(German) Strong Romantic Composer of Opera. Strong early contributions to atonality. Wrote books on anti-semitism.
Compositions: Tristan und Isolde; The Ring Cycle.
1841 - 1904
(Czech) Composer who gained much international acclaim. Many of his compositions were based on a collection of folk melodies.
Compositions: New World Symphony; Cello Concerto; "American" String Quartet
1844 - 1908
(Russian) Conductor, composer. Part of the Russian "mighty handful". A master of orchestration.
Compositions: Scheherezade; Capriccio Espagnol; The Snow Maiden
1854 - 1928
(Czech) Composer, musical theorist,folklorist, publicist, and teacher. Folkloristic Research; Spoken word=Music
Compositions: Dans Lesbrumes; In the Mists; Sinfonietta
Houston Stewart Chamberlain
1855 - 1927
(English) Philosopher who was a racialist writer. His writings perpetuated anti-semitic sentiments.
1858 - 1924
(Italian) One of the most notable Italian Opera Composers of the late 19th century.
Compositions: Tosca; Madame Butterfly; La Rondine
1860 - 1911
(Austrian) One of the most quintessential late Romantic composers and conductors.
Compositions: Symphony No. 2; Kindertotenlieder; Das Lied von der Erde
1862 - 1918
(French) Impressionistic composer; Gamelan influence; Used a variety of modes in his compositions.
Compositions: La Mer; Suite Burgamesque; Children's Corner
1864 - 1949
Composer, conductor, pianist, and violinist. A leading composer of the late Romantic era and early modern era. Renowned for his operas and tone poem.
Compositions: Ein Heldenleben; Don Juan; Salomé
1865 - 1918
(German) Poet, author, translator. She was most known for her German translation of Oscar Wilde's play Salomé.
1865 - 1957
(Finnish) Composer and violinist. Early modernist composer not serialist in the slightest. His music holds a loneliness.
Compositions: Finlandia; Symphony No. 2; En Saga
1866 - 1925
(French) Composer and Pianist. Anti Romantic avant garde composer.
Compositions: Gymnopédies; Gnossiennes; Je te veux
1867 - 1957
(Italian) Conductor. One of the most famous conductors due to his radio presence on the NBC Symphony Orchestra.
1867 - 1917
(American) The father of Ragtime.
Compositions: The Entertainer; Maple Leaf Rag; Treemonisha
1869 - 1911
Avant garde composer, pianist, author, and inventor who wrote many modernist musical compositions.
Will Marion Cook
1869 - 1927
(American) Composer, violinist, and choral director. African American; A student of Antonin Dvorak's.
Compositions: I'm Coming to Virginia; I; I'm Coming Virginia
1873 - 1943
(Russian) Composer, pianist, and conductor. Wrote many pieces that have heavy Romantic influences well into the 20th century.
Compositions: Preludes op. 23; Piano Concertos 1-4; Symphony No. 2
1874 - 1951
(Austrian) Composer, music theorist, teacher, writer, and painter. Father of 12-tone theory. Leader of the second viennese School. One of the most influential composers of the 20th century.
Compositions: Pierrot Lunaire; Verklärte Nacht; Gurre-Lieder
1874 - 1954
(American) Connecticut born composer who studied and pioneered compositions in polytonality.
Compositions: The Concord Sonata; The Unanswered Question; Country Band March
1874 - 1951
(Russian) Conductor, composer, double bassist; Most famous for his tenure as the conductor of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Compositions: Double Bass Concerto
1875 - 1937
(French) Composer, conductor, and pianist. Impressionistic composer. Took a lot of influence from jazz and blues.
Compositions: Piano Concerto in G; Miroirs; Boléro
1875 - 1955
(German) Novelist, short story author, social critic, philanthropist, and receiver of the 1929 Nobel Prize in Literature. Many of his works inspired many great works of music in the 20th century.
Written Works: Death in Venice; Doctor Faustus
1879 - 1964
(Austrian) Composer, author, editor, socialite. Wife of Gustav Mahler; Composed quite a few vocal works.
Compositions: Laue Sommernacht; Die stille Stadt
1880 - 1942
(Russian) Choreographer and Dancer. Worked with Stravinsky on choreographing his ballets.
