Famous British Composers

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Find out more about the greatest British Composers, including Paul McCartney, Elton John, David Gilmour, Marc Bolan and Dave Gahan
Vote for Your Favourite British Composers
 1 
Andrew Lloyd Webber
6
Birthdate: March 22, 1948
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Kensington, London
Composer Andrew Lloyd Webber reinvented the musical and created masterpieces such as Don't Cry for Me Argentina from Evita and Memory from Cats. He is one of 16 people to have won the Oscar, Grammy, Emmy, and Tony. He owns one of the biggest theater companies in London.
 2 
Elton John
(Singer, Pianist and Composer- One of the Best-Selling Artists of All Time)
Elton John
8
Birthdate: March 25, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Pinner, England
The supremely gifted English singer, songwriter, pianist and composer, Elton John has entertained music lovers globally since the 1970s. His phenomenal talent make him one of the best-selling music artists in the world. Not to forget his tribute to Princess Diana, Candle in the Wind 1997, which till date is one of the best-selling singles in the UK and the US.
 3 
George Frideric Handel
(German-British Composer Known for His Works: ‘Water Music’ and ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’)
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.

 4 
Roger Waters
(Composer, Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Screenwriter, Singer, Pianist, Record producer)
Roger Waters
6
Birthdate: September 6, 1943
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Surrey

Co-founder of the rock band, Pink Floyd, Roger Waters is celebrated singer, songwriter and composer. Beginning his career with rhythm guitar, he initially served solely as a bassist in Pink Floyd before emerging as their lyricist, co-lead vocalist, and conceptual leader. Later he left the group due to creative difference and embarked on his solo career, releasing numerous albums and singles

 5 
David Gilmour
(Guitarist, Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Multi-instrumentalist, Record producer)
David Gilmour
6
Birthdate: March 6, 1946
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Cambridge ,England

Pink Floyd guitarist/singer David Gilmour helped the band become one of the best-selling acts ever. One of Rolling Stone magazine’s greatest guitarists of all time, he has also been an advocate of animal rights and other causes. He once auctioned off 120 guitars, including his iconic Black Strat, for charity.

 6 
Dudley Moore
(Actor, Comedian and One of the Four Writer-Performers in the Comedy Revue ‘Beyond the Fringe’)
Dudley Moore
5
Birthdate: April 19, 1935
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Charing Cross Hospital, London, United Kingdom
Died: March 27, 2002
Dudley Moore was a prominent figure of the 1960s’ British satire boom. He is best known for writing the stage revue Beyond the Fringe and was also part of the sketch comedy Not Only... But Also. He delivered an Academy Award-nominated and Golden Globe-winning performance in the comedy film Arthur
 7 
David McCallum
7
Birthdate: September 19, 1933
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

David McCallum is a Scottish musician and actor who gained recognition for portraying Illya Kuryakin in the popular spy fiction TV series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. He gained international recognition for playing Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the action police procedural TV series NCIS. David McCallum has also contributed as a writer, publishing a novel titled Once a Crooked Man.

 8 
Damon Albarn
(Guitarist, Singer, Musician, Composer, Songwriter)
Damon Albarn
7
Birthdate: March 23, 1968
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Whitechapel

Grammy-winning English singer Damon Albarn has previously been part of two major bands, Blur and Gorillaz, as their lead vocalist and primary songwriter. He has also performed as part of the supergroup The Good, the Bad & the Queen. His solo album Everyday Robots was nominated for a Mercury Award.

