Famous 18th Century Musicians

Find out more about the greatest 18th Century Musicians, including Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Ludwig van Beethoven, Joseph Haydn, George Frideric Handel and Franz Schubert.

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

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 1 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
27
Famous As: Composer
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.

 2 Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven
29
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: November 30, 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.

 3 Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach
15
Famous As: Composer
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

Antonio Lucio Vivaldi
4
Famous As: Composer
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.

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 5 George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel
7
Famous As: Baroque composer
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

Joseph Haydn
6
Famous As: Composer
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

Niccolo Paganini
5
Famous As: Violinist, Composer
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

Antonio Salieri
4
Famous As: Composer, Conductor, Educationist, Musicologist, Music educator
Birthdate: August 18, 1750
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Legnago
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

Johann Pachelbel
3
Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: 1653 AD
Birthplace: Free Imperial City of Nuremberg
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

William Herschel
3
Famous As: Astronomer
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

Domenico Scarlatti
3
Famous As: Composer
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 Maria Anna Mozart

Maria Anna Mozart
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 30, 1751
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: October 29, 1829

 13 Thomas Moore

Thomas Moore
3
Famous As: Poet
Birthdate: May 28, 1779
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Dublin, Ireland
Died: March 20, 1852

Irish author Thomas Moore was chiefly branded a Whig ally. It is believed he had a role in burning the memoirs of his friend Lord Byron, an act now considered a literary crime. His iconic Irish Melodies contained his most popular works, such as The Last Rose of Summer.

 14 E. T. A. Hoffmann

E. T. A. Hoffmann
3
Famous As: Author
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.

 15 Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

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

 16 Arcangelo Corelli

Arcangelo Corelli
2
Famous As: Composer, Violinist
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.

 17 Johann Christian Bach

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

 18 Gaetano Donizetti

Gaetano Donizetti
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 19 Christoph Willibald Gluck

Christoph Willibald Gluck
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 20 Chevalier de Saint-Georges

Chevalier de Saint-Georges
4
Famous As: Composer, Conductor, Fencer, Concertmaster, Military personnel
Birthdate: December 25, 1745
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Baillif
Died: June 10, 1799

 21 Tyāgarāja

Tyāgarāja
3
Birthdate: May 4, 1767
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Thiruvarur
Died: January 6, 1847

 22 Carl Maria von Weber

Carl Maria von Weber
4
Famous As: Composer
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. 

 23 Johann van Beethoven

Johann van Beethoven
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 14, 1740
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
Died: December 18, 1792

 24 Luigi Boccherini

Luigi Boccherini
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 25 Big Bill Broonzy

Big Bill Broonzy
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: June 26, 1893
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Lake Dick, Arkansas, United States
Died: August 15, 1958

 26 Georg Philipp Telemann

Georg Philipp Telemann
4
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 14, 1681
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1767

 27 Ignatius Sancho

Ignatius Sancho
3
Famous As: composer, author, writer, shopkeeper, domestic worker
Birthdate: 1729 AD
Died: December 14, 1780

 28 Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 4, 1710
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Iesi, Italy
Died: March 16, 1736

 29 Dieterich Buxtehude

Dieterich Buxtehude
3
Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: June 24, 1637
Sun Sign: Cancer
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.

 30 Muzio Clementi

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

 31 Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Johann Nepomuk Hummel
2
Famous As: composer, conductor, pianist, concertmaster
Birthdate: September 14, 1778
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bratislava
Died: October 17, 1837

 32 Giuseppe Tartini

Giuseppe Tartini
2
Famous As: Baroque composer and violinist
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.

 33 Alphonsus Liguori

Alphonsus Liguori
2
Famous As: Saint
Birthdate: September 27, 1696
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Marianella, Naples, Italy
Died: August 1, 1787

Catholic bishop Alphonsus Liguori was the man behind the formation of the Congregation of the Most Holy Redeemer, also known as the Redemptorists. He stepped into his spiritual life after an 8-year stint as a lawyer. He is also remembered for his works on moral theology and equiprobabilism.

 34 Michael Haydn

Michael Haydn
3
Famous As: composer, organist, musician
Birthdate: September 14, 1737
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rohrau
Died: August 10, 1806

 35 Johann Joseph Fux

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

 36 Fernando Sor

Fernando Sor
2
Famous As: Guitarist
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.

 37 Lalon

Lalon
2
Famous As: poet
Birthdate: 1774 AD
Birthplace: Bengal Presidency
Died: October 17, 1890

 38 Anna Magdalena Bach

Anna Magdalena Bach
2
Famous As: Singer, Composer
Birthdate: September 22, 1701
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Zeitz
Died: February 27, 1760

 39 Luigi Cherubini

Luigi Cherubini
2
Famous As: Composer, Conductor, Musicologist, Music educator, Music theorist
Birthdate: September 14, 1760
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Florence
Died: March 15, 1842

 40 Louis Spohr

Louis Spohr
2
Famous As: Composer, Conductor, Musicologist, Music educator
Birthdate: April 5, 1784
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Braunschweig
Died: October 22, 1859

 41 Dimitrie Cantemir

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

 42 Marin Marais

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

 43 Turlough O'Carolan

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

 44 François-André Danican Philidor

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

 45 Joseph Mohr

Joseph Mohr
1
Famous As: Composer, Writer
Birthdate: December 11, 1792
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Salzburg
Died: December 4, 1848

Austrian Roman Catholic priest and writer Josephus Mohr is best-known for writing lyrics of the popular Christmas carol Stille Nacht (Silent Night), which was composed by Austrian primary school teacher, church organist, and composer Franz Xaver Gruber. A manuscript in Mohr's handwriting discovered in 1995 states that Mohr penned the poem in 1816 and Gruber composed its music in 1818.

 46 Wilhelm Friedemann Bach

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

 47 Emanuel Schikaneder

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

 48 Franz Xaver Süssmayr

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

 49 Ignaz Moscheles

Ignaz Moscheles
1
Famous As: Pianist, Conductor, Composer, Educationist, Musicologist, Music educator, Diarist, University teacher, Musician
Birthdate: May 23, 1794
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Prague
Died: March 10, 1870

 50 Louise Farrenc

Louise Farrenc
1
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: May 31, 1804
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: September 15, 1875