Famous 19th Century American Musicians

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Vote for Your Favourite 19th Century American Musicians

 1 

Sergei Rachmaninoff
6
Birthdate: April 1, 1873
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Oneg, Russia
Died: March 28, 1943

Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, conductor, and virtuoso pianist of the late Romantic period. Credited with exploring the expressive possibilities of the piano, Rachmaninoff's music continues to be featured in films. His four-year struggle with depression, which was followed by the critical failure of his Symphony No. 1, was depicted in the 2015 musical Preludes.

 2 

Arnold Schoenberg
7
Birthdate: September 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: July 13, 1951
Austrian-born composer Arnold Schoenberg was part of the German Expressionist Movement and led the Second Viennese School. Being Jewish, he was banned by the Nazis and later became an American citizen. Known for his twelve-tone technique, he coined the term developing variation and formed motifs without a centralized melodic idea.

 3 
Cole Porter
(Composer, Songwriter)

Cole Porter
5
Birthdate: June 9, 1891
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Peru, Indiana, United States
Died: October 15, 1964
Singer-songwriter Cole Porter is best known for his work in the Tony-winning musical, Kiss Me, Kate and for his hit tracks Night and Day, Got You Under My Skin, and You're the Top. He also composed for movies. His marriage to Linda Lee Thomas was a cover for his homosexuality.
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 4 

Arthur Rubinstein
3
Birthdate: January 28, 1887
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland
Died: December 20, 1982

Arthur Rubinstein was a Polish-American pianist counted amongst the greatest pianists of all time. He had an extensive career spanning eight decades, during which he earned much international acclaim. He played music performed by several illustrious composers and is especially remembered for his interpretation of Chopin’s music. Renowned pianists François-René Duchâble and Avi Schönfeld were his students. 

 5 
Ma Rainey
(Street artist, Musician)

Ma Rainey
11
Birthdate: April 26, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Columbus, Georgia, United States
Died: December 22, 1939

 6 
Irving Berlin
(Street artist, Composer, Pianist, Songwriter, Screenwriter, Film score composer)

Irving Berlin
3
Birthdate: May 11, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Tyumen
Died: September 22, 1989

Irving Berlin was a composer and lyricist. He made tremendous contributions to the Great American Songbook and is widely considered one of the greatest songwriters in American history. He had an extensive career spanning six decades, during which he composed an estimated 1,500 songs. He received the Lawrence Langner Tony Award and the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. 

 7 
Charles Ives
(Composer)

Charles Ives
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1874
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Danbury, Connecticut, United States
Died: May 19, 1954
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 8 
Scott Joplin
(Composer & Pianist)

Scott Joplin
4
Birthdate: November 24, 1868
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Texas, United States
Died: April 1, 1917
Composer and pianist Scott Joplin, or the King of Ragtime, had written more than 100 original ragtime pieces. His most iconic piece was the Maple Leaf Rag. He had also written two operas, including Treemonisha. He was awarded a posthumous Pulitzer Prize. The film The Sting featured his compositions.

 9 
Lead Belly
(Folk and blues singer)

Lead Belly
3
Birthdate: January 23, 1888
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Mooringsport, Louisiana, United States
Died: December 6, 1949

 10 
John Philip Sousa
(Conductor, Composer)

John Philip Sousa
3
Birthdate: November 6, 1854
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C., United States
Died: March 6, 1932

 11 
Stephen Foster
(Composer known as the Father of American music)

Stephen Foster
3
Birthdate: July 4, 1826
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: January 13, 1864

 12 
Jimmie Rodgers
(Singer-songwriter and musician)

Jimmie Rodgers
4
Birthdate: September 8, 1897
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Meridian, Mississippi, United States
Died: May 26, 1933

 13 
George M. Cohan
(American playwright)

George M. Cohan
3
Birthdate: July 3, 1878
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Providence, Rhode Island, U.S.
Died: November 5, 1942

 14 
Jack Frost
(Composer)

Jack Frost
3
Birthdate: November 25, 1893
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts, USA
Died: October 21, 1959

 15 
Jelly Roll Morton
(Pianist, Bandleader, Composer, Conductor, Jazz musician)

Jelly Roll Morton
3
Birthdate: October 20, 1890
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Gulfport
Died: July 10, 1941

 16 
Eddie Cantor
(comedian)

Eddie Cantor
3
Birthdate: January 31, 1892
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City, New York, USA
Died: October 10, 1964

 17 
Ethel Waters
(Actor, Singer, Jazz musician, Stage actor)

Ethel Waters
3
Birthdate: October 31, 1896
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Chester County
Died: September 1, 1977

 18 

Fanny Crosby
3
Birthdate: March 24, 1820
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Brewster, New York, United States
Died: February 12, 1915

 19 
Jerome Kern
(Composer, Songwriter, Film score composer, Coin collecting)

Jerome Kern
3
Birthdate: January 27, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 11, 1945

 20 
Zitkala-Sa
(Writer)

Zitkala-Sa
3
Birthdate: February 22, 1876
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Yankton Reservation, South Dakota, United States
Died: January 26, 1938

 21 
Josef Hofmann
(Pianist)

Josef Hofmann
1
Birthdate: January 20, 1876
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kraków, Poland
Died: February 16, 1957

Josef Hofmann was a Polish-American composer, pianist, inventor, and music teacher. From 1927 to 1938, he served as the director of the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, USA. As the director of the institute, Hofmann was instrumental in recruiting musicians like Efrem Zimbalist, Marcella Sembrich, Fritz Reiner, and Isabella Vengerova. Among his pupils were Abbey Simon and Shura Cherkassky.