 9 
Brian Eno
(Musician, Record producer)
Brian Eno
7
Birthdate: May 15, 1948
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Melton, Suffolk, England
Brian Eno created "The Microsoft Sound" for Windows 95 and co-developed the card-based creativity-improving technique Oblique Strategies. His ambient music album Reflection was nominated for a Grammy, and his visual installations have been projected on structures such as the Sydney Opera House. He also co-founded the Long Now Foundation.
 10 
Richard Wright (Musician)
(One of the Founders of the Progressive Rock Band ‘Pink Floyd’)
Richard Wright (Musician)
5
Birthdate: July 28, 1943
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Hatch End, Middlesex, England
Died: September 15, 2008

Richard Wright was an English musician. He is credited with co-founding the popular band ,Pink Floyd, for which he also served as a vocalist and keyboardist. Wright contributed immensely to the success of Pink Floyd and his distinctive keyboard playing was a key component of the music produced by the band.

 11 
Jeff Beck
(Guitarist, Composer, Musician, Jazz guitarist, Songwriter)
Jeff Beck
5
Birthdate: June 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: England

Jeff Beck is a British rock guitarist renowned for his association with popular rock bands like The Yardbirds, Beck, Bogert & Appice, and The Jeff Beck Group. Regarded as one of the greatest and most influential players in history, Beck has won several awards like the Grammy Awards. He has also appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine thrice.

 12 
Donovan
(Singer-songwriter, Guitarist, Composer, Autobiographer, Writer, Poet, Record producer, Film score composer)
Donovan
5
Birthdate: May 10, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland

Donovan is a Scottish guitarist, singer, and songwriter. He is best known for developing and popularizing a distinctive and eclectic style that blended many genres, such as folk, jazz, pop, calypso, and psychedelic rock. Donovan was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame, in 2012 and 2014, respectively.

 13 
George Martin
(English Record Producer and Composer Best Known for His Associations with the Rock Band 'The Beatles')
George Martin
4
Birthdate: January 3, 1926
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Highbury, London, England
Died: March 8, 2016

George Martin was an English composer, conductor, arranger, record producer, and audio engineer. Due to his involvement on each of the Beatles' albums, Martin was often referred to as the Fifth Beatle. In 1996, George Martin was made a Knight Bachelor for his contribution to the music industry. Apart from being a musician, Martin also contributed to several charitable causes.

 14 
Dave Gahan
(Singer, Songwriter)
Dave Gahan
5
Birthdate: May 9, 1962
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Epping
 15 
Edward Elgar
(Composer)
Edward Elgar
4
Birthdate: June 2, 1857
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Broadheath, England
Died: February 23, 1934
 16 
Marc Bolan
(English singer-songwriter known for his acoustic guitar-based songs.)
Marc Bolan
6
Birthdate: September 30, 1947
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 16, 1977

Marc Bolan was a British singer, songwriter, poet, musician, and record producer. Best remembered for his association with the rock band T. Rex, Bolan is often counted among the pioneers of the glam rock movement. Bolan is also credited with founding the band Tyrannosaurus Rex. In 2020, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

 17 
PJ Harvey
(Singer-songwriter, Composer, Artist, Singer, Guitarist)
PJ Harvey
5
Birthdate: October 9, 1969
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bridport

Tinged with themes of female sexuality, the lyrics of PJ Harvey have redefined the place women occupy in rock music. While she was initially part of a musical trio named after herself, she later charted her own path as a solo musician. She is only artist to have earned the Mercury Prize twice.

 18 
Tony Iommi
(Guitarist, Composer, Musician, Songwriter)
Tony Iommi
5
Birthdate: February 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Birmingham

Black Sabbath lead guitarist Tony Iommi was named one of Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time. Known for his signature black leather jacket and silver cross neckpiece, he is fond of playing dark guitar tones. While he successfully beat lymphoma, the cancer was in remission later.

 19 
Petula Clark
(One of the Longest Serving British Singers With a Career Spanning More than Seven Decades)
Petula Clark
5
Birthdate: November 15, 1932
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Ewell, Surrey, England

Petula Clark is an English singer, composer, and actress. She achieved immense popularity in the USA, for which she is often referred to as the First Lady of the British Invasion. Over the years, Petula Clark has sold over 68 million records worldwide. Some of her best known songs include Downtown, I Couldn't Live Without Your Love, and My Love.

