A pianist is a person who plays the piano.
A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an orchestra or smaller ensemble, or accompany one or more singers or solo instrumentalists.
A performing classical pianist usually starts playing piano at a very young age, some as early as three years old. Many well-known classical composers were able pianists themselves; for example, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Franz Liszt, Frederic Chopin, Robert Schumann, and Sergei Rachmaninov were all virtuoso pianists. Some pianists have special preferences as to which composer's music they play.
Most western forms of music can make use of the piano. Consequently, pianists have a wide variety of forms and styles to choose from, including jazz, classical music, and all sorts of popular music.
Well-known or influential classical pianists:
Well known popular music pianists :
See List of jazz pianists
Well known blues pianists include:
See the List of boogie woogie musicians
for more blues players.
Well known country piano pickers include:
- Owen Bradley, also a record producer
- Floyd Cramer, "Last Date"
- Mickey Gilley, Jerry Lee Lewis's cousin
- Jerry Lee Lewis, also rock and roll
- Ronnie Milsap
- Moon Mullican, "I'll Sail My Ship Alone"
- Charlie Rich
- Hargus "Pig" Robbins, legendary session player
- Fred Rose, also a music publisher
- Del Wood, "Down Yonder"
The Pianist is a 2002 motion picture that tells the story of how the Polish pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman miraculously survived the Nazi Holocaust of 1939-1945.
The term pianist was used during the Second World War to designate a spy using radio or wireless telegraphy to keep in touch with headquarters.