Music

The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians  

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3.5k votes 311 voters 14.9k views

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)
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list ordered by
1
Claude Debussy is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Ballet, Ballet, Incidental music
2
Igor Stravinsky is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Chamber music
3
Dmitri Shostakovich is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Art song
4
Maurice Ravel is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Ballet
5
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
俞汉青 added Opera, Art song, Chamber music
6
George Gershwin is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Musical theatre, Film score
7
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Ballet
8
Samuel Barber is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Art song
9
Erik Satie is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, 20th-century classical music
10
Ralph Vaughan Williams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Incidental music
11
Jean Sibelius is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Incidental music, Art song
12
Leonard Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Ballet
13
Béla Bartók is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Art song
14
Aaron Copland is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Ballet
15
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
christian.reichhold added Romance, Classical music, Jazz
16
Aram Khachaturian is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Ballet, Ballet, Incidental music
17
Alban Berg is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Serialism, Atonal music
18
Arnold Schoenberg is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Art song, Chamber music, Classical music
19
Heitor Villa-Lobos is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Film score
20
Ottorino Respighi is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Art song
21
Arthur Honegger is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Musique concrète, Opera, Ballet
22
Darius Milhaud is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Ballet, Ballet
23
György Ligeti is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Opera, Chamber music, Film score
24
Olivier Messiaen is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Musique concrète, Classical music, French opera
25
Anton Webern is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best 20th Century Classical Musicians
Serialism, Atonal music, 20th-century classical music