Category Archives: Composers

Felix Mendelssohn: 3 Feb 1809 – 4 Nov 1847

Introduction Felix Mendelssohn was a German composer, organist, and pianist of the early Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg to Jewish parents; Lea and Abraham Mendelssohn Bartholdy. Abraham was a German philanthropist and banker. Lea was a pianist and the reason behind Felix’s success and also a huge supporter of JS Bach. Felix was also the grandson… Read More »

Amilcare Ponchielli: 31 Aug 1834 – 16 Jan 1886

Introduction Ponchielli is not one of your mainstream composers.  Italian born in 1834, he is most famous for his opera Gioconda. He won a music scholarship at the Milan Conservatory at the age of nine and wrote his first symphony at twelve followed by his first opera two years later. His early career was disappointing taking many small… Read More »

Johann Nepomuk Hummel: 14 Nov 1778 – 17 Oct 1837

Intro. Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. He delighted audiences as a pianist wherever he went, but he is best known today as a composer of his work for the trumpet.  At the age of eight Mozart offered him music lessons and Hummel lived with Mozart for two years for free. He and Mozart cemented… Read More »

Antonio Vivaldi: 4 March 1678 – 28 July 1741

Introduction Antonio Vivaldi was an Italian composer and violinist of the Baroque period, as well as being a priest and teacher. He influenced many composers with his innovative use of Baroque music. He wrote over five hundred concerto’s (almost half of these were for the violin) and 46 operas. Family His father Giovanni Battista Vivaldi was originally a… Read More »

Julius Fucik: 23 Feb 1903 – 8 Sept 1943

Introduction Julius Fucik is not a hugely familiar composer this is probably due to the type of music he composed.  With a background in the military most of his work was for military bands.  He composed over 400 military marches, polkas and waltzes. He was born in Prague in 1872 and died in 1916 at the age of just… Read More »

Johann Strauss Jnr: 25 Oct 1825 – 3 June 1899

Johann Strauss Jnr was the eldest son of Johann Strauss and known as the ‘Waltz King’. His father never wanted his son to become a musician favouring the banking profession to protect him from the hardships associated with a musician. When he discovered that his son had secretly been studying and practising the violin with his own first… Read More »

Eric Satie: 17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925

Introduction Eric Alfred Leslie Satie was a French composer and pianist who was of major influence to twentieth century music. His fame is also attributed to his unique style which was often flippant, ‘out of the ordinary’ and humorous. Satie was born in Honfleur, Normany, France to Alfred Satie and Jane Leslie. Alfred was a ship builder and… Read More »

Edvard Greig: 15 June 1843 – 4 Sept 1907

Introduction Edvard Greig was a Norweigen composer and Pianist in the Romantic Era. He put Norway firmly on the musical map, becoming the founder of the Norwegian Nationalist School of Music. Over time he merged traditional Norwegian melodies and harmonies into his own compositions. Today he is Norway’s most celebrated human icon, likened to George Washington’s status in… Read More »

Johann Sebastian Bach: 31 March (21 March O.S) 1685 – 28 July 1750

Introduction Sebastian Bach was a German composer of the Baroque period. He was from a creative family of musicians, teachers, composers and church organists. He composed one thousand, one hundred and twenty eight pieces of music and an additional twenty three were unfinished or lost. Bach was very talented playing the organ, harpsichord, viola, and violin.  Bach’s best… Read More »