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Composers You Should Know: Romantic

Lists, facts, dates, links, and more, organized by time period

Notable Romantic Era Composers (1820 - 1900)

If you wish to be generally familiar with classical music, here is a short list of composers you should know from this period.

Name

Birth

Death

Nationality

Representative Pieces

Beach, Amy
 ML410 .B36

1867

1944

American

Three Browning Songs (voice and piano)
Gaelic Symphony (orchestra)

Brahms, Johannes
 ML410 .B8

1833

1897

German

Liebeslieder Waltzes (choir and piano 4 hands)
Violin Concerto
German Requiem (mass)

Chopin, Frédéric
 ML410 .C54

1810

1849

Polish

Nocturnes (piano)
Mazurkas (piano)
Minute Waltz (piano)

Dvořák, Antonín
 ML410 .D99

1841

1904

Czech

Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"
Rusalka (opera)
String Quartet no. 12 "American"

Liszt, Franz
 ML410 .L7

1811

1886

Hungarian

Hungarian Rhapsodies (piano)
Les Préludes (orchestra)
Marche Funèbre (piano)

Mahler, Gustav
 ML410 .M23

1860

1911

Austrian

Symphony No. 5 (orchestra)
Symphony No. 9 (orchestra)
Kindertotenlieder (song cycle, voice and orchestra)

Mendelssohn, Felix
 ML410 .M5

1809

1847

German

A Midsummer Night's Dream (orchestra)
Symphony No. 4 "Italian"
Songs Without Words (piano)
Puccini, Giacomo
 ML410 .P89

1858

1924

Italian

La Bohème (opera)
Tosca (opera)

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai
 ML410 .R52

1844

1909

Russian

Capriccio Espagnol (orchestra)
Flight of the Bumblebee (orchestra) (from the opera Tale of the Tsar)
Scheherazade (orchestra)
Rossini, Gioacchino
 ML410 .R8

1792

1868

Italian

The Barber of Seville (opera)
William Tell (opera)

Saint-Saëns, Camille
 ML410 .S15

1835

1921

French

Symphony No. 3 "Organ" 
Danse Macabre (orchestra)
The Carnival of the Animals (chamber)

Schumann, Robert
 ML410 .S4

1810

1856

German

Kinderszenen (piano)
Carnaval (piano)
Dichterliebe (song cycle)

Sousa, John Philip
 ML410 .S688

1854

1932

American

The Washington Post (march)
The Stars and Stripes Forever (march)
The Liberty Bell (march)
Strauss, Johann II
 ML410 .S91

1825

1899

Austrian

The Blue Danube Waltz (orchestra)
Die Fledermaus (operetta)

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich
 ML410 .C4

1840

1893

Russian

The Nutcracker (ballet)
Swan Lake (ballet)
1812 Overture (orchestra)
Eugene Onegin (opera)
Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique"

Verdi, Giuseppe
 ML410 .V4

1813

1901

Italian

Aida (opera)
Rigoletto (opera)
Requiem (mass)

Wagner, Richard
 ML410 .W1

1813

1883

German

The Ring Cycle (4 operas)
Tristan und Isolde (opera)
Parsifal (opera)

Romantic Era Composers (1820 - 1900) A-L

If you are a student of Music History or Composition, here is a more detailed list of composers you should know from this period.

Name

Birth

Death

Nationality

Representative Pieces

Beach, Amy
 ML410 .B36

1867

1944

American

Three Browning Songs (voice and piano)
Gaelic Symphony (orchestra)

Berlioz, Hector
 ML410 .B5

1803

1869

French

Symphonie Fantastique (orchestra)
Grande messe des mortes (requiem mass)
Bizet, Georges
 ML410 .B62

1838

1875

French

Carmen (opera)

Borodin, Alexander

1833

1887

Russian

Polovtsian Dances (from the opera Prince Igor)
In the Steppes of Central Asia (orchestra)

Brahms, Johannes
 ML410 .B8

1833

1897

German

Liebeslieder Waltzes (choir and piano 4 hands)
Violin Concerto
German Requiem (mass)

Bruckner, Anton
 ML410 .B88

1824

1896

Austrian

Symphony No. 4 "Romantic" (orchestra)
Te Deum (choir and orchestra)

Chabrier, Emmanuel
 ML410 .C393

1841

1894

French

L'étoile (opera)
España (orchestra)

Chadwick, George Whitefield

1854

1931

American

Symphonic Sketches (orchestra)
String Quartet No. 4

Charpentier, Gustave

1860

1956

French

La vie du poète (opera)
Impressions d'Italie (orchestra)

Chopin, Frédéric
 ML410 .C54

1810

1849

Polish

Nocturnes (piano)
Mazurkas (piano)
Minute Waltz (piano)

Delibes, Léo

1836

1891

French

Coppélia (ballet)
Lakmé (opera)

Donizetti, Gaetano
 ML410 .D7

1797

1848

Italian

Lucia di Lammermoor (opera)

Dvořák, Antonín
 ML410 .D99

1841

1904

Czech

Symphony No. 9 "From the New World"
Rusalka (opera)
String Quartet no. 12 "American"

Elgar, Edward
 ML410 .E41

1857

1934

English

Pomp and Circumstance Marches (orchestra)
Enigma Variations (orchestra)
The Dream of Gerontius (voices and orchestra)

Fauré, Gabriel

1845

1924

French

Pavane (piano or orchestra)
L'horizon chimérique (voice and piano)
Franchetti, Alberto

1860

1942

Italian

Germania (opera)

