Posts belonging to Category Lefty Composers

Lefty Composers

Here are some lefty composers:

  • Carl Philipp Emanuel (CPE) Bach
  • Ludwig Van Beethoven
  • John Cage
  • Cole Porter
  • Sergei (or Sergey) Prokofiev
  • Sergei (or Sergey)  Rachmaninoff
  • Maurice Ravel
  • Robert Schumann

Cole (Albert) Porter (1891-1964) is an American composer and songwriter. Unlike most successful Broadway composers, he wrote both the lyrics and the music for his songs. His musicals include Fifty Million Frenchmen, Anything Goes and Can-Can. His numerous hit songs include “Night and Day,” “I Get a Kick out of You” and “I’ve Got You Under my skin.” He also composed scores for films from the 1930s to the 1950s.

Born to a wealthy family in Indiana, he defied the wishes of his grandfather and took up music as a profession. Classically trained, he was drawn towards musical theatre. He achieved success in the 1920s, and by the 1930s he was one of the major songwriters for the Broadway.

After a serious horseback riding accident in 1937, he continued to work despite constant pain. In 1947 he made a triumphant comeback with his most successful musical, Kiss Me, Kate.

If interested for profiles of other classical music composers, please visit Mozart and Classical Music.


Lefty Composer Maurice Ravel

Famous Left-hander Birthday, March 7

Composer Maurice Ravel

Ravel is extremely popular with Boléro, his one-movement orchestral Schéhérazade, and his first piece, Pavane pour une infante défunte. Like Debussy, he created a music style inspired by Impressionism, especially paintings by Monet.

Ravel was one of 20th century’s original and influential composers. Beyond Boléro, some of his works are fascinating, evoking images of mood, expressive of his love of fairy tales and fantasy. He also delighted in clocks and mechanical toys. He wrote superbly for the orchestra and piano.

Read my brief biography of Ravel —  Maurice Ravel Biography

Lefty Composer Sergei Rachmaninoff

Famous Lefthander Birthday, April 1

Composer, pianist and conductor Sergey (Sergei) Rachmaninoff (Rachmaninov)

Sergei Vasilievich Rachmaninoff (1 April 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor. He is considered one of the finest pianists of his day and, as a composer, very nearly the last great representative of Russian late Romanticism in classical music. He is famous for Piano Concerto No.2 and ‘Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini.’

His early influences include Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov among other composers. He was a protege of Piotr Tchaikovsky.  The piano features prominently in Rachmaninoff’s compositional output, either as a solo instrument or as part of an ensemble and he is well-known for melody of his music.

In his later years, Rachmaninoff toured the United States extensively, and remained there from 1918 until his death.

You may want to check out — Rachmaninoff Biography


Rachmaninoff had the widest hand span ever measured on a pianist. He could span an octave and a half, that is, with 12 white keys —- and naturally, with his left hand!

Lefty Composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Famous Left-hander Birthday, March 8

Composer Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (CPE),  (Second Son of Johann Sebastian Bach)

Known as CPE Bach, and a left-handed, he was the second son of Johann Sebastian Bach by his first wife. He studied music under his father, JS Bach. CPE Bach introduced a new ‘homophonic’ style that influenced the future master composers Joseph Haydn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Ludwig van Beethoven.

CPE Bach, the best-known member of the Bach family in his time. He was born on March 8, 1714 in Weimar, the second surviving son of Johann Sebastian Bach by his first wife. Baroque composer Georg Philipp Telemann was one of his godparents. CPE was educated at Leipzig, then at the Univeristy of Frankfurt-on-Oder.

Read the full article — Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach

Lefty Birthday – Composer Alexander Dreyschock

Famous Lefthander Birthday, October 15

Composer Alexander Dreyschock

A. Dreyschock by J. Kriehuber

Alexander Dreyschock was born in Zaky in Bohemia on October 15, 1818, a Czech pianist and composer. His musical talents were first noticed at the age of 8.  At 15, he traveled to Prague to study composition and piano with Vaclav Tomasek. He was 20 when he went on his first professional tour, December 1838, in which he performed in various northern and central towns in Germany.

His subsequent tours followed in Russia (1840-42); Paris in spring 1843; London, the Netherlands, Austria and Hungary in 1846; and Denmark & Sweden in 1849. He caused a sensation with prodigious execution of thirds, sixths, and octaves, plus other tricks. When he made his Paris debut in 1843 he included a piece for the left hand alone. Dreyschock’s left-hand was renowned, and his most famous technical stunt was to play the left-hand arpeggios of Chopin’s Revoltuionary Etude in octaves.

In 1862 Dreyschock became a staff member at the newly-founded St. Petersburg Conservatory at Anton Rubinstein’s invitation. He was appointed Court Pianist to the Tsar as well as Director of the Imperial School of Music for the Operatic Stage.

Dreyschock maintained this double post for six years, but his health suffered from the Russian climate. In 1868, he moved to Italy and died in Venice on April 1, 1869, aged 51.

Photo source: Josef Kriehuber (1800-1876), Wikimedia Commons

Lefthy Birthday – Composer John Cage

Famous Lefthander Birthday, September 5

Composer John Cage

American composer John Milton Cage Jr. (September 5, 1912 – August 12, 1992) was not just a musician. He was also a poet, artist and amateur mycologist and mushroom collector. A pioneer of chance music, electronic music and non-standard use of musical instruments, he was one of the leading figures of the post-war avant-garde.

Cage is perhaps best known for his 1952 composition “4’33″”, the three movements of which are performed without a single note being played. His teachers included Arnold Schoenberg (1933-35) and Henry Cowell (1933,) both noted for for their radical innovations in music.