great composers list

Famous Composers A-J

Famous Great Composers List A to J

ADDucation Tips: Click column headings with arrows to sort great composers. Click the + icon to show any hidden columns. Set your browser to full screen to show as many columns as possible. Start typing in the Filter table box to find anything inside the table of great composers.

Great ComposersBornDiedLife & Successes – A Short Biography
Bach, Johann Sebastian21.03.1685 in Eisenach28.07.1750 in LeipzigNo Holy Week passes by without a performance of St. Matthew’s or St. John’s Passion and the festive season wouldn’t be the same without Bach’s Christmas Oratorio playing on the radio or in concert. The musical oeuvre of this master is monumental. Born as the youngest child in a family of musicians in Eisenach, he served as cantor of a school in Leipzig. His cantata are highly popular (Peasant Cantata, Coffee Cantata, Shepherd cantata) as are his musical cycle The Art of Fugue and his numerous oratorios in which Bach set the Gospels of the birth and suffering of Christ to music.
Beethoven, Ludwig van17.12.1770 in Bonn26.03.1827 in ViennaBorn in Bonn, Beethoven lived mainly in Vienna. He became famous for his piano pieces (Für Elise, Rage over a Lost Penny), his string quartets, his only opera Fidelio and his nine symphonies. In addition to the Missa Solemnis, his major work is considered to be his 9th Symphony, today’s European anthem. Although the composer was deaf when he created it, it sounds like a hymn to joy. Also famous are his 5th Symphony, the so-called Symphony of Fate and his third Symphony, which he originally dedicated to Napoleon, after his invasion of Russia, but later renamed Eroica.
Bizet, Georges25.10.1838 in Paris03.06.1875 in Bougival, ParisThe Parisian Bizet was probably one of the biggest provocateurs of his time. His early works didn’t appeal overly to the audience, and his last, Carmen, was also initially derided as disreputable and immoral before it gained worldwide popularity shortly after his death. The plot must have been quite shocking to audiences of the time: An erotically liberal woman with an unbridled lust for life who turned the heads of many a man, with smugglers, soldiers, gypsies, embodying the petty-bourgeois milieu, all staged in an anarchic and provocative fashion. Bizet died just a few months after its first performance at the age of 36.
Brahms, Johannes07.05.1833 in Hamburg03.04.1897 in ViennaJohannes Brahms hails from Hamburg in North Germany and, like many musicians at the time, adopted Vienna as his new home. The great composers creations are extremely versatile. They include chamber music, songs (such as the famous lullaby Guten Abend, gute Nacht – Good evening, good night), choral pieces, and Hungarian dances. Especially renowned for his four symphonies characterized by their freedom and complexity.
Bruckner, Anton04.09.1824 in Ansfelden11.10.1896 in ViennaBruckner began his musical career as a choirboy in the monastery of St. Florian in Austria. He became the cathedral organist in Linz because of his musical abilities. As a composer he was an admirer and emulator of Richard Wagner. Bruckner is known mostly for his symphonies in which the wind instruments play a major role. They are always characterized by festive, glorious, and especially devout motifs.
Chopin, Frederic22.02.1810 in Zelazowa Wola17.10.1849 in ParisChopin’s grave is in Paris, but his heart is buried in his monument in Warsaw. This is symbolic of the composer whose father came from France and his mother from Poland. He lived and worked mainly in Paris. His strength lies less in large-scale compositions, but more in small solo pieces. Chopin’s instrument was the piano and he was known as the poet of the piano. Most of his works are technically difficult solo pieces but he also wrote two piano concertos. He had a long-term relationship with French author George Sand.
Debussy, Claude22.08.1862 in Saint-Germain26.03.1918 in ParisThe second half of the 19th century saw the beginnings of the Impressionist movement and artists whose images were dissolved and bathed in sparkling, bright splashes of color. So it was, too with music. Impressionism had the effect of making the music airy, light and elegant. One prominent representative of this trend was the Frenchman Debussy, who perfected this new art in his piano concertos.
Dvorák, Antonin08.09.1841 in Nelahozeves01.05.1904 in PragueLike Smetana, Antonin Dvorák was also Czech and also had a special relationship to chamber music. He drew on the folk music of his country, but gave his works a classic form. Dvorák loved clarity and informality, and always had new musical ideas. At first, he found it very difficult to force his ideas through, but then he became a professor and later director at the Prague Conservatory. After spending several years in New York, he wrote his famous 9th Symphony From the New World. Johannes Brahms was highly instrumental in disseminating his compositions.
Egk, Werner17.05.1901 in Donauwörth10.07.1983 in InningEgk is up there with the best in the field of modern orchestra musicians. His music, often of dramatic power, is sometimes exceedingly tender, lyrical and moving. His best known works are: The magic violin, Peer Gynt, Joan of Zarissa and . He also created the choral work Columbus and the ballet Abraxas. Egk was a Bavarian through and through. He was born in Donauwörth and died in Inning on Lake Ammer.
Handel, George Frideric23.02.1685 in Halle14.04.1759 in LondonBorn in Halle, Germany, the composer wrote operas for decades (e.g. Agrippina), which were well received, especially in Italy and England. But he became famous for his oratorios, choral and orchestral works (Water Music) in which he glorified figures of the Old Testament. His most significant Oratory is the Messiah. It was first performed in England, where Handel spent many years of his life. At the climax of the piece, the Hallelujah, the audience collectively stood up, a practice which is still common today in England.
Haydn, Joseph31.03.1732 in Rohrau31.05.1809 in ViennaHaydn is one of the great composers of all time. After the Austrian had already made a name for himself with symphonies, piano sonatas and string quartets, he went on to create two oratorios which are now considered his greatest works. In Creation Haydn lauds the creator and his great work: the earth and mankind. In the Seasons he sings the praises of spring, summer, autumn and winter. His music is, despite all its seriousness, also rather cheerful.
Hindemith, Paul16.11.1895 in Hanau28.12.1963 in FrankfurtLike Schoenberg, Hindemith is a representative of modern atonal music. His music ties in with Johann Sebastian Bach and his counterpoint in quite a novel way, that is point to point, or note against note. His most famous works are the The Life of Mary and his opera Mathis der Maler (Mathis the Painter).

great composers - ADDucation Free Online Quizzes
Try ADDucation’s FREE online quizzes – Can you get on the leaderboard?

ADDucation Lists Related to Best Classical Composers

  • A-Z List of Famous Operas…
  • Spotted a mistake or do you have a suggestion to improve our list of all great composers? Please add your comments below…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

20 − fifteen =