The Greatest Composers Of All Time

best composers everYou’re going to hate my list.

I can safely say that, because I know that whenever someone makes a list like this, tons of people will disagree with it. Some of you might agree, but the majority will have some problem with it. They will disagree about the order of the people listed or about some of the people on the list or they will feel that others should be on the list that aren’t or they will hate every single entry and think it’s wrong. No matter.

I decided to write this list anyway. It is not any kind of scientific ranking; instead, it’s just my favorite composers. But I’ve chosen from among my favorite composers only those who are also considered some of the worlds greatest. They might not be the top ones on every list, but they are always near the top. And they are ones I enjoy.

1. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

I put Mozart in the first position, because he not only created a ton of orchestral instrumental music, but also composed some incredible operas in the second part of his career. It is this range that puts him ahead of the other composers. He basically did everything but sing.

Unlike some, or maybe most, other composers you might have in the top list, it was relatively easy for Mozart. He was a prodigy, so he did not have to work nearly as hard as the other composers to create the same kind of thing. He did work hard, though, and this is why he ended up creating some of the world’s greatest masterpieces.

Read more about Mozart here.

2. Ludwig Van Beethoven

Making music was much harder for Beethoven than for Mozart. Beethoven was not nearly as much of a natural, so he struggled much more to create great pieces. Nevertheless, he did just that, using all the tools he had at his disposal.

He created some incredible and bombastic pieces that more than make up for some of the ones he made that weren’t quite as good. His body of work has stood the test of time and everyone knows his name today. That is why I put him in the second spot.

Here is the best of Beethoven’s music, though I suggest you get it on vinyl to really enjoy it to its fullest:

3. Johann Sebastian Bach

Many people would’ve put back Bach at number one. I thought about it myself. He was a master of musical engineering, but he also had a romantic soul and was incredibly expressible. He never made operas, but he could have done it easily.

Bach was actually considered old-fashioned during his time, but he didn’t care. He did not want to follow the modern trends. Instead he doubled down on doing things his own way even more. And he took that style further than anyone and outdid them all.

To learn anything you could possibly ever want to know about Bach, your best bet is to visit the museum dedicated to him in Leipzig, Germany.

4. Richard Wagner

Most people would have left Wagner off any of these lists, because he was known as a fervent anti-Semite. He might have been a horrible person, but he was an incredible composer.

He made some gorgeous romantic pieces and some incredibly bombastic pieces that mixed opera with orchestra and did so better than most. His music is absolutely beautiful, but has a sadness that runs through it as well. This really makes his pieces stick out among the crowd.

5. Franz Peter Schubert

Shubert died very young and very poor. But he left behind a huge body of work comprised of hundreds of songs. His music is everywhere. His pieces are not as recognizable as some of the other people on this list, but anyone involved in concerts at all has heard or played his music. We all know them even if we don’t know that we know them.

There you have it, my list of the top five classical composers of all time. If you disagree with any part of this list, feel free to let me know in the comments below.

But also know that I will not be changing the list. It is what it is and I know it’s very subjective. That can’t be changed. Nevertheless, I look forward to hearing from you guys and who you think should be in the top five and why. Please do let me know.

Why I like Jason Robert Brown

Jason Robert Brown is a 46 year-old student of composition from Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY. Two of his biggest influences in music are Sweeny Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street and Sunday in the Park with George. Had it not been for these two, Jason would have joined a rock band, probably as a singer.

composer jason robert brown
Photo provided by the Huntington Theater Company.

Jason’s first job as a teenager was delivering pizza. Let’s just say it does not go well for everyone. His first theatrical job was as a director for Cole, a musical revue for Cole Porter. This took place at Elmwood Playhouse, Nyack, New York. He directed this aged 15 years old.

He owes his success as a composer to never settling down to one thing, even at an early age. He was always pushy and aggressive and never settled down for anything. Always knew and felt he could do more in any situation and always wanted to be the greatest. This is a great attribute for anyone to emulate.

Jason’s landmark productions include: Honeymoon in Vegas, which was performed at the Nederland Theatre in 2015, The Bridges of Madison County, which played at Broadway’s Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in 2014, 13, which he produced in 2008, The Last Five years which premiered in 2001 in Broadway and then featured as a film in 2015. The story of this last composition was based on his failed marriage to his first wife.

