Here are some composers from history that in one way or another still influence our music now.
Johann Sebastian Bach ~ 1685 - 1750
Johann Sebastion Bach was born in Eisenach (Germany), on March 21. 1685.
Perhaps known best for his composition Brandenburg Concerti. He was often ignored by other composers of his time because of his obsession with using a technique called fuguing. An explanation of fuguing would be when you hear a single instrument or voice start a song, then another would join in, and then another. An simple example would be something like "Row, Row, Row your boat". He died in Leipzig, Germany in 1750
Ludwig van Beethoven ~ 1770 - 1827
Ludwig van Beethoven was born in Bonn, Germany on December 16, 1770. To this day he is maybe the most celebrated composers of all time. Not only in his compositions such as his famous 5th Symphony, but also the miracle that he composed many great pieces without his hearing. He was primarily a pianist, and had very little ablity to play other instruments. However, on occasion he would play the viola as well. He died in Vienna, Austria in 1827
Richard Wagner ~ 1813 - 1883
Richard Wagner was born in Leipzig, Germany on May 22, 1813. Some of his works include "Der Ring des Nibelungen / The Ring Cycle", and his opera "Der Fliegende Hollander". Inside his composition The Ring Cycle, is most likely what modern day music lovers have heard the most, and the is Die Walkure which contains the popular "Ride of the Valkyries". Wagner was often in debt, and rumored to be quite a womanizer. However this never underminded his devotion to his music. He died in Venice, in 1883.
Johannes Brahms ~ 1833 - 1897
Johannes Brahms was born in Hamburg, Germany on May 7, 1833. Some of his works include "Ein Deutsches Requiem", and "The Two Piano Concerti". Perhaps some might also remember his masterpiece "Hungarian Dance # 5" from their days in music appreciation class in school. It is still played by many musicians of today as well. Although Brahms grew up in poverty for the most part, it is a myth he played piano in a tavern at age 12. He died in Vienna, Austria in 1897.
Maurice Ravel ~ 1875 - 1937
Maurice Ravel was born in Ciboure, France on March 7, 1875 which is part of the Basque region that borders Spain. Many believe he was an atheist due to his dislike of the compostions of other composers using religeous themes.In his own works he leaned more toward mythology for his masterpieces. Probably the most enduring composition he ever composed was "Bolero". It was used in the movie "10" starring Dudley Moore, and Bo Derrick, and has been played in everything from cartoons to commercials. There is also speculation that Ravel was suffering from Alzheimer's disease when he composed Bolero, because it was repitious. This has never been proven. Ravel died from complications of a brain operation in Paris, France in 1937