul or funk, his musicianship is impressive.

Check out this video of Cory Henry performing live in Los Angeles

Jacob Collier

Today's 12 Best Pianists You Should Know (2)

Jacob Collier is a young British pianist who may inspire you to learn the piano, or inspire you to give up; he is so talented. Like many on our list, Jacob is a multi-instrumentalist, but he's so gifted it's hard to tell which instrument is his first (piano, bass, drums, guitar, to name a few).

As teenagers, they stood up for himThe legendary Quincy Jones, and its popularity has grown every year since. He rose to fame on YouTube with his Grammy-winning arrangements of Fascinating Rhythm and The Flintstones Theme.

He is known for his endless pursuit of knowledge and passion for harmony (and negative harmony). His enthusiasm for learning makes him one of the best pianists of our time.

Watch this video of Jacob Collier's live performance in Lisbon

Robert Glasper

Today's 12 Best Pianists You Should Know (3)

Robert Glasper is a multiple Grammy award-winning pianist known for pushing creative boundaries. His work with the Robert Glasper Experiment received critical acclaim and his solo performance at Capitol Studios was hailed as a masterpiece.

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Robert Glasper draws inspiration from jazz icons like Thelonious Monk to hip-hop legend J Dilla. He hasfearless playstylethat pushes the boundaries of tension/relaxation in harmony and frequently uses J Dilla/D'Angelo's drunken-feeling playing. If he wants to be more traditional, he can also swing like crazy.

Glasper is one of the most respected pianists in the business today, so much so that he was commissioned to recreate some of Miles Davis' previously unsupervised recordings for the album.Everything is nice.

Check out this video of Robert Glasper performing at Capitol Studios

Diana Krall

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Diana Krall might come as a surprising addition to our list for some readers, but you just need to know one thing: she was tutored and mentored by none other thanthe legendary Oscar Peterson.

Despite her success, we feel that her playing skills are still not fully recognized. If you want to swing there is no better mentor than Peterson and you will be hard pressed to find someone today who can swing like Diana Krall.

Like Peterson, her style is heavily influenced by blues music. WITHfantastic voiceIn line with this, Diana Krall has found her very own, unique sound. She is one of the few people today who combines this level of playing with a voice made for the American Songbook.

Check out this video of Diane Krall performing live in New York

Brad Mehldau

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Brad Mehldau is a contemporary pianist who can be considered a pioneer in this fieldpost-bop movement. With his game he is a legitimate connection to previous masters and shares this with new generations.

He is critically acclaimed as a solo pianist and as a composer of his trio and larger groups. his albumhighway driveris a modern masterpiece.

One of the things Brad is best known for is hiscontrapuntal improvisation. With this technique, you forget about the left-hand chords and focus on moving the individual notes.

Many pianists use walking bass lines when playing solo, but this is different; it's totally free. His ability to completely separate each hand is unmatched, making him one of the finest pianists alive.

Watch this video of Brad Mehldau performing at TivoliVredenburg

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George Duke

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Unfortunately, George Duke is no longer with us and we have lost a true great. We added him to our list because he...had a big impactto countless aspiring pianists.

Duke is a multi-instrumentalist and producer with a background in jazz but is perhaps best known for funk, fusion and rock.

Very early in his career he played with the big band Cannonball Adderley. His most significant period, however, was when he joined Frank Zappa's group Mothers of Invention. He was a core member of Zappa's band and set the bar for technical skill and creative freedom.

George Duke was a pioneer who made the most complex things look simple, always with a big smile on his face.

Watch this video of George Duke's performance at the 2010 Java Jazz Festival

Jon Batiste

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Jon Batiste is a young American pianist and band leader praised for his musical ability. He is a multi-instrumentalist but is best known for his piano and melody playing. In fact, his rendition of "Amazing Grace" on the melodica is one of the best you'll see.

He gained notoriety as a band leader and music directorThe Late Show with Stephen Colbert. While this position has provided him with a platform, it doesn't fully reflect the depth of his immense talent.

