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Haydn
Haydn
Franz Joseph Haydn (March 31, 1732 – May 31, 1809) was one of the most prominent composers of the classical period, and is called by some the "Father of the Symphony" and "Father of the String Quartet".

A life-long resident of Austria, Haydn spent most of his career as a court musician for the wealthy Hungarian Esterházy family on their remote estate. Isolated from other composers and trends in music until the later part of his long life, he was, as he put it, "forced to become original".

Although Haydn is still often called "Franz Joseph Haydn", the composer did not use the name "Franz" during his lifetime and this misnomer is avoided by modern scholars and historians. Joseph Haydn was the brother of Michael Haydn, himself a highly regarded composer, and Johann Evangelist Haydn, a tenor.

A central characteristic of Haydn's music is the development of larger structures out of very short, simple musical motifs, often derived from standard accompanying figures. The music is often quite formally concentrated, and the important musical events of a movement can unfold rather quickly.

Haydn's work was central to the development of what came to be called sonata form. His practice, however, differed in some ways from that of Mozart and Beethoven, his younger contemporaries who likewise excelled in this form of composition. Haydn was particularly fond of the so-called "monothematic exposition", in which the music that establishes the dominant key is similar or identical to the opening theme. Haydn also differs from Mozart and Beethoven in his recapitulation sections, where he often rearranges the order of themes compared to the exposition and uses extensive thematic development.

Perhaps more than any other composer's, Haydn's music is known for its humour. The most famous example is the sudden loud chord in the slow movement of his "Surprise" symphony; Haydn's many other musical jokes include numerous false endings (e.g., in the quartets Op. 33 No. 2 and Op. 50 No. 3), and the remarkable rhythmic illusion placed in the trio section of the third movement of Op. 50 No. 1.
Brahms
Brahms
Johannes Brahms (May 7, 1833 – April 3, 1897) was a German composer of the Romantic period. He was born in Hamburg and in his later years he settled in Vienna, Austria.

Brahms maintained a Classical sense of form and order in his works – in contrast to the opulence of the music of many of his contemporaries. Thus many admirers (though not necessarily Brahms himself) saw him as the champion of traditional forms and "pure music," as opposed to the New German embrace of program music.

Brahms venerated Beethoven: in the composer's home, a marble bust of Beethoven looked down on the spot where he composed, and some passages in his works are reminiscent of Beethoven's style. The main theme of the finale of Brahms's First Symphony is reminiscent of the main theme of the finale of Beethoven's Ninth, and when this resemblance was pointed out to Brahms he replied that any ass – jeder Esel – could see that.

Ein deutsches Requiem was partially inspired by his mother's death in 1865, but also incorporates material from a Symphony he started in 1854, but abandoned following Schumann's suicide attempt. He once wrote that the Requiem "belonged to Schumann". The first movement of this abandoned Symphony was re-worked as the first movement of the First Piano Concerto.

Brahms also loved the Classical composers Mozart and Haydn. He collected first editions and autographs of their works, and edited performing editions. He also studied the music of pre-classical composers, including Giovanni Gabrieli, Johann Adolph Hasse, Heinrich Schütz and especially Johann Sebastian Bach. His friends included leading musicologists, and with Friedrich Chrysander he edited an edition of the works of François Couperin. He looked to older music for inspiration in the arts of strict counterpoint; the themes of some of his works are modelled on Baroque sources, such as Bach's The Art of Fugue in the fugal finale of Cello Sonata No. 1, or the same composer's Cantata No. 150 in the passacaglia theme of the Fourth Symphony's finale.
Astor Piazzolla
Astor Piazzolla
Ástor Pantaleón Piazzolla (March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer and bandoneón player. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. An excellent bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with different ensembles.

Piazzolla's nuevo tango was distinct from the traditional tango in its incorporation of elements of jazz, its use of extended harmonies and dissonance, its use of counterpoint, and its ventures into extended compositional forms. As Argentine psychoanalyst Carlos Kuri has pointed out, Piazzolla's fusion of tango with this wide range of other recognizable Western musical elements was so successful that it produced a new individual style transcending these influences. It is precisely this success, and individuality, that makes it hard to pin down where particular influences reside in his compositions, but some aspects are clear. The use of the passacaglia technique of a circulating bass line and harmonic sequence, invented and much used in 17th and 18th century baroque music but also central to the idea of jazz "changes", predominates in most of Piazzolla's mature compositions. Another clear reference to the baroque is the often complex and virtuosic counterpoint that sometimes follows strict fugal behavior but more often simply allows each performer in the group to assert his voice. A further technique that emphasises this sense of democracy and freedom among the musicians is improvisation that is borrowed from jazz in concept, but in practice involves a different vocabulary of scales and rhythms that stay within the parameters of the established tango sound-world. Pablo Ziegler has been particularly responsible for developing this aspect of the style both within Piazzolla's groups and since the composer's death.
Franz Schubert
Franz Schubert
Franz Peter Schubert (German pronunciation: ; January 31, 1797 – November 19, 1828) was an Austrian composer. He wrote some 600 Lieder, nine symphonies (including the famous "Unfinished Symphony"), liturgical music, operas, some incidental music, and a large body of chamber and solo piano music. He is particularly noted for his original melodic and harmonic writing.