Franck, César
 ML410 .F82

1822

1890

Belgian/French

Symphony in D Minor
Panis Angelicus (voice, harp, cello, and organ)

Glinka, Mikhail
 ML410 .G46

1804

1857

Russian

Ruslan and Lyudmila (opera)
Kamarinskaya (orchestra)

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau
 ML410 .G68

1829

1869

American

La Bananier (piano)
A Night in the Tropics (Symphony No. 1) (orchestra)

Gounod, Charles
 ML410 .G7

1818

1893

French

Faust (opera)
Ave Maria (voice and piano)

Grieg, Edvard
 ML410 .G9

1843

1907

Norwegian

Peer Gynt (orchestra)
Piano Concerto

Humperdinck, Engelbert

1854

1921

German

Hänsel und Gretel (opera)
Die Königskinder (melodrama and opera)
Kalinnikov, Vasily

1866

1901

Russian

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor

Leoncavallo, Ruggiero
 ML410 .L517

1858

1919

Italian

Pagliacci (opera)

Liszt, Franz
 ML410 .L7

1811

1886

Hungarian

Hungarian Rhapsodies (piano)
Les Préludes (orchestra)
Marche Funèbre (piano)

Loewe, Carl

1796

1869

German

Heinrich der Vogler (voice and piano)

Romantic Era Composers (1820 - 1900) M-Z

Name

Birth

Death

Nationality

Representative Pieces

MacDowell, Edward
 ML410 .M12

1860

1908

American

Woodland Sketches (piano)
Piano Concerto No. 2

Mahler, Gustav
 ML410 .M23

1860

1911

Austrian

Symphony No. 5 (orchestra)
Symphony No. 9 (orchestra)
Kindertotenlieder (song cycle, voice and orchestra)

Massenet, Jules
 ML410 .M41

1842

1912

French

Manon (opera)
Thaïs (opera)

Mendelssohn, Felix
 ML410 .M5

1809

1847

German

A Midsummer Night's Dream (orchestra)
Symphony No. 4 "Italian"
Songs Without Words (piano)

Mussorgsky, Modest
 ML410 .M97

1839

1881

Russian

Pictures at an Exhibition (piano)
Boris Godunov (opera)
Night on Bald Mountain (orchestral arrangement)

Offenbach, Jacques
 ML410 .O41

1819

1880

French

The Tales of Hoffmann (opera)
Orpheus in the Underworld (opera)
La Périchole (operetta)

Paganini, Nicolò
 ML418 .P2

1782

1840

Italian

Caprice No. 24 (violin)
Cantabile (violin)

Puccini, Giacomo
 ML410 .P89

1858

1924

Italian

La Bohème (opera)
Tosca (opera)

Rimsky-Korsakov, Nikolai
 ML410 .R52

1844

1909

Russian

Capriccio Espagnol (orchestra)
Flight of the Bumblebee (orchestra) (from the opera Tale of the Tsar)
Scheherazade (orchestra)

Rossini, Gioacchino
 ML410 .R8

1792

1868

Italian

The Barber of Seville (opera)
William Tell (opera)

Saint-Saëns, Camille
 ML410 .S15

1835

1921

French

Symphony No. 3 "Organ" 
Danse Macabre (orchestra)
The Carnival of the Animals (chamber)

Sarasate, Pablo de

1844

1908

Spanish

Zigeunerweisen (violin and piano)

Satie, Erik
 ML410 .S196

1866

1925

French

Gymnopédies (piano)
Gnossiennes (piano)

Schumann, Robert
 ML410 .S4

1810

1856

German

Kinderszenen (piano)
Carnaval (piano)
Dichterliebe (song cycle)

Sibelius, Jean
 ML410 .S54

1865

1957

Finnish

Finlandia (orchestra)
Symphony No. 2 (orchestra)
Valse triste (orchestra)

Smetana, Bedřich
 ML410 .S63

1824

1884

Czech

Ma Vlast (orchestra)
The Bartered Bride (opera)

Sousa, John Philip
 ML410 .S688

1854

1932

American

The Washington Post (march)
The Stars and Stripes Forever (march)
The Liberty Bell (march)

Strauss, Johann II
 ML410 .S91

1825

1899

Austrian

The Blue Danube Waltz (orchestra)
Die Fledermaus (operetta)

Sullivan, Arthur
 ML410 .S95

1842

1900

English

H.M.S. Pinafore (operetta)
Pirates of Penzance (operetta)
Overture di Ballo (orchestra)

Suppé, Franz von

1819

1895

Austrian

Light Cavalry (esp. the Overture) (operetta)

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich
 ML410 .C4

1840

1893

Russian

The Nutcracker (ballet)
Swan Lake (ballet)
1812 Overture (orchestra)
Eugene Onegin (opera)
Symphony No. 6 "Pathetique"

Verdi, Giuseppe
 ML410 .V4

1813

1901

Italian

Aida (opera)
Rigoletto (opera)
Requiem (mass)

Wagner, Richard
 ML410 .W1

1830

1883

German

The Ring Cycle (4 operas)
Tristan und Isolde (opera)
Parsifal (opera)

Weber, Carl Maria von

1786

1826

German

Der Freischütz (opera)
Konzertstück (Concert Piece) (piano)
Concertino for Horn and Orchestra

Widor, Charles-Marie
 ML410 .W648

1844

1937

French

Symphony for Organ No. 5 (organ solo)

Wolf, Hugo
 ML410 .W8

1860

1903

Austrian

Mörike-Lieder (voice and piano)