Category Archives: Composers

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 »

Benjamin Godard: 18 Aug 1849 – 10 Jan 1895

Introduction Benjamin Godard isn’t a composer who immediately springs to mind compared to the likes of Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Handel etc. However, when you look into this talented gentlemen he certainly wasn’t a one hit wonder! Influenced musically by the earlier generations such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Chopin and Beethoven. Although, most certainly not by Robert Wagner whom he… Read More »

Jeremiah Clarke: 1674 – 1707

Brief Bio Jeremiah Clarke was an English composer, born around 1674. The exact date is unknown and their is uncertainty surrounding his date of death. One writer recording it as 16 July 1707, however most sources state it as 1 December 1707. Clarke’s journey took him through a number of well known very reputable establishments. Starting as a… Read More »

Louis Moreau Gottschalk: 8 May 1829 – 18 Dec 1869

Background Louis Moreau Gottschalk was an American composer of sentimental music and a pianist, however he spent most of his time outside of US, living in South America and the Caribbean. Gottschalk was born of a Jewish businessman from London and a Creole mother. He had 6 brothers and 5 sisters . Later he moved in with relatives… Read More »

Gioachino Rossini: 29 Feb 1792 – 13 Nov 1868

Intro: Rossini was born into a musical background and educated at a music school. His mother was a singer and his father played the horn and trumpet. So it is no surprise that Rossini started to compose music at the age of 12 and by the age of 15 he could play the violin, horn and harpsichord and… Read More »

Franz Schubert: 31 Jan 1797 – 19 Nov 1828

Intro Franz Schubert was an amazing Austrian composer who died at the very young age of just 31. Despite his early years he produced a huge array of works including over 600 secular vocal works, seven complete symphonies, operas. sacred music and a large collection of piano and chamber music. On we have 127 arrangements of Schubert’s… Read More »

George Gershwin: 26 Sept 1898 – 11 July 1937

George Gershwin was one of the most famous American composers of all time, writing mostly for musicals. However he combined many of his techniques in classical music with jazz and popular music. He was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1898, and mostly grew up in the Yiddish Theatre District (occasionally appearing as an extra). He didn’t have… Read More »

Franz Josef Haydn: 31 March 1732 – 31 May 1809

Intro Haydn was an Austrian composer of the Classical period. Bizarrely his parents were not musical and given Haydn’s potential musical gift they accepted an offer from a relative; Johann Matthias Frankh, a schoolmaster and choirmaster for Haydn to become his home trained apprentice. Haydn never lived with parents after that (maybe they preferred it that way?). Early… Read More »