Landowska or Callas? Heifetz or Kogan? It is difficult for inquiring minds to tackle a field as large and diverse as classical music, covering 10 centuries of history: there are uncountable numbers of classical music performers in the world. Making a selection of musicians, such as a “top 10” for example, is a difficult and subjective exercise. A musical selection is often the expression of personal preferences or artistic opinions, very interesting but also very different according to critics or musicologists, or simply influenced by the context: will an English performer/musician not be instinctively privileged by an English critic?

For example: in Canada, Marc-André Hamelin, a Quebec pianist and composer, is at least as popular as the German violinist Anne-Sofie Mutter, who is more internationally renowned.

Timeline of classical musicians, between 1950 and 2000+ in Europe

Whoever wants to discover classical music does not always have an experienced music lover, an expert or an educator at his or her side to support and guide him or her in this field. So : Landowska (Polish-French classical harpsichordist) or Callas (American-born Greek operatic soprano) ? Pré (British cellist) or Gilels (Soviet pianist) ? However, the knowledge available about musicians is enormous. It was processed to select the 10, 25, 50... most popular performers around the world, for those living or having lived en Europe, between 1950 and 2000+. And this objectively, and for the first time (soClassiQ exclusivity).

Performers rendered as a timeline to bring a little perspective:

ComposersConductorsLyrical singersPerformersReduce to performers only WorldwideEuropeNorth AmericaSouth AmericaAsiaOceaniaAfrica 2020

This timeline is interactive to navigate through the ages or across continents (with ).

Top 10 classical musicians in Europe for the years 1950-2000+

Who are these greatest performers, the most famous over the 1950-2000+ era in Europe? The carreer of these musician has marked the history of classical music. There are those you probably know, or at least by name and the others.

Here are these 10 performers, renowned artists from around the world:


The musicians and artists who also composed were removed from this ranking.

The selections of musicians (performers) proposed by soClassiQ are based exclusively on algorithms. The same applies to the composers, their works, the lyrical singers, les orchestras, the conductors and the venues : opera houses, concert halls or festivals.

What about the others? 25, 50 or more?

Summarizing to 10 musician names such a wide and diverse field may seem extreme or too simplistic for those who know classical music well, for those who can easily name 50 or more classical music performers. Szeryng, Haitink, Rubinstein, Maisky, Oistrakh, Muti, Buniatishvili...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 10000 performers. So here is a selection of some performers for the years 1950-2000+, in Europe, widely recognized around the world:

B

Luis <strong>Bacalov</strong> Luis BacalovThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1933-2017 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Grażyna <strong>Bacewicz</strong> Grażyna BacewiczThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1909-1969 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Wilhelm <strong>Backhaus</strong> Wilhelm BackhausThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1884-1969 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

John <strong>Barbirolli</strong> John BarbirolliThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1899-1970 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Daniel <strong>Barenboim</strong> Daniel BarenboimThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 77 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

John <strong>Barry</strong> John BarryThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1933-2011 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Yury <strong>Bashmet</strong> Yury BashmetThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 67 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Luciano <strong>Berio</strong> Luciano BerioThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1925-2003 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

İdil <strong>Biret</strong> İdil BiretThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 78 (20th century)
Performer

Rafał <strong>Blechacz</strong> Rafał BlechaczThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 34 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Andrea <strong>Bocelli</strong> Andrea BocelliThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 61 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer

Victor <strong>Borge</strong> Victor BorgeThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1909-2000 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Nadia <strong>Boulanger</strong> Nadia BoulangerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1887-1979 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Pierre <strong>Boulez</strong> Pierre BoulezThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1925-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Julian BreamThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 86 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Benjamin <strong>Britten</strong> Benjamin BrittenThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1913-1976 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Khatia <strong>Buniatishvili</strong> Khatia BuniatishviliThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 32 (20th century)
Performer


I

Jacques <strong>Ibert</strong> Jacques IbertThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1890-1962 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


K

Dmitri <strong>Kabalevsky</strong> Dmitri KabalevskyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1904-1986 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Jonas <strong>Kaufmann</strong> Jonas KaufmannThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 50 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Rudolf <strong>Kempe</strong> Rudolf KempeThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1910-1976 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Wilhelm <strong>Kempff</strong> Wilhelm KempffThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1895-1991 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Nigel <strong>Kennedy</strong> Nigel KennedyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 63 (20th century)
Performer

Albert <strong>Ketèlbey</strong> Albert KetèlbeyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1875-1959 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Aram <strong>Khachaturian</strong> Aram KhachaturianThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1903-1978 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Wojciech <strong>Kilar</strong> Wojciech KilarThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1932-2013 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Evgeny <strong>Kissin</strong> Evgeny KissinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 48 (20th century)
Performer

Zoltán <strong>Kodály</strong> Zoltán KodályThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1882-1967 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Leonid <strong>Kogan</strong> Leonid KoganThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1924-1982 (20th century)
Performer

Ton <strong>Koopman</strong> Ton KoopmanThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 75 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Erich Wolfgang <strong>Korngold</strong> Erich Wolfgang KorngoldThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1897-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Jason <strong>Kouchak</strong> Jason KouchakThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 51 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer

Serge <strong>Koussevitzky</strong> Serge KoussevitzkyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1874-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Fritz <strong>Kreisler</strong> Fritz KreislerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1875-1962 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Gidon <strong>Kremer</strong> Gidon KremerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 73 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Rafael <strong>Kubelík</strong> Rafael KubelíkThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1914-1996 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

György <strong>Kurtág</strong> György KurtágThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 94 (20th century)
Composer & Performer


