Contemporary Classical Composers - new discoveries

I’ll start with my most recent discovery…Valentin Silvestrov. I’ve been going thru some of this Ukrainian composer’s work and I have to say I’m impressed.
Highly recommend to check out the following albums a starting point…

What are some of your favorites?


Interesting question, @mahler123

Nuevo Tango itself was created by Astor Piazzolla which is mixed with jazz improvisation. I’ve mentioned Dino Saluzzi, but did not mention Daniel Binelli, who took it to the next level mixing Tango with African rhythms. Also he wrote tango symphonies and was playing-conducting those. Daniel Binelli is still alive and even well.

I've mentioned Hans Zimmer, because he indeed modern classical composer for the movie scores and so can be many more.


My tastes are more along the lines of @mahgister , but I concur with @simonmoon ,, that ultimately taste is subjective and we shouldn’t impose ours on others.

I think one of turn offs for me of the Second Viennese School (SVS) was the dogmatic approach of its adherents. They loudly argued that tonality dead, that music must inevitably evolve towards serialism, in the same manner that Communism argued that Capitalism was dead and that world economies would inevitably be Red. It isn’t the music that I necessarily dislike. Unmoored from these ideological underpinnings, I find a lot of it worth exploring


I discovered the music of the 2nd Viennese School long before I heard of any of their supposed dogma. So, I really couldn’t care less about any of their claims. 

I listen to the music based purely on whether I like it or not.

Also, the music of the 2nd Vienese School is just a small part of the classical music I listen to.

Elliott Carter is one of my favorite composers, and he never used serial techniques. Which is true of most of the music I listen to.

Conrad Winslow makes wonderful music.
He makes his own music and collaborates with many top-shelf artists around the country, often in the vein of the more avant-garde (not a lot of stuff that sounds like Mendelssohn or whatever).
A collaborative outfit he co-founded, Wild Shore, has a core of he, Andie Tanning and Katie Cox that brings in new players every year, fields a bunch of composition entries from around the world (often based on a particular idea or theme) and then arranges them for that year’s ensemble and puts on a wonderfully dynamic show of both original and interpreted pieces.


In the same vein is Haley Kallenberg.
Both Conrad and Haley are masterful piano players but Haley’s music is generally more piano-centric whereas Conrad’s is often of an ensemble.
Also brilliant.


Nice way to open the discussion. +1 Re: Silvestrov. 

And big +1 for Helene Grimaud. 

She will be touring US and Europe (although with a more traditional repertoire) 

Here is the link should anyone out there be near any of the venues. Unfortunately, I am not. 

Events from January 18 – May 24 – Hélène Grimaud ( 


@mahgister has many fine examples. 

But he’s overlooked the finest composer for piano, and the finest virtuoso performer on the piano, of the latter half of the 20th Century. 

But for now, I provide a link to what is my favorite composition of his, which is not piano.