Composers The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked  

Ranker Music
1.8k votes 236 voters 7.6k views 50 items

List Rules Vote up who you think are the greatest female composers of all time

These are the greatest female composers, ranked from best to worst. From some of the more famous female composers on this list gained enormous popularity during the Renaissance period while many of the other women listed here are most well known for their work during the Romantic period and beyond! And you can't really talk about some of the all time best female composers if you leave out contemporary musicians. There are many wonderful contemporary female composers that have made a career out of writing music for feature films.

Who will you find on this best female composers list? Clara Schumann was popular during the romantic age, but her influence reached into modern times. She adapted what was the norm in piano recitals and connected with a wide variety of music fans. Amy Breach is another one of the most talented female composers of all time.

In 1997, Anne Dudley won the Oscar for best original score for her compositions in the film, “The Full Monty.” Other good musicians that are featured on this top female composers list include Rachel Portman, Lili Boulanger and Rebecca Clarke.

Who are the best female composers of all time? Be sure to vote them up!
list ordered by

1
75 14
Clara Schumann is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Germany

2
58 11
Fanny Mendelssohn is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

3
60 14
Amy Beach is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Amy Beach

4
57 18
Hildegard of Bingen is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

5
48 13
Rebecca Clarke is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
England

6
48 16
Barbara Strozzi is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

7
42 15
Francesca Caccini is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

8
42 16
Cécile Chaminade is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

9
42 16
Lili Boulanger is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

10
33 10
Florence Price is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Florence Price United States of America

11
36 14
Ethel Smyth is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Ethel Smyth United Kingdom

12
35 14
Louise Farrenc is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Louise Farrenc France

13
27 9
Anne Dudley is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
United Kingdom

14
33 15
Isabella Leonarda is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Isabella Leonarda Italy

15
25 10
Elena Kats-Chernin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Elena Kats-Chernin Australia

16
24 12
Peggy Glanville-Hicks is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Peggy Glanville-Hicks Australia

17
22 12
Nadia Boulanger is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added France

18
20 11
Miriam Hyde is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Miriam Hyde

Australia

19
20 15
Germaine Tailleferre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

20
19 14
Maria Anna Mozart is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Maria Anna Mozart Holy Roman Empire

21
19 15
Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la... is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Élisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre France

22
16 13
Alma Mahler Gropius Werfel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Austria

23
17 15
Sofia Gubaidulina is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Russia

24
16 15
Margaret Sutherland is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added

Australia

25
2 1
Stephanie Ann Boyd is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Stephanie Ann Boyd United States of America

26
19 22
Rachel Portman is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
England

27
1 1
Slavka Atanasijević is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Slavka Atanasijević Serbia

28
1 1
Alice Mary Smith is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Alice Mary Smith England

29
1 1
Alla Pavlova is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Alla Pavlova United States of America

30
1 1
Galina Ustvolskaya is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
1523891586810 added

31
1 1
Dora Pejačević is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Dora Pejačević Croatia

32
18 22
Judith Weir is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
United Kingdom

33
18 22
Jocelyn Pook is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
United Kingdom, England

34
18 23
Debbie Wiseman is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
United Kingdom

35
0 1
Marie Jaëll is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Marie Jaëll

36
13 18
Joan Tower is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Joan Tower United States of America

37
0 2
Laura Karpman is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Peter Maleitzke added Laura Karpman United States of America

38
15 22
Teresa Carreño is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Venezuela, United States of America

39
12 19
Kaija Saariaho is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Finland

40
12 19
Meredith Monk is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added United States of America

41
1 5
Carla Bley is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Yury Buzko added United States of America

42
11 18
Unsuk Chin is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Germany

43
14 22
Chaya Czernowin is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked

44
12 20
Ruth Crawford Seeger is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Ruth Crawford Seeger United States of America

45
11 19
Libby Larsen is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Libby Larsen

46
30 44
Anna Segal is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
AnnaSegal added Anna Segal

Critically acclaimed composer Anna Segal belongs to a new generation of classical composers: An unusual, versatile composer in various disciplines – Symphonic and Chamber music, solo concertos, Lieder with Orchestra, Choir works and even Chansons. Her compositions were already performed in many countries.
Her works are regularly performed by many orchestras, ensembles and soloists: Berliner Symphoniker (conducted by Maestro Lior Shambadal at The Berlin Philharmonie), London Mozart Players Orchestra, Ukraine National Philharmonic Orchestra, The Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Irkutsk Philharmonic Orchestra, Daego Chamber Orchestra (Korea), Armenian Philharmonic Orchestra, The Raanana Symphonette, Uwe Komischke (Germany), Ramon Jaffe (Germany), The Israel Stage Orchestra and Baskent Chamber Orchestra in Turkey – among others.
 

47
14 23
Phamie Gow is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Phamie Gow

48
10 18
Lera Auerbach is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Russia

49
10 20
Thea Musgrave is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Scotland, United Kingdom

50
12 23
Roxanna Panufnik is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
United Kingdom