Alas, our elite November series has come to an end. Check out parts one and two of the Classical Composers series below! And let me know in the comments if there are other artists I missed, classical or otherwise, who would merit another post...
Classical Composers, Part One
Classical Composers, Part Two
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Still one of the most popular classical musicians, Tchaikovsky was also notable for his ability to combine different musical styles into his own cohesive style. He had great international appeal in Western countries, and is considered a great influence on Russia's entry into the West in the nineteenth century. Pyotr, however, doesn't have quite the cross-cultural appeal - stick with the classic Peter. Ilyich comes from Ilya, a fantastic Russian variant of Elijah.
Giacomo Puccini (Giacomo Antonio Domenico Michele Secondo Maria Puccini)
Puccini probably wins for the most middle names of any classical composer. In a more worldly sense, he's regarded as a giant in Italian operatic history. Tosca, Madame Butterfly (below), and La bohème (later inspiring the musical Rent) are still among the most popular operas performed today. Out of all his names, Giacomo and Domenico are my favorite - Giacomo is the Italian variation of James or Jacob, and Domenico is a variation of Dominic. Both are great alternatives to their popular versions, and fit in with the current Italian trend.
Berlioz was a huge contributor to the modern orchestra, and a central figure in musical Romanticism. He's become more popular in recent years - since 2003, the bicentenary of his birth, many books, recordings and films have been released about Berlioz. The name Hector comes from Greek, meaning "holding fast", and is currently at #291 on the US charts. It's even more prominent in Spanish-speaking countries, giving it a lot of cross-cultural appeal. The name Berlioz was also featured in Disney's The Aristocats!
Georges Bizet (Alexandre César Léopold Bizet)
A French operatic composer, his compositions are also widely recognized today - Carmen has become one of the most popular operas to date. Bizet died young, but even the works during his short career have made him a favorite. Léopold might be a great alternative to the Leo family of names, while still keeping the cute nickname. And Bizet is short enough to make a nice unusual middle name. But of course, Carmen would be a fantastic homage!
Felix Mendelssohn (Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy) - Midsummer
Originally a musical prodigy, this German composer become very popular in the UK - today, he's especially known for the "Wedding March" played at most weddings. He's considered to be very faithful to the classical style and almost conservative in his compositions, which is either great or awful depending on your music tastes! I've expounded on the merits of the name Felix in the past, and I really do think Mendelssohn would make a fantastic middle name.
Johannes Brahms - Lullaby
Grouped with Bach and Beethoven as the "Three B's", Brahms composed "traditional and innovative" compositions during the nineteenth century. He inspired many later composers, and toed the line between classical perfection and personal imagination. Johannes is an elegant alternative to John, and gets to keep the cute nickname Joe or Joey. Brahms wouldn't be too out of place either, especially next to Graham, Bram or Hans.
That's it for today!