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Best Classical Music Composers

Most of the best-known classical music composers worked during the last 600 years in the Western tradition. They are different in style, skill, innovation, and popularity. Debate among classical music scholars and fans than determining which of these composers are the most essential. The three composers that consistently appear in the top spots are Mozart, Beethoven, and Bach. Scholars and fans vary on the rest, but those listed below are often regarded as some of the most significant.

Famous Classical Music Composers of All Time.

Here is a list of famous classical music composers and some details about them.

  • Mozart
  • Beethoven
  • Chopin
  • Schubert
  • Brahms
  • Bach
  • Haydn
  • Wagner
  • Debussy
  • Dvořák
  • Elgar
  • Górecki

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756–1791)

Mozart was born in 1756 in Salzburg, Austria. He lived his early years in Vienna and Prague. His father Leopold was a musician and taught him how to play the violin at age five. At age seven he began studying composition with Antonio Salieri, who would later become the court composer of Emperor Joseph II. In 1781, Mozart moved back to Salzburg where he spent the rest of his life. He died in 1791 and his works have been loved by many famous musicians including Brahms, Liszt, and Rachmaninoff.

2. Ludwig van Beethoven (1770–1827)

Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany, on March 22, 1770. His mother died when he was only four months old, and his father remarried. As a child, Beethoven had a difficult relationship with his stepmother, whom he called “the monster”. He was sent to live with relatives in Oberschlesien (now known as Silesia) after his father married again. There he attended school until he was nine years old. He died in 1827. His works have been performed by many famous musicians including Mozart, Schubert, Chopin, Liszt, Tchaikovsky, and others.

3. Frédéric Chopin (1810–1849)

Chopin was born in Warsaw, Poland, on October 15, 1810. His parents were poor, and they could not afford to send him to a university. Instead, he studied piano under Wojciech Boguslawski, a Polish pianist and composer. After finishing high school, he traveled throughout Europe playing concerts. He settled in Paris, France, in 1831.

4. Franz Schubert (1799-1882)

Schubert was born in Augsburg, Bavaria, Germany, on November 19, 1797. His family was well-to-do, and he received a good education. When he was 12 years old, his father died, leaving him to care for his younger siblings. He started writing songs while still in school, studied piano and composition at the Leipzig Conservatory. He was a prolific composer and wrote around 900 songs, 300 lieder, and 30 symphonies. Schubert married Clara Wieck in 1828 and she gave birth to five children. He died in 1882 and his works have been admired by many famous musicians including Chopin, Liszts, and Bruch.

5. Johannes Brahms (1833–1897)

Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany, on July 16, 1833. His father, Johannes Brahms Sr., was a conductor and organist. His mother, Maria Anna Pichler, was a singer and pianist. Brahms learned to play the violin at the age of six. He went to study music in Berlin, Munich, and Vienna. Brahms studied under Robert Franz and Joseph Joachim. He composed over 1,100 songs, 20 operas, and 10 symphonies. Brahms died in 1897 and his works have been played by many famous musicians. This includes Wagner, Verdi, and Mahler.

6. Johann Sebastian Bach (1685–1750)

Johann Sebastian Bach was born in 1685 in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany. He became a cantor at age 14 and later became a church musician. There are over 2,000 choral works, 600 instrumental sonatas, and 50 violin concertos of him. He died in 1750 and his works have been recorded by many famous musicians including Haydn, Mozart, and Vivaldi.

7. Antonio Vivaldi (1678–1741)

Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian composer and violinist of the Baroque period. He wrote much music for operas, solo instruments, and small ensembles. But he is often celebrated for his concerti. Virtuoso solo passages alternate with passages for the whole orchestra. He wrote about 500 concerti, of which his best-known work is the group of four violin concerti titled “The Four Seasons”. His “Mandolin Concerto in C Major, RV 425”, “Concerto for Four Violins and Cello in B Minor, Op. 3, No.10”, and “Concerto for Two Trumpets in C Major” is equally complex and very enjoyable.

8. Joseph Haydn (1732–1809)

Joseph Haydn was born in 1732 in Rohrau, Austria. Began studying the organ at age 9 and continued his studies in Vienna. He became a court musician in Salzburg and then moved to London where he stayed until 1791. And returned to Vienna in 1792 and remained there until he died in 1809. He composed over 500 string quartets, 150 symphonies, and 100 trios. Many famous musicians including Beethoven, Schubert, and Schumann appreciates Haydn’s work.

9. Richard Wagner (1813–1883)

Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany, on May 26, 1813. His father was a lawyer, and his mother was a seamstress. He learned to play the piano at the age of eight. He became interested in opera and wrote several operas before turning to composing symphonies.

10. Claude Debussy (1862–1918)

Claude Debussy was born in 1862 in Paris, France, and died in 1918 at age 46. He was a French composer who wrote many pieces of music including La Mer, Clair de Lune, Prélude à l’après-midi d’un faune, Nocturnes, Images, Arabesque No. 1, and others. He was a member of the Academie des Beaux-Arts, the Société Nationale de Musique, and the Société National de la Recherche Scientifique. His style of composition was based on impressionism, impressionist painting, and symbolism. Widely known for using chromaticism, polytonality, and modal harmonies. Debussy is also known for writing some of the best piano works.

11. Bedřich Václav Míček Dvořákovský (1841–1904)

Bedřich Václav Míček Dvořákovský (Czech pronunciation: ​; 23 January 1841 – 26 May 1904) was a Czech composer, conductor, and educator. He is a significant composer of the late romantic era. Dvořanský composed over 150 works, including six operas, eight symphonies, ten string quartets, seven piano trios, fourteen piano quintets, twelve string quintets, twenty-four string sextets, and numerous other chamber works.

12. Edward Elgar (1857–1934)

Edward Elgar (23 June 1857 – 31 October 1934) was an English composer and organist. He is best for his popular orchestral works. Especially the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, the Sea Pictures, and the Violin Concerto.

13. Karol Szymanowski (1882–1973)

Karol Szymanowski (Polish pronunciation: ​; 27 November 1882 – 29 September 1973) was a Polish composer, conductor, and teacher whose output includes vocal music, chamber music, orchestral music, and film scores. He is internationally known for his Symphony No. 3, Symphony of Sorrowful Songs, and the Third String Quartet.

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Mohammad Nahid Parvez

Hey, I'm Nahid, I'm a Violinist and Classical Music attracts me so much. As professionally I'm an SEO Expert. I blog about Classical Music and Instruments and enjoy this very much.