(June 9, 1891 - October 15, 1964)
Cole Albert Porter was an American composer and songwriter. Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his domineering grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre. After a slow start, he began to achieve success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway musical stage. Unlike most successful Broadway composers, Porter wrote both the lyrics and the music for his songs.
(February 22, 1810 - October 17, 1849)
Frédéric François Chopin (born 22 February or 1 March 1810) was a Polish composer, virtuoso pianist, and music teacher of French–Polish parentage. He was one of the great masters of Romantic music and has been called "the poet of the piano".
, Polish composer
(June 17, 1818 - October 18, 1893)
Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, known for his Ave Maria as well as his operas Faust and Roméo et Juliette.
(October 22, 1811 - July 31, 1886)
Franz Liszt was a 19th-century Hungarian composer, pianist, conductor, and teacher.
(May 2, 1660 - October 24, 1725)
Alessandro Scarlatti was an Italian Baroque composer especially famous for his operas and chamber cantatas. He is considered the founder of the Neapolitan school of opera. He was the father of two other composers, Domenico Scarlatti and Pietro Filippo Scarlatti.
(December 20, 1786 - October 30, 1853)
Pietro Raimondi was an Italian composer, transitional between the Classical and Romantic eras. While he was famous at the time as a composer of operas and sacred music, he was also as an innovator in contrapuntal technique as well as in creation of gigantic musical simultaneities.
(February 3, 1809 - November 4, 1847)
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.
(October 8, 1585 - November 6, 1672)
Heinrich Schütz was a German composer and organist, generally regarded as the most important German composer before Johann Sebastian Bach and often considered to be one of the most important composers of the 17th century along with Claudio Monteverdi. He wrote what is thought to be the first German opera, Dafne, performed at Torgau in 1627, of which the music has since been lost.
(January 27, 1885 - November 11, 1945)
Jerome David Kern was an American composer of musical theatre and popular music.
(February 29, 1792 - November 13, 1868)
Gioachino Antonio Rossini was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces.
Carl Maria von Weber
(November 18, 1786 - June 5, 1826)
Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school.
(January 31, 1797 - November 19, 1828)
Franz Peter Schubert was an Austrian composer. Although he died at an early age, Schubert was tremendously prolific. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music.
(January 20, 1586 - November 19, 1630)
Johann Hermann Schein was a German composer of the early Baroque era. He was born in Grünhain and died in Leipzig. He was one of the first to import the early Italian stylistic innovations into German music, and was one of the most polished composers of the period.
(November 28, 1829 - November 20, 1894)
Anton Grigorevich Rubinstein was a Russian-Jewish pianist, composer and conductor. As a pianist he was regarded as a rival of Franz Liszt, and he ranks amongst the great keyboard virtuosos. He also founded the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, which, together with Moscow Conservatory founded by his brother Nikolai Rubinstein, helped establish a reputation for musical skill among the subjects of the Tsar of Russia.
(September 10, 1659 - November 21, 1695)
Henry Purcell was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. He is generally considered to be one of the greatest English composers; no other native-born English composer approached his fame until Edward Elgar.
(May 15, 1567 - November 29, 1643)
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi was an Italian composer, gambist, and singer.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(January 27, 1756 - December 5, 1791)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. He composed over 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. He is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers.
, Austrian composer
Ludwig van Beethoven
(December 16, 1770 - March 26, 1827)
Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential composers of all time.
(December 22, 1858 - November 29, 1924)
Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini was an Italian composer whose operas, including “La bohème”, “Tosca”, “Madama Butterfly”, and “Turandot”, are among the most frequently performed in the standard repertoire. Some of his arias, such as "O mio babbino caro" from Gianni Schicchi, "Che gelida manina" from La bohème, and "Nessun dorma" from Turandot, have become part of popular culture.
(December 22, 1819 - March 31, 1885)
Franz Wilhelm Abt was a German composer and choral conductor. He composed roughly 3,000 individual works mostly in the area of vocal music.
(October 18, 1706 - January 3, 1785)
Baldassare Galuppi was an Italian composer, born on the island of Burano in the Venetian Republic. He achieved international success, spending periods of his career in London and Saint Petersburg, but his main base remained Venice, where he held a succession of leading appointments.
(April 22, 1922 - January 5, 1979)
Charles Mingus Jr. was an American jazz musician, composer, bandleader, and civil rights activist.