Schubert was born into a musical family, and received formal musical training through much of his childhood. While Schubert had a close circle of friends and associates who admired his work (amongst them the prominent singer Johann Michael Vogl), wide appreciation of his music during his lifetime was limited at best. He was never able to secure adequate permanent employment, and for most of his career he relied on the support of friends and family. He made some money from published works, and occasionally gave private musical instruction. In the last year of his life he began to receive wider acclaim. He died at the age of 31 of "typhoid fever", a diagnosis which was vague at the time; several scholars suspect the real illness was tertiary syphilis.

Interest in Schubert's work increased dramatically in the decades following his death. Composers like Franz Liszt, Robert Schumann and Felix Mendelssohn discovered, collected, and championed his works in the 19th century, as did musicologist Sir George Grove. Franz Schubert is now widely considered to be one of the greatest composers in the Western tradition.
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden
The Secret Garden is a musical based on the 1909 novel of the same name by Frances Hodgson Burnett. The musical's book and lyrics are by Marsha Norman, with music by Lucy Simon. It premiered on Broadway at the St. James Theatre on 25 April 1991 and closed on 3 January 1993 after 709 performances.

The musical, set in 1906, tells of a young English girl, Mary, who is forced to move to England from colonial India when her parents die in a cholera outbreak. There she lives with her emotionally stunted Uncle Archibald and her invalid cousin. Discovering a hidden and neglected garden, and bravely overcoming dark forces, she and a young gardener bring it back to life at the same time as she brings new life to her cousin and uncle.

The Secret Garden garnered the 1991 Tony Awards for Best Book of a Musical, Best Featured Actress in a Musical (Daisy Eagan), and Best Scenic Design (Heidi Landesman). The set resembled an enormous Victorian toy theatre with pop-out figures, large paper dolls, and Joseph Cornell-like collage elements.
Joe Hisaishi
Joe Hisaishi
Mamoru Fujisawa (藤澤 守 Fujisawa Mamoru?), known professionally as Joe Hisaishi (久石 譲 Hisaishi Jō?, born December 6, 1950), is a composer and director known for over 100 film scores and solo albums dating back to 1981.
While possessing a stylistically distinct sound, Hisaishi's music has been known to explore and incorporate different genres, including minimalist, experimental electronic, European classical, and Japanese classical. Lesser known are the other musical roles he plays; he is also a typesetter, author, arranger, and head of an orchestra.
He is best known for his work with animator Hayao Miyazaki, having composed scores for many of his films including Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (1984), My Neighbor Totoro (1988), Princess Mononoke (1997), Spirited Away (2001), Howl's Moving Castle (2004) and Ponyo (2008). He is also recognized for the soundtracks he has provided for filmmaker 'Beat' Takeshi Kitano, including Dolls (2002), Kikujiro (1999), Hana-bi (1997), Kids Return (1996), Sonatine (1993).
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Faure
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist, and teacher. He was the foremost French composer of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th century composers. His harmonic and melodic language affected how harmony was later taught.
John Ireland
John Ireland
John Nicholson Ireland (13 August 1879 – 12 June 1962) was an English composer and teacher of classical music. The majority of his output consists of piano miniatures and of songs with piano. His best-known works include the hymn "The Holy Boy" and a setting of the poem "Sea Fever" by John Masefield.
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel
Johann Pachelbel (pronounced /ˈpækəlbɛl/, /ˈpɑːkəlbɛl/, or /ˈpɑːkəbɛl/; baptized September 1, 1653 – buried March 9, 1706) was a German Baroque composer, organist and teacher, who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions to the development of the chorale prelude and fugue have earned him a place among the most important composers of the middle Baroque era.

Pachelbel's work enjoyed enormous popularity during his lifetime; he had many pupils and his music became a model for the composers of south and central Germany. Today, Pachelbel is best known for the Canon in D, the only canon he wrote - although a true canon at the unison in three parts, it is often regarded more as a passacaglia, and it is in this mode that it has been arranged and transcribed for many different media. In addition to the canon, his most well-known works include the Chaconne in F minor, the Toccata in E minor for organ, and the Hexachordum Apollinis, a set of keyboard variations.

Pachelbel's music was influenced by southern German composers, such as Johann Jakob Froberger and Johann Kaspar Kerll, Italians such as Girolamo Frescobaldi and Alessandro Poglietti, French composers, and the composers of the Nuremberg tradition. Pachelbel preferred a lucid, uncomplicated contrapuntal style that emphasized melodic and harmonic clarity. His music is less virtuosic and less adventurous harmonically than that of Dieterich Buxtehude, although, like Buxtehude, Pachelbel experimented with different ensembles and instrumental combinations in his chamber music and, most importantly, his vocal music, much of which features exceptionally rich instrumentation. Pachelbel explored many variation forms and associated techniques, which manifest themselves in various diverse pieces, from sacred concertos to harpsichord suites.
Mozart
Mozart
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, full name Johann Chrysostom Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791) was a prolific and influential composer of the Classical era. His over 600 compositions include works widely acknowledged as pinnacles of symphonic, concertante, chamber, piano, operatic, and choral music. Mozart is among the most enduringly popular of classical composers, and many of his works are part of the standard concert repertoire.

