Greatest composers (all time)
A ranking of composers of any type (such as classical music composers, film composers, video game music composers, etc.).
Michael Hoenig (born 4 January 1952) is a German composer who has composed music for several films and games
from 3 votes
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...
from 9 votesDiscuss [-]
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.
from 11 votesDiscuss [-]
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...
from 16 votes
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...
from 7 votesDiscuss [-]
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...
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...
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,...
from 2 votesDiscuss [-]
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
from 8 votesDiscuss [-]
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...
from 12 votesDiscuss [-]
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
from 5 votes
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
from 1 vote
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.
Philip Morris Glass (born January 31, 1937) is an American composer.
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...
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...
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...
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...
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...
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.
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...
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