Composers The Best Modern Composers, Ranked  

Ranker Music
3.9k votes 929 voters 19.1k views 64 items

List Rules Vote up who you think are the greatest modern composers

The best modern composers come from all around the world, from every walk of life. This is a list of these wonderful musicians, true icons of the Classical music world, ranked from best to worst by music lovers everywhere. From famous modern composers that have written some of the most iconic soundtracks to some of the greatest movies of all time, to lesser know classical musicians that have made a career in symphony orchestras all over the globe, this list should have something for everyone.

What names will you find on this best modern composers list? Danny Elfman has to be mentioned among the most talented composers of all time. First rising to popularity in the band Oingo Boingo, Elfman went on to compose such memorable pieces as the themes from The Simpsons, The Nightmare Before Christmas and Batman. John Williams is another great composer from modern times. If you prefer jazzier tunes, give a listen to the composer and multi-instrumentalist Keith Jarrett. Other good musicians that are featured on this top modern composers list include Ennio Morricone, Rachel Portman and Alexandre Desplat.

Who is the best modern composer? Be sure to vote them up and let your voice be heard!
list ordered by

1
313 130
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Jurassic Park, Superman: The Movie, Jaws

2
318 133
Hans Zimmer is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Gladiator: More Music From the Motion Picture, The Dark Knight, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

3
144 86
Howard Shore is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, The Aviator

4
129 86
Ennio Morricone is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Once Upon a Time in America, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

5
91 68
James Horner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Deep Impact, Braveheart, Aliens

6
75 55
Michael Giacchino is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
JaredJohns added Cars 2, Up, Star Trek -

Known for his compositions in Sci-Fi (Star Trek, Star Wars, MCU, Planet of the Apes) and Animated films (Ratatouille, Cars, Up).

7
85 65
Danny Elfman is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Tim Burton's The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Edward Scissorhands

8
86 68
Ramin Djawadi is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Iron Man, Red Dawn, Prison Break

9
82 66
Alan Silvestri is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Back to the Future: Music from the Motion Picture Soundtrack, Forrest Gump: Original Motion Picture Score, Back to the Future

10
53 43
Ludovico Einaudi is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
PaulinaKucza added Nightbook, Waves: The Piano Collection, Diario Mali

11
40 30
Arvo Pärt is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
JerryMuzsik added Cello Concerto / Symphonies Nos. 1-3 (Bamberg Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor Neeme Jarvi), Fratres (Hungarian State Opera Orchestra feat. conductor Tamás Benedek), Alina

12
29 20
Joe Hisaishi is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Nick Forkin added Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro Soundtrack Collection, Princess Mononoke

13
47 43
Thomas J. Bergersen is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
ElijahBrents added Thomas J. Bergersen Halloween, A Place In Heaven (, <3

14
33 28
Yann Tiersen is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
ElijahBrents added Amélie, Yann Tiersen & Shannon Wright, Rue des cascades -

Look up porz goret

15
49 46
Thomas Newman is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
American Beauty, WALL·E, The Shawshank Redemption

16
45 42
James Newton Howard is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Atlantis: The Lost Empire, The Dark Knight, Restoration

17
44 42
Yanni is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
ElijahBrents added Dare to Dream, Out of Silence, Optimystique -

Absolutly amazing composer

18
46 45
Alexandre Desplat is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Lust, Caution, The Queen

19
36 35
Nobuo Uematsu is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
rodrigosebas3 added Final Fantasy III: Original Sound Version, Final Fantasy VIII: Fithos Lusec Wecos Vinosec, Music of Final Fantasy I and II -

Important mentions: Opera Maria & Draco, Dancing Mad, Liberi Fatali, One Winged Angel

20
37 38
Martin O'Donnell is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
JaredJohns added Martin O'Donnell Halo 3, Halo 2 Original Soundtrack, Halo

21
38 42
Bernard Herrmann is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Psycho: Complete Original Motion Picture Score, Vertigo, The Planets

22
7 6
Andrew Lloyd Webber is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
brosephone added The Phantom of the Opera, Jesus Christ Superstar, Highlights from Andrew Lloyd Webber's Sunset Boulevard (1994 Los Angeles cast)

23
7 8
A. R. Rahman is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
NaveenkumarM1 added Enthiran, A. R. Rahman – A World of Music, 8 x 10 tasveer

24
18 23
Bear McCreary is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
Luke Albright added Battlestar Galactica: Season 1, Battlestar Galactica: Season 2, Battlestar Galactica: Season 3

25
11 14
Jeremy Soule is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Modern Composers, Ranked
tactundra added Jeremy Soule Guild Wars 2: Original Game Soundtrack, Secret of Evermore, Icewind Dale -

Jeremy Soule is an American composer. He has been described as the "John Williams of video game music". Notable works include the original soundtracks for The Elder Scrolls: Morrowind, Oblivion, and Skyrim, as well as Guild Wars, the Harry Potter games, and Star Wars: Knights of the Old Republic.