Talk:List of 20th-century classical composers

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Deep Purple[edit]

Someone, an early member no longer with the group, from Deep Purple, has a current classical recording/composition

I know this is old but, for others who are curious, that would be Jon Lord. See Durham Concerto --Jubilee♫clipman 23:46, 22 March 2010 (UTC)

jane morgan its by — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:34, 7 October 2013 (UTC)


The criterion for bolding (10 recordings or more) are not a good way to create a binary structure here, even if they were all based on reliable data (what is a recording, and isn't there a huge difference between them in reach and status?). I think the bolding should be removed. Tony (talk) 06:14, 21 October 2008 (UTC)

I agree wholeheartedly that this criterion is completely bankrupt. For one thing, I do not see a single name with a birthdate before 1900 for which I could not easily find ten recordings, and that includes the only redlink, Jesus Guridi, for whom I find 46 recordings currently on the market. I suspect that very few of the names up to the ones with birthdates after 1970 could be excluded, either. Although I do think there may be some value in bolding the most prominent names, unless better criteria can be found I would also support suppressing this feature.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:28, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
I think the bolding has a lot of value for the undisputed masters and the most influential on the lists, because it very much helps readers who are new to the field. For living composers whose place in the historical canon is still uncertain, I'd say if they are in the news and are influential (Ades, Wuorinen, for example), or perhaps have won a major award like the Pulitzer, bolding is warranted. In terms of everyone else (minor, little-known composers), I suggest the bolding be removed. In fact, what we could do is remove disputed bolding right now, and require that further bolding must be defended adequately on this Talk page and agreed to by at least one other editor. [E.g., I just added Bill McGlaughlin to the list, but I'm not going to bold his name because he is not primarily known as a composer and is not in the news for that.] Softlavender (talk) 08:21, 1 November 2008 (UTC)
  • I just now removed a lot of the non-canonical bolding. Obviously, this requires judgement calls, so if there is sufficient stated reason for a certain composer's bolding and there is a consensus about it, consider re-adding. Softlavender (talk) 03:40, 8 November 2008 (UTC)
I've been bold and removed the criterion about 10 recordings. That's utter balderdash, as Jerome Kohl has pointed out above. I'm wondering whether this list is the place to be making any statements at all about influence or lack thereof. Its primary purpose is a chronology, so why not just leave it at that and unbold everyone. Every composer will have had a major influence on somebody, and we all have our particular favourites and those we are especially indifferent to. Let's not lose sight of what this list is for, and try not to confuse it with other issues. -- JackofOz (talk) 22:11, 15 December 2008 (UTC)

Ades bold, Andriessen unbold? Really? Can we just ditch the bold thing? Maybe pro-bolders want to avoid a long list of no-names. Well, none of us are truly authorities on who is and who isn't significant, especially when the subject is current music. Nothing like consensus is achieveable. Making certain names bold only makes the list look better to the people who know the bold names; meanwhile it doesn't help people use the article though, and it makes the list look silly to people who know the non-bold names. -- (talk) 21:06, 23 December 2008 (UTC)

I see that anonymous editor has bolded a great many more names, and no doubt some of us will think others still unbolded are more deserving. Since the list is already headed with a declaration that only composers of significant importance are included, I am now inclined to support's proposal to ditch the whole bolding business. While we are about it, shouldn't we also be deleting redlinks?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 16:51, 27 January 2009 (UTC)
Further to this, I notice that editor Galassi has deleted a redlinked addition, noting it is "spam". Should I take this as agreement with my support of's proposal?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 06:45, 29 January 2009 (UTC)
A Google search didn't yield a composer by that name. As to bolding, I am against it: too arbitrary.Galassi (talk) 02:34, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
Ah, I see. I have noticed one or two similar cases over the past week or two. I have regarded them as rather poor attempts at humor, rather than spam, but removed them all the same. Thanks for your vote of support for eliminating bolding.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 04:24, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
As someone who is not an expert my focus is on using the article rather than editing it. As a user I found that seeing the most well-known names in a long list in bold helps me place in context both those composers I already know and those I am newly researching. Inevitably a judgement of influence becomes more subjective with the most recent composers, but rather than ditch bolding altogether, I suggest keeping bolding for the more obviously influential composers. But perhaps it would generate less expert dissent if the criteria for bolding was changed from the most influential to the most well-known? ChrisX (talk) 13:31, 30 January 2009 (UTC)
I suspect that it is already de facto the case that the bolded names are "well-known" rather than "influential", but changing the term in the header really doesn't address the problem, which is that there are no objective criteria for making the distinction, nor for where to draw the line between the categories.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:14, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

