Famous Composer Biographies

All the famous composers are sorted by alphbetical order for your personal convenience.

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Famous Composer biographical information

 

Johann Sebastian Bach Biography

Born: Eisenach (Germany), 21 March 1685

Died: 28 July 1750

Bach is often seen as the most famous composer ever to live. He mostly composed for the organ, but his works have since been transcribed into orchestral music, and music for other instruments. His most famous pieces include the Brandenburg Concertos, the Italian Concerto for the piano, and the The Well-Tempered Clavier a collection of fugues.

Of course this composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Bach Biography

 

 

 

Mily Alekseyevich Balakirev Biography

Born: Nizhniy Novgorod on January 2, 1837

Died: May 29, 1910

Balakirev is known as a famous composer mostly becuase of this Tamara and Russia, and the fantasia Islamey. He mostly wrote for the piano and voice.

Here is a more detailed Balakirev biography

 

Ludwig van Beethoven Biography

Born: Bonn, 16 December 1770

Died: Vienna, 26 March 1827

Beethoven is highly regarded as a very famous composer of the Romantic era. He truly encompassed Romantic ideals. His most famous works are: 5th Symphony, 9th Symphony, Für Elise, Pathètique Sonata and the Moonlight Sonata.

 

At this site, you can find a complete Beethoven Biography

 

Irving Berlin Biography

Born: Russia, May 11, 1888

Died: New York, America, September 22, 1989

Irving Berlin was a Russian composer who moved to America when young. He composed his most famous works in America. They were called White Christmas, and God Bless America.

 

At this site, you can find a complete Berlin Biography

 

Georges Bizet Biography

Born: France, October 25, 1838

Died: June 3, 1875

He was a child prodigy when he was born, and turned out to be a Romantic composer. Bizet is most famous for his opera Carmen.

 

At this site, you can find a complete Bizet Biography

 

Aleksandr Porfiryevich Borodin Biography

Born: St. Petersburg, 1833

Died: 1887

Borodin was both a composer and chemist. His first major work was Symphony in E-flat in 1867. his major works include The Bogatirs in 1867, On the Steppes of Central Asia in 1880, and two string quartets 1881.

At this site, you can find a complete Borodin Biography

Johannes Brahms Biography

Born: Hamburg, 7 May 1833

Died: Vienna, 3 April 1897

Brahms is a well known famous composer, who like Beethoven had a passion for nature. His most famous pieces include Piano Concerto No. 1, Piano Concerto No. 2, and Piano Concerto No. 3.

 

Of course this composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Brahms Biography

 

Frederic Chopin Biography

Born: Poland, on 1 March 1810

Died: Paris, 17 October 1849

Chopin is one of my personal favorite composers. He was a romantic, and Chopin's music is just so passionately powerful, that it is pure bliss. Chopin made a huge contribution to the piano as a solo instrument.

At this site, you can find a complete Frederic Chopin Biography

 

Claude Debussy Biography

Born: 1862

Died: 1918

Claude Debussy has exercised widespread influence over later generations of composers, both in his native France and elsewhere. He was trained at the Paris Conservatoire, and decided there on a career as a composer rather than as a pianist, his original intention. His highly characteristic musical language, thoroughly French in inspiration, extended the contemporary limits of harmony and form, with a remarkably delicate command of nuance, whether in piano-writing or in the handling of a relatively large orchestra.

 

You can read more the famous composer Debussy at http://www.claude-dubussy.com.

 

Antonín Leopold Dvorak Biography

Born: in Nelahozeves, 8th of September 1841

Died: May 1, 1904

The Famous composer Dvorak is best known for his piece Symphony No.9 From the New World. He composed this after visiting America, which explains it's various melodies. Dvorak is also famous for his piano piece Humoresque, and the piano duet Slavonic Dances.

 

Of course this composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Dvorak Biography

 

Edward Elgar Biography

Born: Worcester, England, 2 June 1857

Died: Worcester, 23 February 1934

Elgar was one of the few British composers of the classical era. Also, Elgar was self-taught in music. Elgar's most famous works include the Enigma Variations, and his Pomp and Circumstance Marches.

At this site, you can find a complete Elgar Biography

 

George Gershwin Biography

Born: Brooklyn, New York September 26, 1898

Died: July 11, 1937

George Gershwin was born to Russian Jewish immigrants in America. Gerhswin mostly composed Jazz music, like his most famous work Rhapsody in Blue in 1924, An American In Paris, Porgy And Bess, and I Got Rhythm.