 20 
Terry Jones
6
Birthdate: February 1, 1942
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Colwyn Bay, Denbighshire, Wales
Died: January 21, 2020
Starting his career as a comedy writer, actor-director Terry Jones later soared to fame as part of the Monty Python comedy team. An avid historian, too, he wrote several books and presented TV documentaries on the topic. In his later years, the BAFTA Cymru award winner struggled with dementia. 
 21 
Benjamin Britten
(Composer, conductor and pianist)
Benjamin Britten
5
Birthdate: November 22, 1913
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Lowestoft
Died: December 4, 1976
 22 
Fatboy Slim
(Disc Jockey)
Fatboy Slim
4
Birthdate: July 31, 1963
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Bromley, Kent, England
 23 
Nick Drake
(Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Guitarist, Composer)
Nick Drake
4
Birthdate: June 19, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Yangon, Myanmar
Died: November 25, 1974

Nick Drake was a British singer-songwriter best remembered for his acoustic guitar-based music. Although he failed to achieve popularity during his lifetime, Drake's music has achieved recognition in recent times. He suffered from depression throughout his life and died at the age of 26 from an overdose of a prescribed antidepressant called amitriptyline.

 24 
Jacob Collier
(Musician)
Jacob Collier
4
Birthdate: August 2, 1994
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: North London, England
 25 
Ralph Vaughan Williams
6
Birthdate: October 12, 1872
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Down Ampney, England
Died: August 26, 1958
 26 
Nick Mason
(Drummer and Co-founder of the Progressive Rock Band 'Pink Floyd')
Nick Mason
4
Birthdate: January 27, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Edgbaston, Birmingham, England

Born to a documentary film maker, drummer Nick Mason was no stranger to art and entertainment as a child. He formed his first band while studying architecture. He was the only original member of the iconic rock band Pink Floyd member to have been part of the band since its inception.

 27 
Tom Fletcher
(Musician)
Tom Fletcher
4
Birthdate: July 17, 1985
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: London Borough of Harrow
Tom Fletcher, lead vocalist and guitarist of the band McFly, has also written for several artists and bands, such as Busted, One Direction, and The Vamps. A successful YouTube vlogger, too, he has documented and shared all three pregnancies of his wife, Giovanna. He has also written several children’s books.
 28 
Rick Wakeman
(Composer, Musician, Keyboardist, Songwriter, Pianist, Film score composer, Radio personality)
Rick Wakeman
4
Birthdate: May 18, 1949
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Perivale

One of the most popular rock keyboardists of the progressive rock genre, Rick Wakeman soared to fame as part of the band Yes and later had an equally successful solo career. He had ditched his initial dream of becoming a pianist to start his career as a session musician.

 29 
Mike Oldfield
(Composer, Guitarist, Songwriter)
Mike Oldfield
4
Birthdate: May 15, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Reading

Best known for his hit album-length conceptual piece Tubular Bells, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter Mike Oldfield experimented with a whole range of musical genres, such as progressive rock, folk, and new-age rock. His music was also featured in the cult horror film of the 1970s The Exorcist.

 30 
Richard Coles
(Journalist, Radio personality)
Richard Coles
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1962
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Northampton
 31 
Henry Purcell
(Composer)
Henry Purcell
4
Birthdate: September 10, 1659
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Westminster
Died: November 21, 1695
 32 
Ian Anderson
(Composer, Singer, Guitarist, Flautist, Songwriter)
Ian Anderson
4
Birthdate: August 10, 1947
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Dunfermline
 33 
Jack Bruce
(Composer, Singer, Jazz musician, Diarist, Pianist, Songwriter)
Jack Bruce
4
Birthdate: May 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Bishopbriggs
Died: October 25, 2014
 34 
Keith Emerson
(Musician)
Keith Emerson
4
Birthdate: November 2, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Todmorden, West Yorkshire, England, UK
Died: March 11, 2016
 35 
Pete Burns
(Singer, Composer, Singer-songwriter)
Pete Burns
5
Birthdate: August 5, 1959
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Port Sunlight
Died: October 23, 2016

Dead or Alive lead vocalist Pete Burns was a legendary musician of the 1980s. The son of a Holocaust survivor mother, he had a troubled childhood and quit school. He made his androgynous looks and his bisexuality his signature style. Plagued with surgery-related health issues, he died of a cardiac arrest at 57.