 22 
Buddy Bolden
(Musical Artist)

Buddy Bolden
3
Birthdate: September 6, 1877
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Died: November 4, 1931

 23 
W. C. Handy
(Composer)

W. C. Handy
3
Birthdate: November 16, 1873
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Florence, Alabama, United States
Died: March 28, 1958

 24 
Ira Gershwin
(Lyricist)

Ira Gershwin
3
Birthdate: December 6, 1896
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: New York City New York City, New York, U.S.
Died: August 17, 1983

 25 
Pierre Monteux
(Conductor)

Pierre Monteux
1
Birthdate: April 4, 1875
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: July 1, 1964

 26 
Alma Mahler
(Composer)

Alma Mahler
2
Birthdate: August 31, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 11, 1964

Alma Mahler, remembered as the wife of composer Gustav Mahler and the daughter of landscape painter Emil Schindler, initially studied art but later acquired skills as a pianist. However, Mahler discouraged her from composing after marriage. She later had other affairs and married architect Walter Gropius and author Franz Werfel.

 27 
Max Steiner
(Conductor, Composer, Musician, Screenwriter, Film score composer)

Max Steiner
2
Birthdate: May 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: December 28, 1971

 28 

Mississippi John Hurt
2
Birthdate: March 8, 1892
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Teoc, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 2, 1966

 29 

Mack Sennett
2
Birthdate: January 17, 1880
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Richmond, Canada
Died: November 5, 1960

Mack Sennett was a film actor, director, and producer. He specialized in comedy and was known as the 'King of Comedy'. Born in Canada in 1880, he moved to USA as a young man and entered the fledgling film industry as an actor. He found considerable success and went on to open Keystone Studios in Edendale. 

 30 
Paul Whiteman
(Bandleader)

Paul Whiteman
2
Birthdate: March 28, 1890
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Denver, Colorado, United States
Died: December 29, 1967

 31 
Lorenz Hart
(Lyricist, Composer, Playwright, Songwriter, Librettist)

Lorenz Hart
2
Birthdate: May 2, 1895
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New York City
Died: November 22, 1943

 32 

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

 33 
King Oliver
(Musician)

King Oliver
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1881
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aben, Louisiana, United States
Died: April 10, 1938

 34 
Amy Beach
(Composer)

Amy Beach
2
Birthdate: September 5, 1867
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Henniker, New Hampshire, United States
Died: December 27, 1944

 35 
Florence Price
(Composer)

Florence Price
2
Birthdate: 1887 AD
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Died: 1953 AD

 36 

Thomas Andrew Dorsey
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1899
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Villa Rica, Georgia, United States
Died: January 23, 1993

 37 
Tommy Johnson
(American musician)

Tommy Johnson
2
Birthdate: July 1, 1899, 1896
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Terry, Mississippi, United States
Died: November 1, 1956

 38 
E.Y. Harburg
(Lyricist)

E.Y. Harburg
2
Birthdate: April 8, 1896
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Manhattan, New York, United States
Died: March 5, 1981

 39 
Billy Rose
(Impresario)

Billy Rose
2
Birthdate: September 6, 1899
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: New York, New York, United States
Died: February 10, 1966

 40 
Miklós Rózsa
(Composer)

Miklós Rózsa
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1907
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary
Died: July 27, 1995

Born in Hungary, Miklós Rózsa was a music prodigy and learned to play the violin at age 5. After studying music in Germany, he pursued his music career in France, the UK, and the US. He is remembered for his Academy Award-winning scores in movies such as Ben-Hur and Spellbound.

 41 
Sidney Lanier
(Musician)

Sidney Lanier
2
Birthdate: February 3, 1842
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Macon, Georgia, United States
Died: September 7, 1881

 42 
Henry Cowell
(Composer, Musicologist, Music theorist, Pianist)

Henry Cowell
2
Birthdate: March 11, 1897
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Menlo Park
Died: December 10, 1965

 43 
Harry Partch
(Composer)

Harry Partch
2
Birthdate: June 24, 1901
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Oakland, California, United States
Died: September 3, 1974

 44 
Molly Picon
(Actress)

Molly Picon
2
Birthdate: February 28, 1898
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
Died: April 5, 1992

 45 
Harry Warren
(Composer)

Harry Warren
2
Birthdate: December 24, 1893
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Brooklyn, New York, United States
Died: September 22, 1981

 46 

Louis Moreau Gottschalk
2
Birthdate: May 8, 1829
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: New Orleans
Died: December 18, 1869

 47 

James Reese Europe
2
Birthdate: February 22, 1880
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Mobile, Alabama, United States
Died: May 9, 1919

 48 
Efrem Zimbalist
(Composer, Conductor, Music educator, Violinist, University teacher)

Efrem Zimbalist
7
Birthdate: April 21, 1889
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rostov-on-Don
Died: February 22, 1985

 49 
Arthur Fiedler
(Conductor)

Arthur Fiedler
2
Birthdate: December 17, 1894
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Boston, Massachusetts
Died: July 10, 1979

 50 
Arthur Freed
(Film producer, Composer, Screenwriter, Actor, Lyricist, Songwriter)

Arthur Freed
2
Birthdate: September 9, 1894
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Charleston
Died: April 12, 1973