Top 34 biggest classical music composers

Test your knowledge of the best music composers since the 16th century, and get yourself a great new playlist!


1906 - 1975Dmitri Shostakovich

He is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century, with a unique harmonic language and a historic importance due to his years of work under Stalin. His music is characterized by sharp contrasts, elements of the grotesque, and ambivalent tonality; he was also heavily influenced by the neoclassical style pioneered by Igor Stravinsky, and (especially in his symphonies) by the late Romanticism of Gustav Mahler.

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Tunes: 5th & 7th Symphonies, 8th & 15th Quartets USSR

1898 - 1937George Gershwin

American composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres.

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Tunes: Rhapsody in Blue, An American in Paris, Porgy and Bess USA

1891 - 1953Sergei Prokofiev

Russian Soviet composer, pianist and conductor.

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Tunes: Peter and the Wolf, Lieutenant Kijé, The Love for Three Oranges USSR

1882 - 1971Igor Stravinsky

Russian-born composer, pianist, and conductor. He first achieved international fame with three ballets commissioned by the impresario Serge Diaghilev and first performed in Paris by Diaghilev's Ballets Russes.

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Tunes: The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Les Noces Russia

1881 - 1945Béla Bartók

Hungarian composer, pianist, and ethnomusicologist. Through his collection and analytical study of folk music, he was one of the founders of comparative musicology, which later became ethnomusicology.

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Tunes: The Firebird, Petrushka, The Rite of Spring, Les Noces Hungary

1875 - 1937Maurice Ravel

French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected the term. Many of his works exist in two versions - first, a piano score and later an orchestration.

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Tunes: Boléro, Daphnis et Chloé, Gaspard de la nuit France

1873 - 1943Sergei Rachmaninoff

Russian composer, virtuoso pianist, and conductor of the late Romantic period.

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Tunes: Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Piano Concerto No. 2 Russia

1866 - 1925Erik Satie

French composer and pianist, an influential artist in the late 19th- and early 20th-century Parisian avant-garde.

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Tunes: Gymnopédies, Ogives, Gnossiennes France

1862 - 1918Claude Debussy

French composer, sometimes seen as the first Impressionist composer, although he vigorously rejected the term.

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Tunes: Pelléas et Mélisande, Nocturnes, Images

1860 - 1911Gustav Mahler

Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. Mahler's œuvre is relatively limited; for much of his life composing was necessarily a part-time activity while he earned his living as a conductor.

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Tunes: 2nd Symphony, 3rd Symphony, 8th Symphony Austrian Empire

1858 - 1924Giacomo Puccini

Italian opera composer.

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Tunes: La bohème, Tosca, Madama Butterfly, Turandot Italy

1841 - 1904Antonín Dvořák

Czech composer, one of the first to achieve worldwide recognition. He frequently employed rhythms and other aspects of the folk music of Moravia and his native Bohemia.

See on en.wikipedia.org
Tunes: Serenade for strings in E Major, 8 Humoresques, Lullaby in G Major Austrian Empire

1840 - 1893Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

Russian composer of the Romantic period. First Russian composer whose music made a lasting impression internationally. He was honored in 1884 by Tsar Alexander III and awarded a lifetime pension.

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Tunes: Swan Lake, The Nutcracker, Variations on a Rococo theme Russian Empire

1838 - 1875Georges Bizet

French composer of the Romantic era.

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Tunes: Carmen, Jeux d'enfants France

1833 - 1897Johannes Brahms

German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period.

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Tunes: Hungarian Dance No. 5 in G Minor, Wiegenlid Op. 49 No. 4

1819 - 1880Jacques Offenbach


1813 - 1901Giuseppe Verdi


1813 - 1883Richard Wagner


1811 - 1886Franz Liszt


1810 - 1856Robert Schumann


1810 - 1849Frédéric Chopin


1809 - 1847Felix Mendelssohn


1803 - 1869Hector Berlioz


1797 - 1828Franz Schubert


1792 - 1868Gioachino Rossini


1782 - 1840Niccolò Paganini


1770 - 1827Ludwig van Beethoven


1756 - 1791Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart


1732 - 1809Joseph Haydn


1685 - 1759George Frideric Handel


1685 - 1750Johann Sebastian Bach


1668 - 1741Sergei Rachmaninoff


1632 - 1687Jean-Baptiste Lully


1567 - 1643Claudio Monteverdi

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