Wikipedia’s 100 top classical pianists

Wikipedia’s 100 top classical pianists


norman lebrecht

August 18, 2016

We have been sent a list of the 100 most searched classical pianists on Wikipedia, the global reference site. Since the site lists every musician who ever touched a keyboard as a pianist, it’s not suprising that Mozart comes first with an average 5,631 searches a day, Beethoven second with 4,668 and Chopin third with about half as many.

The big eye-opener is who comes fourth. It’s John Cale, one of the founders of Velvet Underground and about as classical as Johnny Rotten.

5 Gershwin

6 Liszt

7 Stravinsky

8 Ludovico Einaudi, the icy Italian minimalist

einaudi cold


9 Herbie Hancock

10 Leonard Bernstein, averaging 1,077 searches a day

11 Rachmaninov

12 Shostakovich.

No one else tops 1,000 searches a day.

The findings, collated over viewings in the past two weeks, suggest that Wikipedia needs to tighten up its search criteria to define what is classical and what is a pianist. Among other personalities listed are Samantha Bentley, an English porn star (421 views) and Mark Rutte, Dutch prime minister (338). It may be safely assumed that those searching their names on Wikipedia are not planning to book them for a Liszt concerto.

From the above data, we have compiled a mini list of professional concert pianists still alive and playing. Click here for thrills and spills.




  • Nick says:

    I for one absolutely cannot believe Stravinsky, Bernstein and Shostakovich are searched for their pianistic abilities!