POV reviewed[edit]

The highlighting of "influential" composers in bold has been removed. Can we now remove the POV tag from the article? --Deskford (talk) 21:35, 11 December 2009 (UTC)

I have been bold (for a change) and done just that. I am certain that the reason for this tag was the contention over highlighting of certain names and not others.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 22:20, 11 December 2009 (UTC)


I'm proposing a merger of the same kind that we have just done with List of 21st-century classical composers, into a sortable list. --Kleinzach 03:35, 20 December 2009 (UTC)

Agree there is no need for three separate lists if one sortable list is sufficient. --Jubilee♫clipman 16:54, 6 January 2010 (UTC)


I observe this useful list getting loaded with works and wonder if a limit should be set to their number (like max 3). As a reader, I would be interested to know representative works rather than "notable" (criteria difficult). I could imagine also to give a hint in this list where a longer works list of the composer is available (WP, The Living Composers Project, personal website, to name a few). --Gerda Arendt (talk) 08:52, 23 December 2009 (UTC)

Usually, the article itself has a full list (or a related subpage linked from the article contains the list). We don't need to add external links here, IMO. --Jubilee♫clipman 16:58, 6 January 2010 (UTC)
Agreed, works list should be part of the article. But what should be here? I just reverted the addition of a Glass opera to the already linked template operas and observe for other composers many works with fancy long titles whithout even a hint at what kind of music for what instrumentation. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 07:45, 17 February 2011 (UTC)


I don't understand why "Nationality" British was replaced by English. Is Welsh a nationality? I may have a language problem ... --Gerda Arendt (talk) 22:10, 23 February 2010 (UTC)

One would hope Welsh is considered a nationality. British is very vague. Gingermint (talk) 02:40, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

Short List[edit]

There are not a lot of people on this list. Are we weeding out the people who don't have a Wikipedia page (even though they may be in Who's Who or Britannica or whatever reference work)? If so, I think that is not very helpful to people who are actually doing research and are looking to Wikipedia as a good first step in their work. Gingermint (talk) 02:40, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

I might add that on can argue there should only be "significant" composer listed here. Well, you can imagine the enormous arguments that will arise from that. It is not wise to pursue such sticky definitions. I mean, it's obviously unwise!

Also, some people write articles about themselves and greatly expand upon their accomplishments. We can't always go by what we read.

The list here, for anyone involved in the publishing and performance of classical music, is without doubt, short. Very short. I think some foolish person just went and eliminated everyone who's name happened to be in red. As stated before, this is a disservice to anyone doing research and would like to use Wikipedia as a good first step in their work. Gingermint (talk) 02:56, 7 March 2010 (UTC)

The plan is (eventually) to create a sortable table similar to List of 21st-century classical composers. That was merged from three different lists. There are, infact, three exactly equivalent lists for the C20th composers, also: this one, List of 20th-century classical composers by death date, and List of 20th-century classical composers by name. The three are almost impossible to maintain and (more importantly) syncronise... The weeding out is simply part of the preparation but the actual process of merger is on the back burner for now. Ask over at WP:CTM for more. (I am that project's co-ordinator, BTW. We certainly welcome constructive criticisms like yours!) Thanks --Jubilee♫clipman 03:49, 7 March 2010 (UTC)
PS, see User:Jubileeclipman/Classical composers time-line and especially its talk page for more on your "enormous arguments" issue, if you dare...!)

I'll check into that. Still, I am a fan of Peer Review. Consider the following: there are many nonentities here who just happen to have a Wikipedia article. This sort of self-referencing is one of the great weaknesses of Wikipedia. Also, many editors just go to town here while in the real world their lack of expertise equals the inability to smugly consider themselves an editor. When all is said and done, this list of composers is like most lists on Wikipedia, horrendously flawed and incomplete. Gingermint (talk) 01:11, 14 July 2010 (UTC)


"List of 20th-century classical composers by birth date".

