Composer Gallery

Here are quick and easy reference guides to the all-time great composers, a roster that we're always expanding. For each composer, you'll find vital statistics (birth, death, nationality), a short biographical sketch and a few fun facts, plus a basic guide to the music and a list of weblinks and resources, plus a few of the most famous tunes and one or two videos. Whether you're heading off to a concert, writing a research paper, looking for reliable, current information, or just want to explore some cool music and video, this is the first stop on your web search.
Romantic

Saint-Saëns, Camille

The leading French composer of his generation, he was considered the “French Beethoven” in his lifetime, and was often compared to Mozart.
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Modern

Satie, Erik

A stinging gadfly in the dead white male club, Satie rejected most ideas of “great” music he inherited, and struck out on his own to discover a modern, un-Romantic style.
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Classical

Schubert, Franz

  • Seminal composer of the early Romantic era. His original harmonies and his affinity for homely genres like the art-song (lieder) and short piano pieces were hugely influential.

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Romantic

Schumann, Robert

  • Early standard-bearer for German musical Romanticism in mid-19th century, and a powerful influence on Romantic musicians.

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20th Century

Shostakovich, Dmitri

Russian 20th-century composer especially famous for his symphonies.
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Late Romantic/Early 20th Century

Sibelius, Jean

Finnish symphonist considered a national hero in his homeland. His music spans an enormous emotional range, and many of his innovations remain influential on contemporary composers.
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Romantic

Smetana, Bedřich

Composer of The Moldau and The Bartered Bride, Smetana was an ardent nationalist whose music is still championed in the Czech Republic.
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Romantic

Strauss II, Johann

  • Known as “The Waltz King,” Strauss wrote many of the world’s most famous waltzes (“The Blue Danube,” “The Emperor”), as well as the operetta “Die Fledermaus” (The bat).

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20th century

Strauss, Richard

  • Initially famous as a composer of symphonic poems (notably “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” which contains the theme made famous in “2001: Space Odyssey”), he later concentrated on writing operas. Strauss is an important link between Romanticism and 20th-century modernism.

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20th century

Stravinsky, Igor

  • One of the most influential composers of the early 20th-century modernists, and also one of the most popular.

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