Fun Facts About Composers

By | February 23, 2024

Fun Facts and Tall Tales

On a lighter note for this blog post we thought we’d have a look at some fun facts about composers.

Composers, the creative minds behind some of the most timeless and enchanting musical pieces, have left an indelible mark on the world of classical and contemporary music.

Beyond their musical genius, these composers often led fascinating lives filled with quirks, eccentricities, and unexpected anecdotes. From Beethoven’s habit of pouring cold water over his hands before composing to Tchaikovsky’s affinity for conducting with a ruler, these tidbits offer a delightful glimpse into the human side of the maestros who shaped the soundscape of different eras and genres.

Read some of our fun facts about composers.


Schumann would frequently push his hands into the entrails of a slaughtered animal to heal his ailments.

He also invented a device to stretch his little finger so he could be a better pianist.

Sadly it ruined his finger and his piano playing career!


A chicken once fell off the stage at the Sydney Opera House.

It was during a performance of Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov. It fell into the orchestra pit and onto a cellist’s lap.

di Lasso

Orlando di Lasso was a Renaissance composer and child chorister with a beautiful voice. Different choirs kidnapped Orlando three times during his boyhood because they wanted him in their group.


Female admirers would often write to Franz Liszt asking for locks of his hair. He received so many requests that he bought a dog and sent fur clippings to his admirers instead.


J S Bach fathered twenty children with his two wives. Sadly only ten survived to adulthood, though four became successful composers in their own right.


Beethoven loved coffee. He used to count out precisely 60 beans to be ground per cup! His Beethoven’s last words were, “Pity, pity – too late.” upon seeing a case of wine that he’d just received.


Chopin had a fear of being buried alive. When planning his funeral he instructed his physician to remove his heart after death. He was buried in Paris, but at his request his sister smuggled his heart back to Warsaw in Poland.


Elgar wrote the theme for his famous Cello Concerto on a napkin.


Grieg always kept a good luck frog charm in his pocket.


Schubert’s friends called him “Little Mushroom” due to his short stature and round shape.


The eye surgeon John Taylor caused both Bach and Handel to go blind.


Dvorak was an avid trainspotter.

Learning fun and interesting facts about composers makes their music even more enjoyable. These stories show that the great musicians were just regular people with some quirky habits. Knowing about the funny and unique things they did helps us connect with them and appreciate their timeless music even more. So, as we listen to their beautiful melodies, it’s nice to think about the real people behind the music and the interesting stories that make their work even more special.

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