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Greatest classical music composers (all time)

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Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
1

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart, was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era.
9.1
9.1
from 11 votes
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Frédéric Chopin
2

Frédéric Chopin

Frédéric François Chopin (22 February or 1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849), born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era, who wrote primarily for the solo piano. A child prodigy, he...
9
9
from 7 votes
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Johann Sebastian Bach
3

Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the ada...
9
9
from 3 votes
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Georg Philipp Telemann
4

Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann (14 March 1681 – 25 June 1767) 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,...
9
9
from 2 votes
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Felix Mendelssohn
5

Felix Mendelssohn

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn,[n 1] was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. A grandson of the...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Claude Debussy
5

Claude Debussy

Claude-Achille Debussy (22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, though he himself disliked the term when applie...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Franz Liszt
5

Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt (Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz, in modern usage Liszt Ferenc) (October 22, 1811 – July 31, 1886) was a prolific 19th-century Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, music teacher, arranger, philanthropist and Franc...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Antonín Dvořák
5

Antonín Dvořák

Antonín Leopold Dvořák (8 September 1841 – 1 May 1904) was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk music of Moravia and his nati...
9
9
from 1 vote
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George Frideric Handel
5

George Frideric Handel

George Frideric (born Georg Friedrich Händel, 23 February 1685 – 14 April 1759) was a German, later British Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems, and o...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Sergei Prokofiev
5

Sergei Prokofiev

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (Russian: Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев, 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian and Soviet composer, pianist and conductor. His works include such works as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Giacomo Puccini
5

Giacomo Puccini

Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini (22 December 1858 – 29 November 1924) was an Italian composer. While his early work was rooted in traditional late-19th-century romantic Italian opera, he successfully develop...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Gioacchino Rossini
5

Gioacchino Rossini

Gioachino Antonio Rossini (29 February 1792 – 13 November 1868) was an Italian composer who wrote 39 operas as well as sacred music, chamber music, songs, and some instrumental and piano pieces. His best-known operas include the I...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Robert Schumann
5

Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann (8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer and music critic. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he co...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Richard Wagner
5

Richard Wagner

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (22 May 1813 – 13 February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is primarily known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas"). Un...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Giuseppe Verdi
5

Giuseppe Verdi

Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi (10 October 1813 – 27 January 1901) was an Italian composer of operas. Verdi was born near Busseto to a provincial family of moderate means, and developed a musical education with the help of a l...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
5

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (7 May 1840 – 6 November 1893), often anglicized as Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, was a Russian composer of the late-Romantic period, some of whose works are among the most popular music in the classical reper...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Franz Schubert
5

Franz Schubert

Franz Peter Schubert (31 January 1797 – 19 November 1828) was an Austrian composer. Schubert died before his 32nd birthday, but was extremely prolific during his lifetime. His output consists of over six hundred secular vocal work...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Johannes Brahms
5

Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms (7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influen...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Joseph Haydn
5

Joseph Haydn

Franz Joseph Haydn (31 March[n 2] 1732 – 31 May 1809) was a prominent and prolific Austrian composer of the Classical period. He was instrumental in the development of chamber music such as the piano trio and his contributions to...
9
9
from 1 vote
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Ludwig van Beethoven
20

Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) 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...
8.8
8.8
from 12 votes
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Gustav Mahler
21

Gustav Mahler

Gustav Mahler (7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austrian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the mod...
8.5
8.5
from 2 votes
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Hector Berlioz
21

Hector Berlioz

Hector Berlioz (11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts (Requiem). Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orch...
8.5
8.5
from 2 votes
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Edvard Grieg
21

Edvard Grieg

Edvard Hagerup Grieg (15 June 1843 – 4 September 1907) was a Norwegian composer and pianist. His use and development of Norwegian folk music in his own compositions put the music of Norway in the international spectrum, as well as...
8.5
8.5
from 2 votes
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Domenico Scarlatti
21

Domenico Scarlatti

Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti (26 October 1685 – 23 July 1757) was an Italian composer who spent much of his life in the service of the Portuguese and Spanish royal families. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronolo...
8.5
8.5
from 2 votes
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Josquin Des Prez
25

Josquin Des Prez

Josquin des Prez (c. 1450/1455 – 27 August 1521), often referred to simply as Josquin, was a Franco-Flemish composer of the Renaissance. His original name is sometimes given as Josquin Lebloitte and his later name is given under a...
8
8
from 2 votes
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Jean-Philippe Rameau
25

Jean-Philippe Rameau

Jean-Philippe Rameau (25 September 1683 – 12 September 1764) was a French composer and music theorist of the Baroque era. Little is known about Rameau's early years, and it was not until the 1720s that he won fame as a major theor...
8
8
from 2 votes
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Henry Purcell
25

