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Ludwig van Beethoven

Ludwig van Beethoven (/ˈlʊdvɪɡ væn ˈbeɪt(h)oʊvən/ ( listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan
ˈbeːthoːfn̩] ( listen); baptised 17 December 1770[1] – 26 March 1827) was a German
composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and
Romantic eras in Classical music, he remains one of the most recognised and
influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies; 5
piano concertos; 1 violin concerto; 32 piano sonatas; 16 string quartets; a mass, the
Missa solemnis; and an opera, Fidelio.

Beethoven was born in Bonn, then the capital of the Electorate of Cologne and part
of the Holy Roman Empire. He displayed his musical talents at an early age and
was taught by his father Johann van Beethoven and composer and conductor
Christian Gottlob Neefe. At the age of 21 Beethoven moved to Vienna, where he
began studying composition with Joseph Haydn and gained a reputation as a
virtuoso pianist. He lived in Vienna until his death. By his late 20s his hearing
began to deteriorate, and by the last decade of his life he was almost completely
deaf. In 1811 he gave up conducting and performing in public but continued to
compose; many of his most admired works come from these last 15 years of his
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart[a] (27 January 1756 – 5 December 1791), baptised as

Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart,[b] was a prolific and
influential composer of the classical era.

Born in Salzburg, Mozart showed prodigious ability from his earliest childhood.
Already competent on keyboard and violin, he composed from the age of five and
performed before European royalty. At 17, Mozart was engaged as a musician at
the Salzburg court but grew restless and traveled in search of a better position.
While visiting Vienna in 1781, he was dismissed from his Salzburg position. He
chose to stay in the capital, where he achieved fame but little financial security.
During his final years in Vienna, he composed many of his best-known
symphonies, concertos, and operas, and portions of the Requiem, which was
largely unfinished at the time of his early death at the age of 35. The circumstances
of his death have been much mythologized.

He composed more than 600 works, many acknowledged as pinnacles of

symphonic, concertante, chamber, operatic, and choral music. He is among the
most enduringly popular of classical composers, and his influence is profound on
subsequent Western art music. Ludwig van Beethoven composed his own early
works in the shadow of Mozart, and Joseph Haydn wrote: "posterity will not see
such a talent again in 100 years".
Richard Wagner

Wilhelm Richard Wagner (/ˈvɑːɡnər/; German: [ˈʁɪçaʁt ˈvaːɡnɐ] ( listen);[1] 22 May 1813 – 13
February 1883) was a German composer, theatre director, polemicist, and conductor who is
chiefly known for his operas (or, as some of his later works were later known, "music dramas").
Unlike most opera composers, Wagner wrote both the libretto and the music for each of his stage
works. Initially establishing his reputation as a composer of works in the romantic vein of Carl
Maria von Weber and Giacomo Meyerbeer, Wagner revolutionised opera through his concept of
the Gesamtkunstwerk ("total work of art"), by which he sought to synthesise the poetic, visual,
musical and dramatic arts, with music subsidiary to drama. He described this vision in a series of
essays published between 1849 and 1852. Wagner realised these ideas most fully in the first half
of the four-opera cycle Der Ring des Nibelungen (The Ring of the Nibelung).

His compositions, particularly those of his later period, are notable for their complex textures,
rich harmonies and orchestration, and the elaborate use of leitmotifs—musical phrases associated
with individual characters, places, ideas, or plot elements. His advances in musical language,
such as extreme chromaticism and quickly shifting tonal centres, greatly influenced the
development of classical music. His Tristan und Isolde is sometimes described as marking the
start of modern music.

Wagner had his own opera house built, the Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which embodied many novel
design features. The Ring and Parsifal were premiered here and his most important stage works
continue to be performed at the annual Bayreuth Festival, run by his descendants. His thoughts
on the relative contributions of music and drama in opera were to change again, and he
reintroduced some traditional forms into his last few stage works, including Die Meistersinger
von Nürnberg (The Mastersingers of Nuremberg).

Until his final years, Wagner's life was characterised by political exile, turbulent love affairs,
poverty and repeated flight from his creditors. His controversial writings on music, drama and
politics have attracted extensive comment, notably, since the late 20th century, where they
express antisemitic sentiments. The effect of his ideas can be traced in many of the arts
throughout the 20th century; his influence spread beyond composition into conducting,
philosophy, literature, the visual arts and theatre
Samuel Barber

Samuel Osborne Barber II (March 9, 1910 – January 23,

1981) was an American composer of orchestral, opera, choral,
and piano music. He is one of the most celebrated composers of
the 20th century; music critic Donal Henahan stated that
"probably no other American composer has ever enjoyed such
early, such persistent and such long-lasting acclaim."[1].
His Adagio for Strings (1936) has earned a permanent place in
the concert repertory of orchestras. He was awarded the Pulitzer
Prize for Music twice: for his opera Vanessa (1956–57) and for
the Concerto for Piano and Orchestra (1962). Also widely
performed is his Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (1947), a setting for
soprano and orchestra of a prose text by James Agee. At the
time of his death, nearly all of his compositions had been