, jazz musician
(January 16, 1728 - May 7, 1800)
Niccolò Piccinni was an Italian composer of symphonies, sacred music, chamber music, and opera. Although he is somewhat obscure, even to music lovers today, Piccinni was one of the most popular composers of opera—particularly the Neapolitan opera buffa—of his day. Historically, he had the misfortune of falling between the generations of his great predecessors such as Pergolesi and the greats who came after him, including Domenico Cimarosa and Mozart.
(January 20, 1855 - June 10, 1899)
Amédée-Ernest Chausson was a French romantic composer who died just as his career was beginning to flourish.
(July 26, 1782 - January 23, 1837)
John Field was an Irish pianist, composer, and teacher. He was born in Dublin into a musical family, and received his early education there. The Fields soon moved to London, where Field studied under Muzio Clementi. Under his tutelage, Field quickly became a famous and sought-after concert pianist; together, master and pupil visited Paris, Vienna, and St. Petersburg. The Russian capital impressed Field so much that he eventually decided to stay behind when Clementi left, and from about 1804 was particularly active in Russia.
Philip Glass is an American composer. One of the highest profile composers writing "classical" music today, he is often said to be one of the most influential composers of the late 20th century. His music is also often (controversially) described as minimalist, along with the work of the other "major minimalists" La Monte Young, Terry Riley and Steve Reich.
(August 15, 1890 - February 5, 1962)
Jacques François Antoine Ibert was a French composer. Having studied music from an early age, he studied at the Paris Conservatoire and won its top prize, the Prix de Rome at his first attempt, despite studies interrupted by his service in World War I.
(November 30, 1861 - February 5, 1907)
Ludwig Thuille was a German composer and teacher, numbered for a while among the leading operatic composers of the 'Munich School', whose most famous representative was Richard Strauss.
(February 9, 1885 - December 24, 1935)
Alban Maria Johannes Berg was an Austrian composer. He was a member of the Second Viennese School with Arnold Schoenberg and Anton Webern, and produced compositions that combined Mahlerian Romanticism with a personal adaptation of Schoenberg's twelve-tone technique.
(May 22, 1813 - February 13, 1883)
Wilhelm Richard Wagner was a German composer, conductor, theatre director and polemicist primarily known for his operas (or "music dramas", as they were later called).
(February 14, 1813 - January 17, 1869)
Alexander Sergeyevich Dargomyzhsky was a 19th century Russian composer. He bridged the gap in Russian opera composition between Mikhail Glinka and the later generation of The Five and Tchaikovsky.
(June 1, 1804 - February 15, 1857)
Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka was the first Russian composer to gain wide recognition within his own country, and is often regarded as the father of Russian classical music. Glinka's compositions were an important influence on future Russian composers, notably the members of The Five, who took Glinka's lead and produced a distinctive Russian style of music.
(February 19, 1743 - May 28, 1805)
Luigi Rodolfo Boccherini was an Italian classical era composer and cellist whose music retained a courtly and galante style while he matured somewhat apart from the major European musical centers.
George Frideric Handel
(February 23, 1685 - April 14, 1759)
George Frideric Handel was a German-British Baroque composer, famous for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Handel was born in 1685, in a family indifferent to music. He received critical musical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling in London (1712) and becoming a naturalised British subject in 1727. By then he was strongly influenced by the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the middle-German polyphonic choral tradition.
(April 8, 1692 - February 26, 1770)
Giuseppe Tartini was an Italian baroque composer and violinist.
Thomas Anders is a German singer, composer and record producer. Anders was the lead singer of Germany's popular pop-duo Modern Talking in 1984–1987 and in 1998–2003.
, Modern Talking
(March 8, 1714 - December 14, 1788)
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German classical period musician and composer, the fifth child and second (surviving) son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. His second name was given in honor of his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann, a friend of Emanuel's father.
, German composer
(March 8, 1911 - June 21, 2000)
Alan Hovhaness was an Armenian-American composer.
Georg Philipp Telemann
(March 14, 1681 - June 25, 1767)
Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually settled on a career in music.
(September 14, 1760 - March 15, 1842)
Luigi Cherubini was an Italian composer who spent most of his working life in France. His most significant compositions are operas and sacred music. Beethoven regarded Cherubini as the greatest of his contemporaries.
(March 19, 1873 - May 11, 1916)
Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger was a German composer, conductor, pianist, organist, and academic teacher.
(August 10, 1865 - March 21, 1936)
Alexander Konstantinovich Glazunov was a Russian composer of the late Russian Romantic period, music teacher and conductor. He served as director of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory between 1905 and 1928 and was also instrumental in the reorganization of the institute into the Petrograd Conservatory, then the Leningrad Conservatory, following the Bolshevik Revolution. He continued heading the Conservatory until 1930, though he had left the Soviet Union in 1928 and did not return. The best known student under his tenure during the early Soviet years was Dmitri Shostakovich.