Luckily for us, Jon Batiste has made progress in his solo career in 2021 and has performed in more than 40 countries so far.

Check out this video of Jon Batiste appearing for the CBS morning show

Marta Argerich

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82-year-old Martha Argerich could easily do thatList of our greatest pianists of all time. Instead, we decided to save it for this model because it still offers revolutionary performance today. She is without a doubt the right onethe best classical pianisttoday and undoubtedly the greatest living pianist.

As a classical pianist there are certain milestones that only the best can aspire to; Marta has reached them all. Born in Argentina, the virtuoso has performed with almost all of America's leading orchestras. As a soloist, she sold out Carnegie Hall and received recognition from the Kennedy Center.

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Even at her current age, the energy and passion she puts into every performance is breathtaking.

Watch this video of Martha playing Prokofiev's Piano Concerto

Tigran Hamasjan

Today's 12 Best Pianists You Should Know (9)

Tigran Hamasyan, born in Armenia, is a young jazz pianist who played his first song at the age of three. At the age of six, Tigran attended a specialized music school, which he dreamed of becomingfamous guitarist.

Luckily he later decided to play the piano, although you can hear itImpact of metal/rockof his guitar dreams in his playing/composition.

Tigran is a very rhythmic and melodic pianist and aspiring pianists can learn a lot from his style. A technique he frequently uses on solo piano is to play a delicate ostinato chord pattern with the left hand while the right hand is split between playing the melodies and playing the bass lines below. He is undoubtedly a talent and a future champion.

Watch this video of Tigran performing at the Cité de la Musique in Paris

Lang Lang

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Lang Lang is probably the most famous classical musician today and the ultimate modern classical pianist.

The Chinese pianist became interested in the instrument when he was just two years old after being inspired by oneTom JerryAnimated film (“The Cat Concert”). He began learning the piano at the age of three and won his first competition at the age of five.

Lang Lang's career has not been without its setbacks and criticisms. When he was nine, his piano teacher told him he wasn't talented enough and kicked him out of the studio where he was studying.

He is also accused of being too commercial, but musically he continues to go his own way. What no one can question is his outstanding gaming skills.

Watch this video of Lang Lang playing Chopin's Waltz No. 1

Jesus Molina

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Jesús Molina is a Colombian pianist whose videos have garnered millions of views on YouTube. He is also a prolific musician and represents some big brands likeNord keyboards.

The reason we added it to our list is thanks to himimmense physical technique. He has an encyclopaedic knowledge of harmony, melody and the application of music theory. However, what sets him apart from others is that he can even play things like thatgreat pianistsfind it too physically demanding.

If Art Tatum were alive today and playing Nord Stage 4, he would probably sound like Jesús Molina.

Check out this video of Jesus Molina's performance at NAMM 2023

Domi Louna

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DOMi is a 23-year-old superstar in the making. The French keyboardist is already one of themthe most famous pianistin todays world.

She gained widespread attention online when a video was uploaded to YouTube of DOMi, then 17, reading a very complex solo by Cory Henry. At this point her talent was clear and the next chapter was about how she would develop further.

She is one half of the jazz duo DOMi & JD BECK, where she continues to make the rules with her unique style.

DOMi is an inspiration to young pianists around the world, especially women. She is equally inspirational with her talent and confidence in expressing herself.

Check out this video of DOMi and JD BECK performing at the Nord Live Sessions


We've tried to highlight the pianists who we believe can have the greatest impact on the aspiring musician. So these names on our list aren't just based on technical ability here; They are here because we can learn a lot by listening to them.

As with any list, there are some worthy contenders that didn't make it, and we encourage you to listen to as much music as possible.

Understanding how and why others sound the way they do makes it easier for you to create your own unique sound.


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4. This is how much you should practice every day...
5. 14 Exceptional Classical Pianists in Their 20s
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6. 10 BEAUTIFUL piano pieces you WANT to learn TODAY! (Or in 2020)


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