Mozart's music, like Haydn's, stands as an archetypal example of the Classical style. His works spanned the period during which that style transformed from one exemplified by the style galant to one that began to incorporate some of the contrapuntal complexities of the late Baroque, complexities against which the galant style had been a reaction. Mozart's own stylistic development closely paralleled the development of the classical style as a whole. In addition, he was a versatile composer and wrote in almost every major genre, including symphony, opera, the solo concerto, chamber music including string quartet and string quintet, and the piano sonata. While none of these genres were new, the piano concerto was almost single-handedly developed and popularized by Mozart. He also wrote a great deal of religious music, including masses; and he composed many dances, divertimenti, serenades, and other forms of light entertainment.

The central traits of the classical style can be identified in Mozart's music. Clarity, balance, and transparency are hallmarks of his work.
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone
Ennio Morricone, OMRI (born November 10, 1928), is an Italian composer and conductor. He has composed and arranged scores for more than 500 film and television productions. Morricone is considered as one of the most influential film composers since the late 1950s. He is well-known for his long-term collaborations with international acclaimed directors such as Sergio Leone, Brian De Palma, Barry Levinson, and Giuseppe Tornatore.

He wrote the characteristic film scores of Leone's Spaghetti Westerns A Fistful of Dollars (1964), For a Few Dollars More (1965), The Good, the Bad and the Ugly (1966), Once Upon a Time in the West (1968), The Great Silence (1968), and My Name Is Nobody (1973). In the 80s, Morricone composed the scores for John Carpenter's horror movie The Thing (1982), Leone's Once Upon a Time in America (1984), Roland Joffé's The Mission (1986), Brian De Palma's The Untouchables (1987) and Giuseppe Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso (1988).

His more recent compositions include the scores for Oliver Stone's U Turn (1997), Tornatore's The Legend of 1900 (1998) and Malèna (2000), Mission to Mars (2000) by Brian De Palma, Fateless (2005), and Baaria - La porta del vento (2009). Ennio Morricone has won two Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes and five Anthony Asquith Awards for Film Music by BAFTA in 1979–1992. He has been nominated for five Academy Awards for Best Music, Original Score in 1979–2001. Morricone received the Honorary Academy Award in 2007 "for his magnificent and multifaceted contributions to the art of film music". He was the second composer to receive this award after its introduction in 1928.
Vivaldi
Vivaldi
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi (March 4, 1678 – July 28, 1741), nicknamed il Prete Rosso ("The Red Priest"), was a Venetian priest and Baroque music composer, as well as a famous virtuoso violinist; he was born and raised in the Republic of Venice. The Four Seasons, a series of four violin concerti, is his best-known work and a highly popular Baroque piece.

Many of Vivaldi's compositions reflect a flamboyant, almost playful, exuberance. Most of Vivaldi's repertoire was rediscovered only in the first half of the 20th century in Turin and Genoa and was published in the second half. Vivaldi's music is innovative, breaking a consolidated tradition in schemes; he gave brightness to the formal and the rhythmic structure of the concerto, repeatedly looking for harmonic contrasts and innovative melodies and themes. Moreover, Vivaldi was able to compose nonacademic music, particularly meant to be appreciated by the wide public and not only by an intellectual minority. The joyful appearance of his music reveals in this regard a transmissible joy of composing; these are among the causes of the vast popularity of his music. This popularity soon made him famous in other countries such as France which was, at the time, very independent concerning its musical taste.

Vivaldi is considered one of the composers who brought Baroque music (with its typical contrast among heavy sonorities) to evolve into a classical style. Johann Sebastian Bach was deeply influenced by Vivaldi's concertos and arias (recalled in his Johannes Passion, Matthäuspassion, and cantatas). Bach transcribed a number of Vivaldi's concerti for solo keyboard, along with a number for orchestra, including the famous Concerto for Four Violins and Violoncello, Strings and Continuo (RV 580).
Rachmaninoff
Rachmaninoff
Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 - 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He was one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, the last great representative of Russian late Romanticism in classical music. Early influences of Tchaikovsky, Rimsky-Korsakov and other Russian composers gave way to a thoroughly personal idiom which included a pronounced lyricism, expressive breadth, structural ingenuity and a tonal palette of rich, distinctive orchestral colors.

Understandably, the piano figures prominently in Rachmaninoff's compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble. He made it a point, however, to use his own skills as a performer to explore fully the expressive possibilities of the instrument. Even in his earliest works, he revealed a sure grasp of idiomatic piano writing and a striking gift for melody. In some of his early orchestral pieces he showed the first signs of a talent for tone painting, which he would perfect in The Isle of the Dead, and he began to show a similar penchant for vocal writing in two early sets of songs, Opp. 4 and 8. Rachmaninoff's masterpiece, however, is his choral symphony The Bells, in which all of his talents are fused and unified.

