The Pianote Awards recognizes outstanding keyboard musicians across a multitude of styles, genres, and platforms. Artists are shortlisted by Pianote and winners are voted in by the global piano community.

Pianist Of The Year

Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste is a creative powerhouse who’s made a name as a pianist, composer, singer-songwriter, and media personality. He’s probably best known as the Academy Award-winning composer of the soundtrack to Soul (2020). In 2023, Batiste received 6x nominations for the 66th GRAMMYs, 2x nominations at the SCL (Society of Composers and Lyricists) Awards, and was featured in his own documentary American Symphony. Batiste also collaborated with artists like Lil Wayne, Kenny G, and Lana del Rey on his 2023 album World Music Radio.

Pop Pianist Of The Year

Jemma Heigis

A Roland Global Artist, keys player Jemma Heigis is accomplished both online and in traditional concert venues. In 2023, she toured with Karol G and played on coveted shows like Saturday Night Live and Tiny Desk. Heigis also hit 2.1 million views on her viral Bruno Mars “Chunky” reel.

Classical Pianist Of The Year

Yuja Wang

One of today’s most popular pianists, Yuja Wang is as beloved for her charismatic style as much as her virtuosic playing. In 2023, Wang’s album The American Project was nominated for a GRAMMY. She also played a marathon 4.5-hour concert of all four Rachmaninoff piano concertos plus “Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini” at Carnegie Hall. Wang appeared at the BBC Proms, in a Hunger Games soundtrack, and her virtuosity was highlighted in a video by music commentator Rick Beato.

Jazz Pianist Of The Year

Cory Henry

Best known for his work with jazz supergroup Snarky Puppy, Cory Henry continues a lucrative career in 2023. He performed a Stevie Wonder tribute at the BBC Proms and his 2023 album Live at the Piano was nominated for a GRAMMY in Best Alternative Jazz Album. Henry also appeared in BJ the Chicago Kid’s “Forgot Your Name” and BLK ODYSSY’s “ADAM & EVE.” Henry has mentioned that 2023 was his last year touring for a living.

Contemporary Pianist Of The Year

Jordan Rudess

Renowned as the "Best Keyboardist of All Time" by Music Radar Magazine, Jordan Rudess wrapped up the Dream Theater Dreamsonic tour in 2023 and recorded his solo album, which will be released on Sony Inside Out September 2024. A pioneer technologist with a focus on state-of-the-art keyboard controllers and music apps, Rudess also began a collaboration on an AI interactive project as Visiting Artist Lab at MIT’s Media Lab in the Responsive Environments group.

TikTok Pianist Of The Year

Margarita Sipatova

Margarita Sipatova has just under a million followers on TikTok. A classically trained pianist who performs covers and livestreams, the production value of her videos is uniquely high for a fast-paced social media platform. A consistent and prolific uploader, Sipatova had several million+ view videos in 2023. She is also an opera singer!

Instagram Pianist Of The Year

Justin Lee Schultz

Multi-instrumentalist Justin Lee Schultz, 16, enjoyed a very busy year! He performed at NAMM 2023, played with the Dave Koz & Friends Christmas Tour, appeared in the JAZZIZ Editors’ Choice weekly column, was invited to join the Recording Academy (GRAMMYs) 2023 New Member Class, and released an album: Just In the Moment.

YouTube Pianist Of The Year

Lord Vinheteiro

With over 7.1M subscribers, Lord V is one of the internet’s most famous pianists and musical comedians. He is “the biggest piano related YouTube channel in the world” (Wikitubia) and his channel reached 1 billion views in 2023. He also collaborated with TikTok pianist Aylex Thunder and appeared on a Times Square billboard.

Original Composition Of The Year

Butterfly - Jon Batiste

Jon Batiste’s piano-driven “Butterfly” has been nominated for a GRAMMY Song of the Year award. World Music Radio, which carries the track, was also nominated for a GRAMMY as Album of the Year. “Butterfly” is featured in Batiste’s 2023 biographical documentary American Symphony.

Most Inspiring Pianist Of The Year

Jude Kofie

12-year-old Jude Kofie made a huge splash in 2023. Autistic and born with a heart defect, Kofie’s talent went viral when a piano tuner, impressed by his self-taught piano skills, gifted him a free piano. Then, Kofie was featured on The Kelly Clarkson Show and was gifted a mentorship with Jason Halbert—Kelly Clarkson’s music director and an autistic individual himself. Kofie has since received a lot of press and was given the Heroes Award at HollyRod Foundation’s DesignCare Gala.

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