Hmm. I'd expect to find people listed in order of calendar date of birth: 1 January before 2 January before 3 January .... before 31 December.
Would it not be better to call it "List of 20th-century classical composers by year of birth"? -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 12:22, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Yes. Or, more compactly, "List of 20th-century classical composers by birth year". Either that, or a thorough revision should be made, adding exact dates and, in cases where two or more composers were born on the same day, time of day of birth (though whether this should be strictly according to local time or adjusted to UTC might require some discussion). Come to think of it, shouldn't there be corresponding lists for the 19th, 18th, 17th, etc. centuries?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:26, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
Well, I think I find a composer more easily by year and then alphabet. Concert programs typically just give a year. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 21:36, 22 March 2010 (UTC)
I think Jerome was being a tad playful with "Either that ... require some discussion". No need to change the format of entries, just the title of the article. -- Jack of Oz ... speak! ... 08:19, 23 March 2010 (UTC)
Playing also: hour of birth in local time of which calendar - now we had a DYK mentioning Bach's (Old Style Date) birthday as 21 March on 21 March, but the archive has it on 22 March. --Gerda Arendt (talk) 09:19, 23 March 2010 (UTC)

Kudos[edit] those that initiated the merger into a sortable list. It obviates the need to continue the above discussion(s) (or will after renaming it to List of 20th-century classical composers) and makes it easier to maintain the list of composers --Jubileeclipman 22:25, 4 April 2010 (UTC)

Yes, indeed, a great start! To be fully sortable it needs to be one big table rather than several smaller ones. The big task is then the trawl through the lists by name and death date for composers not on this list, in order to complete the merger. --Deskford (talk) 23:20, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
We also need {{hs}} to list the composers correctly by family name. Also, I would question the need for "Notable works" and "Comments" or at least the need to make those sortable. Great start though, indeed --Jubileeclipman 23:27, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
Yes, I forgot about the {{hs}} sorting thing. I agree that the "Notable works" and "Comments" fields are a bit superfluous — presumably a list of works will be found on most of the individual composers' pages. People have clearly put a lot of effort into the lists on this page though, and might object to the removal of their work. --Deskford (talk) 23:40, 4 April 2010 (UTC)
There is that... we need their input really. Trouble is, I don't know where the merger discussion took place (if one did take place). Neither Talk:List of 20th-century classical composers by death date nor Talk:List of 20th-century classical composers by name give much of a clue either. It seems to have been a bold decision made by Dono (talk · contribs), so we'll have to ask for his input --Jubileeclipman 00:06, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
 Done I left a cryptic comment on his talkpage! --Jubileeclipman 00:11, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

Thank you for the kind words. I am happy to help.

  • One sortable table: Notice that it takes few seconds at least to command any sorting in one gigantic table (in my very old computer), but if there's no other way round it is necessary anyway.
  • {{hs}}: Thanks for telling. I can't find the template when I did the table.
  • "Notable works" and "Comments": I actually find them quite useful for an at-a-glance list, but references are needed, which again requires huge input effort. And there are many minor format errors in both sections right now.
  • Composers from the other two lists: Planned, but the red composers shouldn't be on the list. If they are notable they should have their own articles.

BTW, there has been no major discussion but there's one section called "Merger" above. Hope more 20th-century classical music lovers will contribute.--Dono (talk) 15:52, 5 April 2010 (UTC)