1881 - 1945
Composer, pianist, ethnomusicologist, noted for his musical palindromes and Hungarian style of music.
Composition: Concerto for Orchestra; Romanian Folk Dances; Mikrokosmos
1882 - 1971
(Russian) Composer, pianist, and conductor. Composed in a variety of different styles and fields of music throughout his life.
Compositions: Petrushka; Symphony of Psalms; Octet
1883 - 1945
(Austrian) One of the core composers of the 2nd Viennese School. Went closer to serialism than Schoenberg.
Compositions: Variations for Piano; Langsamer Satz; Passacaglia for Orchestra
1883 - 1965
(French) Composer who spent the majority of his career in the United States. He coined the term "organized" sound in reference to his own musical style.
Compositions: Ionisation; Poeme Electronique; Amériques
1885 - 1935
Member of the 2nd Viennese School, known for his combinations of 12-tone serialism with Romanticism
Compositions: Wozzeck; Violin Concerto; Lulu
May 11, 1888 - Sep 22, 1989
Composer and Lyricist, one of the greatest songwriters in American history.
Compositions: Alexander's Ragtime Band; Puttin' on the Ritz; Blue Skies
1891 - 1953
(Russian) Soviet Composer, conductor, pianist, and conductor. Created many masterpieces over a slew of musical genres. One of the most influential composers of the 20th century.
Compositions: The Love for Three Oranges; Peter and the Wolf; Alexander Nevsky
1892 - 1974
(French) Composer, conductor, and teacher. He was a member of Les Six. His pieces are influenced by jazz and Brazilian music and make exclusive use of polytonality.
Compositions: La Création du Monde; Le Bœuf sur le Toit; Scaramouche
1895 - 1982
(German) Composer and educator. Famous for Carmina Burana and work on children's pedagogy.
Compositions: Carmina Burana; In taberna quando sumus; Orff Schulwerk
1895 - 1963
(German) Composer, teacher, violist, conductor. Had his own view of tonality and wrote many books on it.
Compositions: Symphony Metamorphosis; Mathis de Mahler; Symphony in Bb
1896 - 1989
(American) Composer and critic. Instrumental in the populist sound that defined Americanism.
Compositions: The River; The Mother of Us All; Lord Byron
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
1897 - 1957
(Austrian) One of the most notable composers of 20th century American film.
Compositions: Midsummer Night's Dream; Violin Concerto; Dietote Stadt
1897 - 1965
(American) Theorist, composer, pianist, teacher, publisher, and impresario.
Compositions: The Anaemic Rug; New Musical Resources; Adventures in Harmony.
1898 - 1956
(German) Theater practitioner, playwright who left Germany in 1933 to escape Hitler. Directed the Threepenny Opera.
Plays Directed: Life of Galileo; The Good Person of Szechwan.
1898 - 1937
(American) Composer and pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres.
Compositions: Porgy and Bess; Rhapsody in Blue; Piano Concerto in F
George Gershwin (American)
1898 - 1937
Composer and Pianist whose compositions spanned both popular and classical genres.
C: Rhapsody in Blue; Porgy and Bess; Piano Concerto in F
1898 - 1962
( Austrian) Composed the National Anthem for East Germany. Wrote scores for many German Films.
Compositions: Kleine Symphonie; Anden Kleinen Radioapparat; Lenin
Edward "Duke" Ellington
1899 - 1974
(American) Composer, pianist, and leader of a jazz orchestra. One of the most influential jazz composers of all time.
Compositions: In a Sentimental Mood; Sophisticated Lady; C. James Blues
1899 - 1963
(French) Composer and pianist. One of the leading figures of the Les Six Movement in France.
Compositions: Gloria; La Voix Humaine; Dialogues of the Carmelitas; La Voix Humaine
1900 - 1990
(American) Composer, composition teacher, writer, and later conductor. Famous for populist works which defined American idealism.
Compositions: Appalachian Spring; Rodeo; Fanfare for the Common Man
1900 - 1991
(Austrian) A composer known for exploring with atonality and writing books on music. Composed the piece Johnny spielt auf.