Of course this composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Gershwin Biography

 

Mikhail Ivanovich Glinka Biography

Born: 1804, Novospasskoye

Died: 1857

Glinka was a Russian composer who recieved his musical education in St. Petersburg. Glinka's most famous works include Russlan and Ludmilla and A Life for the Tsar. Glinka became very interested in Spanish music, and even went to live there. When he was in Spain, he composed Jota Aragonesa and Night in Madrid 1851.

At this site, you can find a complete Glinka Biography

 

Edvard Grieg Biography

Born: Norway 1843

Died: 1907

Edvard Grieg was a very famous composer. Edvard Grieg's goal was to create a national form of music which could give the Norwegian people an identity. Griegs most famous works are: the music for Henrik Ibsen's play Peer Gynt, Morning Mood and In the Hall of the Mountain King.

Of course this composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Grieg Biography

 

George Frideric Handel Biography

Born: Halle, Germany, 23 February 1685

Died: London, 14 April 1759

Handel was a baroque composer. His most famous piece is The Messiah. With the rediscovery of his theatrical works, Handel, in addition to his renown as instrumentalist, orchestral writer, and melodist, is now perceived as being one of opera's great musical dramatists.

 

Please read this full Handel Biography

 

Franz Joseph Haydn Biography

Born: Rohrau, Austria, 31 March 1732

Died: 31 May 1809

Joseph Haydn was a classical composer from Austria. The compositions of Haydn include 104 symphonies, 16 overtures 76 quartets, 68 trios, 54 sonatas, 31 Concertos and a large number 6 divertimentos, cassations and other instrumental pieces; 24 operas am dramatic pieces, 16 Masses, a Stabat Mater, interludes for the "Sever Words," 3 oratorios, 2 Te Deums and many smaller pieces for the church, over 40 songs, over 50 canons and arrangements of Scottish and Welsh national melodies.

At this site, you can find a complete Haydn Biography

 

Scott Joplin Biography

Born: November 24, 1868

Died: April 1, 1917

Scott Jopin was a very famous composer as well as rag-time musician. Joplin's most famous and well known works are Maple Leaf Rag, The Entertainer, and Reflection Rag.

This composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Joplin Biography

 

Franz Liszt Biography

Born: October 22, 1811

Died: July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer who was famous for being one of the best pianists of his time. Liszt is also famous for composing La Campanella, and Two Piano Concertos Nineteen Hungarian Rhapsodies.

At this site, you can find a complete Liszt Biography

 

Gustav Mahler Biography

Born: Kalist, Austria, 7 July 1860

Died: Vienna, 18 May 1911

Gustav Mahler is a famous composer who is best known for his Das Lied von der Erde. Over his lifetime, Mahler composed many various Symphonies, and his emotional and personal music.

This composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Mahler Biography

 

Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Biography

Born: Hamburg, 3 February 1809

Died: Leipzig, 4 November 1847

Felix Mendelssohn was a German classical music composer. Even at a very young age, Mendelssohn was considered a child prodigy. Mendelssohn is considered a famous composer mostly due to his works included in the Shakespeare play, A Midsummer Night's Dream, and his most famous piece, "Wedding March" The Wedding March is played at almost every wedding even in the modern age.

At this site, you can find a more complete Mendelssohn Biography

 

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart Biography

Born: Salzburg, 27 January 1756

Died: Vienna, 5 December 1791

Mozart was a famous composer who was born in Austria. From a very young age Mozart was a child prodigy, and composed pieces at such young ages. Mozart is best known for his famous compositions of:

· Eine kleine Nachtmusik (Serenade for String Quartet & Bass K.525) · Concerto for Clarinet and Orchestra in A major (K.622) · Piano Sonata, K. 331, the last movement of which is the famous Rondo alla Turca · Elvira Madigan (Concerto for Piano No. 21 K.467) · Symphony No. 25 (K.183) · Symphony No. 40 (K.550) · The opera Don Giovanni (K.527) · The opera Le Nozze di Figaro (The Marriage of Figaro) (K.492) · The opera The Magic Flute (K.620) · The opera The Abduction from the Seraglio (K.384) · The opera Cosi fan tutte (K.588) · The Requiem (K. 626). All these works and more can be found at this Mozart Biography

 