Rachmaninoff sometimes felt threatened by the success of modernists such as Scriabin and Prokofiev and wondered whether to cease composing even before he left Russia. His musical philosophy was rooted in the Russian spiritual tradition, where the role of the artist was to create beauty and to speak the truth from the depths of his heart. In his last major interview, in 1941, he admitted his music, like Russian music, was a product of his temperament. He said, on another occasion, "The new kind of music seems to create not from the heart but from the head. Its composers think rather than feel. They have not the capacity to make their works exalt—they meditate, protest, analyze, reason, calculate and brood, but they do not exalt."
Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst
Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst
Heinrich Wilhelm Ernst (8 June 1812 – 8 October 1865) was a Moravian-Jewish violinist, violist and composer. He was widely seen as the outstanding violinist of his time and one of Niccolò Paganini's greatest successors.He was a highly esteemed artist in his day. Many saw him as the superior violinist of his time and Paganini's greatest successor. Not only did he contribute to polyphonic playing, but he also discovered new idiomatic ways to compose polyphonically conceived violin music. His friends included Hector Berlioz and Felix Mendelssohn.
Tchaikovsky
Tchaikovsky
Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovsky (May 7 1840 – November 6 1893) was a Russian composer of the Romantic era. While not part of the nationalistic music group known as "The Five", Tchaikovsky wrote music which, in the opinion of Harold Schonberg, was distinctly Russian: plangent, introspective, with modally-inflected melody and harmony.

Aesthetically, Tchaikovsky remained open to all aspects of Saint Petersburg musical life. He was impressed by Serov and Balakirev as well as the classical values upheld by the conservatory. Both the progressive and conservative camps in Russian music at the time attempted to win him over. Tchaikovsky charted his compositional course between these two factions, retaining his individuality as a composer as well as his Russian identity. In this he was influenced by the ideals of his teacher Nikolai Rubinstein and Nikolai's brother Anton.

Tchaikovsky's musical cosmopolitanism led him to be favored by many Russian music-lovers over the "Russian" harmonies and styles of Mussorgsky, Borodin and Rimsky-Korsakov.

Nonetheless he frequently adapted Russian traditional melodies and dance forms in his music, which enhanced his success in his home country. The success in St. Petersburg at the premiere of his Third Orchestral Suite may have been due in large part to his concluding the work with a polonaise. He also used a polonaise for the final movement of his Third Symphony.
Traditional
Traditional
traditional music
Bond Quartet
Bond Quartet
Together Tania Davis (Violin), Eos Counsell (violin), Elspeth Hanson (viola) and Gay-Yee Westerhoff (cello) complete the line-up of BOND.

At its launch, BOND was hailed in the press as ‘the Spice Girls of Classical music’, and went onto turn the world of classical crossover music on its head, spawning many electric string groups inspired by its unique sound.

The members of BOND draw their inspiration from classical, latin, folk, jazz, rock, pop, electro, Indian and middle eastern styles. They have built a very active and loyal international fan base over the years and, since their debut, BOND have sold over 4 million albums worldwide, making BOND the best-selling string quartet of all time.
Astor Piazzola
Astor Piazzola
Astor Pantaleón Piazzolla (Spanish pronunciation: , Italian pronunciation: ; March 11, 1921 – July 4, 1992) was an Argentine tango composer, bandoneon player, and arranger. His oeuvre revolutionized the traditional tango into a new style termed nuevo tango, incorporating elements from jazz and classical music. A virtuoso bandoneonist, he regularly performed his own compositions with a variety of ensembles.

In 1992, American music critic Stephen Holden described Piazzolla as "the world's foremost composer of tango music"
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold
Jamey Aebersold (born July 21, 1939 in New Albany, Indiana) is an American jazz saxophonist and music educator. His "Play-A-Long" series of instructional book and CD collections, using the chord-scale system, the first of which was released in 1967, are an internationally renowned resource for jazz education. As of 2009, 126 of these collections have been published by Aebersold, who currently teaches musical improvisation at the University of Louisville. He is also an adept pianist, bassist, and banjoist.
Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss
Alison Krauss (born July 23, 1971 in Decatur, Illinois) is an American bluegrass-country singer and fiddler. She entered the music industry at an early age, winning local contests by the age of ten and recording for the first time at fourteen. She signed with Rounder Records in 1985 and released her first solo album in 1987. She was invited to join the band with which she still performs, Alison Krauss + Union Station (AKUS), and later released her first album with them as a group in 1989.

She has released eleven albums, appeared on numerous soundtracks, and helped renew interest in bluegrass music in the United States. Her soundtrack performances have led to further popularity, including the Grammy-winning O Brother, Where Art Thou? soundtrack, an album also credited with raising American interest in bluegrass, and the Cold Mountain soundtrack, which led to her performance at the 2004 Academy Awards. During her career she has won 26 Grammy Awards, making her the most awarded female artist (and the third most awarded artist overall) in Grammy history.
John Williams
John Williams
John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. In a career that spans six decades, Williams has composed many of the most famous film scores in Hollywood history, including Star Wars, Superman, Home Alone, the first three Harry Potter movies and all but two of Steven Spielberg's feature films including the Indiana Jones series, Schindler's List, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park and Jaws. He also composed the soundtrack for the hit 1960s television series Lost in Space as well as the fanfare of the DreamWorks Pictures' logo.