I don't think there was much discussion, so much as an assumption that sooner or later these lists would be merged in a similar way that List of 21st-century classical composers was created as a merger of three separate lists. The 21st-century list can be used as a model for the use of the {{hs}} template. It's true that sorting a gigantic table can be a bit sluggish, but I think it's necessary so that when we sort, say, by name, we see all composers in alphabetical order rather than just those of a particular sub-period. And I definitely agree we should get rid of the redlink composers in the process of merging. Many thanks for starting this process! --Deskford (talk) 17:01, 5 April 2010 (UTC)
Sorry, I forgot to revisit this discussion. As regards the brief discussion, above, Deskford is correct: Klein and I were dropping a big hint for anyone that cared to pass by... If I get a chance (I'm reviewing the Music MOS's at the moment... groan...) I'll come and lend a hand with this. You seem to have it all well thought through, though, Dono, so unless you are struggling, I'll let you get on and sort out the rest. One strange fact: this list appears to be shorter than the List of 21st-century classical composers. Even given the fact that that list contains many borderline notables (we only know of them because they are composing now and are being reviewed on the web), this is a little incongruous: most of those people on the latter list were composing in the 20th century. Furthermore, there must be people that were composing mainly in the 19th century but also composed in the 20th century but are not listed here? Camille Saint-Saëns for one. Also, I am not conviced that all of those born after, say, 1976 actually contributed much of note before the year 2000. Just a thought or three, if you are looking for something to do... ;) --Jubileeclipman 19:42, 7 April 2010 (UTC)
Oh... the list should probably be moved, eventually, to List of 20th-century classical composers over the redirect and the other pages changed to redirect there (to avoid double redirects). Don't forget to click what links here also: many articles might link to the old lists and so we may end up with triple redirects if we are not careful... (sorry, that was yet another thing to load on you! I'll be back... :) help rather than to crash through the window in a 20-ton-truck I mean!) --Jubileeclipman 19:52, 7 April 2010 (UTC)

Notable works[edit]

Just what are criteria for a work to be included on the list of a composer's notable works? Should we take into account popularity among listeners, influence, musicological praise or some combination of these three things? --Toccata quarta (talk) 09:12, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

I'm sure that all three should be and have been taken into account. It does seem to me that the purpose of having these titles is to help the reader who is unfamiliar with the composer in question to recall where he might have heard (or heard of) some of his/her music.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:03, 31 May 2012 (UTC)

19th century works[edit]

Instead of placing a warning all over the article, perhaps we could change the lead to:

This is a list of composers of 20th-century classical music, sortable by name, year of birth, year of death, nationality, notable works, and remarks. The list includes only composers of significant fame and importance and only pieces composed in the 20th century. The style of the composer's music is given where possible, bearing in mind that some defy simple classification. Names are listed first by year of birth, then in alphabetical order within each year.


This is a list of composers of 20th-century classical music, sortable by name, year of birth, year of death, nationality, notable 20th-century works, and remarks. The list includes only composers of significant fame and importance. The style of the composer's music is given where possible, bearing in mind that some defy simple classification. Names are listed first by year of birth, then in alphabetical order within each year.

It might work fine. --Toccata quarta (talk) 04:18, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

Mm. And then again it might not. I am thinking in particular of a recent edit which added the Fauré Requiem. The edit summary read something like "I can't believe no one has mentioned the Requiem". Sure, of course, it is a conspicuous omission, if you think of Fauré's overall musical output. Did that editor know when the Requiem was composed? I doubt it. I didn't myself, until I looked it up. This is why I restored the note on Fauré, with specific mention of that title. How does a topnote address this problem?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 06:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The first version says "only pieces composed in the 20th century", and the second says "notable 20th-century works". --Toccata quarta (talk) 07:16, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
And this calls an editor's attention to the fact that, for example, Ein Heldenleben is actually a 19th-century work … how, exactly? BTW, at the other end of the scale, there are an awful lot of 21st-century works cited as well, particularly for the younger composers in this list (the ones born after about 1930). There is a lot of policing to be done, so can't we at least try to stop new leaks from springing up in the bottom of the boat?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 07:35, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
The hidden comments seem a good idea, as they are more likely to be noticed by drive-by editors than the statement at the top of the article. With regards the younger composers, do those born since, say, 1970 count as 20th-century composers if they made no notable impact until the 21st century? --Deskford (talk) 07:44, 2 June 2012 (UTC)
It's the editor's responsibility to check that out, just as it is with composers' birth dates. --Toccata quarta (talk) 07:49, 2 June 2012 (UTC)

As mentioned here, I noticed some 19th-century works that remained on the list:

  • Karlowicz's Serenade for Strings, which I removed because it was definitely a 19th-century work.
  • Balakirev's Islamey, which I didn't delete because it was revised in 1902, and might have been kept for that reason. But it was originally written back in 1869, so I question its presence on the list.

