Top 10 Personal Favorite Composers

OK everyone, this is the last Top 10 Top 10 list – Personal Faves.  Here are the rules:

1) These are your personal FAVORITES.  No explanations, no reasoning.  Don’t choose someone just because you think he or she is a particularly good or great composer.  Choose someone because you love his or her music.  [Note: the two need not be mutually exclusive.]

2) These are your personal favorites at this very moment in time.  Try to let it flow – don’t hem and haw.  Five minutes hence, you might have a totally different list.  In fact, you could come back five minutes later and post a whole new list.  I would love it if you did that.  Maybe the You of five minutes ago really didn’t understand the You of now and your new perspective on life, love, and music.

3) Your list need not reflect any particular order.  It can if you want it to though.  Also – and this is very important – just because someone’s not on your list doesn’t mean you don’t love them.

4) Our working definition of ‘composer’ is anyone whose primary means of musical conveyance is the written note.  Feel free to understand this broadly.

Discuss! We’ve had some astonishingly interesting and in depth discussions on these lists.  Between like 5 people.  And I love those 5 people, and respect them and value their opinions and I’ve learned a tremendous amount from them.  But I have a little thing called Google Analytics, and, Dear Readers, I know that there’s many more of you out there.  This is a get-to-know you activity – absolutely not a debate.  Just fun, y’all!!

I’ll start.  In no particular order (excepting Beethoven):

My Top 10 Personal Favorite Composers

1. Ludwig van Beethoven

2. Alfred Schnittke

3. Maurice Ravel

4. Jean Sibelius

5. Claude Debussy

6. Giaocomo Puccini

7. Stephen Sondheim

8. Henry Purcell

9. Joseph Haydn

10. Björk


22 Responses to “Top 10 Personal Favorite Composers”

  1. Danny Lee says:

    1. Stravinsky
    2. Tchaikovsky
    3. Ginastera
    4. Leo Brouwer
    5. John Adams
    6. Mozart
    7. Villa-Lobos
    8. Schnittke
    9. Scriabin
    10. Messiaen

  2. Danny Lee says:

    I should probably have put Bach instead of Villa-Lobos, but that’s okay

  3. Charles says:

    In no stream-of-consciousness order:

    Brahms
    Ravel
    Bernstein
    Debussy
    Sibelius
    Barber
    Haydn
    Mozart

    (And slightly below those:)
    Tchaikovsky

  4. David Stech says:

    Brahms, Ravel, Stravinsky, Duruflé, Schoenberg, Debussy, Poulenc, Bartók, Prokofiev, Puccini.

  5. Maggie says:

    1)Handel
    2)Weill
    3)Bernstein
    4)Mozart
    5)Arlen
    6)Bach
    7)Convery
    8)Bolcom
    9) Dowland
    10) Barber

  6. Cavalieri says:

    Here’s my list and the seminal pieces (IMHO) that put them on it:
    Brahms (Requiem)
    Schubert (Lieder, esp. Schwanengesang)
    Duparc (Chanson)
    Bernstein (West Side Story, Candide)
    Verdi
    Ravel (Daphnis et Chloe, Pavane, Bolero)
    Ives (Songs)
    Souza (Washington Post, among others)
    Brubeck (Time Out)
    Mussorgsky (Pictures)

  7. Prana says:

    1 through 9: Will C. White.

    10: Haydn.

  8. Gabe says:

    Mozart
    Ockeghem
    Steve Reich
    Brahms
    Faure
    Bach
    Dallapiccola
    Schubert
    Arvo Part
    Zipoli!

  9. Bach…and then, alphabetically:

    Beethoven
    Brahms
    Mozart
    Poulenc
    Prokofiev
    Ravel
    Schubert
    Schumann
    Scriabin

    Thanks for all the great lists!

  10. Adam says:

    Brahms
    Mahler
    Reich
    Shostakovich
    Haydn
    Bruckner
    Dowland
    Varese
    Stravinsky
    Barber

  11. David Stech says:

    Barber
    Puccini
    Debussy
    Stravinsky
    Brahms
    Beethoven
    Britten
    Prokofiev
    Bartók
    Ravel

    Honorable mention: Wagner, Mozart, Bach, Poulenc

  12. Künkel says:

    Stravinsky
    Puccini
    Mendelssohn
    Beethoven
    Janacek
    Szymanowski
    Dvorak
    Ravel
    Debussy
    Schumann

  13. David Stech says:

    Yeah, I’m surprised there’s not more Janáček on these lists. [Bravo, Künkel] Certainly one of my favorites!

    Sorry to be so fickle, if not cliché, but my favorite composer is the one I’m currently working on. I just find myself thoroughly enamored by whomever I recently played (and really practiced/rehearsed/performed).

  14. C. N. says:

    1. Haydn

    2. Mozart

    3. Beethoven

    4. Bach

    5. Brahms

    6. Wagner

    7. Mendelssohn

    8. Saint-Saens

    9. Debussy

    10. J William Rappaport, Esq.

  15. Frank says:

    In no order at all:
    Poulenc
    Ravel
    Schubert
    Marschner
    Strauss
    Bach
    Brahms
    Berlioz
    Grainger
    Wagner

  16. Paul says:

    Claudio Monteverdi
    J.S. Bach
    Giaches de Wert
    Johann Rudolf Ahle
    Giovanni Gabrieli
    Dario Castello
    Thomas Morley
    Matthias Weckmann
    Johann Schein
    Heinrich Schutz

  17. Keith says:

    Strange that out of 150+ favorites (so far) there’s only one woman: Björk.

    • willcwhite says:

      that’s because Björk RULZ!!

      also, just a reminder – this is all about personal taste, no apologies, no discussion. David Stech, I’m looking squarely in your direction.

  18. Marcello says:

    Palestrina
    Josquin
    Orlando Gibbons
    Berg
    Radiohead
    Bjork
    Battiato
    Conte
    Marlene Kuntz
    Brad Mehldau

    … just kidding, Will!
    The thing is, my list doesn’t change that much over time…
    It would be kind of a boring game if you played it only with me :)

    OK, here is the (usual, boring) real one:

    Bach
    Beethoven
    Mozart
    Haydn
    Schubert
    Brahms
    Ravel
    Mahler
    Bruckner
    Verdi

    Cheers!

  19. Evan says:

    Tried to put them in order, because Why not?

    Sibelius
    Brahms
    Faure
    Beethoven
    Arvo Part
    Debussy
    Frank Martin
    Palestrina
    Bloch
    Schubert

  20. Conor says:

    1. Wagner
    2. Bach
    3. Beethoven
    4. Mahler
    5. Strauss
    6. Prokofiev
    7. Tchaikovsky
    8. Rachmaninoff
    9. Chopin
    10. Handel

  21. Barbara Vesper says:

    April 22, 2011
    Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak, R. Strauss, Prokofiev, Mahler, Ravel, Saint-saens, Puccini, Bob Dylan. Hon. Mention: Haydn, Shostakovich, Wagner, Bizet, Bernstein.