Category Archives: Composers

Christoph Gluck: 2 July 1714 – 15 Nov 1787

Introduction Christoph Gluck was one of the leading composers of the classical period, known for his transformation of the traditional Baroque operas. He wrote forty nine in total. In 1756 he was knighted in Rome as ‘Knight of the Golden Spur.’ Works His most famous opera works include:-1762 Orfeo ed Euridice 1767 Alceste1770 Paride ed Elena1774 Iphigénie en Aulide1774… Read More »

Orlando Gibbons: bapt. 25 Dec 1583 – 5 June 1625

Introduction Orlando Gibbons was an English composer and one of the last masters of the English Madrigal School. He was from a large family of musicians, including his father who was a city councillor and his brothers Edward and Ellis. Education & Career At the age of nineteen Gibbons became a musician of the Chapel Royal. Despite the… Read More »

Richard Genée: 17 Feb 1823 – 15 June 1895

Introduction Richard Genée was born in Danzig, Poland but lived much of his life in Austria. His father was a theatre conductor which obviously lead Genée into his playwright, libretto, composing career chosing this over medicine. Despite not being very well known today, in his time he was very popular in Vienna and wrote many compositions, libretto’s and… Read More »

Niels Gade: 22 Feb 1817 – 21 Dec 1890

Introduction Niels Gade was a Danish composer. Despite not achieving the fame of Felix Mendelssohn or Robert Schumann he is still regarded as one of the most important Danish musicians of his day. Career He started his career as a violinist in the Royal Danish Orchestra where he premiered Efterklange af Ossian (Echos of Ossian) in 1841. However, his… Read More »

Giovanni Gabrieli: c1554/1557 – 12 Aug 1612

Introduction Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian composer in the late Renaissance and Baroque period and he used each style. He was also an organist and teacher. Career Little is known about Gabrieli’s early life, however it is thought that he was brought up taught by his uncle Andrea Gabrieli who was organist at St Mark’s Cathedral from the… Read More »

Girolamo Frescobaldi: Sept 1583 – 1 March 1643

Introduction Girolamo Frescobaldi was an Italian master of the organ, both in composition and as an organist. He was considered by many to be a genius! His father was in property and most possibly an organist given Girolamo and his half-brother’s aptitude for the organ. Career In 1607 Frescobaldi began his career in Rome as church organist at… Read More »

César Franck: 10 Dec 1822 – 8 Nov 1890

Introduction César Franck was born in Liége which is now part of Belgium. He is famous for his Romantic compositions. Despite his talent it was commented that he didn’t possess the social skills to support a concert career. Education & Career Franck displayed musical talent at an early age, and was accepted at the Liége Conservatory at the… Read More »

Stephen Foster: 4 July 1826 – 13 Jan 1864

Introduction Stephen Foster was an American composer famous for his minstrel music and ballads. He wrote over two hundred songs many of which are still popular today, however some of the words in the minstrel music which were accepted at the time are now considered racist. Life & Career Foster was not formally taught music – teaching himself… Read More »

John Field: 30 September 1782 – 23 Jan 1837

Introduction John Field was born into a musical Irish family. At the age of eight he received lessons from Tommaso Giordani. Whist still young he moved to London where he was tutored under Muzio Clementi who enabled his fame and popularity as a concert pianist. They became good friends and Field assisted Clementi in selling musical instruments and… Read More »

Thomas Fats Waller: 21 May 1904 – 15 Dec 1943

Introduction Thomas Fats Waller was an American Jazz pianist and composer. His mother Adeline was a musician who taught and supported Thomas in his music. Sadly she died when he was a teenager. His father was the Reverend Edward Martin Waller, a trucker and pastor in New York City. Waller was one of eleven children, however only four… Read More »