Composers

Composer focus

Popular Composers

Bach

1685 - 1750 Bach has been called 'the supreme arbiter and law-giver of music'. He is to music what Leonardo da... more

Beethoven

1770 - 1827 Beethoven coupled his genius for music with profoundly held political beliefs and an almost... more

Brahms

1833 - 1897 One of the giants of classical music, Brahms appeared to arrive fully armed, found a style in which... more

Bruckner

1824 - 1896 Bruckner’s reputation rests almost entirely with his symphonies – the symphonies, someone said,... more

Debussy

1862 - 1918 Debussy was among the most influential of all the 20th century’s composers. His lyrical gift,... more

Dvořák

1841 - 1904 If Smetana was the founding father of Czech music, Dvořák was the one who popularised it. A love of... more

Elgar

1857 - 1934 Elgar worked firmly within conventional 19th century German harmonic and structural traditions, yet... more

Gershwin

1898 - 1937 No composer has done more to weld the two opposing cultures of serious and popular music together.... more

Grieg

1843 - 1907 Grieg’s music is Norway in just the same way that Elgar and Vaughan Williams are England. It is... more

Handel

1685 - 1759 Handel is one of the giants of musical history – a great man in physical stature, spirit and vision... more

Haydn

1732 - 1809 Haydn was among the most prolific of all great composers and he wrote in every form: 104 symphonies... more

Liszt

1811 - 1886 Composer, teacher, Abbé, Casanova, writer, sage, pioneer and champion of new music, philanthropist... more

Mahler

1860 - 1911 Mahler is the last great Romantic symphonist, music conceived on the grandest scale and employing... more

Mendelssohn

1809 - 1847 Mendelssohn is one of the 'Sunshine Composers' who, like Rossini and Saint-Saëns, wrote effortless... more

Mozart

1756 - 1791 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was arguably the most naturally gifted musician in history, but he also... more

Puccini

1858 - 1924 Whatever the atmosphere he wanted to create, Puccini’s sound world is unique and unmistakeable with... more

Rachmaninov

1873 - 1943 Few musicians have successfully followed two musical disciplines, but Rachmaninov managed three:... more

Ravel

1875 - 1937 Ravel’s greatest significance was in establishing, with Debussy, a distinct French school of music... more

Schubert

1797 - 1828 Schubert was not the first of the Romantics but he was, as one writer put it, 'the first lyric poet... more

Schumann

1810 - 1856 Schumann is a key figure in the Romantic movement; none investigated the Romantic’s obsession with... more

Stravinsky

1882 - 1971 From 1910 to 1945, Stravinsky was the single strongest influence on contemporary music. His early... more

Tchaikovsky

1840 - 1893 Tchaikovsky is the most popular of all Russian composers, his music combining some nationalist... more

Vivaldi

1678 - 1741 With Antonio Vivaldi, Italian Baroque music reached its zenith. The prosperous, cultivated world of... more

Wagner

1813 - 1883 No composer has had so deep an influence on the course of his art, before or since. Entrepreneur,... more

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