M

Yo-Yo <strong>Ma</strong> Yo-Yo MaThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 64 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Peter <strong>Machajdík</strong> Peter MachajdíkThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 59 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Alma <strong>Mahler</strong> Alma MahlerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1879-1964 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Mischa <strong>Maisky</strong> Mischa MaiskyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 72 (20th century)
Performer

Clint <strong>Mansell</strong> Clint MansellThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 57 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer

Neville <strong>Marriner</strong> Neville MarrinerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1924-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Frank <strong>Martin</strong> Frank MartinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1890-1974 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Bohuslav <strong>Martinů</strong> Bohuslav MartinůThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1890-1959 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Nikolai <strong>Medtner</strong> Nikolai MedtnerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1879-1951 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Yehudi <strong>Menuhin</strong> Yehudi MenuhinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1916-1999 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Olivier <strong>Messiaen</strong> Olivier MessiaenThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1908-1992 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Arturo Benedetti <strong>Michelangeli</strong> Arturo Benedetti MichelangeliThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1920-1995 (20th century)
Performer

Darius <strong>Milhaud</strong> Darius MilhaudThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1892-1974 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Nathan <strong>Milstein</strong> Nathan MilsteinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1902-1992 (20th century)
Performer

Dimitri <strong>Mitropoulos</strong> Dimitri MitropoulosThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1896-1960 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Ennio <strong>Morricone</strong> Ennio MorriconeThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 91 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Maksim <strong>Mrvica</strong> Maksim MrvicaThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 45 (20th century)
Performer

Riccardo <strong>Muti</strong> Riccardo MutiThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 79 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Anne-Sophie <strong>Mutter</strong> Anne-Sophie MutterThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 56 (20th century)
Performer


P

Andrzej <strong>Panufnik</strong> Andrzej PanufnikThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1914-1991 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Hasmik <strong>Papian</strong> Hasmik PapianThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 58 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Arvo <strong>Pärt</strong> Arvo PärtThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 84 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Krzysztof <strong>Penderecki</strong> Krzysztof PendereckiThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1933-2020 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Gregor <strong>Piatigorsky</strong> Gregor PiatigorskyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1903-1976 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Nicola <strong>Piovani</strong> Nicola PiovaniThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 74 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Maria João <strong>Pires</strong> Maria João PiresThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 75 (20th century)
Performer

Ivo <strong>Pogorelić</strong> Ivo PogorelićThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 61 (20th century)
Performer

Maurizio <strong>Pollini</strong> Maurizio PolliniThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 78 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Francis <strong>Poulenc</strong> Francis PoulencThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1899-1963 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Jacqueline du <strong>Pré</strong> Jacqueline du PréThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1945-1987 (20th century)
Performer

Zbigniew <strong>Preisner</strong> Zbigniew PreisnerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 65 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

André <strong>Previn</strong> André PrevinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1929-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Sergei <strong>Prokofiev</strong> Sergei ProkofievThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1891-1953 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works


S

Jordi <strong>Savall</strong> Jordi SavallThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 78 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Wolfgang <strong>Sawallisch</strong> Wolfgang SawallischThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1923-2013 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Fazıl <strong>Say</strong> Fazıl SayThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 50 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

András <strong>Schiff</strong> András SchiffThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 66 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Artur <strong>Schnabel</strong> Artur SchnabelThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1882-1951 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Alfred <strong>Schnittke</strong> Alfred SchnittkeThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1934-1998 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Arnold <strong>Schoenberg</strong> Arnold SchoenbergThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1874-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Rudolf <strong>Serkin</strong> Rudolf SerkinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1903-1991 (20th century)
Performer

Rodion <strong>Shchedrin</strong> Rodion ShchedrinThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 87 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Dmitri <strong>Shostakovich</strong> Dmitri ShostakovichThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1906-1975 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Jean <strong>Sibelius</strong> Jean SibeliusThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1865-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Grigory <strong>Sokolov</strong> Grigory SokolovThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
age 70 (20th century)
Performer

Georg <strong>Solti</strong> Georg SoltiThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1912-1997 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Max <strong>Steiner</strong> Max SteinerThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1888-1971 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Karlheinz <strong>Stockhausen</strong> Karlheinz StockhausenThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1928-2007 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Igor <strong>Stravinsky</strong> Igor StravinskyThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1882-1971 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Yevgeny <strong>Svetlanov</strong> Yevgeny SvetlanovThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1928-2002 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Georgy <strong>Sviridov</strong> Georgy SviridovThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1915-1998 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

George <strong>Szell</strong> George SzellThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1897-1970 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Henryk <strong>Szeryng</strong> Henryk SzeryngThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1918-1988 (20th century)
Performer

Władysław <strong>Szpilman</strong> Władysław SzpilmanThe great 20th-century performers (1950-2000)
1911-2000 (20th century)
Composer & Performer


Some performers to be celebrated very soon

Next month, more than 40 important artists and musicians will be honoured. In July 2020 some of them may celebrate a special anniversary. For others, amateurs and enthusiasts will celebrate the bicentenary of their birth or the fiftieth anniversary of their death for example. Among them, some famous performers:

on 3, Audra Mcdonald (1970- ), 50th anniversary,
on 12, Keith Andes (1920-2005), 100th anniversary (Birth),
on 21, Isaac Stern (1920-2001), 100th anniversary (Birth),
on 28, Riccardo Muti (1940- ), 80th anniversary,
on 29, John Barbirolli (1899-1970), 50th anniversary (Death),
...

There are others to discover. And it is not too late to focus on the June 2020 celebrations (20+).

Always good opportunities to discover or deepen, (re)listen, explore the vastness and diversity of classical music...

See also...

Last update : 2020-06-01

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