Great Composers!

View:
Log in to copy items to your own lists.
1.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Soundtrack, The King's Speech
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart grew up in Salzburg under the regulation of his strict father Leopold who also was a famous composer of his time. His abilities in music were obvious even when Mozart was still young so that in 1762 at the age of six, his father took him with his elder sister on a concert tour to Munich and Vienna and a second one from 1763-66 through the south of Germany...
“ Favorite composer of Lex Luthor in the Superman Movies! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
2.
Richard Wagner
Soundtrack, Apocalypse Now
Richard Wagner was a German composer best known for his operas, primarily the monumental four-opera cycle "Der Ring des Nibelungen". He was born Wilhelm Richard Wagner on May 22, 1813, in Leipzig, Germany. He was the ninth child in the family of Carl Wagner, a police clerk. Richard was only six months old when his father died...
“ Flight of the Valkyres in Apocalypse Now and Rango! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
3.
George Frideric Handel
Soundtrack, The Social Network
Born February 23 1685 in Halle, Germany, he was christened "Georg Friederich Händel" but always signed his name "Georg Friedrich Händel". His father intended for him to go into law, but Händel studied music clandestinely and was eventually allowed to study under an organist. He achieved some sucess early on...
 
4.
Antonio Vivaldi
Being the son of a violinist Vivaldi started playing the violin himself early in his life. In 1703 he became priest and in 1716 the director of a conservatory of the church in Venice. Being a famous violinist he gave concerts all over Europe also composing a lot of violin concerts and other string works. There is not much information about his life only that he died in poverty in Vienna.
 
5.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Music Department, Black Swan
Pyotr (Peter) Ilyich Tchaikovsky was born on May 7, 1840, in Votkinsk, Vyatka region, Russia. He was the second of six children (five brothers and one sister). His father, named Ilya Chaikovsky, was a mining business executive in Votkinsk. His father's ancestors were from Ukraine and Poland. His mother, named Aleksandra Assier, was of Russian and French ancestry...
 
6.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Soundtrack, Dead Poets Society
Beethoven was the child of a Flamian musician family and became a member of the electoral orchestra of Bonn in 1783. In 1787 he studied at Mozart's in Vienna and in 1792 he moved all to Vienna becoming a student of Joseph Haydn. The Vienna High Society loved him as a piano player as well as as composer...
 
7.
John Williams
As one of the best known, awarded, and financially successful composers in US history, John Williams is as easy to recall as John Philip Sousa, Aaron Copland or Leonard Bernstein, illustrating why he is "America's composer" time and again. With a massive list of awards that includes over 41 Oscar nominations (five wins)...
“ Mastermind! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
8.
Jerry Goldsmith
Music Department, Total Recall
Born on February 10, 1929, Jerry Goldsmith studied piano with Jakob Gimpel and composition, theory, and counterpoint with Mario Castelnuovo-Tedesco. He also attended classes in film composition given by Miklós Rózsa at the Univeristy of Southern California. In 1950, he was employed as a clerk typist in the music department at CBS...
“ Sounds of Magic! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
9.
Danny Elfman
Music Department, Corpse Bride
As Danny Elfman was growing up in the Los Angeles area, he was largely unaware of his talent for composing. It wasn't until the early 1970s that Danny and his older brother Richard Elfman started a musical troupe while in Paris; the group "Mystic Knights of Oingo-Boingo" was created for Richard's directorial debut...
“ Housecomposer of Tim Burton! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
10.
Hans Zimmer
German-born composer Hans Zimmer is recognized as one of Hollywood's most innovative musical talents. He featured in the music video for The Buggles' single "Video Killed the Radio Star", which became a worldwide hit and helped usher in a new era of global entertainment as the first music video to be aired on MTV (August 1, 1981)...
“ Master of Music! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
11.
David Arnold
Music Department, Stargate SG-1
 
12.
Klaus Badelt
Music Department, Gladiator
It has been a few years since Klaus' large-scale score to Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl defined the franchise and brought him worldwide mass attention. Since then, Klaus continues to write for major motion pictures with top-names like Wolfgang Petersen, Michael Mann, Richard Donner, Francis Lawrence and Harvey Weinstein...
 
