The great classical music performers North America

 

Perahia or Starker? Lanza or Liberace? 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 in North America

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 : Perahia (American classical pianist and conductor) or Starker (Hungarian-American cellist) ? Ax (American musician) or Sills (opera soprano (1929-2007)) ? 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 North America, . 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 North America

Who are these greatest performers, the most famous over the 1880-2020 era in North America? 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. Milstein, Heifetz, Lisitsa, Levine, Rubinstein, Menuhin, Järvi...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 9000 performers. So here is a selection of some performers for the years 1880-2020, in North America, widely recognized around the world:

B

Samuel <strong>Barber</strong> Samuel BarberThe great classical music performers
1910-1981 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Kathleen <strong>Battle</strong> Kathleen BattleThe great classical music performers
age 71 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Amy <strong>Beach</strong> Amy BeachThe great classical music performers
1867-1944 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Joshua <strong>Bell</strong> Joshua BellThe great classical music performers
age 52 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Robert Russell BennettThe great classical music performers
1894-1981 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Cathy BerberianThe great classical music performers
1925-1983 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer

Boris BermanThe great classical music performers
age 72 (20th century)
Performer

Elmer <strong>Bernstein</strong> Elmer BernsteinThe great classical music performers
1922-2004 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Leonard <strong>Bernstein</strong> Leonard BernsteinThe great classical music performers
1918-1990 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

William <strong>Bolcom</strong> William BolcomThe great classical music performers
age 81 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Jorge BoletThe great classical music performers
1914-1990 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Barbara <strong>Bonney</strong> Barbara BonneyThe great classical music performers
age 64 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

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

Paul <strong>Bowles</strong> Paul BowlesThe great classical music performers
1910-1999 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Glenn <strong>Branca</strong> Glenn BrancaThe great classical music performers
1948-2018 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Avery BrooksThe great classical music performers
age 70 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Leo <strong>Brouwer</strong> Leo BrouwerThe great classical music performers
1939-2003 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Lawrence <strong>Brownlee</strong> Lawrence BrownleeThe great classical music performers
age 47 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Ole <strong>Bull</strong> Ole BullThe great classical music performers
1810-1880 (Romantic)
Composer & Performer

Adolf <strong>Busch</strong> Adolf BuschThe great classical music performers
1891-1952 (20th century)
Composer & Performer


F

Morton <strong>Feldman</strong> Morton FeldmanThe great classical music performers
1926-1987 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Arthur FiedlerThe great classical music performers
1894-1979 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Leon FleisherThe great classical music performers
age 91 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

Renée <strong>Fleming</strong> Renée FlemingThe great classical music performers
age 61 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Lukas FossThe great classical music performers
1922-2009 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

David <strong>Foster</strong> David FosterThe great classical music performers
age 70 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer


H

Hilary <strong>Hahn</strong> Hilary HahnThe great classical music performers
age 40 (20th century)
Performer

Marc-André <strong>Hamelin</strong> Marc-André HamelinThe great classical music performers
age 58 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

W. C. <strong>Handy</strong> W. C. HandyThe great classical music performers
1873-1958 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Barbara <strong>Hannigan</strong> Barbara HanniganThe great classical music performers
age 48 (20th century)
Conductor, Lyrical singer & Performer

Howard <strong>Hanson</strong> Howard HansonThe great classical music performers
1896-1981 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Lynn <strong>Harrell</strong> Lynn HarrellThe great classical music performers
age 76 (20th century)
Performer

Jascha <strong>Heifetz</strong> Jascha HeifetzThe great classical music performers
1901-1987 (20th century)
Performer

Barbara <strong>Hendricks</strong> Barbara HendricksThe great classical music performers
age 71 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Victor <strong>Herbert</strong> Victor HerbertThe great classical music performers
1859-1924 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Angela <strong>Hewitt</strong> Angela HewittThe great classical music performers
age 61 (20th century)
Performer

