bands/musicians The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians  

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3.0k votes 267 voters 14.2k views 222 items Embed

List Rules Upvote your favorite 20th century conductors, arrangers and musicians

20th century classical music artists list, with photos, ranked best to worst by votes. List includes any good 20th century classical music band label, album and biographical information when available if you click on the names. This list of the top 20th century classical music bands in the world includes all musicians who have released recordings that have gotten distribution, and is an up-to-date list. 20th century classical music groups and artists are shown below along with any additional genres in which their music belongs. If available, you can also see information about where all 20th century classical music bands on this list got started. These are truly the greatest 20th century classical music bands of all time, since the most famous 20th century classical music artists ever are listed, and the order is decided by actual fans of the best 20th century classical music music.

You can click on the 20th century classical music band names to see more information about that particular notable 20th century classical music group. If they're near the top of the best 20th century classical music artist list, though, then they should have at least some information available. All the top 20th century classical music bands named on the list also have discographies on their pages if you click on the 20th century classical music band names themselves.

List artists include Elvis Costello, Leonard Bernstein and many more. Every time you vote for an item you like, or think deserves a top spot, that item has a better chance of making it to the top. Which of these artists belongs at the top of the list? Aaron Copland? Sergei Prokofiev?

All important, significant and iconic names in 20th century classical music music history deserve your votes, so make sure to choose wisely. You can only vote once on this list.

The list includes all new 20th century classical music bands, and if there are any missing on the list, you can always add them yourself. Just make sure they aren't already on the list and check your spelling, because this is already an accurate compilation of the best examples of 20th century classical music, as well as a good place to start if you're asking yourself, or friends, exactly how to get into 20th century classical music music. Especially since the bands at the top of the list will at the very least be the best choices if you're looking for a list of good 20th century classical music bands with which to start out. No point in listening to them if they aren't actually good or even half-way decent 20th century classical music bands.

This list answers the questions "who are the best 20th century classical music bands of all time?" and "who is the greatest 20th century classical music musician ever?"

If you know enough about the genre, please vote based on the quality of the band's music instead of just voting for the most popular 20th century classical music bands that you might've heard of, but not really listened to closely enough to cast an informed vote.

Share this list with your friends to see if their votes change the order of the list. (222 items)

1
37 13
Dmitri Shostakovich is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Dmitri Shostakovich Opera, Ballet, Art song

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2
28 7
Claude Debussy is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Claude Debussy Ballet, Ballet, Incidental music

3
30 9
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Sergei Prokofiev Opera, Ballet, Ballet

4
31 10
Maurice Ravel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Maurice Ravel Opera, Ballet, Ballet

5
32 11
Igor Stravinsky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Igor Stravinsky Opera, Ballet, Chamber music

6
29 10
Jean Sibelius is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Jean Sibelius Opera, Incidental music, Art song

7
25 7
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
George Gershwin Opera, Musical theatre, Film score

8
28 10
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Béla Bartók Opera, Ballet, Art song

9
20 4
Aram Khachaturian is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Aram Khachaturian Ballet, Ballet, Incidental music

10
22 7
Ottorino Respighi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Ottorino Respighi Opera, Ballet, Art song

11
22 7
Samuel Barber is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Samuel Barber Opera, Ballet, Art song

12
24 9
Alban Berg is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Alban Berg Opera, Serialism, Atonal music

13
21 7
Erik Satie is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Erik Satie Opera, Ballet, 20th-century classical music

14
23 9
Anton Webern is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Anton Webern Serialism, Atonal music, 20th-century classical music

15
24 10
Arnold Schoenberg is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Arnold Schoenberg Art song, Chamber music, Classical music

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16
25 11
Tōru Takemitsu is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Tōru Takemitsu Choral music, Electronic music, Chamber music

17
19 6
Aaron Copland is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Aaron Copland Opera, Ballet, Ballet

18
20 7
Francis Poulenc is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Francis Poulenc Ballet, Ballet, Incidental music

19
20 7
Heitor Villa-Lobos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Heitor Villa-Lobos Opera, Ballet, Film score

20
21 8
Charles Ives is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Charles Ives Art song, Classical music, 20th-century classical music

21
22 9
Leonard Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Leonard Bernstein Opera, Ballet, Ballet

22
14 2
Bernard Herrmann is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Bernard Herrmann Opera, Film score

23
15 3
Darius Milhaud is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Darius Milhaud Opera, Ballet, Ballet

24
19 7
Luciano Berio is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Luciano Berio Opera, Ballet, Art song

25
20 8
Ralph Vaughan Williams is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Ralph Vaughan Williams Opera, Ballet, Incidental music

26
18 7
Benjamin Britten is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Benjamin Britten Opera, Ballet, Ballet

27
18 7
Olivier Messiaen is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Olivier Messiaen Musique concrète, Classical music, French opera

28
12 2
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
俞汉青 added Sergei Rachmaninoff Opera, Art song, Chamber music

29
14 4
György Ligeti is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
György Ligeti Opera, Chamber music, Film score

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30
12 3
Carl Davis is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Carl Davis Ballet, 20th-century classical music

31
13 4
Arthur Honegger is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Arthur Honegger Musique concrète, Opera, Ballet

32
13 4
William Walton is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
William Walton Opera, Ballet, 20th-century classical music

33
13 4
Carl Orff is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Carl Orff Opera, 20th-century classical music

34
17 8
Edgard Varèse is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Edgard Varèse Musique concrète, Experimental classical music, Avant-garde music

35
20 11
Pierre Boulez is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Pierre Boulez Musique concrète, Contemporary classical music, Serialism

36
13 5
Alfred Schnittke is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Alfred Schnittke Christian music, Opera, Ballet

37
14 6
Arturo Toscanini is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Arturo Toscanini Classical music, 20th-century classical music

38
14 6
Wolfgang Rihm is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Wolfgang Rihm Opera, Ballet, Chamber music

39
15 7
Rodion Shchedrin is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Rodion Shchedrin Opera, Ballet, Chamber music

40
15 7
Glenn Gould is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Rachael Snell added Glenn Gould Classical music

41
16 8
Sofia Gubaidulina is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Sofia Gubaidulina Contemporary classical music, 20th-century classical music

42
16 8
Roy Harris is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Roy Harris 20th-century classical music

43
18 10
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
christian.reichhold added John Williams Romance, Classical music, Jazz

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44
9 2
Henri Dutilleux is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Max-Olivier Brotonne added Henri Dutilleux Ballet

45
10 3
André Jolivet is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
André Jolivet Opera, Ballet, Incidental music

46
10 3
John Tavener is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
John Tavener Opera, Minimal music, 20th-century classical music

47
10 3
Erich Wolfgang Korngold is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Erich Wolfgang Korngold Opera, Film score, 20th-century classical music

48
10 3
Frank Martin is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Frank Martin Opera, Ballet, Chamber music

49
10 3
Iancu Dumitrescu is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
RazvanPop added Iancu Dumitrescu

50
11 4
Howard Hanson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Howard Hanson 20th-century classical music