(I also thought I saw Waldteufel's Les Patineurs Valse on the list, but I was mistaken.) --Lord Bromblemore (talk) 19:56, 19 December 2012 (UTC)

Shostakovich's best symphonies[edit]

A brief Google search returned very little critical material on what is Shostakovich's best symphony, but I have always been under the impression that "musical snobs" hold the 4th in highest esteem (just off the top of my head, this post comes to mind as an example of said sentiment). In the "Notable works" section of this talk page, it was recently stated that popularity, influence and musicological praise are all important factors as far as a work being notable goes. Still, I have reservations about the value of popularity, since then we would have to describe Für Elise as one of Beethoven's notable works.

Well, anyway - is there any critical material on the relative worth of the 15 opuses that comprise Shostakovich's symphonic oeuvre? --Toccata quarta (talk) 18:01, 6 June 2012 (UTC)

I for one hold the 4th in highest esteem — does that make me a musical snob...? Seriously, though, I think there's a WP:POV issue in these selections. Shostakovich already takes up a lot of space in this article: can we not just say "15 symphonies" without cherrypicking individual favourites? --Deskford (talk) 18:26, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
As the editor who removed the Fourth in favour of the Eleventh (on purely personal POV grounds, and with satirical intent, I admit), I could not possibly agree more. Trying to establish a "favourites" list for Shostakovich symphonies is not as easy as for César Franck or Ernest Chausson. Should the same be done with the string quartets? I mean, I like the Eighth well enough, but is it really better than the Tenth?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:57, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
My remark about "musical snobs" was satirical and had to do with the popular perception of people who actually know the opus numbers for every Beethoven/Brahms/Shostakovich symphony/quartet. Speaking of "the Eighth" and "the Tenth", are we talking about symphonies or quartets? --Toccata quarta (talk) 19:38, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
I agree that some criteria are needed on what to note and how. Watching this space... —MistyMorn (talk) 20:00, 6 June 2012 (UTC)
@Toccata quarta: I thought I was clear when I said "Should the same be done with the string quartets? I mean, I like the Eighth …". Evidently not, so I will amend this to say, "Should not just the total number of string quartets also be indicated? I mean, I like the Eighth Quartet well enough …". More generally, and speaking again of the symphonies, I am fairly certain that we could find a source discussing the relative merits of Nos. 5 and 10, in terms at least strongly suggesting that the critic means to place one of these two at the top of the list. It should also be easy enough to find someone who would dispute these opinions about the two best. Even supposing an overwhelming number of opinions could be found that agree on the first and second-best, it would be much more difficult, I think, to find a reliable source for the third-best, fourth-best, etc. symphonies.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 02:35, 7 June 2012 (UTC)
Finally what I was looking for: WP:BIG. Toccata quarta (talk) 23:11, 25 November 2012 (UTC)

20th century?[edit]

can you call christopher talbot a 20th century composer if he was born in 2000? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:13, 21 October 2012 (UTC)

It depends entirely on the age at which he began composing notable compositions, and the exact date of his birth.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:59, 21 October 2012 (UTC)


In the lead, we have the statement "It includes only composers of significant fame and importance." However, this list has over 184,000 bytes now, so unless "significant fame and importance" is synonymous with WP:N, this list may need to be trimmed down. What do others think? Toccata quarta (talk) 20:04, 1 April 2013 (UTC)

I have been assuming that "significant fame and importance" is in fact synonymous with WP:N. The number of composers active across the entire span of the 20th century is in fact enormous, but what criteria would you suggest for raising the bar? It is one thing to say that Shostakovich is more notable than, say, Otar Taktakishvili, but does that leave Taktakishvili out of the list, or is he still famous enough to stay in? Where does Benjamin Lees rank relative to Luigi Nono, and do they fall on opposite sides of the divide or not? It seems to me that trying to establish criteria for such a cull would be destined for failure, and if the merits of each entry were to be argued individually, it could turn out to be the all-time winner of the Wikipedia Colossal Waste of Time Competition.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:35, 1 April 2013 (UTC)
Speaking of size, thanks to IP 188's labour, this page is now no. 48 at Special:LongPages. Toccata quarta (talk) 19:56, 24 May 2013 (UTC)
What, no better than that?! We wuz robbed!—Jerome Kohl (talk) 04:30, 25 May 2013 (UTC)

José Ferrer[edit]