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky Biography

Born: Karevo, Russia, March 9, 1839

Died: March 16, 1881

Mussorgsky is one of the most famous composers and Mussorgsky is best remembered today for his orchestral work St. John's Night on the Bare Mountain (commonly known as Night on Bald Mountain and popularized particularly by its appearance in Disney's Fantasia), and his cycle of piano pieces, Pictures at an Exhibition, written in commemoration of his friend, the architect Viktor Hartmann. (Years after Mussorgsky's death, a well known orchestral arrangement of the piece was made by Maurice Ravel.) Mussorgsky's opera, Boris Godunov is also well known. Among his other works are a number of songs, including three song cycles: The Nursery (1872), Sunless (1874) and Songs & Dances of Death (1877). Sunless lends its title to the 1982 film Sans Soleil by Chris Marker. The significance of the reference is not readily apparent, but the connection is acknowledged explicitly by Marker towards the end of the film. Mussorgsky died from alcohol intoxication on March 28, 1881 and was interred in Tikhvin Cemetery at the Alexander Nevsky Monastery in Saint Petersburg.

More information about Mussorgsky can be found at this Mussorgsky Biography.

 

Pachelbel Biography

Born: 1653

Died: March 3, 1706

Pachelbel was born in Germany. Pachelbel was a famous Baroque composer and organist. Pachelbel is most famous for his composition of Canon in D.

 

At this site, you can find a complete Pachelbel Biography

 

Niccolò Paganini Biography

Born: Genoa, October 27, 1782

Died: Nice, May 27, 1840

Born in Italy, Paganini is considered one of the greatest violinists ever. Paganini's 24 Caprices, written around 1817 for solo violin, are by far his most famous compositions.They are also among the most technically difficult music ever written for the instrument, calling for a very wide range of bowing techniques, extremely wide left hand stretches, double stopped trills and harmonics and left hand pizzicati. The last of these pieces, in A minor, is a set of twelve variations, and many other composers have taken its theme as the basis for a set of variations of their own.

This composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Paganini Biography

 

Sergei Prokofiev Biography

Born: April 23, 1891 Russia

Died: March 5, 1953

Sergei Prokefiev was a famous Russian composer. Prokefiev toured Europe as well as asia, and more further information about him can found at this Prokofiev Biography.

 

Giacomo Puccini Biography

Born: Italy, December 22, 1858

Died: November 29, 1924

Puccini is one of the most famous opera composers. From Puccini Biography : These are Puccini's most famous works: Manon Lescaut, first produced in Turin in 1893. La Bohème, Turin, 1896. Tosca, Rome, 1900. Madame Butterfly, La Scala, 1904. La fanciulla del West, Metropolitan Opera, NY, 1910. La rondine, Monte Carlo, 1917. Il trittico (Il Tabarro, Suor Angelica, Gianni Schicchi), Metropolitan Opera, NY, 1918. Turandot (unfinished at Puccini's death in 1924), La Scala, Milan, 25 April 1926 (completed by Franco Alfano)

 

Sergei Rachmaninov Biography

Born: April 1, 1873

Died: March 28, 1943

Sergei Rachmaninov was a Russian composer. After study at the St. Petersburg and Moscow Conservatories, Sergey Rachmaninov embarked on a career in Russia as a composer, pianist and conductor. Exile from his own country after the Communist Revolution of 1917 forced an increased concentration on performance, as one of the most distinguished pianists of the day, activity that enabled him to support his family but left less time for his work as a composer. For practical reasons he eventually based himself in the United States, while keeping a villa in Switzerland. He died in Beverly Hills in 1943. Orchestral Music The second of Rachmaninov's four piano concertos holds an unchallenged position among romantic works in this form, its popularity closely rivalled by the Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, for piano and orchestra. While the "Symphonic Dances" of 1940 enjoy some popularity. Solo Piano Music Rachmaninov's Prelude in C sharp minor won early popularity that largely outweighed its merits. Other piano works include the "Etudes-tableaux" of 1911 and 1916-17, two Sonatas, sets of Preludes and Moments musicaux, Transcriptions, including the two Kreisler pieces Liebesleid and Liebesfreud, and the impressive Variations on a Theme of Corelli, his last original composition for solo piano, composed in 1931 and based on the popular Baroque dance theme of "La Follia", also used by Corelli in a violin sonata. If you are looking for aditional information on Rachmaninov, an excellent Rachmaninov Biography can be found here.

