There are only a handful of composers out there who have made an impact so great that they stand head and shoulders above the rest in any genre. So without further ado, here is the list of what we believe to be the greatest classical composers of all time.

Johann Sebastian Bach

The list wouldn’t even be possible without this guy! He is famed for his varied and diverse organ, violin, harpsichord, and instrumental compositions. The most famous one is the ubiquitous Toccata and Fugue in D minor (music to start a haunted house). His work spans several genres, including both the sacred and secular. Bach lived in Germany before moving to Leipzig, where he was music director for more than a quarter of a century. On July 28th, 1750, he passed away at the age of 65 after suffering several strokes and an abdominal illness.

Ludwig van Beethoven

Beethoven is sometimes called the “Father of Modern Music.” His father taught him how to play the violin, but he switched over to piano years later and developed a passion for composition. In his early 20s, he moved to Vienna, where Prince Joseph Franz Maximilian Lobkowitz employed him. He soon befriended Johann Vesque von Püttlingen and Anton Reicha who introduced him to Antonio Salieri, the court Kapellmeister. Beethoven began working in Vienna and Paris before he suffered from a series of hearing problems by his late 20s that would plague him for the rest of his life. He composed some of his most well-known works, including the Piano Sonata No. 14, The Moonlight Sonata, and Symphony No. 3 (Eroica).

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Mozart was a child prodigy born to Leopold and Anna Maria Pertl Mozart on January 27th, 1756, in Salzburg. He moved with his family to Vienna at the age of four to give him better musical training because the city was full of performances and operas. He performed several times as a young child, and his father took him on tours throughout Europe. He was popular in Paris because of the sheer virtuosity of his violin and piano pieces. In 1781, Mozart went to Milan, where he became acquainted with Antonio Salieri and Joseph Haydn, who helped advance his musical education. He composed some of his most important works in Italy, including operas such as Marriage of Figaro and Don Giovanni.