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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

MMC

Brahms, Johannes
 ML410 .B8

1833

1897

German

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

Chopin, Frédéric
 ML410 .C54

1810

1849

Polish

Nocturnes (piano)
Mazurkas (piano)
Minute Waltz (piano)
CDs
Scores

Dvořák, Antonín
 ML410 .D99

1841

1904

Czech

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

Liszt, Franz
 ML410 .L7

1811

1886

Hungarian

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

Mahler, Gustav
 ML410 .M23

1860

1911

Austrian

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

Mendelssohn, Felix
 ML410 .M5

1809

1847

German

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

1858

1924

Italian

La Bohème (opera)
Tosca (opera)
CDs
Scores

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)
CDs
Scores
Rossini, Gioacchino
 ML410 .R8

1792

1868

Italian

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

Saint-Saëns, Camille
 ML410 .S15

1835

1921

French

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

Schumann, Robert
 ML410 .S4

1810

1856

German

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

Sousa, John Philip
 ML410 .S688

1854

1932

American

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

1825

1899

Austrian

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

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich
 ML410 .C4

1840

1893

Russian

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

Verdi, Giuseppe
 ML410 .V4

1813

1901

Italian

Aida (opera)
Rigoletto (opera)
Requiem (mass)
CDs
Scores

Wagner, Richard
 ML410 .W12

1813

1883

German

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

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

MMC

Beach, Amy
 ML410 .B36

1867

1944

American

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

Berlioz, Hector
 ML410 .B5

1803

1869

French

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

1838

1875

French

Carmen (opera) CDs
Scores

Borodin, Alexander
 ML410 .B73

1833

1887

Russian

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

Brahms, Johannes
 ML410 .B8

1833

1897

German

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

Bruckner, Anton
 ML410 .B88

1824

1896

Austrian

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

Chabrier, Emmanuel
 ML410 .C393

1841

1894

French

L'étoile (opera)
España (orchestra)
CDs
Scores

Chadwick, George Whitefield

1854

1931

American

Symphonic Sketches (orchestra)
String Quartet No. 4
CDs
Scores

Charpentier, Gustave
 ML410 .C42

1860

1956

French

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

Chopin, Frédéric
 ML410 .C54

1810

1849

Polish

Nocturnes (piano)
Mazurkas (piano)
Minute Waltz (piano)
CDs
Scores

Delibes, Léo

1836

1891

French

Coppélia (ballet)
Lakmé (opera)
CDs
Scores

Donizetti, Gaetano
 ML410 .D7

1797

1848

Italian

Lucia di Lammermoor (opera) CDs
Scores

Dvořák, Antonín
 ML410 .D99

1841

1904

Czech

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

Elgar, Edward
 ML410 .E41

1857

1934

English

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

Fauré, Gabriel
 ML410 .F27

1845

1924

French

Pavane (piano or orchestra)
L'horizon chimérique (voice and piano)
CDs
Scores
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)
CDs
Scores

Glinka, Mikhail
 ML410 .G46

1804

1857

Russian

Ruslan and Lyudmila (opera)
Kamarinskaya (orchestra)
CDs
Scores

Gottschalk, Louis Moreau
 ML410 .G68

1829

1869

American

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

Gounod, Charles
 ML410 .G7

1818

1893

French

Faust (opera)
Ave Maria (voice and piano)
CDs
Scores

Grieg, Edvard
 ML410 .G9

1843

1907

Norwegian

Peer Gynt (orchestra)
Piano Concerto
CDs
Scores

Humperdinck, Engelbert
 ML410 .H94

1854

1921

German

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

1866

1901

Russian

Symphony No. 1 in G Minor

Leoncavallo, Ruggiero

1858

1919

Italian

Pagliacci (opera) CDs
Scores

Liszt, Franz
 ML410 .L7

1811

1886

Hungarian

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

CDs
Scores

Loewe, Carl

1796

1869

German

Heinrich der Vogler (voice and piano)

CDs
Scores

Romantic Era Composers (1820 - 1900) M-Z

Name

Birth

Death

Nationality

Representative Pieces

MMC

MacDowell, Edward
 ML410 .M12

1860

1908

American

Woodland Sketches (piano)
Piano Concerto No. 2

CDs
Scores

Mahler, Gustav
 ML410 .M23

1860

1911

Austrian

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

CDs
Scores

Massenet, Jules
 ML410 .M41

1842

1912

French

Manon (opera)
Thaïs (opera)

CDs
Scores

Mendelssohn, Felix
 ML410 .M5

1809

1847

German

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

CDs
Scores

Mussorgsky, Modest
 ML410 .M97

1839

1881

Russian

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

CDs
Scores

Offenbach, Jacques
 ML410 .O41

1819

1880

French

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

CDs
Scores

Paganini, Nicolò
 ML418 .P2

1782

1840

Italian

Caprice No. 24 (violin)
Cantabile (violin)

CDs
Scores

Puccini, Giacomo
 ML410 .P89

1858

1924

Italian

La Bohème (opera)
Tosca (opera)

CDs
Scores

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)
CDs
Scores

Rossini, Gioacchino
 ML410 .R8

1792

1868

Italian

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

Saint-Saëns, Camille
 ML410 .S15

1835

1921

French

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

Sarasate, Pablo de

1844

1908

Spanish

Zigeunerweise (violin and piano) CDs
Scores

Satie, Erik
 ML410 .S196

1866

1925

French

Gymnopédies (piano)
Gnossiennes (piano)
CDs
Scores

Schumann, Robert
 ML410 .S4

1810

1856

German

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

Sibelius, Jean
 ML410 .S54

1865

1957

Finnish

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

Smetana, Bedřich
 ML410 .S63

1824

1884

Czech

Ma Vlast (orchestra)
The Bartered Bride (opera)
CDs
Scores

Sousa, John Philip
 ML410 .S688

1854

1932

American

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

CDs
Scores

Strauss, Johann II
 ML410 .S91

1825

1899

Austrian

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

Sullivan, Arthur
 ML410 .S95

1842

1900

English

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

Suppé, Franz von

1819

1895

Austrian

Light Cavalry (esp. the Overture) (operetta) CDs
Scores

Tchaikovsky, Pyotr Ilyich
 ML410 .C4

1840

1893

Russian

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

Verdi, Giuseppe
 ML410 .V4

1813

1901

Italian

Aida (opera)
Rigoletto (opera)
Requiem (mass)
CDs
Scores

Wagner, Richard
 ML410 .W12

1830

1883

German

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

Weber, Carl Maria von
 ML410 .W3

1786

1826

German

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

Widor, Charles-Marie
 ML410 .W648

1844

1937

French

Symphony for Organ No. 5 (organ solo) CDs
Scores

Wolf, Hugo
 ML410 .W8

1860

1903

Austrian

Mörike-Lieder (voice and piano) CDs
Scores