Composer Biographies & Works

  • ClassicNet (includes works lists)
  • Allmusic (all genres, e.g., rock, jazz, classical)
  • (classical)
  • Afrocentric voices: short biographies of some of the African American singers and composers who have contributed to the world of Classical music.
  • Wikipedia (good articles for most of the major composers and songwriters)

Abbreviations used in Composer Works Lists & Thematic Catalogs 

Identification of thematic catalogues of works

At the library
The two resources below are standard titles for authoritative composer biographies. All are at the Main Library, unless otherwise indicated.

The new Grove dictionary of music and musicians / edited by Stanley Sadie ; executive editor, John Tyrrell
OPL call number: REF 780.3 NEW 2001

Baker’s biographical dictionary of musicians Nicolas Slonimsky, editor emeritus ; Laura Kuhn, Baker’s series advisory editor.
OPL call number: REF 780.922 BAKERS 2001

Biography in Context: an online database of articles and pictures from encyclopedias and magazines on more than 528,000 people from throughout history. Includes encyclopedia Contemporary Musicians.