Compositions: Johnny spielt auf; Suite op. 164 for Guitar; Sinfonias
1900 - 1950
(German) Jewish composer in Germany most famous for his Threepenny Opera. Worked with Bertolt Brecht
Compositions: Mack the Knife; September Song; Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny
1903 - 1978
(Russian) Composer, writer, and cultural figure. Became a U.S. citizen in 1939.
Compositions: Don Quixote (Ballet); Love's Labour's Lost (opera)
1904 - 1988
(Austrian) Sculptor. Daughter of Gustav and Alma Mahler. Married to Ernst Krenek
1905 - 1964
(American) Composer, lyricist, and librettist.
Compositions: I've Got the Tune; The Cradle will Rock; Nickel Under the Foot
1906 - 1975
(Russian) Composer and pianist. One of the most important composers. His compositions while being harmonically intricate shine a mirror to the suppressive nature of Stalin's Soviet Union.
Compositions: The Gadfly; Symphony No. 7; Piano Concert No. 2
1907 - 1973
Notable poet of the 20th century.
1908 - 2012
(American) One of the most respected composers of the 20th century. Serialist. Famous for using tone clusters.
Compositions: Boston Concerto; The Minotaur; Oboe Concerto
1908 - 1992
(French) Composer, organist, and ornithologist. Devout Catholic. Known for his symbolic music writings. Loved birds.
Compositions: Quartet for the End of Time; Turangalîla Symphonie; Vingt Regards sur l'enfant-Jésus
1910 - 1981
American composer of orchestral opera, choral, and piano music.
Compositions: Agnus Dei; Adagio for Strings; Violin Concerto
1912 - 1992
(American) Composer, music theorist, artist, and philosopher. A pioneer in indeterminacy music.
Compositions: Concerto for Prepared Piano; 4'33; Credo in US
1913 - 1976
(English) Conductor, composser, pianist. Lifelong relationship with tenor Peter Pears; pacifist; Most known for his operas.
Compositions: Billy Budd; Death in Venice; Peter Grimes
1916 - 2011
Composer, music theorist, and teacher most notable for his serial and electronic music.
Compositions: Philomel; Ensembles for Synthesizer; Post-Partitions
1918 - 1990
(American) Composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. One of the most internationally acclaimed American conductors of the 20th century.
Compositions: Candide; West Side Story; Mass
28 May 1923 - 12 June 2006
(Austro-Hungarian) One of the most important avant garde composers of the late 20th century.
Compositions: Le Grande Macabre; Musica Ricerata; Lux Aeterna
1925 - 2003
(Italian) One of the leading pioneers of electronic music. He was a pianist.
Compositions: Folk Songs; Un re in ascalto; Sequenzas
1925 - 2016
Composer, conductor, writer, and creator of musical institutions. Intensely serialist.
Compositions: Polyphonie X; Incises; Le Marteau Sans Maitre
1926 - 1987
(American) Pioneer of Indeterminate music and very patient 12-tonalism.
Compositions: Triadic memories; Rothko Chapel; Voices and Instruments
1928 - 2007
(German) One of the most controversial visionary composers of the 20th century.
Compositions: Klaverstücke; Licht; Gesang der Jünglinge
1935 - Present
(Estonian) Composer. He has a minimalistic style that employs influence from Gregorian chants.
Compositions: Spiegel im Spiegel; The Deer's Cry; Tabula Rasa
La Monte Young
1935 - Present
(American) Avant garde composer, musician, and artists. Regarded as one of the first minimalistic composers ever.
Compositions: Composition 1960; Dream House; Bb Dorian Blues
1935 - Present
(American) Minimalist composer pioneer. Known for his use of repetition and delay systems on tape recordings.
Compositions: In C; Dorian Reeds; Poppy Nogood and the Phantom Band
1936 - Present
(American) Composer who pioneered minimalism and incorporated a form of rhythmic displacement known as phase shifting in his music.
Compositions: Mallet Quartet; Clapping Music; Music for 18 Musicians
1937 - Present
Minimalist composer; best known for his transparent sonority; best friends with Steve Reich for a time.
Compositions: Glassworks; Einstein on the Beach; Akhnaten
1947 - 2016
(English) Singer, songwriter, actor, one of the iconic figures of the glam rock movement.
Compositions: Space Oddity; Let's Dance; Lazarus