The Most Famous

COMPOSERS from Ukraine

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This page contains a list of the greatest Ukrainian Composers. The pantheon dataset contains 1,451 Composers, 27 of which were born in Ukraine. This makes Ukraine the birth place of the 12th most number of Composers behind Poland, and Belgium.

Top 10

The following people are considered by Pantheon to be the top 10 most legendary Ukrainian Composers of all time. This list of famous Ukrainian Composers is sorted by HPI (Historical Popularity Index), a metric that aggregates information on a biography’s online popularity. Visit the rankings page to view the entire list of Ukrainian Composers.

Photo of Sergei Prokofiev

1. Sergei Prokofiev (1891 - 1953)

With an HPI of 75.50, Sergei Prokofiev is the most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 78 different languages on wikipedia.

Sergei Sergeyevich Prokofiev (27 April [O.S. 15 April] 1891 – 5 March 1953) was a Russian composer, pianist, and conductor who later worked in the Soviet Union. As the creator of acknowledged masterpieces across numerous music genres, he is regarded as one of the major composers of the 20th century. His works include such widely heard pieces as the March from The Love for Three Oranges, the suite Lieutenant Kijé, the ballet Romeo and Juliet—from which "Dance of the Knights" is taken—and Peter and the Wolf. Of the established forms and genres in which he worked, he created—excluding juvenilia—seven completed operas, seven symphonies, eight ballets, five piano concertos, two violin concertos, a cello concerto, a symphony-concerto for cello and orchestra, and nine completed piano sonatas. A graduate of the Saint Petersburg Conservatory, Prokofiev initially made his name as an iconoclastic composer-pianist, achieving notoriety with a series of ferociously dissonant and virtuosic works for his instrument, including his first two piano concertos. In 1915, Prokofiev made a decisive break from the standard composer-pianist category with his orchestral Scythian Suite, compiled from music originally composed for a ballet commissioned by Sergei Diaghilev of the Ballets Russes. Diaghilev commissioned three further ballets from Prokofiev—Chout, Le pas d'acier and The Prodigal Son—which, at the time of their original production, all caused a sensation among both critics and colleagues. But Prokofiev's greatest interest was opera, and he composed several works in that genre, including The Gambler and The Fiery Angel. Prokofiev's one operatic success during his lifetime was The Love for Three Oranges, composed for the Chicago Opera and performed over the following decade in Europe and Russia. After the Revolution of 1917, Prokofiev left Russia with the approval of Soviet People's Commissar Anatoly Lunacharsky, and resided in the United States, then Germany, then Paris, making his living as a composer, pianist and conductor. In 1923 he married a Spanish singer, Carolina (Lina) Codina, with whom he had two sons; they divorced in 1947. In the early 1930s, the Great Depression diminished opportunities for Prokofiev's ballets and operas to be staged in America and Western Europe. Prokofiev, who regarded himself as a composer foremost, resented the time taken by touring as a pianist, and increasingly turned to the Soviet Union for commissions of new music; in 1936, he finally returned to his homeland with his family. His greatest Soviet successes included Lieutenant Kijé, Peter and the Wolf, Romeo and Juliet, Cinderella, Alexander Nevsky, the Fifth and Sixth Symphonies, On Guard for Peace, and the Piano Sonatas Nos. 6–8. The Nazi invasion of the USSR spurred Prokofiev to compose his most ambitious work, an operatic version of Leo Tolstoy's War and Peace; he co-wrote the libretto with Mira Mendelson, his longtime companion and later second wife. In 1948, Prokofiev was attacked for producing "anti-democratic formalism". Nevertheless, he enjoyed personal and artistic support from a new generation of Russian performers, notably Sviatoslav Richter and Mstislav Rostropovich: he wrote his Ninth Piano Sonata for the former and his Symphony-Concerto for the latter.

Photo of Stefania Turkewich

2. Stefania Turkewich (1898 - 1977)

With an HPI of 71.50, Stefania Turkewich is the 2nd most famous Ukrainian Composer.  Her biography has been translated into 101 different languages.

Stefania Turkewich-Lukianovych (25 April 1898 – 8 April 1977), also spelled Turkevycz and Turkevich, was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, and musicologist. She is recognized as Ukraine's first woman composer. In the USSR , her works were banned by the state authorities.

