Haitink or Kremer? Maisky or Gilels? 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 1900 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 : Haitink (Dutch conductor and violinist) or Kremer (Latvian violinist and conductor) ? Szeryng (Polish-Mexican violinist) or Buniatishvili (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 1900 and 2000+. And this objectively, and for the first time (soClassiQ exclusivity).

Performers rendered as a timeline to bring a little perspective:

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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 1900-2000+

Who are these greatest performers, the most famous over the 1900-2000+ 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. Oistrakh, Cortot, Rattle, Muti, Rubinstein, Pires, Pré...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 10000 performers. So here is a selection of some performers for the years 1900-2000+, in Europe, widely recognized around the world:

A

Claudio <strong>Abbado</strong> Claudio AbbadoThe great 20th-century performers
1933-2014 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Salvatore <strong>Accardo</strong> Salvatore AccardoThe great 20th-century performers
age 78 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Theodor W. <strong>Adorno</strong> Theodor W. AdornoThe great 20th-century performers
1903-1969 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Jehan <strong>Alain</strong> Jehan AlainThe great 20th-century performers
1911-1940 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Isaac <strong>Albéniz</strong> Isaac AlbénizThe great 20th-century performers
1860-1909 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Géza <strong>Anda</strong> Géza AndaThe great 20th-century performers
1921-1976 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Anton <strong>Arensky</strong> Anton ArenskyThe great 20th-century performers
1861-1906 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Vladimir <strong>Ashkenazy</strong> Vladimir AshkenazyThe great 20th-century performers
age 82 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Leopold von <strong>Auer</strong> Leopold von AuerThe great 20th-century performers
1845-1930 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


B

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

Mily <strong>Balakirev</strong> Mily BalakirevThe great 20th-century performers
1837-1910 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

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

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

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

Béla <strong>Bartók</strong> Béla BartókThe great 20th-century performers
1881-1945 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

Alban <strong>Berg</strong> Alban BergThe great 20th-century performers
1885-1935 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

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

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

Ferruccio <strong>Busoni</strong> Ferruccio BusoniThe great 20th-century performers
1866-1924 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


C

Maria <strong>Callas</strong> Maria CallasThe great 20th-century performers
1923-1977 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Pau <strong>Casals</strong> Pau CasalsThe great 20th-century performers
1876-1973 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Alfredo <strong>Casella</strong> Alfredo CasellaThe great 20th-century performers
1883-1947 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Boris <strong>Christoff</strong> Boris ChristoffThe great 20th-century performers
1914-1993 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Francesco <strong>Cilea</strong> Francesco CileaThe great 20th-century performers
1866-1950 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Alfred <strong>Cortot</strong> Alfred CortotThe great 20th-century performers
1877-1962 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Georges <strong>Cziffra</strong> Georges CziffraThe great 20th-century performers
1921-1994 (20th century)
Composer & Performer


E

George <strong>Enescu</strong> George EnescuThe great 20th-century performers
1881-1955 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Malena <strong>Ernman</strong> Malena ErnmanThe great 20th-century performers
age 49 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer


I

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


... M

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

Gustav <strong>Mahler</strong> Gustav MahlerThe great 20th-century performers
1860-1911 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

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

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

Jules <strong>Massenet</strong> Jules MassenetThe great 20th-century performers
1842-1912 (Romantic)
Composer & Performer

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

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

Moritz <strong>Moszkowski</strong> Moritz MoszkowskiThe great 20th-century performers
1854-1925 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

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

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

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


R

Sergei <strong>Rachmaninoff</strong> Sergei RachmaninoffThe great 20th-century performers
1873-1943 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Simon <strong>Rattle</strong> Simon RattleThe great 20th-century performers
age 65 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Maurice <strong>Ravel</strong> Maurice RavelThe great 20th-century performers
1875-1937 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Ivan <strong>Rebroff</strong> Ivan RebroffThe great 20th-century performers
1931-2008 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Max <strong>Reger</strong> Max RegerThe great 20th-century performers
1873-1916 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Carl <strong>Reinecke</strong> Carl ReineckeThe great 20th-century performers
1824-1910 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Ottorino <strong>Respighi</strong> Ottorino RespighiThe great 20th-century performers
1879-1936 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Karl <strong>Richter</strong> Karl RichterThe great 20th-century performers
1926-1981 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Sviatoslav <strong>Richter</strong> Sviatoslav RichterThe great 20th-century performers
1915-1997 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

André <strong>Rieu</strong> André RieuThe great 20th-century performers
age 70 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Clara <strong>Rockmore</strong> Clara RockmoreThe great 20th-century performers
1911-1998 (20th century)
Performer

Joaquín <strong>Rodrigo</strong> Joaquín RodrigoThe great 20th-century performers
1901-1999 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Mstislav <strong>Rostropovich</strong> Mstislav RostropovichThe great 20th-century performers
1927-2007 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Nino <strong>Rota</strong> Nino RotaThe great 20th-century performers
1911-1979 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Albert <strong>Roussel</strong> Albert RousselThe great 20th-century performers
1869-1937 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Miklós RózsaThe great 20th-century performers
1907-1995 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Arthur <strong>Rubinstein</strong> Arthur RubinsteinThe great 20th-century performers
1887-1982 (20th century)
Performer


S

Camille <strong>Saint-Saëns</strong> Camille Saint-SaënsThe great 20th-century performers
1835-1921 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

Pablo de <strong>Sarasate</strong> Pablo de SarasateThe great 20th-century performers
1844-1908 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Erik <strong>Satie</strong> Erik SatieThe great 20th-century performers
1866-1925 (Romantic)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

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

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Alexander <strong>Scriabin</strong> Alexander ScriabinThe great 20th-century performers
1872-1915 (Romantic)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Richard <strong>Strauss</strong> Richard StraussThe great 20th-century performers
1864-1949 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Josef <strong>Suk</strong> Josef SukThe great 20th-century performers
1874-1935 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Arthur <strong>Sullivan</strong> Arthur SullivanThe great 20th-century performers
1842-1900 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

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

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

Karol <strong>Szymanowski</strong> Karol SzymanowskiThe great 20th-century performers
1882-1937 (20th century)
Composer & Performer


U

Viktor <strong>Ullmann</strong> Viktor UllmannThe great 20th-century performers
1898-1944 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


W

Émile <strong>Waldteufel</strong> Émile WaldteufelThe great 20th-century performers
1837-1915 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Bruno <strong>Walter</strong> Bruno WalterThe great 20th-century performers
1876-1962 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

William <strong>Walton</strong> William WaltonThe great 20th-century performers
1902-1983 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Andrew Lloyd <strong>Webber</strong> Andrew Lloyd WebberThe great 20th-century performers
age 72 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Anton <strong>Webern</strong> Anton WebernThe great 20th-century performers
1883-1945 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Kurt <strong>Weill</strong> Kurt WeillThe great 20th-century performers
1900-1950 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Charles-Marie <strong>Widor</strong> Charles-Marie WidorThe great 20th-century performers
1844-1937 (Romantic)
Composer & Performer

John <strong>Williams</strong> John WilliamsThe great 20th-century performers
age 79 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Ralph Vaughan <strong>Williams</strong> Ralph Vaughan WilliamsThe great 20th-century performers
1872-1958 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


Y

Narciso <strong>Yepes</strong> Narciso YepesThe great 20th-century performers
1927-1997 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Eugène <strong>Ysaÿe</strong> Eugène YsaÿeThe great 20th-century performers
1858-1931 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & 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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