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

Offenbach, Jacques

  • Aka “the Mozart of the Champs-Elysees,” Offenbach was a composer of brilliant operettas and one repertory opera, The Tales of Hoffmann. His operettas are infused with social commentary.

More »
Renaissance

Palestrina, Giovanni Pierluigi da

  • Late 16th-century, Italian composer of masses, motets, and madrigals. He was extremely prolific and is regarded as one of the greatest composers of the late Renaissance.

More »
20th-Century

Prokofiev, Sergei

Loved for his beautiful melodies, Prokofiev also demonstrated a sense of humor-often biting-that tempered his Romanticism. He is one of the most popular 20th-century composers.
More »
Romantic

Puccini, Giacomo

Last in the line of "Golden Age" Italian opera composers, responsible for some of the world's most beloved operas.
More »
Baroque

Purcell, Henry

  • One of the most revered English Baroque composers, he merged French, Italian, and native elements in his music.

More »
Romantic

Rachmaninov, Sergei

Late, great, Russian Romantic composer. Equally famous as a pianist; many of his best compositions are for that instrument.
More »
Baroque

Rameau, Jean-Philippe

The most important 18th-century French composer, known especially for his operas and other theater works. He also was an influential music theorist.
More »
Modern

Ravel, Maurice

  • In early 20th-century France, Ravel was one of the great orchestrators in music. He used his original harmonic sensibility to create lush, tuneful, and engaging works.

More »
Romantic

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai

Composer of Scheherazade and several great operas, Rimsky-Korsakov was also a great teacher, one of the most important influences in 19th-century Russian music.
More »
Classical

Rossini, Gioachino

  • Known as “The Swan of Pesaro,” Rossini was the most popular composer of the first half of the 19th century. Rossini’s highly ornate musical style revolutionized the art form, inaugurating the “Golden Century” of Italian opera.

More »