Contemporary Classical Composer

Composer Lineage

The following list features the great composers of the past and present whose work represents the organically evolving art of classical music. Each composer listed here has devoted himself or herself to the craft of composition and produced work that, through the hands of many able performers, has aesthetically impacted me (and others) to some degree. The list is not static, but growing and evolving as I continue to listen and learn throughout my life. Jazz and Hindustani composers are not included despite my deep love and respect for their work simply because the present scope is limited to classical music. Avant-garde composers, meanwhile, are largely omitted on both accounts: not only is their work not classical, but I cannot admit that the bulk of it has had any impact on me. In any case, it is important for me to recognize my predecessors, and helpful to be able to visualize them as a lineage. Without them, I would not be who I am as a composer—neither would any of us who keep the classical tradition alive through our work. We do what we do because they did what they did—and if we achieve artistic successes, it is because we have built on the foundation they have laid, using the tools and methods our teachers have passed along. I invite you to engage the following list, filter or sort the different variables in the table to discover different views, and follow the provided links to example works—or else follow your own line of research into any of these worthy artists.

View Them By Nationality