Classical Music Composers in Chronological Order.


I am trying here to give an exhaustive overview of the western classical music composers sorted by their birth years. (suggestions welcome)


Ancient Greek civilization. 1200 BC

This might be funny to have Pythagoras (580 BC) in this list of composers but since he is credited with having discovered musical intervals, why not mentioning his name as he might have been one of the first composers of western music("Joke"). On the other hands, it can be interesting to mention this period of time to measure the gap it existed from the ancient Greek time and the medieval period.


Medieval Music 500 - 1400

Generally called the Middle Ages, this long historical era can be broken into several distinct developmental periods and falls between Classical Antiquity and the Renaissance. Period of Gregorian plainchant written in Latin), monophonic and polyphonic sacred chants.

  • Pérotin dit le Grand  1160 - 1230  representative of the (Ecole de Notre Dame in Paris)
  • Léonin - 1150 - 1210

Renaissance ("rebirth") Period: 1400 - 1600

This was a period of Chorale, Madrigal and Cantus firmus (Latin: fixed song) which consisting of several independent voices. For its part, Motet is the plainchant cantus firmus in the tenor. (Tenor,  Latin: tenere, to hold. The voice that holds the plainchant.)

  • Guillaume Dufay 1397 - 1474

  • Gilles Binchois 1400 - 1460

  • Josquin des Près 1450 - 1521

  • Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina 1525 - 1594

  • Roland de Lassus 1532 - 1594

  • William Byrd 1539 - 1623

  • Anthony Holborne 1545 - 1602

  • Luzzasco Luzzaschi 1545 - 1607

  • Francis Cutting 1550 - 1596 (known for a variation of Greensleeves)

  • Giovanni Gastoldi 1555 -1609

Baroque Period: 1600 - 1750

The early baroque was characterized by homophonic, polyphonic, and contrapuntal textures. It is also a particularly rich period characterized by the rise of the fugue, a theme (subject) and melodic lines (counterpoint). It is also a period in which musicians would suggest different compositional rules to enrich their music. (Such as, Alessandro Scarlatti  and the Neapolitan sixth).

Depiction of demons in the gradual with four-part chorale arrangement by Manfred Barbarini Lupus (1562). Abbey Library St.Gallen.

Manfred Barbarini Lupus (1562)
  • Thomas Morley 1557 -1602

  • John Dowland 1563 - 1626

  • Claudio Monteverdi 1567 - 1643

  • Philip Rosseter 1568 - 1623

  • Daniel Bacheler 1572 - 1619

  • Francesco Cavalli 1602 - 1676

  • Gaspar Sanz 1640 - 1710  (Guitar)

  • Marc-Antoine Charpentier 1643 - 1704

  • Alessandro Scarlatti 1660 - 1725

  • Tomaso Albinoni 1671 - 1751

  • Georg Philipp Telemann 1681 - 1764

  • Antonio Vivaldi 1678 - 1741

  • Léopold Weiss 1681 - 1750 (Lute)

  • Domenico Scarlatti 1685 - 1757

  • Johann Sebastian Bach 1685 - 1750

  • Georg Friedrich Haendel   1685 - 1759

  • Johan Helmish Roman 1694 - 1758

  • Father Giovanni Martini 1706 - 1784  (Father Martini is known for having taught the elements of music to the young Mozart)

Classical Period: 1750 - 1820

This was a time when musicians returned to more ordered forms and strict "rules and regulations" to govern their musical compositions.

  • Jean-Baptiste Pergolèse 1710 - 1736

  • Joseph Haydn 1732 - 1809

  • Domenico Cimarosa 1749 - 1801

  • Antonio Salieri 1750 - 1825

  • Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  1756 - 1791

  • Luigi Cherubini 1760-1842

  • Étienne-Nicolas Méhul 1763-1817

  • Ludwig Van Beethoven 1770 - 1827 (Vienne)

  • Fernando Sor 1778 - 1839  (Guitar)

  • Anton Diabelli - 1781 - 1858

  • Mauro Giuliani 1781 - 1829 (Guitar)

  • Niccolo Paganini  (Gènes)  1782 - 1840

  • Dionisio Aguado 1787 - 1849 (Guitar)

  • Matteo Carcassi 1792 - 1853 (Guitar)

  • Gioachino Antonio Rossini 1792 -1868 

  • Franz Peter Schubert   1797 - 1828

Romantic Period: 1820 - 1900

A great and turbulent period in which Composers touched on themes such as romantic, love, supernatural and even death in contrast with the more objective and rational Classic. Freedom from boundaries, including those that separate the arts: music becomes more programmatic, merging with literature, art, and philosophy; programmatic elements reflect this trend.

  • Hector Berlioz 1803 - 1869

  • Napoléon Coste 1805 - 1883 (Guitar)

  • Felix Mendelssohn 1809 - 1847

  • Frederic Chopin 1810 - 1849

  • Robert Schumann  1810 - 1856

  • Franz Liszt 1811 - 1886

  • Giuseppe Verdi 1813 - 1901

  • Richard Wagner 1813 - 1883 (Venise)

  • Charles Gounod 1818 - 1893

  • César Franck 1822 - 1890

  • Anton Bruckner 1824 - 1896

  • Johannes Brahms 1833 -1897

  • Camille Saint-Saëns  1835 - 1921

  • Georges Bizet 1838 - 1875

  • Max Bruch 1838 - 1920

  • Petrovich Mussorgsky 1839 - 1881

  • Peter Ilyich Tchaïkovsky - 1840 - 1893

  • Antonín Dvořák 1841 - 1904

  • Gabriel-Urbain Fauré 1845 - 1924

  • Vincent d'Indy 1851 - 1931

  • Francisco Tárrega 1852 - 1909 (Guitar)

  • Ernest Chausson 1855 - 1899

  • Giuseppe Martucci 1856 - 1909

  • Hans Rott 1858 - 1884

  • Gustav Mahler 1860 - 1911

  • Claude Debussy 1862 - 1918

  • Richard Strauss 1864 - 1949

  • Jean Sibelius 1865 - 1957

  • Erik Satie   1866 - 1925

  • Guy Ropartz 1864 - 1955

  • Paul Dukas 1865 - 1935

  • Albéric Magnard 1865 - 1914

  • Isaac Albeniz 1869 - 1909

  • Sergei Rachmaninoff 1873 - 1943

  • Arnold Schoenberg 1874 - 1951

  • Miguel Llobet 1878 - 1938 (Guitar)

  • Igor Stravinsky 1882 - 1971

  • Manuel Ponce 1882 - 1886  (Guitar)

  • Augustin Barrios 1885 - 1944 (Guitar)

  • Emilio Pujol  1886 - 1980 (Guitar)

  • Villa Lobos -1887 - 1959 (Guitar)

  • Sergei Prokofieff 1891 - 1953

  • Federico Torroba 1891 - 1982 (Guitar)

Twentieth-century music: 1900 - 2000

Wide range of tonal, modal, whole tone, atonal, serial, and approaches to composition.

  • George Gershwin 1898 -1937

  • William Walton 1902 - 1983 (Guitar)

  • Lennox Berkeley 1903 - 1989 (Guitar)

  • Dmitri Shostakovich 1906 -1975

  • Olivier Messiaen 1908 - 1992

  • Samuel Osborne Barber 1910 - 1981

  • Maurice Ohana  1913 -1992  (Guitar)

  • Héctor Ayala  1914 -1990       (Guitar)

  • Alberto Ponce 1935 - 2019    (Guitar)

  • Leo Brouwer 1939 -                    (Guitar)

  • Rolans Dyens 1955 - 2016     (Guitar)