LGBTQ Classical Music Composers

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LGBTQ Classical Music Composers

LGBTQ classical music composers have spanned the generations. They include the early Baroque composers of Europe (such as Jean-Baptiste Lully), impressionist classicists (such as Maurice Ravel), mid-nineteen century modernists (such as Leonard Bernstein, Aaron Copland, and Baron Benjamin Britten), and contemporary composers (such as Stephen Hough, Jennifer Higdon, and Gareth Farr).

This group of LGBTQ composers has also been active in composing works for many artistic forms. These include ballet, opera, piano, string instruments, and full orchestral movements. Many have had their work generously recognized with awards, such as Pulitzer Prizes, Grammy Awards, and significant national honours.

Interestingly, a great number of the historical LGBTQ music composers were isolated because their musical styles were innovative for their time. Often, their compositions did not display the repetitive form of their contemporaries and were more idiosyncratic in style. Reviewers and the public were often not embracing of this style, though this changed significantly with time. The classical music world is regarded as one that, historically, is inherently averse to innovation and novelty. One can make a case that this avant-garde musical style was an outward representation of the inherent personality and background of the LGBTQ composer.

Contemporary LGBTQ classical composers do not necessarily face the same restrictive professional climate. Much of the contemporary classical music genre is inherently idiosyncratic in its nature.

A new market niche has recently arisen for classical recording compilations targetted specifically to the high-spending LGBTQ community - selections such as 'Sensual Classics' and 'Gay Romantic Classics'.

We have identified a large number of LGBTQ classical music composers hailing from Germany, Great Britain, Canada, Italy, Poland, Spain, Australia, Greece, Russia, the United States, France, and New Zealand.





Great Britain



New Zealand




United States

See Also

Further Reading/Research

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