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Classical Music/famous classical composers


I know little about classical music, but am familiar with the names of famous composers like Bach, Mozart, Beethoven and others. There must still be composers currently creating classical music, so why are so many of the famous ones from the distant past, and there seem to be so few famous current classical composers? At least not as well known or famous as the ones I mentioned?  Thanks

Hi there, Lee,

Good question.
I'll try to answer that as faithfully and truthfully as I can. Having spent my entire life performing and studying classical music, I believe I can give you a relatively good answer.
There are many different levels here.
There are a whole range of composers today and special academies for composition. Many still enjoy worldwide success in concert halls and have their music performed. Most composers today, though, compose modern (so called atonal or Avantgarde) music. Twelve tone, which is founded on arranged scales invented by the composers themselves.
Now, this music is only popular among a chosen few. It's sort of like Bebop or Speed Metal. Not everyone likes it.
John Cage is one composer that enjoys popularity. The music is early Melodie and highly experimentAl and therefore becomes sort of elitist. Sort of like an expensive Champagne.
Philipp Glass writes so-called Minimalist Music. His music has been performed at the Met in New York and in Germany.
Carl Orff is a 20th Century composer that wrote really melodic stuff. Carmina Burana is great. I am working on that right now.
Orff died in 1982. So he is on his way to joining Mozart and Bach.
Basically, it's a question of what is established.
Rossini, Bach, Verdi, Wagner, those guys were superstars in their lifetime.
But there were people like Franz Schubert, who spent their entire lives working for no money and reaching fame first after their deaths.
Mozart was a wonder prodigy. He kept on working all his life, but he was a rebel who wrote music the aristocracy sometimes didn't.understand. They wanted Salieri's heavy music about mythology. Mozart wrote fast funny music about servants who rebelled against their masters.
So it's not a case of people not writing classical music anymore.
It's more a case of what the future world will say about the current composers.
Even painters like Van Gogh were discovered first after he died.
He sold one painting during his lifetime.
A hundred years later his famous sunflowers sold for fifty million.

Now, the fact also is that most people who write traditional Classical Music are writing for film.
John Williams, John Barry, Danny Elfman and Elliot Goldenthal are all Classically trained conductors and composers who studied with great composers like Aaron Copland. They also frequently conduct other classical music. Film music has made it into the concert halls. Critics are now taking film music seriously. There is also quite a lot of experimental film music. Listen to the music of the old Planet of the Apes films (1970's). Film music is exciting.

The fact is that our world is catching up with us.
Lots of Classical composers are finding themselves jamming in the jazzclubs in their free time. Rocksingers study voice and start working in the opera field. Musical singers go opera and opera singers go musical.

The famous rock guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen wrote a Symponic piece for electric guitarist and orchestra. The Tokyo Philharmonic. It"s on YouTube. So he is also a Classical composer. Billy Joel, Joshua Kadison, Elton John and Neil Sedaka and Freddie Mercury were and are all Classically trained musicians.

Time will tell what future listeners will like.
Competition is fierce today so most of us professional artists end up learning how to do many things.

FanFaire Magazine published my article "LET'S GO ROCK SOME OPERA" last year. It's online.
Lots of info there.

Otherwise, 43 weblinks to my work as an artist can be found under

Maybe there is some stuff there that you like.

All the best,
Charles E.J. Moulton

Classical Music

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Charles E.J. Moulton


Expertise: vocal training, piano, guitar, composition, operatic history, musical history, history of musical theatre and jazz, Swedish musical history. I am educated at the Vienna Music Academy, Vienna Conservatory Opera School, St. Sigfrid's Music Academy. I have sung over 60 operatic and musical roles and performed in over 100 stage productions. I am a teacher of music, drama, and voice, have studied classical guitar and have been a concert singer for close to 30 years (classical, oratory, rock, pop, big band, jazz) I can answer most questions in this area


STAGE EXPERIENCE (SELECTION OUT OF 100 PRODUCTIONS SINCE 1981) 2013 ALMOSINIER DER ROSENKAVALIER Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen 2012 HENRY DAVIES STREET SCENE Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen 2011 FARFARELLO DIE LIEBE ZU DEN 3 ORANGEN Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen 2010 SAM TROUBLE IN TAHITI Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen 2008 ZUNIGA CARMEN Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen 2007 MASETTO DON GIOVANNI Musiktheater im Revier, Gelsenkirchen 2004 SPRECHER DIE ZAUBERFLÖTE Junge Kammeroper Köln 2003 SCAR DER KÖNIG DER LÖWEN Hafentheater Hamburg 2002 APOSTEL JESUS CHRIST SUPERSTAR Bad Hersfelder Festspiele 2001 BIG BOPPER BUDDY – DAS MUSICAL Neue Metropol Hamburg 1997 KOUKOL/Ensemble TANZ DER VAMPIRE Raimund Theater, Wien 1997 Various Roles BROADWAY MUSICAL NIGHT On European Tour 1994 TEUFEL MONSIEUR BON-BON Edgar Allan Poe im Aera Theater SPECIAL SKILLS, SPECIAL INFORMATION TRILINGUAL EXPERIENCE: Opera, Musical, Pop, Rock, Swing, Oratory, Acting, Films, Teaching, Directing, Historical Tour guiding, Subtitle Translation, Voice-Over, Commercials, Professional Translation, Poetry readings, Songwriting, MC LANGUAGES: English, Swedish, German – Fluent / Italian, French Basic Knowledge VOCAL RANGE: Low C – High A INSTRUMENTS: Piano, Guitar HERITAGE: Artistic Family REPERTOIRE: OPERA: Verdi, Puccini, Rossini, Halevy, Bizet, Offenbach, Wagner, Mozart, Händel LIEDER: Schubert, Strauss, Bach, Beethoven, Haydn, Mendelsohn, Tosti, Nordqvist MUSICAL: Gershwin, Porter, Kern, Rodgers, Loesser, Lane, Lloyd-Webber, Menken

Musiktheater im Revier The 4-Men Trio The JR Swing Connection BVK VdO

My articles about vocal training and stage work has appeared in, among others: FANFAIRE MAGAZINE VOCAL IMAGES TIDNINGEN KULTUREN BAROMETERN WRITER'S CAFÉ

1985 – 87 Vienna Musical Academy Training 1988 – 89 St. Sigfrid’s Music Academy, Växjö, Sweden 1989 – 92 Seasonal historical tour guiding, Renaissance castle, Kalmar, Sweden 1989 – 95 Vienna Music Academy, Vocal and Stage Department 1993 – 1996 High School Diploma Studies, Long Distance Learning, Average: A – 1996 Vienna Conservatory Opera School 1999 – 2001 ICS Academy Glasgow, Child Psychology Studies (Diploma

Past/Present Clients
International Theatre Vienna, Vienna's English Theatre, Diepold Productions, Vienna Chamber Opera, Neue Metropol Theatre Hamburg, Young Opera Cologne, Opera Bonn, Opera Aachen, Musiktheater im Revier Gelsenkirchen, Vereinigte Bühnen Vienna, Aera Theatre Vienna, Lion King Theatre Hamburg, Kronoberg Theatre Sweden, Musikhalle Hamburg, St. Paul's Cathedral Recklinghausen, St. Aposteln Cologne, Vienna Modern Masters

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