Famous 18th Century Composers

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Composers, including Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, George Frideric Handel, Franz Schubert and Gioachino Rossini.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

Vote for Your Favourite 18th Century Composers

 1 
Ludwig van Beethoven
(One of the Most Admired Composers and Pianists in the History of Western Music)

Ludwig van Beethoven
9
Birthdate: December 17, 1770
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
Died: March 26, 1827

German composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven, remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music even two centuries after his death. Born into a musical family, he was initially tutored by his father. He found success early as a pianist and went on to become an admired composer despite suffering from hearing-impairment.

 2 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(One of the Greatest Composers in the History of Western Music)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
7
Birthdate: January 27, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791

A child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is regarded as one of the greatest classical composers ever. A prolific composer, he had a profound influence on Western music. Many of his works are considered pinnacles of choral, symphonic, operatic, chamber, and concertante music. Before his death, at the age of 35, he had composed over 600 works.

 3 

Johann Sebastian Bach
6
Birthdate: March 31, 1685
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Eisenach, Germany
Died: July 28, 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was an 18-th century German composer of the Baroque period. He redefined both church and secular music. He served as the court musician of Duke Johann Ernst and King Augustus III. He created more than 300 cantatas and vocal music such as Mass in B minor.

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 4 
Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
(Baroque Composer & Virtuoso Violinist Known for His Violin Concertos 'The Four Seasons')

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
4
Birthdate: March 4, 1678
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: July 28, 1741

Italian Baroque composer, virtuoso violinist, and teacher, Antonio Lucio Vivaldi, is regarded as one of the greatest Baroque composers. He was extremely popular during his lifetime and composed many instrumental concertos and operas. He was also a Roman Catholic priest and worked at a home for abandoned children. Even though he died in 1741, his music continues to be popular.

 5 
George Frideric Handel
(Baroque composer)

George Frideric Handel
6
Birthdate: February 23, 1685
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle (Saale), Germany
Died: April 14, 1759

George Frideric Handel was a Baroque composer renowned for his oratorios, operas, anthems, and organ concertos. A great composer, Handel's works had a strong influence on popular Classical-era composers like Beethoven and Mozart. George Frideric Handel's life and work have also inspired several films, such as the 1942 British biographical film The Great Mr. Handel.

 6 
Joseph Haydn
(Composer of the Classical Period Known As 'Father of the Symphony' & 'Father of the String Quartet')

Joseph Haydn
8
Birthdate: March 31, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rohrau, Austria
Died: May 31, 1809

Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer who played a key role in the progression of chamber music during the Classical period. He is often referred to as the Father of the String Quartet and Father of the Symphony for his contributions to musical form. Joseph Haydn is also credited with mentoring and tutoring Mozart and Beethoven, respectively.

 7 
Niccolo Paganini
(Violinist, Composer)

Niccolo Paganini
4
Birthdate: October 27, 1782
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Genoa
Died: May 27, 1840
Italian multi-instrumentalist and composer Niccolò Paganini established himself as one of the key figures of modern violin technique. Son of a trader-turned-street musician, he started his stint with music by learning to play the mandolin. Some of his most celebrated compositions were the 24 Caprices for Solo Violin Op. 1.
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 8 
Antonio Salieri
(Composer, Conductor)

Antonio Salieri
4
Birthdate: August 18, 1750
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Legnago, Italy
Died: May 7, 1825

Antonio Salieri was an Italian classical composer, conductor, and teacher considered a key figure in the development of late 18th-century opera. He was a protégé of eminent composer Christoph Willibald Gluck. For several years, he served as the director of the Italian opera by the Habsburg court. His works were performed widely across Europe during his lifetime. 

 9 
Johann Pachelbel
(One of the Most Influential Composers and Organists of the Middle Baroque Era)

Johann Pachelbel
3
Birthdate: 1653 AD
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: March 7, 1706

Johann Pachelbel was a German composer, teacher, and organist who is credited with helping the south German organ schools achieve their peak. His contributions to the progression of the fugue and chorale prelude have established him as one of the most prominent composers of the middle Baroque era. During his lifetime, his music became a model for several German composers.

 10 
William Herschel
(Astronomer)

William Herschel
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1738
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: August 23, 1822

William Herschel was a German-born British astronomer and composer. He pioneered the use of astronomical spectrophotometry and discovered infrared radiation. Impressed by his work, King George III appointed him the Court Astronomer. Herschel often collaborated with his sister, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, a fellow astronomer. In 1816, he was made a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order. 

