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

Brahms, Johannes

  • Often called the successor to Beethoven, Brahms achieved greatness in a wide variety of genres. Despite his intellectual rigor, he is one of the most popular Romantic composers.

More »
20th Century

Britten, Benjamin

  • Twentieth-century English composer of opera and other works. Many of his operas have become standard repertory.

More »
Renaissance

Byrd, William

  • Considered by many to be the greatest composer of the English Renaissance, with an intensely personal and recognizable style.

More »
Romantic

Chopin, Frédéric

  • Chopin embodies the Romantic ideal of the introverted and reclusive genius. His music is full of unexpected twists and turns, and explores the full  range of Romantic expression through the piano.

More »
20th Century

Copland, Aaron

  • 20th-century American composer, often nicknamed "The Dean of American Composers," for the quintessentially American musical sound he created.

More »
Baroque

Couperin, François

Composer of the most influential keyboard music of his time, he introduced popular forms and Italian style into French classicism.
More »
20th Century

Debussy, Claude

  • Frenchman Claude Debussy offered a musical alternative to Romanticism. Because he reinterpreted or discarded many of the laws of traditional harmony and form, he is considered one of the fathers of modern music.

More »
Romantic

Donizetti, Gaetano

Wrote two of the all-time-greatest Italian opera hits, and several more that are widely loved. He was an important influence on Verdi.
More »
Romantic

Dvořák, Antonin

  • Beloved Czech composer of symphonic, chamber and operatic works. Most famous for the “New World” symphony.

More »
Romantic

Elgar, Sir Edward William

The leading English composer at the beginning of the 20th century, Elgar was the first one in more than a century to earn a major international reputation. He was equally successful with small, popular works and large, symphonic ones.
More »