Composers The Best Russian Composers of All Time  

Ranker Music
2.8k votes 851 voters 19.7k views 36 items

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

These are the best Russian composers, ranked from best to worst by users. This is truly some of the most interesting music ever written and has more than left an indelible mark on the world of Classical music. Some of the more famous Russian composers gained popularity during the Renaissance while some other great musicians on this list are still making music to this day.

So, let's get into some specifics about some of the composers you can expect to find on this list. With compositions like “The Nutcracker” and “Swan Lake” to his name, Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky stands out as one of the greatest Russian composers of all time. He rose to popularity during the later years of the Romantic period. Mily Balakirev is another extremely talented composer who hailed from Russia.

Igor Stravinsky's “The Rite of Spring” remains a popular piece with leading orchestras across the world. Other good musicians who are featured on this best Russian composers list include Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff and Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov.

Who are the best Russian composers of all time? Be sure to vote up your favories.
list ordered by

1
334 84
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Symphony Edition, Classical Anthology, Eternal Classics

2
249 82
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Classical Anthology, Eternal Classics, Piano Sonata No. 2 / Variations on a Theme of Corelli / Moments Musicaux

3
193 61
Sergei Prokofiev is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
The Perlman Edition (disc 15: Bach), Alexander Nevsky Op. 78, Great Violin Concertos

4
243 86
Dmitri Shostakovich is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
The Symphonies, Great Violin Concertos, Symphony no. 1 / Symphony no. 7 "Leningrad"

5
186 58
Igor Stravinsky is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Stravinsky: Le Sacre du Printemps, Stravinsky Conducts Stravinsky, Bernstein Conducts Stravinsky (Israel Philharmonic Orchestra)

6
143 37
Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Classical Anthology, Scheherazade, OP.35

7
127 33
Modest Petrovich Mussorgsky is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
CBS Great Performances, Volume 13: Pictures at an Exhibition / Night on Bald Mountain, CBS Great Performances

8
79 31
Alexander Scriabin is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Mussorgsky: Pictures at an Exhibition / Scriabin: Poem of Ecstasy, Richter the Master, Volume 3: Scriabin

9
84 35
Alexander Borodin is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Great Russian Symphonies, Romantic Russia, Piano Works by 'The Mighty Handful'

10
66 30
Aram Khachaturian is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Gayaneh (USSR RTV Large Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Djansug Kakhidze), Piano Concerto / Violin Concerto / Suites from Gayaneh, Masquerade and Spartacus

11
55 22
Mikhail Glinka is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Romantic Russia, Reiner conducts Russian and Slavonic Works (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, feat. conductor: Fritz Reiner)

12
37 17
Alexander Glazunov is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
gnicholls added Great Violin Concertos, Symphonies (Complete) / Cantatas / Famous Ballet Music / Violin Concerto (Russian State Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Valeri Polyansky), Great Russian Symphonies

13
33 15
Dmitri Borisovich Kabalevsky is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Reiner conducts Russian and Slavonic Works (Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, feat. conductor: Fritz Reiner), BBC Music

14
31 16
Mily Balakirev is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Piano Works by 'The Mighty Handful', Tchaikovsky: Piano Concerto no. 1 / Prokofiev: Piano Concerto no. 1 / Balakirev: Islamey, Piano Works

15
17 6
Alfred Schnittke is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Alex Gaginsky added Myaskovsky: Sinfonietta, op. 32 no. 2 / Schnittke: Sonata for Violin & Chamber Orchestra / Denisov: Five Paganini Caprices, The Ten Symphonies

16
20 10
Sofia Gubaidulina is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Canticle of the Sun, In the Mirror, Am Rande des Abgrunds / De profundis / Quaternion / In croce

17
14 7
Anton Arensky is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
gnicholls added Scheherazade / Variations on a Theme by Tchaikovsky / The Seasons, The Australian Trio, Great Pianists of the 20th Century

18
20 13
Ranker Video
jimmosk added Taneyev: Suite de concert / Rimsky-Korsakov: Fantasy on Russian Themes, Rachmaninov: The Bells / Taneyev: John of Damascus, Overture The Oresteia / Symphony no. 4 -

A mix of perfectionism in form and passion in content. Friend and assistant to Tchaikovsky.

19
13 8
Lera Auerbach is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
RuneKjærRasmussen added Preludes and Dreams, 24 Preludes for Violin and Piano / T'filah / Postlude (feat. violin: Vadim Gluzman, piano: Angela Yoffe)

20
17 13
Rodion Shchedrin is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Anna Karenina (Bolshoi Theatre Orchestra feat. conductor: Yuri Simonov), Carmen Suite / Naughty Limericks / The Chimes, Cello Concerto / Seagull Suite (Helsinki Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Olli Mustonen

21
12 8
Galina Ustvolskaya is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Pianoconcerto / Symphony No. 1 (The Ural Philharmonic Orchestra feat. conductor: Dmitri Liss), Compositions I, II

22
12 8
Mieczysław Weinberg is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Zedzep added Mieczysław Weinberg Works for Cello (feat. cello: Yosif Feigelson), Symphony No. 5 / Sinfonietta No. 1 (National Polish Radio Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Gabriel Chmura), Piano Quintet / String Quartet No. 12

23
6 3
Georgy Sviridov is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Alex Gaginsky added Music for Chamber Orchestra / Time, Forward! / It Is Snowing / The Songs of Hard Times, Petersburg

24
3 1
Nikolai Kapustin is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Toby Vigneau added Piano Music, Volume 1 (Steven Osborne), 24 Preludes

25
12 11
César Cui is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Piano Works by 'The Mighty Handful', Suites Nos. 2, 4 / Le Flibustier (Czecho-Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Robert Stankovsky)

26
11 10
Pavel Grigorievich Chesnokov is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Pavel Grigorievich Chesnokov

27
3 2
Boris Alexandrovich Tchaikovsk... is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Leslie Ackerman added Rostropovich : The Russian Years, Chamber Symphony / Sinfonietta for Strings, Symphony No. 1 / The Murmuring Forest Suite / After the Ball Suite

28
8 8
Yury Chernavsky is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Yury Chernavsky

29
3 4
Alexander Tchaikovsky is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Leslie Ackerman added Alexander Tchaikovsky

30
3 4
Vladimir Martynov is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
RuneKjærRasmussen added Litania Ad Mariam Virginem, Opus Posth, Come In!

31
3 4
Eduard Artemyev is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Alex Gaginsky added Solaris / The Mirror / Stalker, As Far as My Feet Will Carry Me, Solaris

32
5 7
Maximilian Steinberg is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Maximilian Steinberg Symphony No. 1 / Prélude symphonique / Fantaisie dramatique (Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra feat. conductor: Neeme Järvi), Symphony no. 2 / Variations, op. 2

33
4 6
Leonid Desyatnikov is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
The Leaden Echo, Sketches to Sunset

34
1 4
Alexander Tchaikovsky is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Leslie Ackerman added Alexander Tchaikovsky

35
3 7
Alexander Abramsky is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Alexander Abramsky

36
2 6
Vladimir Vavilov is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list The Best Russian Composers of All Time
Alex Gaginsky added Vladimir Vavilov