 36 
Ray Davies
(Guitarist, Composer, Singer, Songwriter, Record producer)
Ray Davies
4
Birthdate: June 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, England
 37 
Manfred Mann
(jazz musician, pianist, record producer, composer)
Manfred Mann
4
Birthdate: October 21, 1940
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Johannesburg
 38 
Robert Fripp
(Guitarist, Composer, Motivational speaker, Record producer)
Robert Fripp
4
Birthdate: May 16, 1946
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wimborne Minster
 39 
Jonny Greenwood
(Guitarist, Banjoist, Composer, Ondist, Multi-instrumentalist, Actor, Songwriter)
Jonny Greenwood
4
Birthdate: November 5, 1971
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Oxford
 40 
Marianne Jean-Baptiste
4
Birthdate: April 26, 1967
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: London, England, UK
 41 
Labrinth
(Singer-songwriter)
Labrinth
4
Birthdate: January 4, 1989
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London Borough of Hackney Hackney, London, England
 42 
Thomas Tallis
(Composer, Organist)
Thomas Tallis
3
Birthdate: January 30, 1505
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Kent, England
Died: November 23, 1585
 43 
John Barry
(Composer, Musician, Songwriter, Film score composer)
John Barry
4
Birthdate: November 3, 1933
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: York
Died: January 30, 2011
 44 
Jon Anderson
(Singer, Composer)
Jon Anderson
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1944
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Accrington
 45 
Martin Gore
(Singer-songwriter, Songwriter, Composer, Singer, Guitarist)
Martin Gore
4
Birthdate: July 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London
 46 
Sir Noël Peirce Coward
(English Playwright, Composer and Actor Best Known for His Wit and Flamboyance)
Sir Noël Peirce Coward
4
Birthdate: December 16, 1899
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Teddington, England
Died: March 26, 1973

Sir Noël Peirce Coward was an English composer, playwright, singer, director, and actor. Renowned for his flamboyance and wit, Coward's style and work continue to influence popular culture. A recipient of several prestigious awards, including an Academy Honorary Award, Coward did not acknowledge his homosexuality publicly, although it was later discussed by biographers like Graham Payn.

 47 
Gustav Holst
(Was an English Composer)
Gustav Holst
4
Birthdate: September 21, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cheltenham, United Kingdom
Died: May 25, 1934
 48 
Alan Parsons
(Composer, Musician, Record producer)
Alan Parsons
4
Birthdate: December 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: London

Alan Parsons is an English musician, audio engineer, record producer, and songwriter. He is credited with forming a rock band named The Alan Parsons Project. Over the years, Parsons has won many prestigious awards including a Grammy Award for Best Immersive Audio Album. In the 2021, Parsons was made an OBE for services to music production and music.

 49 
Atticus Ross
(Known for His Work with Musician 'Trent Reznor' of the Industrial Rock Band 'Nine Inch Nails')
Atticus Ross
4
Birthdate: January 16, 1968
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: London, England

Atticus Ross is an English musician, composer, record producer, audio engineer, and songwriter. He is best known for his work with Trent Reznor; the duo has won prestigious awards, such as an Oscar for Best Original Score and a Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack for Visual Media. Ross has also won a Golden Globe for his work in Soul.

 50 
Goldie
(Actor, Record producer, Club DJ, Musician, Composer)
Goldie
4
Birthdate: September 19, 1965
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Walsall