 

Maurice Ravel Biography

Born March 7, 1875 :

Died: December 28, 1937

Maurice Ravel was a famous French composer. Ravel is most famous for his 1922 arrangement of Pictures at an Exhibition, as well has his orchestral composition, Bolero. More biographical information about Ravel can be found at this Ravel Biography

 

Gioacchino Rossini Biography

Born: Italy, February 29, 1792

Died: November 13, 1868

Rossini was a famous Italian composer. He is famous for his operas, and in particular The Barber of Seville, as well as The William Tell Overture. A complete biography of Rossini can be found here.

 

Nikolay Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov Biography

Born: Tikhvin, March 18, 1844

Died: June 21, 1908, in St. Petersburg

Rimsky-Korsakov was a famous Russian composer. Rimsky-Korsakov soon became part of the five, including such famous composers as Borodin, Mussorgsky, Balakirev, Rimsky-Korsakov, and Cui. Rimsky-Korsakov was also famous for the Flight Of The Bumblebees, Snegurochka, The golden Cockeral, and The Russian Easter Overture. I recently found this Rimsky-Korsakov Biography which has tons of information about the famous composer.

 

Camille Saint-Saëns Biography

Born: October 9, 1835

Died: December 16, 1921

Camille Saint-Saëns was a French famous composer. From a very early age, it was evident that Saint-Saëns was a prodigy. Here is a listing of his most famous music:

Dramatic music Samson et Dalila (1877); Etienne Marcel (1879); Henry VIII (1883); Ascanio (1890); 9 others; incidental music for 6 plays; 1 ballet; 1 film score (1908) Vocal music over 40 sacred works, incl. Le déluge, oratorio (1875); c 40 secular choral works; c 140 songs; 7 duets Orchestral music Sym., A (c 1850); Sym. no.1, E-flat (1853); Sym. 'Urbs Roma', F (1856); Sym. no.2, a (1859); Sym. no.3 'Organ', c (1886); 4 sym. poems, incl. Danse macabre (1874); 4 ovs.; Suite algérienne (1880); Pf Conc. no.1, D (1858); Pf Conc. no.2, g (1868); Pf Conc. no.3, E-flat (1869); Pf Conc. no.4, c (1875); Pf Conc. no.5 'Egyptian', F (1896); 3 vn concs.; 2 vc concs.; 16 other works with solo inst(s), incl. Africa, pf / orch (1891), Caprice andalous, vn / orch (1904); Odalette, fl / orch (1920) Chamber music 2 vn sonatas; 2 vc sonatas; 3 solo wind sonatas; 2 str qts; 2 pf trios; Pf Qnt (1855); Pf Qt (1875); Le carnaval des animaux (1886) Keyboard music c 45 pf works, incl. mazurkas, waltzes, souvenirs; 3 sets of Etudes; Variations on a Theme of Beethoven, pf duo (1874); works for harmonium, org Other transcs, arrs. of works by other composers; books, essays; Ecole buissonnière, memoirs (1913).

You can also find additional information at this Saint-Saëns Biography.

 

At this site, you can find a complete Beethoven Biography

 

Franz Peter Schubert Biography

Born: Vienna, 31 January 1797

Died: Vienna, 19 November 1828

Franz Peter Schubert was a famous Austrian composer. Schubert is famous for this pasage from this Schubert Biography: Schubert is best summed up in the well-known phrase of Liszt, that he was "le musicien le plus poète qui fut jamais." In clarity of style, many judge that he is inferior to Mozart, in power of musical construction far inferior to Beethoven, but in poetic impulse and suggestion he is unsurpassed. He wrote always at headlong speed, he seldom blotted a line, and the greater part of his work bears, in consequence, the essential mark of improvisation: it is fresh, vivid, spontaneous, impatient of restraint, full of rich color and of warm imaginative feeling. He was the greatest songwriter who ever lived, and almost everything in his hand turned to song. In his Masses, for instance, he seems to chafe at the contrapuntal numbers and pours out his whole soul on those which he found suitable for lyrical treatment. In his symphonies the lyric and elegiac passages are usually the best, and the most beautiful of them all is, throughout its two movements, lyric in character. The standpoint from which to judge him is that of a singer who ranged over the whole field of musical composition and everywhere carried with him the artistic form which he loved best.