Photo of Reinhold Glière

3. Reinhold Glière (1874 - 1956)

With an HPI of 64.74, Reinhold Glière is the 3rd most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Reinhold Moritzevich Glière (Russian: Рейнгольд Морицевич Глиэр; 11 January 1875 [O.S. 30 December 1874] – 23 June 1956), born Reinhold Ernest Glier, was a Russian and Soviet composer of German and Polish descent. He was awarded the title of People's Artist of RSFSR (1935) and People's Artist of USSR (1938).

Photo of Karol Szymanowski

4. Karol Szymanowski (1882 - 1937)

With an HPI of 63.63, Karol Szymanowski is the 4th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 38 different languages.

Karol Maciej Szymanowski (Polish pronunciation: [ˈkarɔl ˈmat͡ɕɛj ʂɨmaˈnɔfskʲi]; 3 October 1882 – 29 March 1937) was a Polish composer and pianist. He was a member of the modernist Young Poland movement that flourished in the late 19th and early 20th century. Szymanowski's early works show the influence of the late Romantic German school as well as the early works of Alexander Scriabin, as exemplified by his Étude Op. 4 No. 3 and his first two symphonies. Later, he developed an impressionistic and partially atonal style, represented by such works as the Third Symphony and his Violin Concerto No. 1. His third period was influenced by the folk music of the Polish Górale people, including the ballet Harnasie, the Fourth Symphony, and his sets of Mazurkas for piano. King Roger, composed between 1918 and 1924, remains Szymanowski's most popular opera. His other significant works include Hagith, Symphony No. 2, The Love Songs of Hafiz, and Stabat Mater. Szymanowski was awarded the highest national honors, including the Officer's Cross of the Order of Polonia Restituta, the Order of Merit of the Republic of Poland and other distinctions, both Polish and foreign.

Photo of Dmitry Bortniansky

5. Dmitry Bortniansky (1751 - 1825)

With an HPI of 62.33, Dmitry Bortniansky is the 5th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 36 different languages.

Dmitry Stepanovich Bortniansky (28 October 1751 – 10 October [O.S. 28 September] 1825) was a Russian Imperial composer of Ukrainian Cossack origin. He was also a harpsichordist and conductor who served at the court of Catherine the Great. Bortniansky was critical to the musical history of both Russia and Ukraine, with both nations claiming him as their own. Bortniansky, who has been compared to Palestrina, is known today for his liturgical works and prolific contributions to the genre of choral concertos. He was one of the "Golden Three" of his era, alongside Artemy Vedel and Maxim Berezovsky. Bortniansky was so popular in the Russian Empire that his figure was represented in 1862 in the bronze monument of the Millennium of Russia in the Novgorod Kremlin. He composed in many different musical styles, including choral compositions in French, Italian, Latin, German, and Church Slavonic.

Photo of Dimitri Tiomkin

6. Dimitri Tiomkin (1894 - 1979)

With an HPI of 61.34, Dimitri Tiomkin is the 6th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 32 different languages.

Dimitri Zinovievich Tiomkin (May 10, 1894 – November 11, 1979) was a Russian and American film composer and conductor. Classically trained in Saint Petersburg before the Bolshevik Revolution, he moved to Berlin and then New York City after the Russian Revolution. In 1929, after the stock market crash, he moved to Hollywood, where he became best known for his scores for Western films, including Duel in the Sun, Red River, High Noon, The Big Sky, Gunfight at the O.K. Corral, Rio Bravo, and Last Train from Gun Hill. Tiomkin received 22 Academy Award nominations and won four Oscars, three for Best Original Score for High Noon, The High and the Mighty, and The Old Man and the Sea, and one for Best Original Song for "The Ballad of High Noon" from the film High Noon.

Photo of Valentyn Sylvestrov

7. Valentyn Sylvestrov (b. 1937)

With an HPI of 59.93, Valentyn Sylvestrov is the 7th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 30 different languages.

Valentyn Vasylyovych Sylvestrov (Ukrainian: Валенти́н Васи́льович Сильве́стров; born 30 September 1937) is a Ukrainian composer and pianist, who plays and writes contemporary classical music.