13.
Miklós Rózsa
Music Department, Ben-Hur
'Miklos Rozsa' studied the violin from the age of five. In 1926, he began studying at the Leipzig Conservatory. In 1929, his violin concerto was performed there. While living in Paris from 1931, Rozsa had his 'Variations on a Hungarian Peasant Song' and his 'Symphony and Serenade for Small Orchestra' performed...
“ Ben Hur Soundtrack and much more! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
14.
Vangelis
Soundtrack, Collateral
Vangelis is a composer and performer who works almost exclusively with electronic instruments. He is probably most well known for his Chariots of Fire and Blade Runner soundtracks or for the tracks used in the Cosmos television series. He has been involved in many musical collaborations, most famously with Jon Anderson.
“ Famous through 1492 and Chariots of Fire! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
15.
Mikis Theodorakis
Mikis Theodorakis was born in the Greek island of Chios, in 1925. The exact same year that the other great composer of Greece was born in Xanthi, Manos Hatzidakis. He fought during the 2nd World War, and he was captured at the city of Tripoli. He was tortured, but when he was set free, he joined the partisan army of Greece named EAM...
“ Famous through Alexis Sorbas and Serpico! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
16.
“ Star Trek - The original Series and so on! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
17.
Basil Poledouris
Basil Poledouris was born on August 21, 1945 in Kansas City. He started taking piano lessons when he was 7 years old. Eventually, he went on to become a student at USC, where he studied the arts of directing, cinematography, editing, sound and, of course, music. It was also at USC he met John Milius and Randal Kleiser...
“ Conan-Soundtrack! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
18.
Brian May
Brian May rates highly as one of the best film music composers in the history of Australian cinema. May's scores are distinguished by their full, rich and supremely melodic orchestration. Brian was born on July 28, 1934 in Adelaide, South Australia. He studied as a pianist, violinist and conductor at the Adelaide Elder Conservatorium...
 
19.
Henry Mancini
Music Department, The Pink Panther
Born in Cleveland, Ohio, but brought up in Pennsylvania, where he played the flute in a local band, as a youth, before sending some arrangements to Benny Goodman. Goodman offered him a job and, after serving in WWII, he joined the rearranged Glenn Miller band. In 1952, he was given a two-week assignment...
“ Best Music - The Pink Panther-Theme! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
20.
Alan Silvestri
Composer, Forrest Gump
In over thirty years as a film composer, Alan Silvestri has blazed an innovative trail with his exciting and melodic scores, winning the applause of Hollywood and movie audiences the world over. Born in Manhattan in 1950, Alan was first drawn to music at an early age. Beginning as a drummer, his love for instruments quickly grew to include the bassoon...
“ Back to the Future-Soundtrack etc. ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
21.
Paul McCartney
Music Department, A Hard Day's Night
Sir Paul McCartney is a key figure in contemporary culture as a singer, composer, poet, writer, artist, humanitarian, entrepreneur, and holder of more than 3 thousand copyrights. He is in the "Guinness Book of World Records" for most records sold, most #1s (shared), most covered song, "Yesterday," largest paid audience for a solo concert (350,000+ people...
 
22.
John Lennon
Music Department, A Hard Day's Night
John Winston (later Ono) Lennon was born on October 9, 1940, in Liverpool, England, to Julia (Stanley) and Alfred Lennon, a merchant seaman. He was of Irish, and some Welsh and English, ancestry. In the mid-1950s, he formed his first band, The Quarrymen (after Quarry Bank High School, which he attended) who, with the addition of Paul McCartney and George Harrison, later became The Beatles...
 
23.
Johann Sebastian Bach
Soundtrack, The Godfather
Johann Sebastian Bach was born on March 21, 1685, in Eisenach, Thuringia, Germany, into a large and distinguished family of professional musicians. His father, named Johann Ambrosius Bach, was a violinist and trumpeter, employed by the city of Eisenach. His uncles were church organists, court musicians and composers...
 
24.
Richard Strauss
Music Department, 2001: A Space Odyssey
Richard Strauss was a German composer best known for symphonic poem 'Also sprach Zarathustra' (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, 1896) used as the music score in 2001: A Space Odyssey by director Stanley Kubrik. He was born Richard Georg Strauss on June 11, 1864, in Munich, Bavaria (now Germany). His father, named Franz Strauss...
 
25.
Johann Strauss
Johann Strauss (or Johann Strauss son), one of Austrian music's most famous names who studied music secretly against his father's will, later became the leader of his father's band and the indisputable "waltz king"; his waltz 'On the Beautiful Blue Danube', is the main theme in Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey...
“ King of Waltz! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
26.
Giuseppe Verdi
Soundtrack, Django Unchained
Giuseppe Verdi was born Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi on October 10, 1813, in Le Roncole di Busseto, Parma, Italy. His parents were landowners and innkeepers. Young Verdi received his first organ lessons at the age of 7. He studied composition privately with Ferdinando Provesi in Busseto. At age 20 he moved to Milan to continue his studies...
 
