Category Archives: Composers

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 Grieg: 15 June 1843 – 4 Sept 1907

Introduction Edvard Grieg was a Norwegian 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 Johann 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… Read More »

Gabriel Fauré: 12 May 1845 – 4 Nov 1924

Introduction Gabriel Fauré was born on 12 May 1845 in the South of France. His music influenced many 20th century composers, linking the end of the Romaticism era with the beginning of the modern era. Some of his best known works are Pavane, Requiem, Sicilienne, nocturnes for piano and the songs “Après un rêve” and “Clair de lune”. Family… Read More »

Amilcare Ponchielli: 31 Aug 1834 – 16 Jan 1886

Amilcare Ponchielli Amilcare Ponchielli was an Italian opera composer born in 1834, 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 and his first opera two years later. Ponchielli is not one of your mainstream composers.  His early career was… Read More »

Claude Debussy: 22 Aug 1862 – 25 March 1918

Introduction Claude Debussy was a French composer. He was one of the most influential composers of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. He wasn’t born into a wealthy family and it was through his incredible talent alone that enabled him to get into the Conservatoire de Paris at the age of ten. Quick Facts: 1. Debussy was… Read More »

Manuel de Falla y Matheu: 23 Nov 1876 – 14 Nov 1946

Introduction: Manuel de Falla y Matheu was a Spanish composer born in Andalucia. He is not a composer known to everyone, however he was one of Spain’s most important musicians during the first half of the 20th century along with Albéniz, Tárrega and  Granados.  As he became more famous he dropped the y Matheu part of his surname. Family: His mother… Read More »

Sergei Rachmaninoff: 1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943

Introduction Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer who lived in the 20th Century. His early works were very much influenced by other famous Russian composers such as Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev and Mussorgsky. However as he became more established he created his own style. Early Years Sergei was born into aristocratic family and was the fourth of six children.… Read More »

Edward Elgar: 2 June 1857 – 23 Feb 1934

Introduction Edward Elgar for me is probably the most famous English composer… Why? .. well I didn’t grow up in a very musical household, however Land of Hope and Glory, The Enigma Variations and Pomp and Circumstances all appeared on my radar. Maybe it’s the memories of BBC’s last night of the Proms (although we certainly weren’t avid… Read More »