Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. He is considered to be one of the greatest composers of the 20th century and is regarded, along with Liszt, as his country's greatest composer (Gillies 2001). Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of ethnomusicology.
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) 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. Debussy is not only among the most important of all French composers but also a central figure in European music at the turn of the twentieth century. He was made Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur in 1903.
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet, OM, GCVO (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer. He is known for such works as the Enigma Variations, the Pomp and Circumstance Marches, The Dream of Gerontius, concertos for violin and cello, and two symphonies. He also composed oratorios, chamber music and songs. He was appointed Master of the King's Musick in 1924.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky, often called Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky in English, was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. Tchaikovsky wrote music across a range of genres, including symphony, opera, ballet, instrumental, chamber and song.
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (23 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and came to be admired as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.
Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (17 June 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor, widely acknowledged as one of the most important and influential composers of 20th century music. He was a quintessentially cosmopolitan Russian who was named by Time magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the century. He became a naturalized US citizen in 1946.
Leonard Bernstein was an American conductor, composer, author, music lecturer and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. He was probably best known to the public as the longtime music director of the New York Philharmonic, for conducting concerts by many of the world's leading orchestras, and for writing the music for West Side Story, Candide, Wonderful Town, and On the Town.
Sir Arthur Seymour Sullivan MVO (13 May 1842 – 22 November 1900) was an English composer, of Irish and Italian descent, best known for his operatic collaborations with librettist W. S. Gilbert, including such continually-popular works as H.M.S. Pinafore, The Pirates of Penzance, and The Mikado.
Joseph-Maurice Ravel (March 7, 1875 – December 28, 1937) was a French composer of Impressionist music known especially for his melodies, orchestral and instrumental textures and effects. Much of his piano music, chamber music, vocal music and orchestral music has entered the standard concert repertoire.
Gustav Theodore Holst (21 September 1874 – 25 May 1934) was an English composer. He is most famous for his orchestral suite The Planets. Having studied at the Royal College of Music in London, his early work was influenced by Grieg, Wagner, Richard Strauss and fellow student Ralph Vaughan Williams, and later, through Vaughan Williams, the music of Ravel.
Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music for more than 900 songs and for 43 Broadway musicals. He also composed music for films and television. He is best known for his songwriting partnerships with the lyricists Lorenz Hart and Oscar Hammerstein II. His compositions have had a significant impact on popular music down to the present day, and have an enduring broad appeal.
Arnold Schoenberg (13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian and later American composer, associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. He used the spelling Schönberg until after his move to the United States in 1934 (Steinberg 1995, 463), "in deference to American practice" (Foss 1951, 401), though one writer claims he made the change a year earlier (Ross 2007, 45).
Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras, particularly of operas, Lieder and tone poems. Strauss was also a prominent conductor.
Ralph Vaughan Williams OM (12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song; this also influenced his editorial approach to the English Hymnal, which began in 1904, many folk song arrangements being set as hymn tunes, in addition to several original compositions.
Darius Milhaud (4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as the Groupe des Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are influenced by jazz and make use of polytonality (music in more than one key at once).
Arvo Pärt is an Estonian classical composer. Since the late 1970s, Pärt has worked in a minimalist style that employs a self-made compositional technique called tintinnabuli. His music also finds its inspiration and influence from Gregorian chant. He was born in Paide, Järva County, Estonia. Continuing struggles with Soviet officials led him to emigrate in 1980 with his wife and their two sons.
Sir William Turner Walton OM (29 March 1902 – 8 March 1983) was a British composer and conductor. His style was influenced by the works of Stravinsky and Prokofiev as well as jazz music, and is characterized by rhythmic vitality, bittersweet harmony, sweeping Romantic melody and brilliant orchestration. His output includes orchestral and choral works, chamber music and ceremonial music, as well as notable film scores.
Christoph Willibald Ritter von Gluck (2 July 1714 – 15 November 1787) was an opera composer of the early classical period. After many years at the Habsburg court at Vienna, Gluck brought about the practical reform of opera's dramaturgical practices that many intellectuals had been campaigning for over the years.
Johann Strauss II (October 25, 1825 – June 3, 1899; also known as fully Johann Baptist Strauss, and Johann Strauss, Jr. , or Johann Strauss the Younger) was an Austrian composer of light music, particularly dance music and operettas. He composed over 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet.
Georges Auric (15 February 1899 – 23 July 1983) was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was a child prodigy and at age 15 he had his first compositions published. He studied at the Paris Conservatoire, and under the composer Vincent D'Indy at the Schola Cantorum. Before he turned 20 he had orchestrated and written incidental music for several ballets and stage productions.
Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (January 7, 1899 – January 30, 1963) was a French composer and a member of the French group Les Six. He composed music in genres, including art song, chamber music, oratorio, opera, ballet music, and orchestral music. Critic Claude Rostand, in a July 1950 Paris-Presse article, described Poulenc as "half monk, half delinquent" ("le moine et le voyou"), a tag that was to be attached to his name for the rest of his career.
Carl Czerny (sometimes Karl; February 21, 1791 – July 15, 1857) was an Austrian pianist, composer and teacher. He is best remembered today for his books of études for the piano. Czerny knew and was influenced by the well-known pianists Muzio Clementi and Johann Nepomuk Hummel.