Williams has composed theme music for four Olympic Games, the NBC Nightly News, the rededication of the Statue of Liberty, and numerous television series and concert pieces. He served as the principal conductor of the Boston Pops Orchestra from 1980 to 1993, and is now the orchestra's laureate conductor.
Williams is a five-time winner of the Academy Award. He has also won four Golden Globe Awards, seven BAFTA Awards and 21 Grammy Awards. With 45 Academy Award nominations, Williams is, together with composer Alfred Newman, the second most nominated person after Walt Disney. He was inducted into the Hollywood Bowl Hall of Fame in 2000, and was a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors in 2004.
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler
Gustav Mahler was an Austrian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and the modernism of the early 20th century.
Henryk Wieniawski
Henryk Wieniawski
Henryk Wieniawski (10 July 1835 – 31 March 1880) was a Polish violinist and composer. He was considered a violinist of genius and wrote some of the most important works in the violin repertoire, including two extremely difficult violin concertos, the second of which (in D minor, 1862) is more often performed than the first (in F♯ minor, 1853). His "L'Ecole Moderne, 10 Etudes-Caprices" is a very well known and required work for aspiring violinists. His Scherzo-Tarantelle, Op. 16 and Légende, Op. 17 are also frequently performed works. He also wrote two popular mazurkas for solo violin and piano accompaniment (the second one, Obertas, in G Major), using techniques such as left-hand pizzicato, harmonics, large leaps, and many double stops. Wieniawski has been given a number of posthumous honors. His portrait appeared on a postage stamp of Poland in 1952 and again in 1957. A 100 Złoty coin was issued in 1979 bearing his image.
What is sometimes called the "Russian bow grip" ought to be called the "Wieniawski bow grip": Wieniawski taught his students his own kind of very stiff bowing that allowed him to play a "devil's staccato" with ease. This "devil's staccato" was easily used to discipline students.
Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius
Jean Sibelius ( pronunciation (help·info)) (8 December 1865 – 20 September 1957) was a Finnish composer of the later Romantic period whose music played an important role in the formation of the Finnish national identity. His mastery of the orchestra has been described as "prodigious."
The core of Sibelius's oeuvre is his set of seven symphonies. Like Beethoven, Sibelius used each successive work to further develop his own personal compositional style. His works continue to be performed frequently in the concert hall and are often recorded.
In addition to the symphonies, Sibelius's best-known compositions include Finlandia, the Karelia Suite, Valse triste, the Violin Concerto in D minor and The Swan of Tuonela (one of the four movements of the Lemminkäinen Suite). Other works include pieces inspired by the Finnish national epic, the Kalevala; over 100 songs for voice and piano; incidental music for 13 plays; the opera Jungfrun i tornet (The Maiden in the Tower); chamber music; piano music; Masonic ritual music; and 21 separate publications of choral music.
Coldplay
Coldplay
Coldplay are a rock band formed in London, England in 1997. The group comprises vocalist/pianist/guitarist Chris Martin, lead guitarist Jonny Buckland, bassist Guy Berryman, and drummer/multi-instrumentalist Will Champion. Coldplay have sold 34.6 million albums, and are also known for their hit singles, such as "Yellow", "The Scientist", "Speed of Sound", "Fix You", "Viva la Vida" and the Grammy Award-winning "Clocks".

Coldplay achieved worldwide fame with the release of their single "Yellow", followed by their debut album, Parachutes (2000), which was nominated for the Mercury Prize. Its follow-up, A Rush of Blood to the Head (2002) won multiple awards such as NME's Album of the Year and was later included on Rolling Stone magazine's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time list, ranking at #473. Their next release, X&Y (2005), received a slightly less enthusiastic yet still generally positive reception. The band's fourth studio album, Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends (2008), was produced by Brian Eno and released again to largely favourable reviews. All of Coldplay's albums have enjoyed great commercial success.

Coldplay's early material was compared to acts such as Jeff Buckley, U2, and Travis. Coldplay have been an active supporter of various social and political causes, such as Oxfam's Make Trade Fair campaign and Amnesty International. The group have also performed at various charity projects such as Band Aid 20, Live 8, and the Teenage Cancer Trust.
Handel
Handel
George Frideric Handel (Friday, 23 February 1685 - Saturday, 14 April 1759) was a German-born Baroque composer who is famous for his operas, oratorios and concerti grossi. Born as Georg Friedrich Handel in Halle, he spent most of his adult life in England, becoming a subject of the British crown on 22 January 1727. His most famous works are Messiah, an oratorio set to texts from the King James Bible; Water Music; and Music for the Royal Fireworks. Strongly influenced by the techniques of the great composers of the Italian Baroque and the English composer Henry Purcell, his music was known to many significant composers who came after him, including Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven.

