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Notable Contemporary Classical Composers (1975 – present)

If you wish to be generally familiar with classical music, here is a short list of composers you should know from this period.

NameBirthDeathNationalityRepresentative Pieces
Adams, John
 ML410 .A233
1947 AmericanNixon in China (opera)
Short Ride in a Fast Machine (orchestra)
Phyrgian Gates (piano solo)
Berio, Luciano19252003ItalianSinfonia (orchestra & 8 singers)
Visage (tape)
Sequenza IV (piano)
Sequenza VIII (violin)
Chen, Yi1953 ChineseSuite for Cello and Chamber Winds (chamber ensemble)
Corigliano, John
 ML410 .C786
1938 AmericanGhosts of Versailles (opera)
The Red Violin (film score)
Symphony No. 2
Crumb, George1929 AmericanMakrokosmos (amplified piano)
Ancient Voices of Children (soprano & chamber)
A Haunted Landscape (orchestra)
Glass, Philip
 ML410 .G398
1937 AmericanEinstein on the Beach (opera)
Satyagraha (opera)
Glassworks (chamber ensemble)
Photographer (theatre piece)
Koyaanisqatsi (film score)
Higdon, Jennifer1962 AmericanViolin Concerto (violin & orchestra)
Piano Trio (violin, cello, & piano)
Larsen, Libby1950 AmericanDancing Solo (clarinet)
Chanting to Paradise (soprano & piano)
A Lover’s Journey (choral)
Ligeti, Gyorgy
 ML410 .L645
19232006Hungarian-AustrianPiano Etudes (piano solo)
Lux Aeterna (choral)
Atmospheres (orchestra)
Pärt, Arvo
 ML410 .P1755
1935 EstonianFratres (chamber ensemble)
Magnificat (a cappella choir)
Für Alina (piano)
Penderecki, Krzysztof1933 PolishThrenody for the Victims of Hiroshima (string orchestra)
Violin Concerto No. 1 (violin & orchestra)
De Natura Sonoris No. 1 & 2 (orchestra)
Reich, Steve1936 AmericanCome Out (tape piece)
Music for 18 Musicians (mixed chamber ensemble)
Pendulum Music (4 performers)
Clapping Music (2 performers)
Riley, Terry
 ML410 .R499
1935 AmericanIn C (any number of performers)
A Rainbow in Curved Air (keyboards & percussion)
Schickele, Peter1935 AmericanPDQ Bach compositions
Symphony No. 1 “Songlines”
String Quartet No. 5
A Year in the Catskills (woodwind quintet)
Schwantner, Joseph1943 AmericanAnd the Mountains Rising Nowhere (wind ensemble)
Sparrows (soprano & chamber ensemble)
Chasing Light (orchestra)
Stockhausen, Karlheinz
 ML410 .S858
19282007GermanGesang der Jünglinge (electronic & concrete music)
Klavierstücke IX (piano solo)
Kontakte (electronic sounds, piano, & percussion)
Gruppen (3 orchestras)
Tavener, John1944 BritishMahashakti (violin and orchestra)
Ikon of Light (two choirs and chamber ensemble)
Tower, Joan1938 AmericanPetroushskates (chamber ensemble)
Whitacre, Eric1970 AmericanLux Aurumque (virtual choir)
Ghost Train Triptych (wind symphony)
Paradise Lost: Shadows and Wings (musical theatre)
Xenakis, Iannis19222001GreekMetastasis (orchestra)
Pleiades (percussion)