I removed actor José Ferrer... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:00, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Well-spotted! It was probably an error for José Serebrier, who was missing, but whom I have just added.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:19, 6 April 2013 (UTC)

Composers not active in 20th-century?[edit]

A recent edit by an ip contributor who is currently active on this page (but does not tend to provide edit summaries) was reverted with the explanationUnexplained removal. It seems to me that the contributor may have been removing a set of composers (Giuseppe Garibaldi (composer) etc) for whom there is no positive evidence on their Wikipedia pages of activity within the 20th century. In which case, the edit presumably should stand. (talk) 13:10, 21 May 2013 (UTC)

I noticed the removal, and made this same assumption, based on two or three of the entries. I've now looked at it more closely, and see that at least two of the composers in question lived until 1916. I would say that, given the lack of an edit summary, User:Toccata quarta was justified in reverting the edit. It seems unreasonable to suppose, without any further explanation (such as evidence of a 16-year coma or a devastating stroke) that any composer worth the name would have written nothing at all for the last decade and a half of his or her life.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 15:16, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Yes, like Duparc, for instance. But given the page-size issue, wouldn't one reasonable and genuinely applicable eligibility criterion be some clear mention on an individual's Wikipedia page of compositional activity during the 20th century?
For example, it seems to me somewhat unlikely that the Versetti for which Giuseppe Garibaldi (composer) (1819-1908) is noted in Wikipedia were actually composed in the 20th century. In this case, and I suspect others, would List of Romantic-era composers (1815–1910) not perhaps be more appropriate? (talk) 17:27, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Some Wikipedia composer articles have more ample information than others, often because of the availability of source material. In the case of Garibaldi, this is no doubt due also to the problem of the more illustrious person of the same name overwhelming the airwaves, so to speak. However, implicit in your comment is the question: should this list include only composers whose most notable works were composed in the 20th century? This would no doubt quickly trim out just about all of the composers born before about 1850. A few composers, however, have produced some of their most notable works very late in life. Giuseppe Verdi comes to mind, though even his last works fall short of the century mark.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:13, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Granted. But as an example case, I really feel Giuseppe Garibaldi (composer) (1819-1908) does fit better into List of Romantic-era composers (1815–1910).
Fwiw, I doubt the works of this provincial church organist-composer are being seriously overshadowed by the deeds of his more revolutionary namesake. It's just that he's genuinely somewhat obscure -- his 17 Versetti for organ were unearthed a few years back and have since been recorded. The scholar who edited the score appears to have created his WP page: certainly a worthwhile addition to Wikipedia, imo, but no evidence at all that I can see of him having been a "20th-century composer". (talk) 18:49, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
While I take your point, there is a danger of confusing prominence with activity, though. If (and I am not for a moment seriously suggesting this) we were to make a separate article titled "List of obscure 20th-century composers", would Garibaldi qualify? If so, then why does he not quality for the present list, which does not offer any criteria for degree of fame? On our hypothetical other "List of hugely famous 20th-century composers", do we remove Antonín Dvořák on grounds that all of his truly famous works were composed in the 19th century? What about Edvard Grieg or Max Bruch? My point is that it will be impossible to agree on a knife-edge division using aesthetic criteria, whereas a calendar and list of works ("did he compose at least one work after 12:01am on 1 January 1901?") is comparatively easy to do.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:49, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
I don't mean to be polemical. While cleaning up Garibaldi's page, I did search Google Scholar etc to try to find positive evidence that he could have composed after 1900, but I drew a blank. Clearly, that doesn't mean that he definitely wasn't active in the 20th century. However, prima facie, that doesn't seem to me especially likely. In brief, I feel the current attribution is speculative at best.
More generally, my reasoning is that this list's eligibility criterion that the composer must have an existing WP page necessarily excludes many 20th-century composers. Placing a subsidiary requirement (as I believed already existed) for information on the relevant WP page/s (or clear evidence elsewhere) that the composer was active in the 20th century seems to me to provide a way of avoiding equivocal cases such as Garibaldi and, I imagine, several others here (though not Dvorak, Grieg, Bruch or, say, Goldmark). (talk) 22:35, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
The great difficulty with obscure composers is that the available information is often insufficient to determine whether they did or did not compose in any given decade. For all we know, Garibaldi may have composed all his extant works in the 20th century, however unlikely that may be. There are certainly Wikipedia articles for composers whose entire lifespans fall within the 20th century, and yet contain no firm information on the dates of any of their works. In those cases I suppose we may accept that anything they composed must qualify as 20th-century music but for little-known composers born before, say, 1880, this may be a difficult criterion to enforce. (And I should hope that Dvořák, Grieg, Bruch, and Goldmark are not a problem: I went to some trouble in all four cases to remove 19th-century works and replace them with 20th-century ones!)—Jerome Kohl (talk) 23:18, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Clearly, neither Dvořák, Grieg, Bruch, nor Goldmark is a problem (and nobody has suggested such). However to claim inclusion in the present list on the basis that "For all we know, Garibaldi may have composed all his extant works in the 20th century, however unlikely that may be" appears to me to be pure speculation (and therefore inherently unencyclopaedic). But, as I say, I don't want to get embroiled in a polemic here. Regards, (talk) 23:37, 21 May 2013 (UTC)