Handel's compositions include 42 operas; 29 oratorios; more than 120 cantatas, trios and duets; numerous arias; chamber music; a large number of ecumenical pieces; odes and serenatas; and sixteen organ concerti. His most famous work, the Messiah oratorio with its "Hallelujah" chorus, is among the most popular works in choral music and has become a centerpiece of the Christmas season. Also popular are the Opus 3 and 6 Concerti Grossi, as well as "The Cuckoo and the Nightingale", in which birds are heard calling during passages played in different keys representing the vocal ranges of two birds. Also notable are his sixteen keyboard suites, especially The Harmonious Blacksmith.

Handel introduced various previously uncommon musical instruments in his works: the viola d'amore and violetta marina (Orlando), the lute (Ode for St. Cecilia's Day), three trombones (Saul), clarinets or small high cornets (Tamerlano), theorbo, French horn (Water Music), lyrichord, double bassoon, viola da gamba, bell chimes, positive organ, and harp (Giulio Cesare, Alexander's Feast).
Gabriel Urbain Fauré
Gabriel Urbain Fauré
Gabriel Urbain Fauré (French: ; 12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many 20th-century composers. Among his best-known works are his Pavane, Requiem, Sicilienne, nocturnes for piano and the songs "Après un rêve" and "Clair de lune". Although his best-known and most accessible compositions are generally his earlier ones, Fauré composed many of his most highly regarded works in his later years, in a more harmonically and melodically complex style.
Luigi Boccherini
Luigi Boccherini
Ridolfo Luigi Boccherini (/ˌbɒkəˈriːni/, also US: /ˌboʊk-/, Italian: (About this soundlisten); 19 February 1743 – 28 May 1805) was an Italian, later Spanish, composer and cellist of the Classical era whose music retained a courtly and galante style even while he matured somewhat apart from the major European musical centers. He is best known for a minuet from his String Quintet in E, Op. 11, No. 5 (G 275), and the Cello Concerto in B flat major (G 482). The latter work was long known in the heavily altered version by German cellist and prolific arranger Friedrich Grützmacher, but has recently been restored to its original version.
Felix Mendelssohn
Felix Mendelssohn
Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born, and generally known in English-speaking countries, as Felix Mendelssohn (February 3, 1809 – November 4, 1847) was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period.

The grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, he was born into a notable Jewish family, although he himself was brought up initially without religion, and later as a Lutheran. He was recognized early as a musical prodigy, but his parents were cautious and did not seek to capitalise on his abilities. Indeed his father was disinclined to allow Felix to follow a musical career until it became clear that he intended to seriously dedicate himself to it.

Early success in Germany was followed by travel throughout Europe; Mendelssohn was particularly well received in England as a composer, conductor and soloist, and his ten visits there, during which many of his major works were premiered, form an important part of his adult career. His essentially conservative musical tastes however set him apart from many of his more adventurous musical contemporaries such as Liszt, Wagner and Berlioz. The Conservatory he founded at Leipzig became a bastion of this anti-radical outlook.

Mendelssohn's work includes symphonies, concerti, oratorios, piano and chamber music. He also had an important role in the revival of interest in the music of Johann Sebastian Bach. After a long period of relative denigration due to changing musical tastes and antisemitism in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, his creative originality is now being recognized and re-evaluated. He is now among the most popular composers of the Romantic era.
Prokofiev
Prokofiev
Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (Russian: Сергей Сергеевич Прокофьев; Ukrainian: Сергій Сергійович Прокоф'єв) (27 April 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist and conductor who mastered numerous musical genres and came to be admired as one of the greatest composers of the 20th century.

Prokofiev was a soloist with the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Piero Coppola, in the first recording of his Piano Concerto No. 3, recorded in London by His Master's Voice in June 1932. Prokofiev also recorded some of his solo piano music for HMV in Paris in February 1935; these recordings were issued on CD by Pearl and Naxos. In 1938, he conducted the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra in a recording of the second suite from his Romeo and Juliet ballet; this performance was also later released on LP and CD. Another reported recording with Prokofiev and the Moscow Philharmonic was of the First Violin Concerto with David Oistrakh as soloist; Everest Records later released this recording on an LP.
Nightwish
Nightwish
Nightwish is a Finnish rock quintet, formed in 1996 in the town of Kitee, Finland. Nightwish is considered one of the bands responsible for the development and rise in popularity of symphonic metal at the end of the 1990s, as well as the creation of the subgenre symphonic power metal.

Although they have been prominent in their home country since the release of their first single, “The Carpenter” (1997) and debut album Angels Fall First, they did not achieve worldwide fame until the release of the albums Oceanborn, Wishmaster and Century Child, which were released in 1998, 2000 and 2002 respectively. Their 2004 album, Once, which was sold over than 4 million copies, led to Nightwish video clips being shown on MTV in the United States and inclusion of their music in U.S. movie soundtracks. Their biggest U.S. hit single, “Wish I Had an Angel” (2004), made it onto three U.S. film soundtracks as a means to promote their North American tour. The band produced three more singles and two music videos for the album, as well as “Sleeping Sun”, from the 2005 “best of” compilation album, Highest Hopes, prior to vocalist Tarja Turunen’s dismissal.

