Composers Famous Composers from the United Kingdom

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List of notable or famous composers from the United Kingdom, with bios and photos, including the top composers born in the United Kingdom and even some popular composers who immigrated to the United Kingdom. If you're trying to find out the names of famous British 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 the United Kingdom is included when available.

Eric Clapton and David Bowie are included in this list.

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

Use this list of renowned British 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. (273 items)

1
Elton John is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 71 Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since ...more

2
David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 71 David Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more

3
Paul McCartney is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 75 Sir James Paul McCartney MBE is an English singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. With John Lennon, George Harrison, and Ringo Starr, he gained worldwide fame as a member of the ...more

4
Boy George is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 56 Boy George is a British singer-songwriter, who was part of the English New Romantic movement which emerged in the late 1970s to the early 1980s. His music is often classified as blue-eyed soul, ...more

5
Sting is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 66 Gordon Matthew Thomas Sumner CBE, known on stage as Sting, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, activist, actor and philanthropist. He was principal songwriter, lead ...more

6
Dudley Moore is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 67 (1935-2002) Dudley Stuart John Moore, CBE was an English actor, comedian, musician and composer. Moore first came to prominence in the UK as one of the four writer-performers in the comedy revue Beyond the ...more

7
Tim Curry is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 71 Timothy James "Tim" Curry is an English actor, singer, and composer, known for his work in a diverse range of theatre, film, and television productions, often portraying villainous ...more

8
Ringo Starr is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 77 Richard Starkey Jr., MBE, better known by his stage name Ringo Starr, is an English drummer, singer, songwriter, producer, and actor who gained worldwide fame as the drummer for the Beatles. On ...more

9
Sid Vicious is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 22 (1957-1979) Sid Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, later named John Beverley, was an English bass guitarist, drummer and vocalist, most famous as a member of the influential punk group the Sex Pistols, and ...more

10
Gavin Rossdale is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 52 Gavin McGregor Rossdale is an English musician and actor, known as the lead singer and rhythm guitarist of the rock band Bush. Following Bush's separation in 2002, which lasted for eight years, ...more

11
Christopher Guest is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 67 Christopher Haden-Guest, 5th Baron Haden-Guest, better known as Christopher Guest, is an English-American screenwriter, composer, musician, director, actor, and comedian who holds dual British ...more

12
Robin Gibb is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 63 (1949-2012) Robin Hugh Gibb, CBE was a British singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as a member of the Bee Gees. He gained worldwide fame with his brothers Barry and Maurice Gibb. Besides, ...more

13
Eric Clapton is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 73 Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English musician, singer-songwriter and guitarist. He is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist and separately as ...more

14
Eric Idle is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 75 Eric Idle is an English comedian, actor, author, singer, writer and comedic composer. Idle is a member of the English surreal comedy group Monty Python, a member of the Rutles on Saturday Night ...more

15
George Sanders is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 66 (1906-1972) George Henry Sanders was an English film and television actor, singer-songwriter, music composer, and author. His career as an actor spanned more than 40 years. His upper-class English accent ...more

16
Petula Clark is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 85 Petula Sally Olwen Clark, CBE is an English singer, actress, and composer whose career has spanned seven decades. Clark's professional career began as an entertainer on BBC Radio during World ...more

17
Pete Townshend is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 72 Peter Dennis Blandford "Pete" Townshend is an English musician, singer-songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, known principally as the guitarist and songwriter for the rock group the ...more

18
Richard Curtis is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 61 Richard Whalley Anthony Curtis, CBE is an English screenwriter, producer and film director, who was born in New Zealand to Australian parents. One of Britain's most successful comedy ...more

19
Cat Stevens is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 69 Yusuf Islam, commonly known by his former stage name Cat Stevens, is a British singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, humanitarian, and education philanthropist. His 1967 debut album reached ...more

20
Anthony Burgess is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 76 (1917-1993) John Anthony Burgess Wilson, FRSL – who published under the pen name Anthony Burgess – was an English writer and composer. From relatively modest beginnings in a Catholic family in Manchester, ...more

21
M.I.A. is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 42 Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam, better known by her stage name M.I.A., is an English recording artist of Sri Lankan Tamil heritage. She is also a songwriter, painter and director. ...more

22
Matthew Bellamy is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 39 Matthew James Bellamy is an English musician, singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. He is best known as the lead vocalist, lead guitarist, pianist, and principal songwriter of ...more

23
Ralph Vaughan Williams is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 86 (1872-1958) Ralph Vaughan Williams OM was an English composer of symphonies, chamber music, opera, choral music, and film scores. He was also a collector of English folk music and song; this collecting ...more

24
Vinnie Jones is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 53 Vincent Peter "Vinnie" Jones is a British actor and former professional footballer who played as a midfielder from 1984 to 1999 notably for Wimbledon, Leeds United, Sheffield United ...more

25
Tarsame Singh Saini is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 50 Tarsame Singh Saini aka Taz born 23 May 1967, Coventry, West Midlands, United Kingdom, is a British singer, composer and actor of Indian descent. He is the lead singer of the pop band Stereo ...more