Why Jason inspires me is that despite some failures in life, he has learnt to enjoy the moment. He appreciates that his shows get done and are well accepted, and he gets a lot of joy when he sees how people are enjoying his music. He is currently married to a composer wife, and together with their two daughters, live in New York.

Failure is a word that is not in Jason’s vocabulary. Over the years as he writes his music, he has learned that with all the family and societal obligations he has, he has to five his all to ensure that the music he writes gets accepted and continues to earn him more money. For a long time he didn’t think he was doing the right thing, but as years went on and from the successes he has encountered, he is convinced that he took the right path.

Jason has earned a number of accolades along the way. He has won the Tony Awards for best original score for Parade and the Bridges of Madison County and another Tony for orchestration for Bridges of Madison County. He also won a Drama Desk Award for outstanding music for Parade, The Last Five Years, The Bridges of Madison County and a Drama Desk Award for outstanding lyrics for The Last Five Years. This is an amazing feat for someone so young.

Jason is a composer who loves to play and sing his own music. He is currently working on a new musical and his best advice to people is “Be Yourself”. People have got to like you for what you are, this is very important and an inspiration. Another inspiration from Jason is that he always works with people who are better than him, that way he will improve himself to become a better person. Very inspiring.

To learn more about Jason Robert Brown, check out his website.

 

Stephan Moccio – A Distinguished Composer

Stephan Moccio is an exceptionally gifted composer who has deployed the full range of his dynamic skills to promote contemporary music. He is also a gifted songwriter, recording artist (his singing is amazing), and pianist. Moccio was born on 20 October 1972 in St. Catharines, Ontario. He is widely considered as one of the most innovative and highly prolific composers alive today and someday may be considered among the best ever.

composer desk during break
This composer is taking a break.

Moccio’s style of composition reveals the influences of a variety of genres including jazz, classical, hip hop, dance, and blues. His outstanding skills are clearly manifest in the many songs that he has co-written including “Wrecking Ball” and “A New Day Has Come” for Miley Cyrus and Celine Dion respectively.

His capacity to compose, produce, and sing are some of the unique strengths that endear him to his admirers. Besides, he has demonstrated the willingness to work with other people in the vast industry with the objective of expanding the overall experience of contemporary music. In all respects, he remains a leading light in the development of art and music.

Background

Moccio joined The University of Western Ontario after high school and graduated with Bachelor of Arts in composition and piano performance. His main interest after graduation was the development of his professional career. At the age of 22, Moccio was engaged with Sony/ATV on a publishing deal that also saw him work as a session musician, composer, and in-house producer.

In various occasions, Moccio would play in hotel lounges and in various Toronto jazz clubs. A lot of his time would be spent in Los Angeles, New York, and Nashville on writing sessions. It was here that he wrote many songs for famous artists who acknowledged his special talents and passion.

Moccio’s Impact on Television Programs

Moccio began working for various television programs in 1996 in the areas of writing, performing, and producing some of the highly popular shows such as Camilla Scot Show. Other television shows that engaged his skills include House and Home (1998) and ETalk (2008). However, his real skills would be revealed in music composition.

Later in 2003, Moccio decided to concentrate on his own publishing form, Sing Little Penguin where he worked on a lot of solo projects and collaborations. One of his most successful collaborations was with Sarah Brightman on the popular single, “What You Never Know.” Moccio combined his rare talents with the skills of his peers to give the collaborations a remarkable appeal.

Awards

Moccio was nominated for Grammy and Academy Awards because of his illustrious efforts in the advancement of music. His willingness to explore new possibilities in the field of music is what wins him the overwhelming support that he continues to enjoy across the board. Moccio’s energy and commitment to the growth of music reflect his desire to connect with wider audiences.

When he is not composing, singing, or producing music, Moccio is passionate about sports and often finds ways in which his talent in music might contribute to the development of sports. He has composed various theme songs for broadcasts. Ultimately, this renowned composer has contributed immensely to the flourishing of music.