Classical Music

My Passport to (Some of) the World’s Composers

I’ve been having fun getting to know musicians who are all new to me. So far, I’ve concentrated on the awesome symphony musicians here in Columbus, Ohio. In 2014, I hope to expand on that. In the meantime, I thought it would be fun this year to also meet some new composers – whether they be living composers or composers who have been dead for centuries.

My challenge? Which composers and how the heck do I choose them?

An idea

I love to travel and have been fortunate enough to have visited many amazing places – whether that be by studying abroad, serving in the Peace Corps or just taking a vacation. So with that in mind, I’ve decided to get to know one composer from each country I’ve ever visited or lived in and then share what I learn here on Giocosity.

Starting January 2014, I’ll profile two composers per month starting with an American composer all the way through a Moroccan composer. The order of presentation is based on the chronological order in which I first visited each of these great nations.

As far as the choosing of the composers, it’s pretty random, but while Mozart, Bach, Vivaldi and Handel are all rather awesome, I am purposely choosing lesser known composers – or well – composers I don’t know nearly as well. It’s all pretty subjective!

Here are the composers. I’m still working on Morocco as that’s proving to be a tad challenging, but I’ll figure it out.

Thanks very much to Scott Chamberlain (St. Catherine University), Julia Rose (Columbus Symphony Orchestra) and my Dad for helping me put this list together!

  1. USA – David P. Sartor (b. 1956)
  2. Canada – John Estacio (b. 1966)
  3. France – Jean-Féry Rébel (1666-1747)
  4. Germany – Clara Schumann (1819-1896)
  5. Switzerland – Heinrich Sutermeister (1910-1995)
  6. Italy – Giovanni Battista Pergolesi (1710-1736)
  7. Austria – Ignaz Pleyel (1757-1831)
  8. Monaco – Massimiliano Greco (b. 1967)
  9. Mexico – Manuel de Sumaya (1678-1755)
  10. Northern Ireland – Ian Wilson (b. 1964)
  11. Ireland – John Field (1782-1837)
  12. Bulgaria – Pancho Vladigerov (1899-1978)
  13. Egypt – Abu Bakr Khairat (1910-1963)
  14. Turkey – Ahmed Adnan Saygun (1907-1991)
  15. Greece – Nikos Skalkottas (1904-1949)
  16. Romania – George Enescu (1881-1955)
  17. Hungary – Josef Joachim (1831-1907)
  18. England – William Byrd (1540-1623)  
  19. Wales – Morfydd Owen (1891-1918)
  20. Scotland – William Marshall (1748-1833)
  21. Belgium – Gilles Binchois (1400-1460)
  22. Argentina – Carlos Gardel (1890-1935)
  23. Spain – Pablo de Sarasate (1844-1908)
  24. Morocco – Pending

I look forward to getting to know these composers. I hope you look forward to learning more about them as well!

6 thoughts on “My Passport to (Some of) the World’s Composers

    • Oh really? Thanks! Quite honestly – prior to doing a google search for “Belgium, Composers” I’d never even heard of him before. Joys of waiting until I’m 43, er 29, to actually study music! Well – it’s a fluid list and except for Dave, nothing’s yet carved in stone so some changes may yet be made. Some others were born in what is now Germany/Czech Republic/etc. That’s what makes Morocco so hard – the one composer (of the three whose names I found) who had info about him (at first google glance) was actually born in Gibraltar of a British family, but spent his life in Morocco – that’s part of why that’s still TBD. Maybe I should just travel more? 🙂 Thanks, Lisa!

        • Borders change…Just because you’re born in Timisoara doesn’t mean I need to call you Romanian if you then lived your entire life in Hungary, what is now less than a half hour outside the city. No need to get too technical as that takes too much brain power. Although, I will give credit to the cyrillic alphabet to Bulgarians because St. Cyril was in land occupied/controlled by Bulgaria at the time he created it, despite that location’s being called Thessaloniki, a city we all know to be part of Greece! (I suppose that’s getting a bit technical, huh?!)

        • Eventually as I write these, I hope to go a little beyond wikipedia. It’s a great starting point, but the most definitive of sources. You may find yourself quoted in there eventually! 😛 Regardless – this is going to be a lot of fun!

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