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Greatest composers (all time)

A ranking of composers of any type (such as classical music composers, film composers, video game music composers, etc.).

Person:
Gender:
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Age:
Michael Hoenig
1

Michael Hoenig

Michael Hoenig (born 4 January 1952) is a German composer who has composed music for several films and games
9.3
9.3
as video game music composer
from 3 votes
Discuss [multi]
John Williams
2

John Williams

John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career spanning over six decades, he has composed some of the most popular and recognizable film scores in cinematic history, inclu...
9.1
9.1
as film music composer
from 9 votes
Discuss [-]
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
3

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
as classical music composer
from 11 votes
Discuss [-]
Hans Zimmer
4

Hans Zimmer

Hans Florian Zimmer born 12 September 1957) is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 150 films, including film scores for The Lion King, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Pirates...
9
9
as video game music composer
from 16 votes
Discuss [multi]
Frédéric Chopin
5

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
as classical music composer
from 7 votes
Discuss [-]
Johann Sebastian Bach
6

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
as classical music composer
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
James Newton Howard
6

James Newton Howard

James Newton Howard (born June 9, 1951) is an American composer, conductor, music producer and musician. Throughout his career, he has scored over 100 films of all scales and genres, earning multiple award nominations for his work...
9
9
as film music composer
from 3 votes
Discuss [-]
Georg Philipp Telemann
8

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Joseph Haydn
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Richard Wagner
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Alexandre Desplat
9

Alexandre Desplat

Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat (born 23 August 1961) is a French and Greek film composer. He has won one Academy Award for his soundtrack to the film The Grand Budapest Hotel, and received seven additional Academy Award nominatio...
9
9
as film music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Franz Schubert
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Johannes Brahms
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
George Frideric Handel
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Giacomo Puccini
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Robert Schumann
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Felix Mendelssohn
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Claude Debussy
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Franz Liszt
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Antonín Dvořák
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Giuseppe Verdi
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Danny Elfman
9

Danny Elfman

Daniel Robert "Danny" Elfman (born May 29, 1953) is an American composer, singer, songwriter, and record producer. He is known as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Oingo Boingo from 1976 to 1995, and later for scori...
9
9
as film music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Koji Kondo
9

Koji Kondo

Koji Kondo ( born August 13, 1961) is a Japanese video game composer and sound director who has been employed at Nintendo since 1984. He is best known for his involvement in numerous titles in the Mario and The Legend of Zelda ser...
9
9
as video game music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Gioacchino Rossini
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Sergei Prokofiev
9

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Ennio Morricone
27

Ennio Morricone

Ennio Morricone (born November 10, 1928) is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor and former trumpet player, who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, as well as contemporary classical w...
8.9
8.9
as film music composer
from 8 votes
Discuss [-]
Ludwig van Beethoven
28

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
as classical music composer
from 12 votes
Discuss [-]
Edvard Grieg
29

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Gustav Mahler
29

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Nobuo Uematsu
29

Nobuo Uematsu

Nobuo Uematsu (植松 伸夫, born March 21, 1959) is a Japanese video game composer, best known for scoring the majority of titles in the Final Fantasy series. Uematsu, a self-taught musician, began playing the piano at the age of eleven...
8.5
8.5
as video game music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Hector Berlioz
29

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Domenico Scarlatti
29

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
James Horner
34

James Horner

James Roy Horner (August 14, 1953 – June 22, 2015) was an American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film scores. He was known for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for his fre...
8.4
8.4
as film music composer
from 5 votes
Discuss [multi]
William Byrd
35

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Jean-Philippe Rameau
35

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Henry Purcell
35

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Josquin Des Prez
35

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
as classical music composer
from 2 votes
Discuss [-]
Alan Silvestri
39

Alan Silvestri

Alan Anthony Silvestri (born March 26, 1950) is an American composer and conductor who works primarily in film and television. He is known inter alia for his frequent collaboration with director Robert Zemeckis, including composin...
8
8
as film music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Ralph Vaughan Williams
39

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Harry Gregson-Williams
39

Harry Gregson-Williams

Harry Gregson-Williams (born 13 December 1961) is a British composer, orchestrator, conductor, and music producer. He has regularly written for television and films, such as The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wa...
8
8
as video game music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [multi]
Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina
39

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Philip Glass
39

Philip Glass

Philip Morris Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer.
8
8
as film music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Béla Bartók
39

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Russell Brower
39

Russell Brower

Russell Brower is an American music composer and three-time Emmy Award-winning sound designer who has created sounds for Tiny Toon Adventures, Animaniacs and Batman: The Animated Series, and video game music for games including Jo...
8
8
as video game music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Maurice Ravel
39

Maurice Ravel

Joseph Maurice Ravel (French: [ʒɔzɛf mɔʁis ʁavɛl]; 7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937) was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although...
8
8
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Trent Reznor
39

Trent Reznor

Michael Trent Reznor (born May 17, 1965), known professionally as Trent Reznor, is an American singer-songwriter, record producer, and film score composer. As a vocalist and multi-instrumentalist, he has led the industrial rock pr...
8
8
as film music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Michael Stearns
39

Michael Stearns

Michael Stearns (born 1948) is a United States musician and composer of ambient music. He is also known as a film composer, sound designer and soundtrack producer for large format films, theatrical films, documentaries, commercial...
8
8
as film music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Jean Sibelius
39

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
Claudio Giovanni Antonio Monteverdi
39

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
as classical music composer
from 1 vote
Discuss [-]
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