Pianists come in every shape and form and that makes it hard to really categorize them. Generally, there are classical pianists and modern or contemporary pianists. But there are also musicians that are pianists but are rarely ever seen behind a piano. Michael Jackson can play the piano and was one of the richest entertainers in the world, but he is not on this list. The all-time greats like Rachmaninoff, Chopin, even Vladimir Horowitz, and Louis Lortie, have been excluded from this list. This list contains 10 of the most active, most popular, and richest pianists (net worth values were taken from Celebrity Net Worth) in the world today.
China is often home to phenoms and musical geniuses and the piano is no different. This list features two Chinese piano players, both in the prime of their careers. Yuja Wang was born in Beijing and learned to play the piano at an early age of six, now she's touring Europe and has played for the people of Seoul, Tokyo, California, Lima, Bogota, and Houston.
Her classical music talents were honed in at these prestigious schools: the Philadelphia’s Curtis Institute of Music and Calgary’s Mount Royal University. Wang's calendar is packed with recitals, concerts, and performances every month through April 2020. Her net worth is $20 million and increases a hundred dollars per stroke of the ivory.
The title Messenger of Peace designated by the United Nations was one of the many achievements Lang Lang has made through his musical talent. He's been performing with orchestras in sold-out arenas since 1995 and has been seen in all kinds of performance formats, massive, big, or small, all over the world.
His passion extends to his philanthropic efforts to giving back music to schools worldwide and giving the children a chance at a decent musical career. He's appeared in TV shows, at the White House, and is undoubtedly one of the most influential musicians of this generation. Lang Lang's net worth is valued at $30 million.
In the nineties, there was probably not a piano player who knew or idolized Yiannis Chryssomallis. Everybody knows him as Yanni. He started his music career as rock group Chameleon's keyboard player, but that was just chapter one of his amazing music path. He went solo and released his first album in 1980, out of at least 12 studio albums and countless other concert albums through the 1990s and the present.
His best album is still probably Yanni Live at the Acropolis. This Greek-born pianist's net worth is $50 million, has sold millions of records and is scheduled to appear in Arizona, California, and Nevada this October, then China in November.
Little Daniel first learned piano from his mother. He was a kid from Argentina, born and raised in the capital city of Buenos Aires. By 1950, Daniel Barenboim's exposure to classical music and the piano has been unbelievable including his piano debut at Carnegie Hall in 1956.
He conducted professionally in 1969 and has since been known as a world-renowned music director, his resume included Paris, Berlin, and Chicago. He directs and conducts popular pieces from Beethoven, of course, Mozart, Bach, and Wagner, to name a few. His net worth is $50 million and is currently performing in his hometown of Buenos Aires.
We can all agree that Bruno Mars is no classical pianist, but he is definitely a total entertainer. He sings he dances, he plays various musical instruments including, of course, the piano. He even has a song where he hauls a piano throughout the whole music video!
Bruno Mars is one of this new generation's premier artists, a musician that writes his own songs and collaborates with almost every other musician out there, no matter the music genre. His net worth is $175 million and he's won at least 10 Grammys and was the fourth highest-paid musician in 2018 according to Forbes in Forbes Highest Paid Musicians 2018
Look for this man on every top ten list out there or even those all-time greatest lists, and it's almost a guarantee his name is in there somewhere, usually in the top ton or so. Bob Dylan is the quintessential definition of a music artist. He's been doing it since the 1960s, and you better believe that he's done it all, even play the piano.
He may not have had professional training with the piano (or any other musical instrument he plays) but it never shows whenever he performs. With a whopping $200 million net worth, Bob Dylan is certainly one of the richest pianists today. And here's another list where Bob Dylan's name shows up!
It would be a travesty to come up with a top ten list about pianists and not put The Piano Man on there. Well, this is not one of those articles because here comes Billy Joel at #4! Among his many, many awards are the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song by The Library of Congress (awarded in 2014), and a Grammy Legend Award bestowed in 1991.
Three of his most popular songs are "Uptown Girl," "Piano Man," and "We Didn't Start the Fire." With a net worth of $220 million, Forbes also ranked Billy Joel at #29 in 2018's highest-paid musicians.
Anyone who would say they have not heard the music of John Williams would be dead wrong. He is essentially the leading name in musical scores for films, especially the iconic box-office movies with the memorable instrumental music. Think Indiana Jones, Superman, and Jaws, all of these films employed the services of the legendary John Williams.
Most of his work is in movies of fellow legend, director Steven Spielberg. His musical genius is heard with the recent Star Wars films The Last Jedi and The Force Awakens. His net worth is $300 million and this value will only increase as long as people make and watch movies.
Sir Elton John may very well be the richest pianist slash musician slash singer today and arguably of all-time. Just look back at his collaborations with the biggest names in the music industry, fellow pianist Bob Dylan, Celine Dion, Lady Gaga, Sting, Ed Sheeran, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Forbes ranked Elton John as the 25th highest paid musician in 2018.
The England native was born Elton Hercules John, knighted in 1998, and is currently worth $500 million. Not unbelievable for the man who brought us such iconic songs like The Lion King's, "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" and "Candle in the Wind."
What John Williams is in the world of music and films is what Andrew Lloyd Webber is in the world of theater and musicals. The multiple award-winning composer, actually started with his first musical instruments, violin, French horn, and the piano, at a young age. He also started composing songs early (at age 9!) and could never seem to stop. His body of work includes Evita, Jesus Christ Superstar, The Phantom of the Opera, and Cats. Andrew Lloyd Webber's net worth is an astounding $1.2 billion. That's more than most Hollywood actors and producers are worth and is definitely cool enough to be named the richest pianist in the world.