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 in a career cut short by his early death, ...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 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

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

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 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

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.

26
Georges Delerue is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

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

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

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

30
Jean-Jacques Perrey is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Composers from France
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

31
Paul Dukas is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

32
Thomas Bangalter is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Composers from France
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

33
Pierre Schaeffer is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

34
Gilbert Bécaud is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

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

36
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

37
Édouard Lalo is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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.

38
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.

39
Georges Auric is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

40
Electrosexual is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Composers from France
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

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

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

43
Michel Colombier is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

44
Olivier Messiaen is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

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

46
Nadia Boulanger is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Composers from France
Dec. 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

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

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

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

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