Henry Purcell

Henry Purcell (10 September 1659 – 21 November 1695) was an English composer. Although incorporating Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, Purcell's legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music. No ot...
8
8
from 2 votes
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William Byrd
25

William Byrd

William Byrd (birth date variously given as c.1539/40 or 1543 – 14 July 1623) was an English composer of the Renaissance. He wrote in many of the forms current in England at the time, including various types of sacred and secular...
8
8
from 2 votes
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Camille Saint-Saëns
29

Camille Saint-Saëns

Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso (1863), the Second Piano C...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Paul Hindemith
29

Paul Hindemith

Paul Hindemith (16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. Notable compositions include his song cycle Das Marienleben (1923) and opera Mathis der Maler (1938). Hindemith...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
29

Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov

Nikolai Andreyevich Rimsky-Korsakov (Russian: Никола́й Андре́евич Ри́мский-Ко́рсаков; 18 March 1844 – 21 June 1908) was a Russian composer, and a member of the group of composers known as The Five. He was a master of orchestration...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Carl Maria von Weber
29

Carl Maria von Weber

Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (18 or 19 November 1786 – 5 June 1826) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, one of the first significant composers of the Romantic school.
8
8
from 1 vote
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Jean-Baptiste Lully
29

Jean-Baptiste Lully

Jean-Baptiste Lully (born Giovanni Battista Lulli; 28 November 1632 – 22 March 1687) was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. Lully di...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Gabriel Fauré
29

Gabriel Fauré

Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Christoph Willibald Gluck
29

Christoph Willibald Gluck

Christoph Willibald (Ritter von) Gluck (2 July 1714 – 15 November 1787) was a composer of Italian and French opera in the early classical period. Born in the Upper Palatinate (now part of Germany) and raised in Bohemia, he gained...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Arnold Schoenberg
29

Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg (13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian composer and painter. He was associated with the expressionist movement in German poetry and art, and leader of the Second Viennese School. With the...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Charles Ives
29

Charles Ives

Charles Edward Ives (October 20, 1874 – May 19, 1954) was an American modernist composer. He is one of the first American composers of international renown, though his music was largely ignored during his life, and many of his wor...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Sergei Rachmaninoff
29

Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (Russian: Серге́й Васи́льевич Рахма́нинов; 1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943), was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. Rachmaninoff was one of the last great representatives of Romanticism in Rus...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Edward Elgar
29

Edward Elgar

Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet (2 June 1857 – 23 February 1934) was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known compositions are orc...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Olivier Messiaen
29

Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen (December 10, 1908 – April 27, 1992) was a French composer, organist and ornithologist. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically it often uses modes of limited transposition, which he abstra...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Richard Strauss
29

Richard Strauss

Richard Georg Strauss (11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier, Elektra, Die Frau ohne Schatten and Salome; his...
8
8
from 1 vote
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François Couperin
29

François Couperin

François Couperin (10 November 1668 – 11 September 1733) was a French Baroque composer, organist and harpsichordist. He was known as Couperin le Grand ("Couperin the Great") to distinguish him from other members of the musically t...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Béla Bartók
29

Béla Bartók

Béla Viktor János Bartók (March 25, 1881 – September 26, 1945) was a Hungarian composer and pianist. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later beca...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Anton Bruckner
29

Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner (4 September 1824 – 11 October 1896) was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets.
8
8
from 1 vote
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Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
29

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina

Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina (c. 1525 – 2 February 1594) was an Italian Renaissance composer of sacred music and the best-known 16th-century representative of the Roman School of musical composition.
8
8
from 1 vote
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Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi
29

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi

Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi (15 May 1567 (baptized) – 29 November 1643) was an Italian composer, gambist, singer and Roman Catholic priest. Monteverdi's work marked the change from the Renaissance style of music to that of...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Jean Sibelius
29

Jean Sibelius

Jean Sibelius (born Johan Julius Christian Sibelius (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957), was a Finnish composer and violinist of the late Romantic and early-modern periods.
8
8
from 1 vote
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Dmitri Shostakovich
29

Dmitri Shostakovich

Dmitri Dmitriyevich Shostakovich (Russian: Дми́трий Дми́триевич Шостако́вич; 25 September 1906 – 9 August 1975) was a Soviet composer and pianist, and a prominent figure of 20th-century music. Shostakovich achieved fame in the Sov...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Ralph Vaughan Williams
29

Ralph Vaughan Williams

Ralph Vaughan Williams (12 October 1872 – 26 August 1958) was an English composer. His works include operas, ballets, chamber music, secular and religious vocal pieces and orchestral compositions including nine symphonies, written...
8
8
from 1 vote
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Modest Mussorgsky
29

Modest Mussorgsky

Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky (Russian: Модест Петрович Мусоргский; 21 March 1839 – 28 March 1881) was a Russian composer, one of the group known as "The Five". He was an innovator of Russian music in the romantic period. He strove...
8
8
from 1 vote
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