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Famous Composers from France

Updated June 14, 2019 18.7k views237 items

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. {#nodes}
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  • 1

    Frédéric Chopin

    Dec. at 39 (1810-1849)
    Frédéric François Chopin (, also UK: , US: , French: [ʃɔpɛ̃], Polish: [ˈʂɔpɛn]; 1 March 1810 –...  more

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  • 2

    Jean-Jacques Rousseau

    Dec. at 66 (1712-1778)
    Jean-Jacques Rousseau (UK: , US: ; French: [ʒɑ̃ˈʒak ʁuˈso]; 28 June 1712 – 2 July 1778) was a...  more

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  • 3

    Claude Debussy

    Dec. at 56 (1862-1918)
    (Achille) Claude Debussy (French: [aʃil klod dəbysi]; 22 August 1862 – 25 March 1918) was a...  more
  • 4

    Francis Poulenc

    Dec. at 64 (1899-1963)
    Francis Jean Marcel Poulenc (French: [fʁɑ̃sis ʒɑ̃ maʁsɛl pulɛ̃k]; 7 January 1899 – 30 January...  more

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  • 5

    Hector Berlioz

    Dec. at 66 (1803-1869)
    Louis-Hector Berlioz (, French: [ɛktɔʁ bɛʁljoz]; 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French...  more
  • 6

    Jean-Baptiste Lully

    Dec. at 55 (1632-1687)
    Jean-Baptiste Lully (UK: , US: ; French: [ʒɑ̃ baˈtist lyˈli]; born Giovanni Battista Lulli,...  more

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  • 7

    Georges Bizet

    Dec. at 37 (1838-1875)
    Georges Bizet (UK: BEE-zay, US: bee-ZAY, French: [ʒɔʁʒ bizɛ]; 25 October 1838 – 3 June...  more

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  • 8

    Guillaume de Machaut

    Dec. at 77 (1300-1377)
    Guillaume de Machaut (French: [gijom də maʃo]; sometimes spelled Machault; c. 1300 – April...  more
  • 9
    Pierre Louis Joseph Boulez CBE (French: [pjɛʁ lwi ʒozεf bulɛz]; 26 March 1925 – 5 January...  more
  • 10

    Erik Satie

    Dec. at 59 (1866-1925)
    Éric Alfred Leslie Satie (French: [eʁik sati]; 17 May 1866 – 1 July 1925), who signed his name...  more

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  • 11

    Maurice Ravel

    Dec. at 62 (1875-1937)
    Joseph Maurice Ravel (; French: [ʒozɛf mɔʁis ʁavɛl]; 7 March 1875 – 28 December 1937) was a...  more
  • 12

    Edgard Varèse

    Dec. at 82 (1883-1965)
    Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse (French: [ɛdɡaːʁ viktɔːʁ aʃil ʃaʁl vaʁɛːz]; also spelled...  more
  • 13

    Camille Saint-Saëns

    Dec. at 86 (1835-1921)
    Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (French: [ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃ sɑ̃(s)]; 9 October 1835 – 16 December...  more

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  • 14

    Gabriel Fauré

    Dec. at 79 (1845-1924)
    Gabriel Urbain Fauré (French: [ɡabʁiɛl yʁbɛ̃ fɔʁe]; 12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a...  more

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  • 15

    Jacques Offenbach

    Dec. at 61 (1819-1880)
    Jacques Offenbach (, also US: , French: [ʒak ɔfɛnbak], German: [ˈɔfn̩bax] (listen); 20 June...  more
  • 16

    Darius Milhaud

    Dec. at 82 (1892-1974)
    Darius Milhaud (French: [daʁjys mijo]; 4 September 1892 – 22 June 1974) was a French composer,...  more
  • 17
    Michel Jean Legrand (French pronunciation: ​[miʃɛl ləɡʁɑ̃]; 24 February 1932 – 26 January...  more
  • 18
    Jean-Michel André Jarre (French: [ʒɑ̃ miʃɛl ɑ̃dʁe ʒaʁ]; born 24 August 1948) is a French...  more
  • 19

    Maurice Jarre

    Dec. at 85 (1924-2009)
    Maurice-Alexis Jarre (French: [ʒaʁ]; 13 September 1924 – 28 March 2009) was a French composer...  more
  • 20

    Charles Gounod

    Dec. at 75 (1818-1893)
    Charles-François Gounod (; French: [ʃaʁl fʁɑ̃swa ɡuno]; 17 June 1818 – 17 or 18 October 1893)...  more

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  • 21

    Charles-Valentin Alkan

    Dec. at 75 (1813-1888)
    Charles-Valentin Alkan (French: [ʃaʁl valɑ̃tɛ̃ alkɑ̃]; 30 November 1813 – 29 March 1888) was a...  more

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    #89 of 155 The Greatest Pianists Ever#60 of 145 The Greatest Pianists of All Time

  • 22

    Arthur H

    Age: 54
    Arthur Higelin (27 March 1966), better known under his stage name Arthur H [aʁtyʁ ɑːʃ], is a...  more

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  • 23
    Vladimir Cosma (born 13 April 1940) is a Romanian-born French composer, conductor and...  more
  • 24
    Era (styled as +eRa+, acronym for “Enminential Rhythm of the Ancestors”) is a New-Age music...  more
  • 25

    Jean Françaix

    Dec. at 85 (1912-1997)
    Jean René Désiré Françaix (French: [fʁɑ̃sɛ]; 23 May 1912 in Le Mans – 25 September 1997 in...  more

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