If you are starting to learn piano or are even just thinking about it, let us give you a little nudge in the right direction. Here are five of the most epic piano playing personalities throughout history. Hear their music, read about their lives, and then just try and walk away from an opportunity to become even a hairsbreadth as colossal as them. That’s a challenge.
1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
Mozart was composing music by the time he was five years old, so that should give you some indication of the breadths and depths of his talent. The brilliant composer was responsible for bringing back late Baroque flavors, albeit with a new age twist. Mozart also introduced chromatic harmony, an innovative splash of sound and rhythm.
2. Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827)
Few people who have touched a piano chord don’t know about this piano legend. Beethoven was a German composer who introduced the world to epic symphonies, operas, and concertos. Also significant was Beethoven’s hand in transitioning musical eras from the classicism period to romanticism.
3. Franz Liszt (1811-1886)
Franz Liszt is famous for his remarkable talent on the piano, and was known as the greatest pianist of all times in the 1840s. Liszt will forever be memorialized for his contributions to music such as the symphonic poem, unusual and beautiful departures in harmony, and his thematic transformations. Liszt was the one who began transcribing music for the piano so players could learn different styles.
4. Myra Hess (1890-1965)
Myra Hess is another piano giant whose talent cannot go unnoticed by the avid beginner piano player looking for inspiration. Hess gained acclaim for her powerful renditions of Beethoven, Schumann, and Mozart, but she is also famous for organizing some 1700 concerts to keep up morale during the London Blitz. She was such a talented pianist that her skills spanned the genres covering a wide range of musical styles. Hess’ tenacity, passion, and dedication to the music has made her a legend long after her death.
5. Vladimir Ashkenzy (1937- )
Vladimir Ashkenzy is our youngest pianist on the list, but his talent is no less profound. Ashkenzy was born in Russia and started piano classes at the age of six. Throughout his career, he has played both solo and concerti performances. Some of his most memorable recordings include the complete works of Chopin, Schumann, and Rachmaninoff.
Piano Greats of Today
Of course, there are modern day musical magicians as well. Lang Lang, Marc-André Hamelin, and even Elton John play the piano like gods, and they’re not alone. The piano naturally lends itself to solo performances, so you can become a piano great without help from anyone else.
Take your musical talent to the next level, and who knows, maybe people will be writing about what you gifted to the world of music in another hundred years!