Adding: My last post may have appeared offensive (not my intention), as well as unnecessarily convoluted. The point I was trying to make was simply that a list like this should include only people known to be twentieth century composers, not people who just may have been. (talk) 15:50, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
No offense taken. All I was trying to say is that the path of least resistance may be to accept the "may have beens", rather than getting into a long series of arguments over one composer after another who lived until 1908, 1914, etc. Or should we start considering the removal of names like Robert Fischhof, Helen Hopekirk, Cecilia Arizti, Felix Mottl, Marco Enrico Bossi, and Borghild Holmsen, on grounds that their Wikipedia articles do not at present confirm (either directly or indirectly, via External links and the like) that any of their compositions fell within the 20th century?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:14, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Thank you, Jerome -- I'm glad no offense was taken. I would be happy, in time, to go through suspect entries, doing my best (within reason) to trace positive documentation via the internet that they were indeed active within the 20th century. Like you, I see real value in giving attention to lesser known figures who don't normally come under the spotlight.
Fwiw, I thought of the possibility of relocating our friend Giuseppe Garibaldi (composer) in the List of Romantic-era composers, since there can be little doubt that he was active at some time between 1815 and 1910. However, I hesitate to do this, as the character of that list seems to me somewhat different from that of the present one. (talk) 17:39, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Adding: Bossi, for one, certainly qualifies. According to a signed biography on the Naxos website, "Throughout his life, Bossi had considerable success as a composer, for instance with his Trio sinfonico, Op. 123, for violin, cello and piano (1901), the Intermezzi goldoniani, Op. 127, for orchestra (1905)..." (Adding (just for fun): And according to Grove, "In his last years he showed little sympathy with the radical young; but such new departures as the very refined chromaticism of the Five Pieces for piano op.137 (1914), or the ladders of perfect 4ths in Santa Caterina da Siena, reveal that he was not wholly unreceptive to the new sounds of the 20th century." (talk) 17:47, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
OK, so strike Bossi from the list of nominees for deletion. What about the two Bronsart von Schellendorfs, both deceased 1913? As a matter of fact, it was precisely the List of Romantic-era composers that I had in the back of my mind when I mentioned the possibility of endless wrangling. For one thing, even the limits of the "Romantic era" are a bone of considerable contention (the arbitrary cut-off date of our present "20th-century list", by contrast, at least avoids this problem). However, that list is also plagued by the attempt to retain "only the most notable" composers of this vaguely defined era, only without establishing any criteria for just how notable one has to be (and notable by whose standards) to make the cut. (For example, it is one thing to be the most notable Lithuanian composer of Romantic-era accordion music, but quite another to be even a modestly notable composer of French Romantic opera.)—Jerome Kohl (talk) 17:56, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Giuseppe Garibaldi (composer),"Hero of Two Worlds", leading The Thousand on a daringly romantic, 19th-century crossover?
Yes, I too find the Romantic-era list, with its arbitrary cut-offs etc somewhat perplexing (and I don't want to get involved). I suppose the question is where to house Garibaldi and friends. — (talk) 18:17, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
There is nothing to prevent a composer being included on two or more lists, if the facts justify it (Richard Strauss, for example). In the present case, since the Romantic era is by no means over yet (according to some music historians), then all of our 20th-century composers may safely be duplicated in the Romantic-era list, provided only that they be sufficiently notable. Somehow I don't think that poor old Garibaldi will be welcome over on Romantic era, so perhaps simply out of compassion we should allow him to remain here, in order that he not be relegated to this sad fate.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 18:31, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Hmmm, while definitely sympathetic with your aversion to statelessness, I hate the idea of providing unsubstantiated information on Wikipedia. I too am not happy about the "Romantic-era" labeling but hate getting into conflicts here.
RE the Bronsart couple: Ingeborg is a definite yes here (but I have some doubts about Hans). — (talk) 19:26, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
I love the picture of Garibaldi crossing the Alps, or whatever! The examples of Bossi and Ingeborg Bronsart point to a basic flaw in the insistence that a composer's Wikipedia article must confirm compositions completed in the 20th century, however. In both cases, you were obliged to search for external sources for such confirmation. Of course this information can easily be added, but how to forestall a situation in which one editor removes a name from the list because the Wikiarticle does not verify, then another editor changes the article based on one of these sources, and then a third editor discovers that the source is not reliable, etc.?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 21:16, 23 May 2013 (UTC)
Quick answer: dunno... (at least for tonight). I'm grateful to you for the genuine dialogue. (talk) 21:58, 23 May 2013 (UTC)