Photo of Wojciech Kilar

8. Wojciech Kilar (1932 - 2013)

With an HPI of 58.98, Wojciech Kilar is the 8th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 31 different languages.

Wojciech Kilar (Polish: [ˈvɔjt͡ɕɛx ˈkʲilar]; 17 July 1932 – 29 December 2013) was a Polish classical and film music composer. One of his greatest successes came with his score to Francis Ford Coppola's Bram Stoker's Dracula in 1992, which received the ASCAP Award and the nomination for the Saturn Award for Best Music. In 2003, he won the César Award for Best Film Music written for The Pianist, for which he also received a BAFTA nomination.

Photo of Mykola Lysenko

9. Mykola Lysenko (1842 - 1912)

With an HPI of 58.90, Mykola Lysenko is the 9th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 35 different languages.

Mykola Vitaliiovych Lysenko (Ukrainian: Микола Віталійович Лисенко; 22 March 1842 – 6 November 1912) was a Ukrainian composer, pianist, conductor and ethnomusicologist of the late Romantic period. In his time he was the central figure of Ukrainian music, with an oeuvre that includes operas, art songs, choral works, orchestral and chamber pieces, and a wide variety of solo piano music. He is often credited with founding a national music tradition during the Ukrainian national revival, in the vein of contemporaries such as Grieg in Norway, The Five in Russia as well as Smetana and Dvořák in what is now the Czech Republic. By studying and drawing from Ukrainian folk music, promoting the use of the Ukrainian language, and separating himself from Russian culture, his compositions form what many consider the quintessential essence of Ukrainian music. This is demonstrated best in his epic opera Taras Bulba from the novella of the same name by Nikolai Gogol, in which the grandeur, complexity and Ukrainian-language libretto prevented its staging during Lysenko's lifetime. To promote and cultivate Ukrainian culture, Lysenko set works by many Ukrainian poets to music, especially Taras Shevchenko, to whom he was particularly devoted. His musical setting of a patriotic poem by Oleksandr Konysky, known as the "Prayer for Ukraine", has become Ukraine's spiritual anthem. Lysenko had a profound influence on later Ukrainian composers, including Stanyslav Lyudkevych, Alexander Koshetz, Kyrylo Stetsenko, Yakiv Stepovy, and most importantly, Mykola Leontovych. He is the namesake of the Mykola Lysenko International Music Competition and the Lysenko music school, which is now the Kyiv National I. K. Karpenko-Kary Theatre, Cinema and Television University. Despite his immense renown in Ukraine, Lysenko remains relatively unknown outside of his home country.

Photo of Igor Markevitch

10. Igor Markevitch (1912 - 1983)

With an HPI of 57.01, Igor Markevitch is the 10th most famous Ukrainian Composer.  His biography has been translated into 21 different languages.

Igor Borisovich Markevitch (Russian: Игорь Борисович Маркевич, Igor Borisovich Markevich, Ukrainian: Ігор Борисович Маркевич, Ihor Borysovych Markevych; 27 July 1912 – 7 March 1983) was a Russian Empire born composer and conductor who studied and worked in Paris and became a naturalized Italian and French citizen in 1947 and 1982 respectively. He was commissioned in 1929 for a piano concerto by impresario Serge Diaghilev of the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Markevitch settled in Italy during World War II. After the war, he moved to Switzerland. He had an international conducting career from there. He was married twice and had three sons and two daughters.


Pantheon has 33 people classified as Ukrainian composers born between 1630 and 1974. Of these 33, 5 (15.15%) of them are still alive today. The most famous living Ukrainian composers include Valentyn Sylvestrov, Yevhen Stankovych, and Igor Krutoy. The most famous deceased Ukrainian composers include Sergei Prokofiev, Stefania Turkewich, and Reinhold Glière. As of April 2024, 6 new Ukrainian composers have been added to Pantheon including Nikolay Diletsky, Semen Hulak-Artemovsky, and Yevhen Stankovych.

Living Ukrainian Composers

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Deceased Ukrainian Composers

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Newly Added Ukrainian Composers (2024)

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Overlapping Lives

Which Composers were alive at the same time? This visualization shows the lifespans of the 25 most globally memorable Composers since 1700.