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
Frédéric Chopin Died 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
Jean-Jacques Rousseau Died 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
Claude Debussy Died 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
Francis Poulenc Died 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
Hector Berlioz Died 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
Jean-Baptiste Lully Died 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

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Georges Bizet is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Composers from France
Georges Bizet Died 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 in a career cut short by his early death, ...more

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Guillaume de Machaut is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Composers from France
Guillaume de Machaut Died 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
Pierre Boulez 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
Erik Satie Died 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

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Maurice Ravel is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Composers from France
Maurice Ravel Died 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
Edgard Varèse Died 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

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Camille Saint-Saëns is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Composers from France
Camille Saint-Saëns Died 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

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Gabriel Fauré is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Composers from France
Gabriel Fauré Died 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
Jacques Offenbach Died 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
Darius Milhaud Died 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
Michel Legrand age 86 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

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Jean Michel Jarre is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Composers from France
Jean Michel Jarre age 69 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

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Maurice Jarre is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Composers from France
Maurice Jarre Died 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

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Charles Gounod is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Composers from France
Charles Gounod Died 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

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Charles-Valentin Alkan is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Composers from France
Charles-Valentin Alkan Died 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

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

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Vladimir Cosma is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Composers from France
Vladimir Cosma age 77 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

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Era is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Composers from France
Era 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

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

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Georges Delerue is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Composers from France
Georges Delerue Died at 67 (1925-1992) Georges Delerue was a French composer who composed over 350 scores for cinema and television. Delerue won numerous important film music awards, including an Academy Award for A Little Romance, ...more

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Gabriel Pierné is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Composers from France
Gabriel Pierné Died at 74 (1863-1937) Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné was a French composer, conductor, and organist.

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Ernest Chausson is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Composers from France
Ernest Chausson Died at 44 (1855-1899) -Ernest Chausson was a French romantic composer who died just as his career was beginning to flourish.

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Olivier Alary is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Composers from France
Olivier Alary age 42 Olivier Alary is a composer.

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Jean-Jacques Perrey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Composers from France
Jean-Jacques Perrey age 89 Jean-Jacques Perrey is a French electronic music producer and was an early pioneer in the genre. He is best known within the sphere of popular music as a member of the influential electronic ...more

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Paul Dukas is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Composers from France
Paul Dukas Died at 70 (1865-1935) Paul Abraham Dukas was a French composer, critic, scholar and teacher. A studious man, of retiring personality, he was intensely self-critical, and he abandoned and destroyed many of his ...more

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Thomas Bangalter is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Composers from France
Thomas Bangalter age 43 Thomas Bangalter is a French electronic musician best known for being one half of the French house music duo Daft Punk, alongside Guy-Manuel de Homem-Christo. He has also recorded and released ...more

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Pierre Schaeffer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Composers from France
Pierre Schaeffer Died at 85 (1910-1995) Pierre Henri Marie Schaeffer was a French composer, writer, broadcaster, engineer, musicologist and acoustician. His innovative work in both the sciences—particularly communications and ...more

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Gilbert Bécaud is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Composers from France
Gilbert Bécaud Died at 74 (1927-2001) Gilbert Bécaud was a French singer, composer, pianist and actor, known as "Monsieur 100.000 Volts" for his energetic performances. His best-known hits are "Nathalie" ...more

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Daniel Auber is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Composers from France
Daniel Auber Died at 89 (1782-1871) Daniel François Esprit Auber was a French composer.

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Marc-André Dalbavie is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Composers from France
Marc-André Dalbavie age 57 Marc-André Dalbavie is a French composer. He had his first music lessons at age 6 He attended the Conservatoire de Paris where he studied composition with Marius Constant and ...more

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Édouard Lalo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Composers from France
Édouard Lalo Died at 69 (1823-1892) Édouard-Victoire-Antoine Lalo was a French composer. Easily his most celebrated piece is his Symphonie espagnole, a popular work in the standard repertoire for violin and orchestra.

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Mathias Malzieu is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Composers from France
Mathias Malzieu age 43 Mathias Malzieu is a composer, director, writer and actor.

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Georges Auric is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Composers from France
Georges Auric Died at 84 (1899-1983) Georges Auric was a French composer, born in Lodève, Hérault. He was considered one of Les Six, a group of artists informally associated with Jean Cocteau and Erik Satie. Before he ...more

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Electrosexual is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Composers from France
Electrosexual age 37 Electrosexual is a French electronic musician, composer, performer, record producer and Music video director living in Berlin. His passion for early electronic engines and primitive sounds from ...more

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Elodie Lauten is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Composers from France
Elodie Lauten Died at 64 (1950-2014) Elodie Lauten was a French-born American composer described as postminimalist or a microtonalist.

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Émilie Simon is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Composers from France
Émilie Simon age 39 Émilie Simon is a French singer, songwriter and composer of electronic music.

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Michel Colombier is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Composers from France
Michel Colombier Died at 65 (1939-2004) Michel Colombier was a French composer, songwriter, arranger, and conductor. He wrote the scores of several motion pictures and TV productions. He also wrote chamber music and ballets. With ...more

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Olivier Messiaen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Composers from France
Olivier Messiaen Died at 84 (1908-1992) Olivier Messiaen was a French composer, organist and ornithologist, one of the major composers of the 20th century. His music is rhythmically complex; harmonically and melodically it often uses ...more

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Henri Duparc is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Composers from France
Henri Duparc Died at 85 (1848-1933) Eugène Marie Henri Fouques Duparc was a French composer of the late Romantic period.

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Nadia Boulanger is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Composers from France
Nadia Boulanger Died at 92 (1887-1979) Juliette Nadia Boulanger was a French composer, conductor, and teacher who taught many of the leading composers and musicians of the 20th century as well as leading living composers and ...more

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Michel Philippot is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Composers from France
Michel Philippot Died at 71 (1925-1996) Michel Paul Philippot was a French composer, mathematician, acoustician, musicologist, aesthetician, broadcaster, and educator.

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Joseph Kosma is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Composers from France
Joseph Kosma Died at 64 (1905-1969) Joseph Kosma was a Hungarian-French composer.

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Marcel Dupré is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Composers from France
Marcel Dupré Died at 85 (1886-1971) Marcel Dupré was a French organist, composer, and pedagogue.

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Maurice Duruflé is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Composers from France
Maurice Duruflé Died at 84 (1902-1986) Maurice Duruflé was a French composer, organist, and teacher.