Composers Famous Composers from France

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List of notable or famous composers from France, with bios and photos, including the top composers born in France and even some popular composers who immigrated to France. If you're trying to find out the names of famous French composers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These composers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known composer from France is included when available.

List people include Francis Poulenc, Jean-Baptiste Lully and many more.

This historic composers from France list can help answer the questions "Who are some French composers of note?" and "Who are the most famous composers from France?" These prominent composers of France may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected French composers.

Use this list of renowned French composers to discover some new composers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (237 items)

1
Frédéric Chopin is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 39 (1810-1849) Fryderyk Chopin is a film score composer.

2
Jean-Jacques Rousseau is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 66 (1712-1778) Jean-Jacques Rousseau was a Genevan philosopher, writer, and composer of the 18th century. His political philosophy influenced the French Revolution as well as the overall development of modern ...more

3
Claude Debussy is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 56 (1862-1918) Claude-Achille Debussy was a French composer. Along with Maurice Ravel, he was one of the most prominent figures associated with Impressionist music, though he himself disliked the term when ...more

4
Francis Poulenc is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 64 (1899-1963) Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc was a French composer and pianist. His compositions include mélodies, solo piano works, chamber music, choral pieces, operas, ballets, and orchestral concert ...more

5
Hector Berlioz is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 66 (1803-1869) Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts. Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra ...more

6
Jean-Baptiste Lully is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 55 (1632-1687) Jean-Baptiste Lully was an Italian-born French composer, instrumentalist, and dancer who spent most of his life working in the court of Louis XIV of France. He is considered the chief master of ...more

7
Georges Bizet is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 37 (1838-1875) Georges Bizet, registered at birth as Alexandre César Léopold Bizet, was a French composer of the romantic era. Best known for his operas, Bizet achieved few successes before his ...more

8
Guillaume de Machaut is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 77 (1300-1377) Guillaume de Machaut was a medieval French poet and composer. He is one of the earliest composers on whom significant biographical information is available. According to Daniel Leech-Wilkinson, ...more

9
Pierre Boulez is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Composers from France
age 93 Pierre Boulez is a French composer, conductor, writer, and pianist. In his early career, Boulez played a key role in the development of integral serialism, controlled chance and electronic ...more

10
Erik Satie is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 59 (1866-1925) Éric Alfred Leslie Satie – he signed his name Erik Satie after 1884 – was a French composer and pianist. Satie was a colourful figure in the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde. His ...more

11
Maurice Ravel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 62 (1875-1937) Joseph-Maurice Ravel was a French composer, pianist and conductor. He is often associated with impressionism along with his elder contemporary Claude Debussy, although both composers rejected ...more

12
Edgard Varèse is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 82 (1883-1965) Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse was a French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States. Varèse's music emphasizes timbre and rhythm and he ...more

13
Camille Saint-Saëns is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 86 (1835-1921) Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, the Second Piano ...more

14
Gabriel Fauré is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 79 (1845-1924) Gabriel Urbain Fauré was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many ...more

15
Jacques Offenbach is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 61 (1819-1880) Jacques Offenbach was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The ...more

16
Darius Milhaud is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 82 (1892-1974) Darius Milhaud was a French composer and teacher. He was a member of Les Six—also known as The Group of Six—and one of the most prolific composers of the 20th century. His compositions are ...more

17
Michel Legrand is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Composers from France
age 87 Michel Jean Legrand is a French musical composer, arranger, conductor, and pianist. Legrand is a prolific composer, having written over 200 film and television scores in addition to many ...more

18
Jean Michel Jarre is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Composers from France
age 70 Jean Michel Jarre is a French composer, performer, and music producer. He is a pioneer in the electronic, ambient, and new-age genres, and known as an organiser of outdoor spectacles of his ...more

19
Maurice Jarre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 85 (1924-2009) Maurice-Alexis Jarre was a French composer and conductor, "one of the giants of 20th century film music" who was "among the most sought-after composers in the movie industry" ...more

20
Charles Gounod is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 75 (1818-1893) Charles-François Gounod was a French composer, best known for his Ave Maria, based on a work by Bach, as well as his opera Faust. Another opera by Gounod, occasionally still performed, is ...more

21
Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 75 (1813-1888) Charles-Valentin Alkan was a French composer and pianist. At the height of his fame in the 1830s and 1840s he was, alongside his friends and colleagues Frédéric Chopin and Franz ...more

22
Arthur H is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Composers from France
age 52 Arthur H. is an actor and composer.

23
Vladimir Cosma is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Composers from France
age 78 Vladimir Cosma is a Romanian-born French composer, conductor and violinist, born 13 April 1940 in Bucharest, Romania, into a family of musicians. His father, Teodor Cosma, was a pianist and ...more

24
Era is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Composers from France
Era is a New Age music project by French composer Eric Lévi. The band has sold more than 12 million albums. They use lyrics which although similar to Greek or Latin are in fact ...more

25
Jean Françaix is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. at 85 (1912-1997) Jean René Désiré Françaix was a French neoclassical composer, pianist, and orchestrator, known for his prolific output and vibrant style.