The Most Popular Classical Music for Piano

Discover the most popular classical music for piano, perfect for studying or relaxing. These pieces have stood the test of time and remain some of the most beloved works in the classical repertoire.

The Classics

Anyone who has ever tried to learn the piano knows that it is not an easy task. You have to be patient, have determination, and most importantly, enjoy what you are playing. Classical music is the perfect genre for beginning piano students. The pieces are beautiful, challenging, and rewarding.


Bach is one of the most popular classical composers, and his music is still widely performed today. A skilled organist and composer of religious music, Bach wrote many pieces that are now considered keyboard classics. Popular works by Bach include The Well-Tempered Clavier, The Goldberg Variations, and the Toccata and Fugue in D Minor.


piano, Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67
Ludwig van Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67, was written between 1804 and 1808. It is one of the best-known compositions in classical music and one of the most frequently played symphonies. The first Movement Allegro con brio has a famously recognizable opening four notes, which are synonymous with Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony.


Chopin is one of the most popular classical composers of all time. His music is known for its expressive melodies and for its technical difficulty. Chopin’s compositions for solo piano include mazurkas, waltzes, nocturnes, etudes, impromptus, scherzos, preludes and sonatas. Many of his works have become staples of the standard piano repertoire and are frequently performed and recorded.


Claude Debussy was a French composer who is credited with helping to shape modern classical music. He is known for his unique and often dreamlike compositions, which often incorporate non-traditional musical elements. Many of his works are inspired by the natural world, literature, and the arts.

Debussy’s music is highly regarded for its innovative and expressive use of harmony, color, and form. He is considered one of the most important composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and his influence can be heard in the works of many subsequent composers.

The Romantics

The Romantic Period of classical music was from 1815-1910. The most popular Romantic composers were Frederic Chopin, Franz Liszt, and Johannes Brahms. The Romantics were known for their expressive and emotive music.


Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. His works span the Romantic musical spectrum, from the light and cheerful to the deep and introspective. In addition to being a celebrated composer, Brahms was an outstanding performer on both the piano and the violin. He is one of the most popular classical composers of all time, and his works are still performed regularly around the world.


One of the most popular classical music for piano is Liszt. His works are known for their technical difficulty, and he is considered to be one of the greatest pianists of all time. Franz Liszt was born in Hungary in 1811 and began studying piano at the age of six. He gave his first public performance at the age of nine, and by the age of 12 he had already composed his first piano piece. Liszt continued to concertize throughout his adolescence and early adulthood, eventually settling in Weimar, Germany, where he became court pianist to the Grand Duke Carl Alexander. It was during this period that Liszt wrote some of his most famous works, including his virtuosic showpiece “Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2” and the operatic fantasy “Les préludes.” In 1848, Liszt returned to Hungary to participate in the Hungarian Revolution; after its suppression, he moved to Rome and took vows as a Franciscan tertiary. He continued to compose religious music throughout the rest of his life, although he also wrote a number of secular works, such as his “Funerailles” piano sonata (1849) and the symphonic poem “Prometheus” (1850). Franz Liszt died in 1886 at the age of 75.


One of the most influential composers of the Romantic era, Robert Schumann was known for his highly expressive and lyrical piano music. Many of his works were inspired by literature, and his Fantasie in C is said to be a musical depiction of one of his favorite poems. He also wrote a number of shorter pieces, such as the Album for the Young, which remain popular today.


Piotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky was a 19th-century Russian composer who is best known for his symphonies, concertos and ballets. He composed some of the most popular classical music for piano, including The Seasons, The Nutcracker and Swan Lake.

The Moderns

If you are looking for some beautiful and relaxing classical music to play on the piano, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will be exploring the most popular classical music for piano. This list includes pieces from all different eras of classical music, so there is something for everyone. We hope you find something you enjoy!


Béla Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer, pianist and ethnomusicologist. He is considered one of the most important composers of the 20th century; he and Liszt are regarded as Hungary’s greatest composers (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.

Bartók was born in the small town of Nagyszentmiklós (now Sânnicolau Mare) in the Kingdom of Hungary, which was then part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. He began piano lessons at age four and played the violin from age seven. He soon began to compose small pieces for these instruments. When he was nine years old, his family moved to Budapest, where he continued his piano studies with Jeszenka Stefania, a former student of Franz Liszt, among others. At age eleven he gave his first public concert.

In 1899 Bartók wrote his first important work for orchestra, Kossuth emlékezete (Commemoration of Kossuth), which received critical acclaim at its premiere in 1902. Bartók studied composition with Hugo Kaun (composer) and Hans Koessler at the National Hungarian Royal Academy of Music in Budapest (today known as the Franz Liszt Academy). In 1903 Bartók wrote his ballet The Bluebeard’s Castle to a libretto by Béla Balázs; however, it was not performed until 1918 because its modernism was considered too radical for audiences at that time.


Prokofiev was one of the most popular classical music composers of the 20th century. He wrote music in a wide range of styles, from delicate piano pieces to massive orchestral works. His music was often highly theatrical, and he was known for his use of unusual rhythms and harmonies. Prokofiev was an important influence on many later composers, and his work remains popular today.


Rachmaninoff’s style is characterized by sweeping, emotionally charged melodies, rich harmonies and opioid effects. He liked using ‘the entire keyboard,’ as he put it, and was a very virtuosic pianist.

Some of his works are among the most popular in the romantic piano repertoire, such as the “Prelude in C-sharp minor”, “Piano Concerto No. 2” and “Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini”. Others explore his darker harmonic language, such as the “Sonata No. 2” and several of the Études-tableaux.


Igor Stravinsky was a Russian composer who is widely considered to be one of the most important and influential composers of the 20th century. He is known for his innovative and avant-garde style that challenged the traditional forms of music of his time. Among his most famous works are The Firebird, The Rite of Spring, and Petrushka.

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