 

Clara Schumann Biography

Born: September 13, 1819

Died: May 20, 1896

Clara Schumann was the wife of the famous composer Robert Schumann. Clara Schumann was famous for composing a few songs, but moreover for her contribution as a performer of all kinds of piano music.

This composer biography is not complete, but here is a full Clara Schumann Biography

 

Robert Schumann Biography

Born: Zwickau, Germany, 8 June 1810

Died: Endenich, Germany, 29 July 1856

Robert Schumann was a German classical composer. He composed mainly for the Romantic era, and was a great pianist. His most famous piano works are: Papillons (op. 2) 1829—1831 Etudes symphoniques (op. 13) 1834 Carnaval (op. 9) 1834—1835 Sonata in F sharp minor (op. 11) . - - 1835 Sonata in G minor (op. 22) , , - . 1833—1835 Kinderszenen (op. 15) 5836 Fantasia in C (op. 17) 1836 Fantasiestücke (op. 12) 1837 Kreisleriana (op. 16) 1838 Novelletten (op. 21) 1838 Faschingschwank aus Wien (op. 26) . . . . 1839. As taken from this Schumann Biography.

 

Jean Sibelius Biography

Born: Hämeenlinna, Finland, 8 December 1865

Died: Järvenpää, 20 September 1957

Jean Sibelius was a classical composer who was bron in Finland. From Jean Sibelius Biography: Sibelius's most famous compositions are probably Finlandia, Valse Triste, the Violin Concerto, the Karelia suite and the Swan of Tuonela, a movement from his Lemminkäinen suite, but he wrote much else besides, including other pieces inspired by the Kalevala, seven symphonies, a hundred arias, and masonic ritual music.

 

Dmitri Shostakovich Biography

Born: St. Petersburg, 25 September 1906

Died: Moscow, 9 August 1975

Dmitri Shostakovich was a soviet composer who was born in Russia. Shostakovich from a very early age was a child prodigy. He could compose pieces as well as play the piano very well. Above all else, Shostakovich is known for his Symphonies 1 through 15. More informatino about his life and Symphonies can be found at this Shostakovich Biography.

 

Johann Strauss Biography

Born: March 14, 1804

Died: September 25, 1849

Johann Strauss was a famous Austrian composer. Strauss's most famous piece is most the Radetzky March.

For more information about Strauss, read this biography of Strauss.

 

Igor Stravinsky Biography

Born: June 17, 1882

Died: April 6, 1971

Igor Stravinsky was a Russian modern composer of classical music. His most famous composition is The Rite of Spring. For more info on Stravisky, go here for a complete Igor Stravinsky biography as well as sheet music.

 

Gergii Vasilievich Sviridov Biography

Born: Russia, December 16 1915

Died: Moscow, January of 1998

Gergii Vasilievich Sviridov was one of the most famous composers of the 20th century. Georgii Sviridov was mostly a composer of vocal music. Here is a more detailed biography of Gergii Vasilievich Sviridov.

 

Peter Illich Tchaikovsky Biography

Born: Votkinsk, Russia, 7 May 1840

Died: St. Petersburg, Russia, 6 November 1893

Peter Illich Tchaikovsky was a famous Russian composer. His most famous works are: Six symphonies, the "1812 Overture", the operas Eugene Onegin and The Queen of Spades and the ballets Swan Lake, Sleeping Beauty and The Nutcracker. More information about Tchaikovsky can be read at this Tchaikovsky Biography.

 

Georg Philipp Telemann Biography

Born: March 14, 1681

Died: June 25, 1767

Telemann was a famous German Baroque composer. Details on Telemann's life can be found at this Telemann biography.

 

Giuseppe Verdi Biography

Born: October 10, 1813

Died: January 27, 1901

A very famous Italian composer for the opera. To read about all of Verdi's most famous works as a composer, go to this biography of Verdi.

 

Antonio Vivaldi Biography

Born: Venice, March 4, 1678

Died: Vienna, July 28, 1741

Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian priest, as well as a famous composer. Vivaldi is most famous for composing The Four Seasons - Le Quattro Stagioni, Gloria, and Concerto in A minor. A more detailed biography of Vivaldi.

 

Richard Wagner Biography

Born: May 22, 1813

Died: February 13, 1883

Richard Wagner is a famous German composer who is most famous for his operas. His most famous operas are Ride of the Valkyries from Die Walküre and the Bridal Chorus. A better biography of Wagner can he found at this Wagner biography.

   

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