A pianist (/'piənɪst/) is a musician who plays the piano. A professional pianist can perform solo pieces, play with an ensemble or orchestra, or accompany one or more singers, solo instrumentalists, or other performers.
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 also virtuoso pianists including: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Frédéric Chopin, Franz Liszt, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Robert Schumann, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy, Carl Maria von Weber, Charles-Valentin Alkan, Johannes Brahms, Ferruccio Busoni, Anton Rubinstein, Alexander Scriabin, Sergei Prokofiev, Dmitri Shostakovich.
Most western forms of music can make use of the piano. Consequently, pianists have a wide variety of repertoire and styles to choose from, including jazz, classical music, and all sorts of popular music.
Below is a list of well-known or influential contemporary pianists of different genres: