Best Classical Composers and Their Best Works, Ranked: Part 1

I collected 30 lists of the best classical music composers from the Internet and combined them into a single meta-list.  Here is Part 1 of the list, organized by rank: every composer whose name was on five or more lists, with the most-listed composer on top.  For each composer, I have provided birthplace, period/style and a chronological listing of most highly-regarded compositions. To see the composers on 3 or 4 lists, go here. To see the entire list in chronological order, go here.

As with all lists, this one will spark debates, such as (1) Why is a particular composer not on the list? and (2) Why was a particular composer rated so low/so high? I must admit I was disappointed that I could not find three “Best Composers” lists containing the names of Anton Webern or Alban Berg, two important figures in early 20th Century art music.

On 29 Lists
LUDWIG VON BEETHOVEN (1770-1827)
Birthplace: Bonn, Archbishopric of Cologne, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany)
Period/Style: Classical/Early Romantic

  • Piano Sonata No. 8 in C minor, Op. 13 “Pathétique” (1798) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 14 in C-sharp minor, Op. 27, no. 2 “Moonlight” (1801) (keyboard music)
  • Violin Sonata No. 9 in A minor, Op. 47 “Kreutzer” (1803) (chamber music)
  • Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 55 “Eroica” (1804) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto in D major, Op. 61 (1806) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 5 in C minor, Op. 67 “Fate” (1808) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 5 in E-flat major, Op. 73 “Emperor” (1810) (orchestral music)
  • Poco moto (Bagatelle) No. 25 in A minor “Für Elise” (c. 1810) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 7 in A major, Op. 92 (1812) (orchestral music)
  • Fidelio, Op. 72 (1814) (opera)
  • Missa Solemnis in D major, Op. 123 (1823) (sacred vocal music)
  • Symphony No. 9 in D minor, Op. 125 “Choral” (1824) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 16 in F major, Op. 135 (1826) (chamber music)

27 Lists
JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH (1685-1750)
Birthplace: Eisenach, Duchy of Saxe-Eisenach, Holy Roman Empire (now Germany)
Period/Style: Baroque

  • Toccata and Fugue in D minor* (1703-1707) (keyboard music) (*attribution in question)
  • Sonatas and Partitas for Solo Violin (1720) (solo instrument)
  • Six Brandenburg Concertos (1721) (orchestral music)
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 1 (1722) (keyboard music)
  • Six Cello Suites (1717-1723) (solo instrument)
  • Concerto in D minor for Two Violins “Double Concerto” (1717-1723) (orchestral music)
  • Orchestral Suite No. 1 (1717-1725) (orchestral music)
  • St. Matthew Passion (1727) (sacred oratorio)
  • Orchestral Suite No. 4 (1725-1730) (orchestral music)
  • Orchestral Suite No. 3 (1730) (orchestral music)
  • Orchestral Suite No. 2 (1738-1739) (orchestral music)
  • Goldberg Variations (1741) (keyboard music)
  • The Well-Tempered Clavier, Book 2 (1742) (keyboard music)
  • Mass in B minor (1749) (mass)

WOLFGANG AMADEUS MOZART (1756-1791)
Birthplace: Salzburg, Archbishopric of Salzburg, Holy Roman Empire (now Austria)
Period/Style: Classical

  • Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra in C major (1778) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 11 in A major “Rondo Alla Turca” (1783) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 21 in C major “Elvira Madigan” (1785) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 19 in C major “Dissonance” (1785) (chamber music)
  • The Marriage of Figaro (1786) (opera)
  • Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (1786) (orchestral music)
  • Horn Concerto No. 4 in E-flat major (1786) (orchestral music)
  • Serenade No. 13 in G major “Eine Kleine Nachtmusik” (1787) (orchestral music)
  • Don Giovanni (1787) (opera)
  • Symphony No. 40 in G minor (1788) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 41 in C major “Jupiter” (1788) (orchestral music)
  • Così fan tutte (1789) (opera)
  • Clarinet Quintet in A major (1789) (chamber music)
  • The Magic Flute (1791) (opera/singspiel)
  • Clarinet Concerto in A major (1791) (orchestral music)
  • Requiem Mass in D minor (1791) (sacred vocal music)

23
PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY(1840-1893)
Birthplace: Votkinsk, Russia
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Nationalist

  • Romeo & Juliet “Fantasy Overture” (1870) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 1 in D major (1871) (chamber music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in B-flat minor (1875) (orchestral music)
  • Swan Lake(1876) (ballet)
  • Violin Concerto in D major (1878) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 4 in F minor (1878) (orchestral music)
  • Capriccio Italien in A major (1880) (orchestral music)
  • String Serenade in C major (1880) (orchestral music)
  • Overture in E-flat major “1812” (1882) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 5 in E minor (1888) (orchestral music)
  • The Sleeping Beauty (1889) (ballet)
  • The Nutcracker (1892) (ballet)
  • Symphony No. 6 in B minor “Pathétique” (1893) (orchestral music)

21
GEORGE FRIDERIC HANDEL
(1685-1759)
Birthplace: Halle, Duchy of Magdeburg, Brandenburg-Prussia (now Germany)
Period/Style: Baroque

  • Rinaldo (1711) (opera)
  • Water Music Suites Nos. 1 & 2 (1717) (orchestral music)
  • Acis and Galatea (c. 1718) (opera/oratorio)
  • Harpsichord Suite No. 5 in E major “The Harmonious Blacksmith” (1720) (keyboard music)
  • Six Concerti Grossi, Op. 3 (1734) (orchestral music)
  • Xerxes (Serse) (1738) (opera)
  • Organ Concerto No. 13 in F major “The Cuckoo and the Nightingale” (1739) (orchestral music)
  • 12 Concerti Grossi, Op. 6 (1740) (orchestral music)
  • Messiah (1742) (oratorio)
  • Judas Maccabeus (1747) (oratorio)
  • Solomon (1749) (oratorio)
  • Music for the Royal Fireworks (1749) (suite for wind band)

IGOR STRAVINSKY (1882-1971)
Birthplace: Oranienbaum, Russia
Period/Style: Modernism/Neoclassicism

  • The Firebird (1910) (ballet)
  • Petrushka (1911) (ballet)
  • The Rite of Spring (1913) (ballet)
  • L’Histoire du soldat (The Soldier’s Tale) (1918) (theatre music)
  • Pulcinella (1920) (ballet)
  • Oedipus Rex (1927) (opera-oratorio)
  • Apollo (Apollon musagète) (1928) (ballet)
  • Symphony of Psalms (1930) (orchestral music with chorus)
  • Concerto in E-flat major “Dumbarton Oaks” (1938) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony in C (1940) (orchestral music)
  • The Rake’s Progress (1951) (opera)
  • Agon (1957) (ballet)

20
FRÉDÉRIC CHOPIN
(1810-1849)
Birthplace: Żelazowa Wola, Duchy of Warsaw (now Poland)
Period/Style: Early Romantic

  • Etudes, Op. 10 (1829) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in E minor (1830) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in F minor (1830) (orchestral music)
  • Nocturnes (1830-1846) (keyboard music)
  • Etudes, Op. 25 (1836) (keyboard music)
  • Ballade No.1 in G minor (1836) (keyboard music)
  • Scherzo No. 2 in B-flat minor (1837) (keyboard music)
  • 24 Preludes, Op. 28 (1838) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Sonata No.2 in B-flat minor, Op. 35 (1839) (keyboard music)
  • Polonaise No. 6, Op. 53 “Heroic” (1842) (keyboard music)
  • Ballade No. 4 in F minor (1843) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 3 in B minor (1844) (keyboard music)
  • Polonaise-Fantasy in A-flat major (1846) (keyboard music)

RICHARD WAGNER (1813-1883)
Birthplace: Leipzig, Confederation of the Rhine (now Germany)
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Gesamtkunstwerk

  • Der Fliegende Holländer (The Flying Dutchman) (1843) (opera)
  • Tannhäuser (1845) (opera)
  • Lohengrin (1848) (opera)
  • Der Ring des Nibelungen (1854-1874) (opera cycle)
  • 1. Das Rheingold (1854) (opera)
  • 2. Die Walkure (The Valkyrie) (1856) (opera)
  • 3. Siegfried (1856-1871) (opera)
  • 4. Götterdämmerung (Twilight of the Gods) (1874) (opera)
  • Tristan und Isolde (1859) (opera)
  • Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg (1862-1868) (opera)
  • Siegfried Idyll (1870) (symphonic poem)
  • Parsifal (1882) (opera)

19
FRANZ SCHUBERT
(1797-1828)
Birthplace: Vienna, Archduchy of Austria (now Austria)
Period/Style: Late Classical/Early Romantic

  • Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major (1815) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Quintet in A major, D. 667 “Trout” (1819) (chamber music)
  • Symphony No. 8 in B minor, D. 759 ‘Unfinished’ (1822) (orchestral music)
  • Fantasy in C major, Op. 15, D. 760 “Wanderer” (1822) (keyboard music)
  • Die Schöne Müllerin, D. 795 (1823) (song cycle)
  • String Quartet No. 14 in D minor, D. 810 “Death and the Maiden” (1824) (chamber music)
  • Winterreise, D. 911 (1827) (song cycle)
  • Impromptus, Op. 90, D. 899 (1827) (keyboard music)
  • Impromptus, Op. 142, D. 935 (1827) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Trio No. 2 in E-flat major, D. 929 (1827) (chamber music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 21 in B-flat major, D. 960 (1828) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 9, D. 944 ‘The Great’ (1828) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Trio No. 1 in B-flat major, D. 898 (1828) (chamber music)
  • String Quintet in C major, Op. 163, D. 956 (1828) (chamber music)

JOHANNES BRAHMS (1833-1897)
Birthplace: Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg (now Germany)
Period/Style: Late Romantic

  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in D minor (1859) (orchestral music)
  • Ein Deutsches Requiem (1868) (sacred vocal music)
  • Variations on a Theme by Haydn (1873) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 1 in C minor (1876) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 2 in D major (1877) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto in D major (1878) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Sonata No. 1 in G major (1879) (chamber music)
  • Academic Festival Overture (1880) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in B-flat major (1881) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 3 in F major (1883) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 4 in E minor (1885) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Sonata No. 3 in D minor (1887) (chamber music)
  • Clarinet Quintet in B minor (1891) (chamber music)
  • Three Intermezzos for Piano, Op. 117 (1892) (keyboard music)
  • Six Pieces for Piano, Op. 118 (1893) (keyboard music)
  • Four Pieces for Piano, Op. 119 (1893) (keyboard music)

17
GIUSEPPE VERDI
(1813-1901)
Birthplace: Busseto, Parma (now Italy)
Period/Style: Early Romantic

  • Rigoletto (1851) (opera)
  • La Traviata (1853) (opera)
  • Il Trovatore (1853) (opera)
  • Don Carlos (1867) (opera)
  • Aida (1871) (opera)
  • Messa da Requiem (1874) (sacred vocal music)
  • Otello (1887) (opera)
  • Falstaff (1893) (opera)
  • Quattro Pezzi Sacri (1898) (sacred vocal music)

16
ANTONIO VIVALDI
(1678-1741)
Birthplace: Venice, Republic of Venice (now Italy)
Period/Style: Baroque

  • 12 Concertos for 1, 2 and 4 Violins, Op. 3 “L’Estro Armonico” (1711) (orchestral music)
  • 12 Violin Concertos, Op. 4 “La Stravaganza” (c. 1714) (orchestral music)
  • Gloria in D major, RV 589 (1715) (sacred vocal music)
  • The Four Seasons, Op. 8, Nos. 1-4 (1723) (violin concertos)
  • 12 Concertos for 1 or 2 Violins, Op. 9 “La Cetra” (1727) (orchestral music)
  • Six Flute Concertos, Op. 10 (c. 1728) (orchestral music)
  • Concerto for Two Trumpets in C major, RV 537 (before 1742) (orchestral music)
  • Bassoon Concertos, RV 466-504 (orchestral music)

FRANZ JOSEPH HAYDN (1732-1809)
Birthplace: Rohrau, Hapsburg Empire (now Austria)
Style/Period: Classical

  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in C major (c. 1765) (orchestral music)
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 in C major (1765) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 31 in A-flat major (1770) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 45 in F-sharp minor “Farewell” (1772) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 37 in D major (1773) (keyboard music)
  • Cello Concerto No. 2 in D major (1783) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 83 in G minor “The Hen” (1785) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 82 in C major “The Bear” (1786) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 85 in B-flat major “The Queen” (1786) (orchestral music)
  • Seven Last Words of Christ (1787) (sacred vocal music)
  • Symphony No. 92 in G major “Oxford” (1789) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 53 in D major, Op. 64, No. 5 “Lark” (1790) (chamber music)
  • Symphony No. 94 in G major “The Surprise” (1791) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 96 in D major “Miracle” (1791) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 100 in G major “Military” (1794) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 101 in D major “The Clock” (1794) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 102 in B-flat major (1794) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Sonata No. 62 in E-flat major (1794) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 103 in E-flat major “Drum Roll” (1795) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 104 in D major “London” (1795) (orchestral music)
  • Trumpet Concerto in E-flat major (1796) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartets, Op. 76, Nos. 1-6 (1796-1797) (chamber music)
  • The Creation (1798) (oratorio)
  • Mass No. 11 in D minor “Lord Nelson” (1798) (sacred vocal music)
  • The Seasons (1801) (oratorio)

15
CLAUDE DEBUSSY
(1862-1918)
Birthplace: Saint-Germain-en-Laye, France
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Impressionist

  • Suite Bergamesque (1890) (keyboard music)
  • String Quartet in G minor (1893) (chamber music)
  • Prelude a l’apres-midi d’un faune (1894) (symphonic poem)
  • Three Nocturnes (1899) (orchestral music with chorus)
  • Pelléas et Mélisande (1902) (opera)
  • La Mer (1905) (orchestral music)
  • Images, Set 1 (1905) (keyboard music)
  • Images, Set 2 (1907) (keyboard music)
  • Children’s Corner (1908) (keyboard music)
  • Préludes, Book 1 (1910) (keyboard music)
  • Préludes, Book 2 (1913) (keyboard music)
  • Violin Sonata (1917) (chamber music)

12
FRANZ LISZT
(1811-1886)
Birthplace: Doborján, Kingdom of Hungary, Hapsburg Empire (now Austria)
Period/Style: Early Romantic

  • 19 Hungarian Rhapsodies (1846-1885) (keyboard music; arranged for orchestra)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major (1849) (orchestral music)
  • Liebesträume (1850) (keyboard music)
  • Grandes études de Paganini, No. 3 in G-sharp minor “La Campanella” (1851) (keyboard music)
  • Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2 (1851) (keyboard music, arranged for orchestra)
  • Transcendental Etudes (1852) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Sonata in B minor (1853) (keyboard music)
  • A Faust Symphony (1854) (orchestral music)
  • Mephisto Waltz No. 1 (1862) (orchestral music, arranged for keyboard)

11
SERGEI RACHMANINOFF
(1873-1943)
Birthplace: Oneg, Russia
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Modern

  • Morceaux de fantaisie, Op. 3, No. 2, Prélude in C-sharp minor (1892) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Op. 18 (1901) (orchestral music)
  • Preludes, Op. 23 (1903) (keyboard music)
  • Prelude in G minor, Op. 23, No. 5 (1903) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 2 in E minor, Op. 27 (1907) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor, Op. 30 (1909) (orchestral music)
  • Preludes, Op. 32 (1910) (keyboard music)
  • Vocalise, Op. 34, No. 14 (1912) (song)
  • The Bells, Op. 35 (1913) (orchestral music with chorus)
  • Piano Sonata No. 2, Op. 36 (1913, rev. 1931) (keyboard music)
  • All-Night Vigil (Vespers), Op. 37 (1915) (sacred vocal music)
  • Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini, Op. 43 (1934) (piano concerto)
  • Symphonic Dances, Op. 45 (1940) (orchestral music)

10
ROBERT SCHUMANN
(1810-1856)
Birthplace: Zwickau, Kingdom of Saxony (now Germany)
Period/Style: Early Romantic

  • Symphonic Etudes, Op. 13 (1834) (orchestral music)
  • Carnaval, Op. 9 (1835) (keyboard music)
  • Fantasia in C major, Op. 17 (1836) (keyboard music)
  • Fantasiestücke, Op. 12 (1837) (keyboard music)
  • Kinderszenen (Scenes from Childhood), Op. 15 (1838) (keyboard music)
  • Kreisleriana, Op. 16 (1838) (keyboard music)
  • Dichterliebe, Op. 48 (1840) (song cycle)
  • Symphony No. 1 in B-flat major, Op. 38 “Spring” (1841) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 4 in D minor, Op. 120 (1841) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Quintet in E-flat major, Op. 44 (1842) (chamber music)
  • Piano Concerto in A minor, Op. 54 (1845) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 3 in E-flat major, Op. 97 “Rhenish” (1850) (orchestral music)
  • Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129 (1850) (orchestral music)

ANTONÍN DVOŘÁK (1841-1904)
Birthplace: Nelahozeves, Austrian Empire (now Czech Republic)
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Nationalist

  • Slavonic Dances, Op. 46 (1878) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 70 (1885) (orchestral music)
  • Slavonic Dances, Op. 72 (1887) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 8 in G major, Op. 88 (1889) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 12 in F major “American” (1893) (chamber music)
  • Symphony No. 9 in E minor, Op. 95 “From the New World” (1893) (orchestral music)
  • Cello Concerto in B minor, Op. 104 (1895) (orchestral music)

9
GUSTAV MAHLER (1860-1911)
Birthplace: Kaliště, Bohemia (now Czech Republic)
Period/Style: Late Romantic

  • Lieder Eines Fahrenden Gesellen (1884) (song cycle)
  • Symphony No. 1 in D major “Titan” (1888) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 2 in C minor “Resurrection” (1894) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 3 in D minor (1896) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 4 in G major (1901) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor (1902) (orchestral music)
  • Kindertotenlieder (1901-1904) (song cycle)
  • Symphony No. 6 in A minor “Tragic” (1905) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 7 in E minor “The Song of the Night” (1906) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 8 in E-flat major “Symphony of a Thousand” (1907) (orchestral music)
  • Das Lied von der Erde (1907-1909) (song cycle/symphony)
  • Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1910) (orchestral music)

MAURICE RAVEL (1875-1937)
Birthplace: Ciboure, France
Period/Style: Modern/Impressionist

  • Pavane pour une infante défunte (piano 1899, orchestra, 1910) (keyboard/orchestral)
  • String Quartet in F Major (1903) (chamber music)
  • Miroirs (1905) (keyboard music)
  • Gaspard de la Nuit (1908) (keyboard music)
  • Ma Mere L’Oye (Mother Goose) (piano, 1910, orchestra, 1911) (keyboard/orchestral)
  • Daphnis et Chloé (1912) (ballet)
  • Le tombeau de Couperin (1917) (keyboard music)
  • La Valse (1920) (orchestral music)
  • Boléro (1928) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto in D major (for the left hand) (1930) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto in G major (1931) (orchestral music)

8
FELIX MENDELSSOHN
(1809-1847)
Birthplace: City-State of Hamburg (now Germany)
Period/Style: Early Romantic

  • String Octet in E-flat major, Op. 20 (1825) (chamber music)
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream, Overture, Op. 23 (1826) (orchestral music)
  • Songs without Words, Opp. 19b, 30, 38, 53, 62, 67, 85, 102 (1829-1845) (keyboard music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in G minor, Op. 25 (1832) (orchestral music)
  • Hebrides Overture (Fingal’s Cave), Op. 26 (1832) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 4 in A major, Op. 90 “Italian” (1833) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in D minor, Op. 40 (1837) (orchestral music)
  • Midsummer Night’s Dream, Incidental Music, Op. 61 (1842) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 3 in A minor, Op. 56 “Scottish” (1842) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto in E minor, Op. 64 (1844) (orchestral music)
  • Elijah, Op. 70 (1846) (oratorio)

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Birthplace: Sontsovka, Ukraine, Russian Empire (now Ukraine)
Period/Style: Modern

  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in D-flat major, Op. 10 (1912) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in D major, Op. 19 (1917) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 1 in D major, Op. 25 “Classical” (1917) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in C major, Op. 26 (1921) (orchestral music)
  • The Love for Three Oranges, Op. 33 (1921) (opera)
  • Lieutenant Kije, Op. 60 (1934) (film score/orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 63 (1935) (orchestral music)
  • Romeo and Juliet, Op. 64 (1936) (ballet)
  • Peter and the Wolf, Op. 67 (1936) (orchestral music with narrator)
  • Piano Sonata No. 7 in B-flat major, Op. 83 (1942) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major, Op. 100 (1944) (orchestral music)

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Birthplace: St. Petersburg, Russia
Period/Style: Modern

  • Symphony No. 1 in F minor, Op. 10 (1925) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 in C minor, Op. 35 (1933) (orchestral music)
  • Lady Macbeth of the Mtensk District (1934) (opera)
  • Symphony No. 4 in C minor, Op. 43 (1936) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 5 in D minor, Op. 47 (1937) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 6 in B minor, Op. 54 (1939) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 7 in C major, Op. 60 “Leningrad” (1941) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 8 in C minor, Op. 65 “Stalingrad” (1943) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 9 in E-flat major, Op. 70 (1945) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 3 in F major, Op. 73 (1946) (chamber music)
  • Violin Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 77 (1948) (orchestral music)
  • 24 Preludes and Fugues for Piano, Op. 87 (1951) (keyboard music)
  • Symphony No. 10 in E minor, Op. 93 (1953) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 11 in G minor, Op. 103 “The Year 1905” (1957) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in F major, Op. 102 (1957) (orchestral music)
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 in E-flat major, Op. 107 (1959) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 8 in C minor, Op. 110 (1960) (chamber music)
  • Symphony No. 13 in B-flat minor, Op. 113 “Babi Yar” (1962) (orchestral music)
  • Cello Concerto No. 2 in G major, Op. 126 (1966) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 in C-sharp minor, Op. 129 (1967) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 14 in G minor, Op. 135 (1969) (orchestral music)