In May 2007, former Alyson Avenue frontwoman, Swede Anette Olzon, was revealed as Turunen’s replacement, and in the autumn, the band released a new album Dark Passion Play, which was sold over 2 million copies. A tour supporting the album is currently in progress.
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven
Ludwig van Beethoven (/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈbeɪt(h)oʊvən/ (About this soundlisten); German: (About this soundlisten); baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the classical and romantic eras in classical music, he remains one of the most recognized and influential musicians of this period, and is considered to be one of the greatest composers of all time.

Beethoven was born in Bonn, the capital of the Electorate of Cologne, and part of the Holy Roman Empire. He displayed his musical talents at an early age and was vigorously taught by his father Johann van Beethoven, and was later taught by composer and conductor Christian Gottlob Neefe. At age 21, he moved to Vienna and studied composition with Joseph Haydn. Beethoven then gained a reputation as a virtuoso pianist, and was soon courted by Prince Lichnowsky for compositions, which resulted in Opus 1 in 1795.
The Beatles
The Beatles
The Beatles were a pop and rock group from Liverpool, England formed in 1960. Primarily consisting of John Lennon (rhythm guitar, vocals), Paul McCartney (bass guitar, vocals), George Harrison (lead guitar, vocals) and Ringo Starr (drums, vocals) throughout their career, The Beatles are recognised for leading the mid-1960s musical "British Invasion" into the United States. Although their initial musical style was rooted in 1950s rock and roll and homegrown skiffle, the group explored genres ranging from Tin Pan Alley to psychedelic rock. Their clothes, styles, and statements made them trend-setters, while their growing social awareness saw their influence extend into the social and cultural revolutions of the 1960s. After the band broke up in 1970, all four members embarked upon solo careers.

The Beatles are one of the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed bands in the history of popular music, selling over a billion records internationally. In the United Kingdom, The Beatles released more than 40 different singles, albums, and EPs that reached number one, earning more number one albums (15) than any other group in UK chart history. This commercial success was repeated in many other countries; their record company, EMI, estimated that by 1985 they had sold over one billion records worldwide. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, The Beatles have sold more albums in the United States than any other band. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked The Beatles number one on its list of 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to that same magazine, The Beatles' innovative music and cultural impact helped define the 1960s, and their influence on pop culture is still evident today. In 2008, Billboard magazine released a list of top-selling Hot 100 artists to celebrate the chart's fiftieth anniversary; The Beatles reached #1 again.
Hans Sitt
Hans Sitt
Hans Sitt, was a Bohemian violinist, violist, teacher, and composer. During his lifetime, he was regarded as one of the foremost teachers of violin. Most of the orchestras and conservatories of Europe and North America then sported personnel who numbered among his students.
Charpentier
Marc-Antoine Charpentier, (born 1643, in or near Paris, France--died Feb. 24, 1704, Paris), most important French composer of his generation and the outstanding French composer of oratorios.

Charpentier went to Rome in about 1667, where he is believed to have studied composition, perhaps with Giacomo Carissimi. On his return to France about three years later he became chapelmaster to the dauphin but lost that position through Jean-Baptiste Lully's influence. He composed the music for a new version of Moliere's The Forced Marriage (first performed 1672) and collaborated with him again in The Imaginary Invalid (1673). After Moliere's death Charpentier continued to work for the Theatre Francais until 1685. He produced his greatest stage work, Medee, to Thomas Corneille's text, in 1693. From perhaps 1670 to 1688 he had as his patron Marie de Lorraine, known as Mademoiselle de Guise, and from 1679 he composed
James Horner
James Horner
James Roy Horner (born August 14, 1953) is an award winning American composer, orchestrator and conductor of orchestral and film music. He is noted for the integration of choral and electronic elements in many of his film scores, and for frequent use of Celtic musical elements.

In a career that spans over three decades, Horner has composed several of Hollywood's most famous film scores. He is probably best known for his critically acclaimed works on the 1997 film Titanic, which remains today the best selling film soundtrack of all time. Other popular works include Braveheart, Apollo 13, The Mask of Zorro, and The Legend of Zorro.

Horner is a two time Academy Award winner, and has received a total of 11 nominations. He has won numerous other awards, including the Golden Globe Award and the Grammy Award.
Scarlatti
Giuseppe Domenico Scarlatti was an Italian composer. He is classified primarily as a Baroque composer chronologically, although his music was influential in the development of the Classical style and he was one of the few Baroque composers to transition into the classical period.
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell
Henry Purcell (pronounced /ˈpɜrsəl/; 10 September 1659 (?) – 21 November 1695), was an English organist and Baroque composer of secular and sacred music. Although Purcell incorporated Italian and French stylistic elements into his compositions, his legacy was a uniquely English form of Baroque music.
Debussy
Debussy
Achille-Claude Debussy (August 22, 1862 – March 25, 1918) was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he is considered one of the most prominent figures working within the field of Impressionist music, though he himself intensely disliked the term when applied to his compositions. Debussy was not only among the most important of all French composers but also was a central figure in all European music at the turn of the twentieth century.