Dates of compositions[edit]

In a recent edit, one editor added not only a list of Schnittke's "notable works" to this page, but also their dates of composition. So far, the standard approach on this page has been to omit information on when a work was or may have been composed. Should this be changed? Toccata quarta (talk) 21:07, 20 November 2013 (UTC)

Yes, I think it would be best to remove the dates for consistency with other entries in the list. To keep the list compact we should probably just say, for example, "10 symphonies" too. Picking some as more "notable" feels like original research and declaring, say the Third Symphony to be more notable than the Second must be a matter of opinion – I think there have been more commercial recordings of the Second. (Sorry to offer an opinion only months after the question was posed!) --Deskford (talk) 02:03, 28 March 2014 (UTC)
While I don't know much about Schnittke, I'm sure there are reliable sources to establish the relative notability of his symphonies. Most writers place Beethoven's Eroica ahead of his 2nd Symphony, and I'm sure there is similar critical commentary about Schnittke's symphonic output. Toccata quarta (talk) 19:05, 30 March 2014 (UTC)
Even if this is true (and I have my doubts), is this list really the place to be making such fine distinctions? I'm with Deskford on this one: keep it simple and uncontroversial.—Jerome Kohl (talk) 20:03, 30 March 2014 (UTC)

Page move[edit]

I have moved this page from List of 20th-century classical composers by birth date to List of 20th-century classical composers for two reasons. First, none of the other lists in Template:Composers by era use the birth date qualifier. Second, this list can be sorted by name, YOB, and YOD (among others), and as such "by birth date" is not necessarily true or needed. — Crisco 1492 (talk) 07:42, 20 February 2014 (UTC)

Good move! We once had two separate lists, by birth date and by name – it looks like when they were merged and the sortable table was added nobody at the time renamed the article. --Deskford (talk) 02:22, 28 March 2014 (UTC)

Stylistic attributions[edit]

I don't think composers should have stylistic attributions after their names, such designations being rather spurious in meaning, loaded with connotations, and just not appropriate. Calling someone neo-classical is a perfect example, as if it is impossible to simply be classical because something happened previously. The labeling is a by-product of horribly inaccurate music history education and assumptions that are groundless. All styles of music go on at the same time regardless of trends! Also, there are too many pop-music figures here. If they don't have classical training, they should not be here. Paul McCartney would be a perfect example. Thank goodness he isn't listed. If a jazz musician tries to write classical music, it does not make him a classical musician. And I appreciate the inclusion of composers active in the 19th century who lived into the 20th century. Those born late in the century should choose to either be 20th century or 21st century, but not both. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Florence Wightman (talkcontribs) 02:44, 29 November 2016 (UTC)

That sounds self-contradictory, not to mention impractical. How do we coax a composer born in, say, 1956 to tell us which century (s)he would rather belong to? Especially if (s)he is no longer living?—Jerome Kohl (talk) 03:18, 29 November 2016 (UTC)