Music

The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked 

Ranker Music
Updated March 1, 2020 2.5k votes 331 voters 9.5k views 54 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!
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26
Anna Segal is listed (or ranked) 26 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.
 

27
Debbie Wiseman is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Debbie Wiseman Genre: Film score; Nationality: England
28
Joan Tower is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Joan Tower
29
Judith Weir is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
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Teresa Carreño is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
31
Chiquinha Gonzaga is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
CaryJeffery added Chiquinha Gonzaga Genre: Choro; Nationality: Brazil
32
Yoko Kanno is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Brandon Quam added Genre: New Age, Electronic music & J-pop; Nationality: Japan
33
Sarah Schachner is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
DamianHöster added Sarah Schachner
34
Kaija Saariaho is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added
35
Rachel Portman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Genre: Film score; Nationality: England
36
Alla Pavlova is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Alla Pavlova
37
Jocelyn Pook is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Genre: Film score; Nationality: England
38
Galina Ustvolskaya is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
spongejirachi added
39
Stephanie Ann Boyd is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Stephanie Ann Boyd
40
Slavka Atanasijević is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Slavka Atanasijević
41
Dora Pejačević is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Dora Pejačević
42
Lera Auerbach is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added
43
Laura Karpman is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Peter Maleitzke added Laura Karpman Genre: Film score; Nationality: United States of America
44
Alice Mary Smith is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Alice Mary Smith
45
Marie Jaëll is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Calvin George added Marie Jaëll
46
Ruth Crawford Seeger is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Ruth Crawford Seeger
47
Libby Larsen is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Libby Larsen
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Phamie Gow is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
Phamie Gow
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Meredith Monk is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Genre: Avant-garde music; Nationality: United States of America
50
Thea Musgrave is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list The Best Female Composers Ever, Ranked
meloncauliflower added Genre: Opera, Ballet & 20th-century classical music; Nationality: Scotland