 11 

Domenico Scarlatti
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1685
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Naples, Italy
Died: July 23, 1757

Italian Baroque composer Domenico Scarlatti was no stranger to music, being the son of famous composer Alessandro Scarlatti. From being the official composer for the queen of Poland, to teaching music to the princess of Spain and creating 555 keyboard sonatas, the legendary harpsichordist had an illustrious life.

 12 

E. T. A. Hoffmann
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1776
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1822

E. T. A. Hoffmann was a German author, jurist, artist, composer, and music critic. His stories served as an inspiration and laid the foundation for The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach. The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is also based on Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Hoffmann is among the most influential authors of the Romantic Movement.

 13 
Leopold Mozart
(Composer)

Leopold Mozart
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1719
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: May 28, 1787

German violinist and composer Leopold Mozart is best remembered as the father and music teacher of legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, Leopold was often blamed for exploiting his son’s musical talent by pushing him to perform as a child. He also had a troubled relationship with his adult son.

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach
3
Birthdate: March 8, 1714
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Weimar, Germany
Died: December 14, 1788

 15 

Johann Christian Bach
3
Birthdate: September 5, 1735
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: January 1, 1782

Christoph Willibald Gluck
3
Birthdate: July 2, 1714
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Erasbach, Germany
Died: November 15, 1787

Composer Christoph Willibald Gluck left home when his father went against his passion for music and pushed him into forestry. He then reached Milan, where he learned Italian instrumental music and later fused Italian and French opera music. His best-known works include Orfeo ed Euridice and La rencontre imprévue.

 17 
Chevalier de Saint-Georges
(Known as the first classical composer of African descent)

Chevalier de Saint-Georges
3
Birthdate: December 25, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baillif, Guadeloupe
Died: June 10, 1799

 18 
Carl Maria von Weber
(A Significant Composer of the Romantic Era & Crucial Figure in the Development of German 'Romantische Oper')

Carl Maria von Weber
3
Birthdate: November 18, 1786
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Eutin, Germany
Died: June 5, 1826

Carl Maria von Weber was a German composer, virtuoso pianist, guitarist, and conductor. A significant musical figure in the Romantic era, he played a key role in the development of the German Romantische Oper (German Romantic opera). He also made significant contributions to vocal and choral music. He was a music critic as well and wrote music journalism. 

 19 

Gaetano Donizetti
4
Birthdate: November 29, 1797
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bergamo
Died: April 8, 1848
Nineteenth-century Italian composer Gaetano Donizetti is best remembered for his mastery of the bel canto opera style. While his father wanted him to become a church composer, Donizetti was more interested in theater. He spent his final years in a mental asylum and later died of syphilis.

 20 
Arcangelo Corelli
(Composer, Violinist)

Arcangelo Corelli
3
Birthdate: February 17, 1653
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Fusignano, Italy
Died: January 8, 1713

Italian composer and violinist Arcangelo Corelli is regarded as a pioneer of the concerto grosso and the sonata. Named after his father who died 5 months before his birth, Corelli rose to be a major figure of Baroque music and became a favorite of priests and the royalty.

 21 

Luigi Boccherini
3
Birthdate: February 19, 1743
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lucca, Italy
Died: May 28, 1805

Italian-Spanish composer and cellist Luigi Boccherini of Classical era is noted for his influence in developing string quartet as a musical genre. Two of his best-known works include String Quintet in E major, Op. 11, No. 5 (G 275) that became famous for its minuet third movement; and Cello Concerto, No. 9 in B-flat Major, G. 482.

 22 

Georg Philipp Telemann
3
Birthdate: March 14, 1681
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1767

 23 
Ignatius Sancho
(Composer, Writer)

Ignatius Sancho
4
Birthdate: 1729 AD
Birthplace: Atlantic Ocean
Died: December 14, 1780

 24 
Muzio Clementi
(Composer)

Muzio Clementi
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1752
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Rome, Italy
Died: March 10, 1832

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
3
Birthdate: January 4, 1710
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Iesi, Italy
Died: March 16, 1736

 26 
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
(Composer and virtuoso pianist)

Johann Nepomuk Hummel
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia
Died: October 17, 1837

 27 
Giuseppe Tartini
(Baroque composer and violinist)

Giuseppe Tartini
3
Birthdate: April 8, 1692
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Piran, Slovenia
Died: February 26, 1770

Italian violinist Giuseppe Tartini initially studied and also established himself as a skilled fencer. Arrested for marrying an acquaintance of the archbishop of Padua, he fled to a monastery in Assisi, where he got addicted to music, later inventing the difference tone and a theory of harmony.