7
EDVARD GRIEG (1843-1907)
Birthplace: Bergen, Norway
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Nationalist

  • Songs (1861-1900) (songs)
  • Violin Sonata No. 1 in F major (1865) (chamber music)
  • Lyric Pieces, Books I-X (1866-1901) (keyboard music)
  • Violin Sonata No. 2 in G major (1867) (chamber music)
  • Piano Concerto in A minor (1868) (orchestral music)
  • Norwegian Folk Songs and Dances, Op. 17 (1869) (keyboard music)
  • Peer Gynt, Op. 23 (1875) (incidental music)
  • Norwegian Dances, Op. 35 (1881) (keyboard music/orchestral music)
  • Holberg Suite “From Holberg’s Time”, Op. 40 (1884-1885) (keyboard music/orchestral music)
  • Violin Sonata No. 3 in C minor, Op. 45 (1887) (chamber music)
  • Peer Gynt Suite No. 1, Op. 46 (1888) (orchestral music)
  • Peer Gynt Suite No. 2, Op. 55 (1891) (orchestral music)
  • Norwegian Peasant Dances, Op. 72 (1902-1903) (keyboard music)

RICHARD STRAUSS (1864-1949)
Birthplace: Munich, Bavaria (now Germany)
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Early Modern

  • Don Juan, Op. 20 (1889) (tone poem)
  • Tod und Verklärung (Death and Transfiguration), Op. 24 (1889) (tone poem)
  • Till Eulenspiegel’s Merry Pranks, Op. 28 (1895) (tone poem)
  • Also sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (1896) (tone poem)
  • Ein Heldenleben (A Hero’s Life), Op. 40 (1898) (tone poem)
  • Salome, Op. 54 (1905) (opera)
  • Elektra, Op. 58 (1909) (opera)
  • Der Rosenkavalier, Op. 59 (1911) (opera)
  • An Alpine Symphony, Op. 64 (1915) (tone poem)
  • Metamorphosen (1945) (orchestral music)
  • Oboe Concerto in D major (1945) (orchestral music)
  • Four Last Songs (1948) (song cycle)

6
GIOVANNI PIERLUIGI DA PALESTRINA (1525-1594)
Birthplace: Palestrina, Papal States (now Italy)
Period/Style: Renaissance/Roman School

  • Missa Papae Marcelli (1562) (mass)
  • Missa Brevis (1570) (cantus firmus mass)
  • 29 Motets for 5 voices (from Cantico Canticorum) (1584) (motets)
  • Missa Hodie Christus Natus Est (1601) (cantus firmus mass)
  • Sicut Cervus Desiderat (1604) (motet)
  • Stabat Mater (motet)

HECTOR BERLIOZ (1803-1869)
Birthplace: La Côte-Saint-André, France
Period/Style: Early Romantic

  • Symphonie Fantastique (1830) (orchestral music)
  • Harold en Italie (1834) (orchestral music)
  • Requiem (Grand Messe des Morts) (1837) (sacred vocal music)
  • Romeo et Juliette (1839) (orchestral music)
  • Les Nuits d’Ete (1841) (song cycle)
  • La Damnation de Faust (1846) (opera-oratorio)
  • Les Troyens (1858) (opera)

MODEST MUSSORGSKY (1839-1881)
Birthplace: Karevo, Russia
Period/Style: Romantic/Nationalist

  • A Night on Bald Mountain (1867) (tone poem)
  • Boris Godunov (1868) (opera)
  • Khovanshchina (1872) (opera)
  • Pictures at an Exhibition (1874) (keyboard music)
  • Songs & Dances of Death (1875) (song cycle)

ARNOLD SCHOENBERG (1874-1951)
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Period/Style: Second Viennese School/Serialism

  • Verklärte Nacht (Transfigured Night), Op. 4 (1899) (chamber music)
  • Three Piano Pieces, Op. 11 (1909) (keyboard music)
  • Five Pieces for Orchestra, Op. 16 (1909) (orchestral music)
  • Six Little Piano Pieces, Op. 19 (1911) (keyboard music)
  • Gurrelieder (1911) (song cycle/secular cantata)
  • Pierrot Lunaire, Op. 21 (1912) (orchestral music with Sprechstimme)
  • Variations for Orchestra, Op. 31 (1928) (orchestral music)

