Ludwig van Beethoven ~ Born to a musical family, he was a precociously gifted pianist and violist. After nine years as a court musician in Bonn, he moved to Vienna to study with Joseph Haydn and remained there for the rest of his life. He was soon well known as both a virtuoso and a composer, and he became the first important composer to earn a successful living while forsaking employment in the church or court. He uniquely straddled the Classical and Romantic eras.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791) began composing music at the age of 5 and continued for the rest of his life, creating beloved works such as The Magic Flute and the unfinished "Requiem." One of the most prolific classical composers, Mozart created more than 600 pieces of music.
Leonard Bernstein. Along with Gershwin, Copland and Ives, Bernstein as a composer successfully synthesized American popular music with the European classical tradition. A true musical genius, and also a brilliant musical mentor, his personal life was guilt-wracked and hopelessly confused.
Antonín Leopold Dvořák (1841–1904) Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed features of the folk music of Moravia & his native Bohemia. Dvořák's own style has been described as 'the fullest recreation of a national idiom with that of the symphonic tradition, absorbing folk influences & finding effective ways of using them'. The Royal Philharmonic Society of London commissioned Dvořák to conduct concerts in London