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.
20th Century

Ellington, Edward Kennedy “Duke”

The most significant and prolific composer in jazz history and one of the most famous American composers in any genre. Ellington's music helped define what jazz is and what it could be. His longer compositions are now sometimes performed by classical orchestras.
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Romantic-Modern

Fauré, Gabriel

The greatest French art song composer, and one of the most original musicians of the 19th Century.
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Renaissance

Gabrieli, Giovanni

  • Venetian composer and organist, guardian of the grand, opulent, sacred music style favored in Renaissance Venice at the height of its power.

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20th Century

Gershwin, George

Composer of some of the most beloved concert works of the 20th century, along with dozens of familiar jazz standards.
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20th-21st century

Glass, Philip

One of the most versatile living composers, Glass is famous for his film scores and performances with his ensemble. He is also the most performed living opera composer.
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Romantic

Gounod, Charles

Opera composer whose Faust is one of the most popular and tuneful works in the world repertory. He also composed church music and his Ave Maria setting is world famous.
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Romantic

Grieg, Edvard

The first Norwegian composer to gain a Europe-wide reputation, famous for his lyrical, shorter pieces.
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Baroque

Handel, George Frideric

  • Born in Germany and trained in Italy, Handel immigrated to London and became the most celebrated composer in English history. Originator of the English oratorio, most notably Messiah.

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20th century

Harrison, Lou

Known for his innovative syntheses of music from the Pacific Rim and modern classical, Harrison had an explorer’s heart, but also a lyrical gift he used freely.
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Classical

Haydn, Franz Joseph

  • “Papa” Haydn; the most celebrated composer of his time, developer of the string quartet and a major influence on symphonic composition.

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