(August 22, 1862 - March 25, 1918)
Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures working within the field of impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. In France, he was made Chevalier of the Legion of Honour in 1903. A crucial figure in the transition to the modern era in Western music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers.
(March 31, 1732 - May 31, 1809)
Franz Joseph Haydn, known as Joseph Haydn, was an Austrian composer, one of the most prolific and prominent composers of the Classical period. He is often called the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet" because of his important contributions to these forms. He was also instrumental in the development of the piano trio and in the evolution of sonata form.
(April 1, 1873 - March 28, 1943)
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff is widely considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Russian classical music.
, Russian composer
Johann Joseph Abert
(September 20, 1832 - April 1, 1915)
Johann Joseph Abert was a German composer. An ethnic German from the Sudetenland, he is also known by his Czech name Jan Josef Abert.
(May 7, 1833 - April 3, 1897)
Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist, and one of the leading musicians of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria, where he was a leader of the musical scene. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable; following a comment by the nineteenth-century conductor Hans von Bülow, he is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as one of the Three Bs.
(November 29, 1797 - April 8, 1848)
Domenico Gaetano Maria Donizetti was an Italian composer from Bergamo, Lombardy. His best-known works are the operas L'elisir d'amore
(1832), Lucia di Lammermoor
(1835), and Don Pasquale
(1843), all in Italian, and the French operas La favorite
and La fille du régiment
(both from 1840). Along with Vincenzo Bellini and Gioachino Rossini, he was a leading composer of bel canto
Franz von Suppe
(April 18, 1819 - May 21, 1895)
Franz von Suppé or Francesco Suppé Demelli was an Austrian composer of light operas who was born in what is now Croatia during the time his father was working in this outpost of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. A composer and conductor of the Romantic period, he is notable for his four dozen operettas.
(September 5, 1791 - May 2, 1864)
Giacomo Meyerbeer was a noted German opera composer, and the first great exponent of "grand opera." At his peak in the 1830s and 1840s, he was the most famous and successful composer of opera in Europe, yet he is rarely performed today.
(July 24, 1803 - May 3, 1856)
Adolphe Charles Adam was a French composer and music critic. A prolific composer of operas and ballets, he is best known today for his ballets Giselle
(1844) and Le corsaire
(1856, his last work), his operas Le postillon de Lonjumeau
(1836), Le toréador
(1849) and Si j'étais roi
(1852, often regarded as his finest work), and his Christmas carol "Minuit, chrétiens!" ("O Holy Night") (1847). Adam was also a noted teacher. Léo Delibes was among his pupils.
(May 12, 1842 - August 13, 1912)
Jules Émile Frédéric Massenet was a French composer best known for his operas. His compositions were very popular in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and he ranks as one of the greatest melodists of his era. Soon after his death, Massenet's style went out of fashion, and many of his operas fell into almost total oblivion. Apart from Manon
, his works were rarely performed. However, since the mid-1970s, many operas of his such as Thaïs
have undergone periodic revivals.
(October 25, 1838 - June 3, 1875)
Georges Bizet was a French composer, mainly of operas. In a career cut short by his early death, he achieved few successes before his final work, Carmen
, became one of the most popular and frequently performed works in the entire opera repertory.
, French composer
(June 8, 1810 - July 29, 1856)
Robert Schumann, sometimes known as Robert Alexander Schumann, was a German composer, aesthete and influential music critic. He is regarded as one of the greatest and most representative composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law to return to music, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the finest pianist in Europe, but a hand injury ended this dream. Schumann then focused his musical energies on composing.
(June 15, 1843 - September 4, 1907)
Edvard Hagerup Grieg was a Norwegian composer and pianist. He is best known for his Piano Concerto in A minor, for his incidental music to Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt (which includes Morning Mood
and In the Hall of the Mountain King
), and for his collection of piano miniatures Lyric Pieces
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle
(May 10, 1760 - June 26, 1836)
Claude Joseph Rouget de Lisle, was a French Army officer of the Revolutionary Wars. He is known for writing the words and music of the Chant de guerre pour l'armée du Rhin
in 1792, which would later be known as La Marseillaise
and become the French national anthem.
, La Marseillaise
(June 28, 1712 - July 2, 1778)
Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of 18th-century Romanticism of French expression. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern political, sociological and educational thought.