5
CLAUDIO MONTEVERDI
(1567-1643)
Birthplace: Cremona, Lombardy (now Italy)
Period/Style: Late Renaissance/Early Baroque

  • Madrigals, Book 4 (1603) (secular vocal music)
  • Madrigals, Book 5 (1605) (secular vocal music)
  • Orfeo (1607) (opera)
  • Lamento d’Arianna (1608) (opera aria)
  • Vespro della Beata Virgine (1610) (psalms/motets/hymns)
  • Madrigals, Book 8 “Songs of Love and War” (1638) (secular vocal music)
  • L’Incoronazione di Poppea (1642) (opera)

ANTON BRUCKNER (1824-1884)
Birthplace: Ansfelden, Austria
Period/Style: Late Romantic

  • Mass No. 2 in E minor (1866) (sacred vocal music)
  • Mass No. 3 in F minor (1868) (sacred vocal music)
  • Symphony No. 4 in E-flat major “Romantic” (1874) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 5 in B-flat major (1878) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 6 in A major (1881) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 7 in E major (1883) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 8 in C minor (1887) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 9 in D minor (1896) (orchestral music)

CAMILLE SAINT-SAËNS (1835–1921)
Birthplace: Paris, France
Period/Style: Late Romantic

  • Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, Op. 28 (1863) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 in G minor, Op. 22 (1868) (orchestral music)
  • Cello Concerto No. 1 in A minor, Op. 33 (1872) (orchestral music)
  • Danse Macabre, Op. 40 (1874) (tone poem)
  • Samson et Dalila, Op. 47 (1877) (opera)
  • Violin Concerto No. 3 in B minor, Op. 61 (1880) (orchestral music)
  • Symphony No. 3 in C minor, Op. 78 “Organ” (1886) (orchestral music)
  • Carnival of the Animals (1886) (chamber music)

NIKOLAI RIMSKY-KORSAKOV (1844-1908)
Birthplace: Tikhvin, Russia
Period/Style: Late Romantic/Nationalist

  • Symphony No. 2, Op. 9 “Antar” (1868) (orchestral music)
  • Capriccio espagnole, Op. 34 (1887) (orchestral music)
  • Scheherazade, Op. 35 (1888) (symphonic poem)
  • Russian Easter Festival Overture, Op. 36 (1888) (orchestral music)
  • The Tale of Tsar Saltan (1900) (opera)
  • The Golden Cockerel Suite (1907) (orchestral music)

GIACOMO PUCCINI (1858-1924)
Birthplace: Lucca, Grand Duchy of Tuscany (now Italy)
Period/Style: Late Romantic

  • Manon Lescaut (1893) (opera)
  • La Bohème (1895) (opera)
  • Tosca (1900) (opera)
  • Madama Butterfly (1904) (opera)
  • La Fanciulla del West (1910) (opera)
  • Turandot (1926) (opera)

BÉLA BARTÓK (1881-1945)
Birthplace: Nagyszentmiklós, Kingdom of Hungary, Austria-Hungary (now Romania)
Period/Style: Modern/Nationalist

  • Violin Concerto No. 1 (1908) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 1 (1909) (chamber music)
  • Bluebeard’s Castle (1911) (opera)
  • String Quartet No. 2 (1917) (chamber music)
  • The Miraculous Mandarin (1919) (ballet with chorus)
  • Piano Concerto No. 1 (1926) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 3 (1927) (chamber music)
  • String Quartet No. 4 (1928) (chamber music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 2 (1931) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 5 (1934) (chamber music)
  • Music for Strings, Percussion and Celesta (1936) (orchestral music)
  • Violin Concerto No. 2 (1938) (orchestral music)
  • String Quartet No. 6 (1939) (chamber music)
  • Concerto for Orchestra (1943) (orchestral music)
  • Piano Concerto No. 3 in E major (1945) (orchestral music)

To see the rest of the list, go here.