The Most Famous Modern Composer: A Ranking of Prominent Musical Artists

Choose the Modern composer you think is the most famous!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Sep 26, 2023 11:19
Welcome to the ultimate showdown of musical genius! StrawPoll presents the grand ranking of the most famous modern composers who have graced our ears with their exceptional talents. We've gathered the maestros who've wowed us with their symphonies, entranced us with their operas, and moved us with their film scores. Now it's your turn to weigh in and cast your vote for the crème de la crème of the composing world. Will it be Zimmer's cinematic masterpieces, Glass's minimalist magic, or perhaps a hidden gem you can't wait to share? The stage is set, the spotlight is on, and the baton is in your hands. Vote for your favorite or suggest a missing maestro to make sure they get the recognition they deserve. Let the harmonious battle begin!

Who Is the Most Famous Modern Composer? (October 2023)

  1. 1
    John Williams is famous for his iconic film scores, including Star Wars, Jaws, and Indiana Jones. His music has become synonymous with some of the biggest blockbuster movies of all time.
    John Williams in other rankings
  2. 2
    Hans Zimmer - known for his powerful and emotionally charged soundtracks, Zimmer has composed for movies such as The Lion King, Gladiator, and The Dark Knight. He has won four Grammy Awards, two Golden Globes, and an Academy Award.
    Hans Zimmer in other rankings
  3. 3
    Philip Glass
    Pasquale Salerno · CC BY-SA 2.0
    Philip Glass is a pioneer of minimalist music, Glass has composed over 25 operas, 11 symphonies, and numerous film scores. His music is characterized by repetitive structures and a focus on rhythm and harmony.
  4. 4
    Steve Reich - another minimalist composer, Reich is known for his use of phasing and repetitive patterns. His music has been influenced by African drumming, Balinese gamelan, and jazz.
  5. 5
    Arvo Pärt is a contemporary composer from Estonia, Pärt's music is often described as ethereal and spiritual. He is known for his use of silence and slow-moving harmonies.
    Arvo Pärt in other rankings
  6. 6
    Eric Whitacre is a composer and conductor, Whitacre is known for his choral music and use of virtual choirs. His piece "Lux Aurumque" has become one of the most widely performed choral works of the 21st century.
  7. 7
    Max Richter
    Henry W. Laurisch · CC BY-SA 3.0
    Max Richter is a British composer known for his blend of classical and electronic music. His music has been used in many films and TV shows, including Arrival and The Leftovers.
    Max Richter in other rankings
  8. 8
    John Luther Adams
    Louisa Dedalus · CC BY-SA 4.0
    John Luther Adams - an American composer known for his works that draw inspiration from nature and the environment. His piece "Become Ocean" won the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Music.
  9. 9
    Olafur Arnalds
    theorb (talk) · Public domain
    Olafur Arnalds - an Icelandic composer known for his atmospheric and cinematic music. He has composed for films, TV shows, and has released several solo albums.
  10. 10
    Ludovico Einaudi - an Italian composer known for his piano music that combines classical, minimalist, and pop influences. His music has been used in many films and TV shows, including This Is England and Doctor Zhivago.
    Ludovico Einaudi in other rankings

Missing your favorite Modern composer?


Ranking factors for famous modern composer

  1. Reputation and Recognition
    What is the composer's standing within the music industry, among peers, and with audiences? Has their work received critical acclaim or awards?
  2. Influence and Impact
    How has the composer's work influenced other musicians or composers? Have they contributed significantly to the development of a particular musical genre or style?
  3. Legacy
    How enduring is the composer's body of work? Has their music continued to be played, studied, and revered years or even centuries after their death?
  4. Quantity and Quality of Work
    What is the volume and quality of work produced by the composer? Have they consistently produced work throughout their career, or is their output limited to a few standout pieces?
  5. Originality and Innovation
    Has the composer created something truly original or pushed the boundaries of existing musical styles? Have they introduced techniques or instruments that have had a lasting impact on the world of music?
  6. These are just a few of the factors that can be considered when evaluating the fame and importance of modern composers. Ultimately, the ranking will depend on individual perspective, as well as on the specific criteria and methodology used in the evaluation.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most famous modern composer. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or your favorite Modern composer is missing from the list, feel free to help us improve the ranking.


  • 198 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each Modern composer once every 24 hours. The rank of each Modern composer is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.

More information on most famous modern composer

Background Information: Who is the Most Famous Modern Composer? Music has been a fundamental part of human culture for centuries. Throughout history, countless composers have created beautiful melodies that have stood the test of time. In the modern era, there are several composers who have gained worldwide recognition for their exceptional work. One of the most famous modern composers is John Williams. He has composed some of the most iconic film scores of all time, including the Star Wars, Indiana Jones, and Harry Potter franchises. His music has become so popular that it is instantly recognizable to people of all ages and backgrounds. Another renowned modern composer is Hans Zimmer. He has a unique style that blends electronic and traditional orchestral music, creating an intense and emotional sound. Zimmer has composed for major motion pictures such as The Lion King, Inception, and The Dark Knight Trilogy. Philip Glass is also a highly respected modern composer. He is known for his minimalist style, which involves the repetition of simple patterns to create complex and intricate compositions. His work has been used in films, operas, and ballet productions. These are just a few of the most famous modern composers, but there are many others who have made significant contributions to the world of music. At StrawPoll, we invite you to share your thoughts and opinions on this topic by participating in our polls and rankings. Who do you think is the most famous modern composer? Let your voice be heard!