Paul <strong>Hindemith</strong> Paul HindemithThe great classical music performers
1895-1963 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Josef <strong>Hofmann</strong> Josef HofmannThe great classical music performers
1876-1957 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

James <strong>Horner</strong> James HornerThe great classical music performers
1953-2015 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Vladimir <strong>Horowitz</strong> Vladimir HorowitzThe great classical music performers
1903-1989 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Mieczysław <strong>Horszowski</strong> Mieczysław HorszowskiThe great classical music performers
1892-1993 (20th century)
Performer

Alan HovhanessThe great classical music performers
1911-2000 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


M

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

Lorin <strong>Maazel</strong> Lorin MaazelThe great classical music performers
1930-2014 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Jeanette <strong>MacDonald</strong> Jeanette MacDonaldThe great classical music performers
1903-1965 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Edward <strong>MacDowell</strong> Edward MacDowellThe great classical music performers
1860-1908 (Romantic)
Composer & Performer

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

Henry <strong>Mancini</strong> Henry ManciniThe great classical music performers
1924-1994 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Wynton <strong>Marsalis</strong> Wynton MarsalisThe great classical music performers
age 58 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

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

Audra <strong>Mcdonald</strong> Audra McdonaldThe great classical music performers
age 49 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

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

Robert MerrillThe great classical music performers
1917-2004 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

David MillerThe great classical music performers
age 47 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

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

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

Gabriela MonteroThe great classical music performers
age 49 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Grace <strong>Moore</strong> Grace MooreThe great classical music performers
1898-1947 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer


S

Lalo <strong>Schifrin</strong> Lalo SchifrinThe great classical music performers
age 87 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Alexander <strong>Schneider</strong> Alexander SchneiderThe great classical music performers
1908-1993 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Gunther <strong>Schuller</strong> Gunther SchullerThe great classical music performers
1925-2015 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Gil ShahamThe great classical music performers
age 49 (20th century)
Performer

Howard <strong>Shore</strong> Howard ShoreThe great classical music performers
age 73 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Beverly <strong>Sills</strong> Beverly SillsThe great classical music performers
1929-2007 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

Alexander <strong>Siloti</strong> Alexander SilotiThe great classical music performers
1863-1945 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Abbey SimonThe great classical music performers
1920-2019 (20th century)
Performer

Dang Thai SonThe great classical music performers
age 61 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Stephen <strong>Sondheim</strong> Stephen SondheimThe great classical music performers
age 90 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

John Philip <strong>Sousa</strong> John Philip SousaThe great classical music performers
1854-1932 (Romantic)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Frederica von StadeThe great classical music performers
age 74 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

János StarkerThe great classical music performers
1924-2013 (20th century)
Performer

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

Jim SteinmanThe great classical music performers
age 72 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer

Isaac <strong>Stern</strong> Isaac SternThe great classical music performers
1920-2001 (20th century)
Conductor & Performer

William Grant <strong>Still</strong> William Grant StillThe great classical music performers
1895-1978 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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


W

Rufus <strong>Wainwright</strong> Rufus WainwrightThe great classical music performers
age 46 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Performer

Leonard WarrenThe great classical music performers
1911-1960 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Performer

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

John <strong>Williams</strong> John WilliamsThe great classical music performers
age 88 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer

Paul <strong>Wittgenstein</strong> Paul WittgensteinThe great classical music performers
1887-1961 (20th century)
Composer & Performer

Charles <strong>Wuorinen</strong> Charles WuorinenThe great classical music performers
age 81 (20th century)
Composer, Conductor & Performer


Some performers to be celebrated very soon

Next month, more than 20 important artists and musicians will be honoured. In June 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 1, Mikhail Fichtenholz (1920-1985), 100th anniversary (Birth),
on 26, Ludwig Streicher (1920-2003), 100th anniversary (Birth),
on 29, Katherine Jenkins (1980- ), 40th anniversary,
...

There are others to discover. And it is not too late to focus on the May 2020 celebrations (40+).

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

See also...

Last update : 2020-05-01

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