27.
Gioachino Rossini
Soundtrack, A Clockwork Orange
As a son of a horn player and a singer Rossini was taught instruments early in his life. When he was older he went to the conservatory of Bologna for lessons. His first opera was such a big success that a lot of people wanted him to write more pieces. But nevertheless in 1816 his masterpiece "The Barber of Seville" failed although later it received the attention it deserved...
 
29.
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
Music Department, The Big Lebowski
Erich Wolfgang Korngold was the son of a well-known music critic. He was a child prodigy who composed his first orchestral piece at 14 and drew the attention of Richard Strauss, Gustav Mahler and many other prominent composers and conductors. He had begun a promising career as a serious composer of...
 
32.
James Horner
Music Department, Titanic
James Horner began studying piano at the age of five, and trained at the Royal College of Music in London, England, before moving to California in the 1970s. After receiving a bachelor's degree in music at USC, he would go on to earn his master's degree at UCLA and teach music theory there. He later completed his Ph.D...
 
33.
Ennio Morricone
A classmate of director Sergio Leone with whom he would form one of the great director/composer partnerships (right up there with Eisenstein & Prokofiev, Hitchcock & Herrmann, Fellini & Rota), Ennio Morricone studied at Rome's Santa Cecilia Conservatory, where he specialized in trumpet. His first film scores were relatively undistinguished...
 
34.
James Newton Howard
James Newton Howard attended the University of Southern California's music school, but dropped out to tour with Elton John, and eventually compose music for film and television. He started with Head Office in 1985. He has been nominated for eight Academy Awards. He currently is a songwriter, record producer, conductor, keyboardist, and film composer.
 
36.
Maurice Jarre
Unlike many musicians who started to learn music while still in their childhood, Maurice Jarre was already late in his teens when he discovered music and decided to make a career in that field. Against his father's will, he enrolled at Conservatoire de Paris where he studied percussions, composition and harmonies...
 
37.
Jean-Michel Jarre
JeanMichel Jarre is a French composer, performer, music producer and designer. He is regarded as a pioneer in the electronic, synth-pop, ambient and New Age genres, as well as an organizer of spectacular outdoor events and concerts, which feature the latest and most innovative in lights, laser displays and fireworks as well as 3D animation and sound...
 
38.
Christian Bruhn
Composer, Captain Future
Christian Bruhn is a composer and producer since 1958. He wrote several hits for German stars like Cornelia Froboess (Zwei kleine Italiener), Katja Ebstein, Freddy Quinn, Roy Black and Peter Alexander. But he wrote and composed also songs for international artist, like Swedish singer Siw Malmkvist (Liebeskummer lohnt sich nicht)...
 
39.
Martin Böttcher
Böttcher was born 1927 in Berlin/Germany. After the second world war the young Böttcher began as solo guitarist at Nordwestdeutscher Rundfunk. In the year 1955 he wrote the music for his first film The Captain and His Hero. Already his next movie Teenage Wolfpack, was a great artistic success for himself. He becomes one of the busiest composers for Cinema and TV in Germany...
 
40.
Brian May
Soundtrack, Spider-Man 2
Brian May is widely acknowledged as one of the most influential, innovative, technically gifted and recognisable guitarists in the history of rock. He is also a prolific songwriter, responsible for writing or co-writing many international hits with Queen. He was educated at Hampton Grammar School in London...
 
41.
Elmer Bernstein
Music Department, Airplane!
Elmer Bernstein was educated at the Walden School and New York University. He served in the US Army Air Corps in World War II. A prolific and respected film music composer, he was a protégé of Aaron Copland, who studied music with Roger Sessions and Stefan Wolpe. Bernstein worked in various artistic endeavors...
 
42.
John Barry
Music Department, Juke Box Jury
John Barry was born in York, England in 1933, and was the youngest of three children. His father, Jack, owned several local cinemas and by the age of fourteen, Barry was capable of running the projection box on his own - in particular, The Rialto in York. As he was brought up in a cinematic environment...
 
43.
Bedrich Smetana
Soundtrack, The Tree of Life
A musical prodigy, Smetana was encouraged and trained by his father. His move to Prague in 1843 was disheartening when he was unable to generate interest in his abilities; however, he did form a friendship with Liszt, and dedicated several of his works to him. He opened a music school and performed privately for deposed Emperor Ferdinand...
 
45.
Joseph Haydn
Haydn had a hard childhood: at six years old he had to work as a boy singer in a choir and after his voice broke he had to earn his money by playing dance music and serving as a butler. Becoming famous for his compositions Haydn was employed as "Kapellmeister" by Fuerst Esterhazy in Eisenstadt in 1761...
 