 28 
Michael Haydn
(Composer of the Classical period, the younger brother of Joseph Haydn)

Michael Haydn
2
Birthdate: September 14, 1737
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rohrau, Austria
Died: August 10, 1806

 29 
John Field
(Pianist, composer and teacher.)

John Field
2
Birthdate: July 26, 1782
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dublin
Died: January 23, 1837

 30 
Fernando Sor
(Guitarist)

Fernando Sor
2
Birthdate: February 14, 1778
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Barcelona, Spain
Died: July 10, 1839

Fernando Sor was a Spanish composer and classical guitarist best remembered for writing solo classical guitar music. Widely regarded as the best classical guitarist of his generation, Fernando Sor also composed an opera, two ballets, and three symphonies. Many of his works have been studied by students and guitar enthusiasts all over the world.

 31 

Johann Joseph Fux
2
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: Langegg bei Graz, Austria
Died: February 13, 1741

 32 
Alessandro Scarlatti
(Former Baroque composer, known especially for his operas and chamber cantatas)

Alessandro Scarlatti
3
Birthdate: May 2, 1660
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Palermo, Italy
Died: October 22, 1725

 33 
Luigi Cherubini
(Composer)

Luigi Cherubini
2
Birthdate: September 14, 1760
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: March 15, 1842

 34 
Dieterich Buxtehude
(Organist and Church Music Composer of the Baroque period)

Dieterich Buxtehude
0
Birthdate: 1637 AD
Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
Died: May 9, 1707

While some scholars believe Dieterich Buxtehude was born in Denmark, others claim he was from Germany. The composer and organist was a significant figure of the Baroque period and had Johann Sebastian Bach as his student. As a church musician, he also composed for family events and festivals.

 35 
Anna Magdalena Bach
(Former singer and the second wife of Johann Sebastian Bach)

Anna Magdalena Bach
2
Birthdate: September 22, 1701
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zeitz, Germany
Died: February 27, 1760

 36 
Louis Spohr
(Former violinist, composer, and conductor whose compositions illustrate an early aspect of the Romantic period in German music)

Louis Spohr
2
Birthdate: April 5, 1784
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brunswick, Germany
Died: October 22, 1859

 37 

Dimitrie Cantemir
2
Birthdate: October 26, 1673
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Dimitrie Cantemir, Romania
Died: September 1, 1723

 38 

Turlough O'Carolan
2
Birthdate: 1670 AD
Birthplace: Nobber, Ireland
Died: March 25, 1738

 39 
Marin Marais
(Composer)

Marin Marais
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1656
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: August 15, 1728

François-André Danican Philidor
2
Birthdate: September 7, 1726
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Dreux, France
Died: August 31, 1795

 41 

Franz Xaver Süssmayr
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Schwanenstadt, Oberösterreich, Austria
Died: September 17, 1803

 42 

Wilhelm Friedemann Bach
2
Birthdate: November 22, 1710
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Weimar, Germany
Died: July 1, 1784

 43 

Emanuel Schikaneder
2
Birthdate: September 1, 1751
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Straubing, Germany
Died: September 21, 1812

 44 
Louise Farrenc
(Composer)

Louise Farrenc
2
Birthdate: May 31, 1804
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 15, 1875

 45 
Mauro Giuliani
(Guitarist)

Mauro Giuliani
2
Birthdate: July 27, 1781
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bisceglie, Italy
Died: May 8, 1829

Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmuller
2
Birthdate: December 4, 1806
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Regensburg, Germany
Died: February 13, 1874

Born into the musical family of a composer father and a pianist/singer mother, Johann Friedrich Franz Burgmuller was no stranger to music in childhood. A talented cellist, too, the German Romantic composer later settled in Paris, where he composed everything from piano pieces to waltzes and ballets.

 47 
Jan Dismas Zelenka
(Composer & Musician of Baroque Period Known for His Extensive Composition 'Sub olea pacis et palma virtutis')

Jan Dismas Zelenka
2
Birthdate: October 16, 1679
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Louňovice pod Blaníkem, Bohemia, Holy Roman Empire
Died: December 23, 1745

 48 
Thomas Arne
(Composer)

Thomas Arne
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1710
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: London
Died: March 5, 1778

 49 
Jeremiah Clarke
(Composer)

Jeremiah Clarke
2
Birthdate: 1674 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 1, 1707

 50 
Johann Stamitz
(Bohemian Violinist and Composer who is Considered the Founding Father of 'The Mannheim School')

Johann Stamitz
2
Birthdate: June 19, 1717
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Havlíčkův Brod, Czechia
Died: March 27, 1757

Johann Stamitz was a Bohemian violinist and composer. He is considered the founding father of the Mannheim school, of which his sons Carl and Anton Stamitz were students. Johann Stamitz is best remembered for his 10 orchestral trios and 58 symphonies.