26
Andrew Lloyd Webber is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 70 Andrew Lloyd Webber, Baron Lloyd-Webber is an English composer and impresario of musical theatre. Several of his musicals have run for more than a decade both in the West End and on Broadway. He ...more

27
PJ Harvey is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 48 Polly Jean Harvey, MBE, known as PJ Harvey, is an English musician, singer-songwriter, writer, poet, composer and occasional artist. Primarily known as a vocalist and guitarist, she is also ...more

28
George Martin is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 92 Sir George Henry Martin CBE is an English record producer, arranger, composer, conductor, audio engineer and musician. He is sometimes referred to as "the Fifth Beatle" in reference to ...more

29
John Barry is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 78 (1933-2011) John Barry Prendergast, OBE was an English composer and conductor of film music. He composed the soundtracks for 11 of the James Bond films between 1963 and 1987, and also arranged and performed ...more

30
Gustav Holst is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 60 (1874-1934) Gustav Theodore Holst was an English composer, arranger and teacher. Best known for his orchestral suite The Planets, he composed a large number of other works across a range of genres, although ...more

31
Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 71 (1941-2012) John Douglas "Jon" Lord was an English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep ...more

32
Malcolm Arnold is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 85 (1921-2006) Sir Malcolm Henry Arnold, CBE was an English composer. He gained a reputation for composing light music, film scores, works for theatre, ballets and symphonies.

33
Brian Jones is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 27 (1942-1969) Lewis Brian Hopkin Jones was the founder and original bandleader of the Rolling Stones. Jones was a multi-instrumentalist, with his main instruments being the guitar, harmonica and keyboards. ...more

34
Van Morrison is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 72 George Ivan "Van" Morrison, OBE is a Northern Irish singer-songwriter and musician. His live performances at their best are described as mystical and transcendental, while some of his ...more

35
Arthur Darvill is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 35 Thomas Arthur Darvill, known professionally as Arthur Darvill, is an English actor and musician. He is perhaps most recognised as Rory Williams, one of the Eleventh Doctor's companions in the ...more

36
Nellie McKay is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 35 Nell Marie "Nellie" McKay is an American singer-songwriter, actress, and former stand-up comedian, noted for her critically acclaimed albums, and for her Broadway debut in The ...more

37
Oliver Wallace is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 76 (1887-1963) Oliver George Wallace was an English-born American composer and conductor. He was especially known for his film music compositions, which were written for many animation, documentary, and ...more

38
Thomas Adès is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 47 Thomas Adès is a British composer, pianist and conductor.

39
Alan Wilder is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 58 Alan Charles Wilder is a British musician, formerly of Depeche Mode. His current musical project is called Recoil, started as a side project to Depeche Mode. When he left the latter in 1995, it ...more

40
Paul Englishby is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 48 Paul Englishby is a Film and Theatre Composer, Orchestrator, Conductor and Pianist. He is versatile across many genres, from big orchestral works to 1930s jazz-influenced scores. Englishby has ...more

41
John Cale is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 76 John Davies Cale, OBE is a Welsh musician, composer, singer-songwriter and record producer who was a founding member of the experimental rock band the Velvet Underground. Though best known for ...more

42
Michael Nyman is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 74 Michael Laurence Nyman, CBE is an English composer of minimalist music, pianist, librettist and musicologist, known for numerous film scores, and his multi-platinum soundtrack album to Jane ...more

43
Baron is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 34 Piers Baron is a UK-born, Los Angeles-based award-winning Film Composer, Record Producer and Musician. he is best known for his Drum and Bass DJ/Producer work as "Baron" and his ...more

44
Karl Jenkins is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 74 Karl William Pamp Jenkins, CBE is a Welsh musician and composer known for "Adiemus", The Armed Man and his Requiem.

45
Humphrey Lyttelton is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Dec. at 87 (1921-2008) Humphrey Richard Adeane Lyttelton, also known as Humph, was an English jazz musician and broadcaster, and chairman of the BBC radio comedy programme I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue. As a performer, ...more

46
Leslie Bricusse is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 87 Leslie Bricusse is an English composer, lyricist, and playwright, most prominently working in musicals and also film theme songs.

47
Philip Nixon is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Phillip Nixon is a British composer and graphic designer for video games. His most notable role was as a member of Flair Software during the 1990s, as an artist, musician and game designer. More ...more

48
Dee Palmer is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 80 Dee Palmer is an English composer, arranger, and keyboardist best known for having been a member of the progressive rock group Jethro Tull from 1977 to 1980.

49
Anoushka Shankar is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
age 36 Anoushka Shankar is a Bengali/Tamil sitar player and composer. She is the daughter of Ravi Shankar and the half-sister of Norah Jones.

50
Richard Ayres is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list Famous Composers from the United Kingdom
Richard Ayres age 53 Richard Ayres is a British composer and music teacher. Richard Ayres followed Morton Feldman’s classes at the Darmstadt and Dartington summer schools. He studied composition, electronic music, ...more