46.
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov
Rimsky-Korsakov was a navy officer but soon discovered his love for music. Since 1861 he belonged to the group of Balkirev but later he returned to the traditional way of composing. He combined uniquely the Russian folksongs with the music of the Orthodox Church. Rimsky-Korsakov wrote the first Russian symphony and Igor Strawinsky was one of his students.
 
47.
Gustav Mahler
Soundtrack, Shutter Island
Gustav Mahler is largely considered one of the most talented symphonic composers of the late 19th Century and early 20th Century. His musical output comprised mainly of symphonic and song cycles requiring mammoth orchestras and often choruses. Sadly, Mahler never experienced popularity as a composer during his lifetime...
 
48.
Johannes Brahms
Soundtrack, The Truman Show
German Romantic composer Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg in 1833 and died in Vienna, Austria in 1897. A perfectionist, he often compared himself unfavorably to composers such as Beethoven and ended up destroying many compositions without their ever being heard. While basically conservative, he showed musical growth throughout his four symphonies and occasionally borrowed wilder folk themes...
 
49.
Antonín Dvorák
Soundtrack, The Departed
Antonin Dvorak was a son of butcher, but he did not follow his father's trade. While assisting his father part-time, he studied music, and graduated from the Prague Organ School in 1859. He also was an accomplished violinist and violist, and joined the Bohemian Theatre Orchestra, which was under the baton of Bedrich Smetana in 1860s...
 
50.
Edvard Grieg
Soundtrack, The Social Network
Edvard Hagerup Grieg (Greig) was born on on June 15, 1843, in Bergen, Norway. His father, named Alexander Greig (originally McGregor), was English consul of Scottish origin. His mother, named Gesine Hagerup, was an educated pianist. Grieg grew up among three sisters and an elder brother. He began piano studies with his mother at the age of six...
 
51.
Michael Kamen
Music Department, Lethal Weapon
 
52.
Anton Bruckner
Soundtrack, Bronson
 
53.
 
54.
 
55.
Bill Conti
Music Department, Falcon Crest
 
56.
Randy Newman
Music Department, Toy Story 3
 
57.
Sergei Prokofiev
Prokofiev was a multi-talented man and an innovative composer. He learned piano from his mother and chess from his father. He always had a chess set on his piano, and was able to play against the chess champions of his time. He studied music with Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov, graduated with highest marks from the St...
 
58.
Leonard Bernstein
Soundtrack, Moonrise Kingdom
Renowned composer ("West Side Story", "Candide", "On The Town"), conductor, arranger, pianist, educator, author, TV/radio host, educated at the Boston Latin School and Harvard University (BA) with Walter Piston. Edward Burlingame Hill and A. Tillman Merritt. He studied piano with Helen Coates, Heinrich Gebhard and Isabelle Vengerova...
 
59.
 
60.
 
61.
Dimitri Tiomkin
Music Department, It's a Wonderful Life
Dimitri Tiomkin was a Russian Jewish composer who emigrated to America and became one of the most distinguished and best-loved music writers of Hollywood. He won a hallowed place in the pantheon of the most successful and productive composers in American film history, earning himself four Oscars and sixteen Academy Awards nominations...
 
62.
Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand is a three times Academy Award-winning French composer, conductor and pianist who composed over 200 film and television scores as well as recorded over a hundred albums of jazz, popular and classical music. He was born on February 24, 1932, in Becon-les-Bruyeres, in the Paris suburbs...
 
64.
“ Make the songs for "Harold and Maud"! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
65.
“ Composer from the Battlestar Galactica-Soundtrack and many more! ” - willi-beckenlehner
 
66.
Claude Debussy
Soundtrack, The Usual Suspects
Claude Debussy was born in St. Germain-en-Laye, near Paris, France. His father was a salesman and kept a china shop. His mother was a seamstress. Some traumatizing events in his childhood caused him a depression and he never spoke about his early years. Later he could not compose without having his favorite porcelain frog...
 
67.
Frédéric Chopin
Soundtrack, The Prestige
Frédéric François Chopin was born Fryderyk Franciszek Chopin, on March 1, 1810, in Zelazowa Wola, Masovia region, Duchy of Warsaw, Poland. His father, named Mikolaj (Nicolas) Chopin, was a Frenchman who came to Poland from Lorraine, and eventually became professor at Warsaw Lyceum. His mother, named Tekla Justina Krzyzanovska...
 
68.
Patrick Doyle
Composer, Brave
Patrick Doyle is a classically trained composer. His first film score, the acclaimed adaptation of "Henry V" with Kenneth Branagh for Renaissance films was scored in 1989. He has subsequently worked with Kenneth Branagh, a long time collaborator on numerous pictures including "Dead Again", "Much Ado About Nothing", "Frankenstein" and "Hamlet"...