Music and Mortality: Composers Who Lived Past 80
Recently I wrote about composers who died before 40. It's a surprising and impressive list. This hub, the companion piece, represents the other side of the coin–composers who lived past the age of 80. This second list is definitely not as prestigious; although these are all considered prominent composers, I would guess that, for non-musicians and non-classical music buffs, at least half of the names are unfamiliar. However, quite a few people will recognize Copland, Sibelius, Richard Strauss, Stravinsky, Verdi, and Vaughan Williams.
Many of the composers on the list are from fairly recent history, reflecting advances in medicine. However, it is interesting to note those who made it past 80 whose lives did not extend into the 20th century; these include Cherubini (1760-1842), Hasse (1699-1783), Josquin (1440-1521), Telemann (1681-1767), and Schütz (1585-1672).
The source I drew the names from, Kupferberg's Book of Classical Music Lists, was published a while ago–in 1985. Can you think of any other prominent classical composers who could now be included in this list?
Gustav Charpentier (1860-1956). Age at death: 95
Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842). Age at death: 81
Aaron Copland (1900-1990). Age at death: 90
Ernst von Dohnanyi (1877-1960). Age at death: 82
Johann Adolph Hasse (1699-1783). Age at death: 84
Josquin des Préz (1440-1521). Age at death: 81
Frank Martin (1890-1974). Age at death: 84
Pietro Mascagni (1863-1945). Age at death: 81
Darius Milhaud (1892-1974). Age at death: 81
Walter Piston (1894-1976). Age at death: 82
Carl Ruggles (1876-1971). Age at death: 95
Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921). Age at death: 86
Heinrich Schütz (1585-1672). Age at death: 87
Jean Sibelius (1865-1957). Age at death: 91
Richard Strauss (1864-1949). Age at death: 85
Igor Stravinsky (1882-1971). Age at death: 88
Georg Philipp Telemann (1681-1767). Age at death: 86
Edgar Varese (1883-1965). Age at death: 81
Giuseppe Verdi (1813-1901). Age at death: 88
Ralph Vaughan Williams (1872-1958). Age at death: 85
More by this Author
Addicted to multi-tasking? Here's the ultimate for musicians, and it predates mobile phones by centuries! I've been fascinated by one man bands since I was a kid. I recently re-watched the Pixar short animation...
Mozart, posthumous portrait by Barbara Krafft, 1819. Classical music is well-known for its prodigies. Everybody knows that Mozart was composing music before he could wipe his own nose. Chopin had achieved notoriety by...
Strictly speaking, it would be presumptuous to say these are the "best" brass quintets; however, it is possible to at least compile a list of good, standard repertoire for the genre. This is a list of standard...