History’s Most Talented Piano Players

To cover history’s most talented piano players and select only a handful is difficult since there have been so many gifted pianists throughout the ages.  There have been, however, a select few who have stood out among the rest simply because their gift of music, specifically as pianists, was almost not of this world.

Here are a few superb pianists who deserve to be considered humanity’s finest.

Ludwig Van Beethoven (1770-1827):

In a nutshell:  Beethoven was a German composer and pianist during the time when the world was transitioning between the Classical era (1730-1820 time-period) and the Romantic era (1815-1910 time- period).  In spite of losing his sense of hearing when he reached 26 years of age, Beethoven continued to play and compose.

You might not know:   Beethoven began studying music at the age of four and was very shy and quiet in school.  At the age of 16, Beethoven lived in Vienna, Austria and met, none other than, Mozart who became his instructor. 

Wolfgang Mozart (1756-1791):

In a nutshell:  Imagine a toddler only three years of age being able to play the piano—a real piano!  Though Mozart lived to be only 36 years old, he managed to compose more than 600 musical works and all of them are considered timeless masterpieces!

You might not know:  Mozart could play multiple instruments and at the tender age of 6, experienced his first European tour with his composer-father and musically-inclined sister.  Mozart and his sister played for European royalty in Germany, France, England and Switzerland to name a few.  A “first-grader” performing for kings and queens and other world rulers—imagine that!

Fredrick Chopin (1809-1849):

In a nutshell:  Chopin was from Poland and became a composer and exceptional pianist.  Chopin, like Mozart, was a child prodigy who became one of the most talented pianists within the Romantic music era.  Chopin’s compositions are, surprisingly, not difficult to learn; and many new piano students can learn to play Chopin’s work with relative ease.

You might not know:   Chopin was only nine years old when he made his first public appearance as a pianist.  Socially, Chopin was a quiet soul who spoke very little; and sometimes among strangers, uttered not a word.  But when his stunningly beautiful music was played, the quiet from his audiences became almost deafening!

Walter Wilhelm Gieseking (1895-1956):

In a nutshell:  This musical genius from Germany became one of the most sensational pianists and composers of all time.   Gieseking had an unusual habit of sitting for hours and hours in absolute silence.   Gieseking had the uncanny ability to play songs that swirled in his head and then play them with absolute perfection.  History tells us Gieseking never had to practice on a piano for any of his pieces!

You might not know:  Yet again, we have a very young talent, who at the age of four, started playing the piano without any formal instruction.  During WWII, Gieseking was accused of conspiring with the Nazi Party since he resided in Germany during the war and would play in Nazi-occupied countries at the time.  By January 1947, however, Gieseking was cleared of all charges by the US Government.

Josef Hoffmann (1876-1957):

In a nutshell:  Josef Hoffman was of Polish descent and became an exceptional pianist, composer and an inventor.  In fact, Hoffman worked with Edison to help produce the first musical recordings.  Not only that, but Hoffman recorded his first musical piece at the age of 12.

You might not know:  As a child-genius, Hoffman performed his first piano recital in Warsaw, Poland at the wee age of five years old.  As stated earlier, Hoffman worked with Edison, but did you know that Hoffman was an inventor in his own right?  He had over 70 patents for inventions including shock absorbers for cars and airplanes, a furnace that burned crude oil and a house that revolved with the sun, to name only a few!  

Arturo Benedetti Michelangeli (1920-1995):

In a nutshell:  Like other child prodigies before him, Italian-born perfectionist, Arturo Michelangeli,  began to master the piano by the age of three.   Miselangeli’s works and recordings were sheer perfection, so much so, that editing was almost a mute point since his pre-edited recordings were flawless.  Michelangeli came to be known as one of the most note-worthy pianists of the 20th Century.

You might not know:   Michelangeli was an obsessive perfectionist as a concert pianist and became a well-known music teacher and ended up marrying one of his pupils, Giulia Linda Guidetti.   Giulia shared a villa in Italy with her musical-genius husband, but rarely appeared in public with Arturo and, consequently, very few people even knew he was married!

So there you have it— a handful of musical geniuses who were gifted pianists and contributed musical works to a world that will never forget their talents and will remain ever-so grateful for the beauty their music adds to our lives!  You can also add your own music to your life by receiving lessons from Kenerly Music Studio.

As the associate administrator for a website advertising corporation, D. Holdeman works as a visiting poster so as to sustain corporations owned and operated in the U.S.A.. He works in L.A., and is soaking up the seasons with his godly lady and 3 munchkins. Daniel-son summons folks to survey his G Plus data when they can.