Debussy's music virtually defines the transition from late-Romantic music to twentieth century modernist music. In French literary circles, the style of this period was known as Symbolism, a movement that directly inspired Debussy both as a composer and as an active cultural participant.
Michel Legrand
Michel Legrand
Michel Jean Legrand (born February 24, 1932, in Bécon-les-Bruyères in the Paris suburbs) is a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist. His father Raymond Legrand was a conductor and composer renowned for hits such as Irma la douce and his mother, Marcelle Der Mikaëlian (sister of conductor Jacques Hélian), who married Legrand in 1929, was descended from the Armenian bourgeoisie..

Legrand has composed more than two hundred film and television scores and several musicals and has made well over a hundred albums. He has won three Oscars (out of 13 nominations) and five Grammys and has been nominated for an Emmy. He was twenty-two when his first album, I Love Paris, became one of the best-selling instrumental albums ever released. He is a virtuoso jazz and classical pianist and an accomplished arranger and conductor who performs with orchestras all over the world.
He studied music at the Paris Conservatoire from 1943-50 (ages 11–20), working with, among others, Nadia Boulanger, who also taught many other composers including Aaron Copland and Philip Glass. Legrand graduated with top honors as both a composer and a pianist.
Chopin
Chopin
Frédéric Chopin (1 March 1810 – 17 October 1849) was a Polish composer and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic period. He is widely regarded as the greatest Polish composer, and ranks as one of music's greatest tone poets.

He was born in the village of Żelazowa Wola, in the Duchy of Warsaw, to a Polish mother and French-expatriate father, and in his early life was regarded as a child-prodigy pianist. In November 1830, at the age of 20, Chopin went abroad; following the suppression of the Polish November Uprising of 1830–31, he became one of many expatriates of the Polish "Great Emigration."

In Paris, he made a comfortable living as a composer and piano teacher, while giving few public performances. A Polish patriot,

Chopin's extant compositions were written primarily for the piano as a solo instrument. Though technically demanding, Chopin's style emphasizes nuance and expressive depth rather than virtuosity. Chopin invented musical forms such as the ballade and was responsible for major innovations in forms such as the piano sonata, waltz, nocturne, étude, impromptu and prelude. His works are mainstays of Romanticism in 19th-century classical music.
Ferdinando Carulli
Ferdinando Carulli
Ferdinando Maria Meinrado Francesco Pascale Rosario Carulli (February 9, 1770 – February 17, 1841) was one of the most famous composers for classical guitar and the author of the first complete classical guitar method, which continues to be used today. He wrote a variety of works for classical guitar, including concertos and chamber works. He was an extremely prolific writer for guitar, composing over 400 works for the instrument in the space of 12 years.
Carulli was born in Naples, Kingdom of Naples on February 9, 1770. His father, Michele, was a distinguished literator, secretary to the delegate of the Neapolitan Jurisdiction. Like many of his contemporaries, he was taught musical theory by a priest, who was also an amateur musician. Carulli's first instrument was the cello, but when he was twenty he discovered the guitar and devoted his life to the study and advancement of the guitar. As there were no professional guitar teachers in Naples at the time, Carulli developed his own style of playing.
Carulli was a gifted performer. His concerts in Naples were so popular that he soon began touring Europe. Around 1801 Carulli married a French woman, Marie-Josephine Boyer, and had a son with her. A few years later Carulli started to compose in Milan, where he contributed to local publications. After a highly successful Paris tour, Carulli moved there. At the time the city was known as the 'music-capital' of the world, and he stayed there for the rest of his life.
In Paris Carulli became a very successful musician and teacher. He fulfilled his intention of making the guitar popular and fashionable among the upper classes and Paris musicians. It was also in Paris that he published most of his works, eventually becoming a publisher himself and printing the works of other prominent guitarists.
In the 1830s, many European guitarists followed Carulli to Paris, apparently "attracted by his personality". With so many other guitarists in Paris, Carulli worked harder at his teaching, and soon had counted members of the Parisian nobility among his students.
Many of the pieces now regarded as Carulli's greatest were initially turned down by the publishers as being too hard for the average player, and it is likely that many masterpieces were lost this way. Undeterred, Carulli started publishing his pieces himself. However, the great majority of Carulli's surviving works are those that were considered 'safe' enough to be accepted by other publishers, mainly for the teaching of certain techniques or for beginners. Although he had many students and supporters, Carulli began to believe he didn't deserve his impressive reputation because most of the great works he had composed were never published.
Confined to mainly simple pieces, Carulli wrote his world-famous method of classical guitar, "Harmony Applied to the Guitar", a collection of pieces that are still used today in tuition. At the time of publishing, the method was very popular and had many editions published.
Later in life, Carulli began to experiment with changes in guitar construction. With Lacote, a French guitar maker, he made some significant changes for improving the sound of the guitar.
Carulli died in Paris on February 17, 1841, aged 71.
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