From the romantic agonies of Hector Berlioz to the lonely labours of Anton Bruckner, and from the cosmopolitan triumphs of George Frideric Handel to the politically fraught career of Dmitri Shostakovich in the Soviet Union, the lives of the great composers are as varied and multifaceted as the works of creative genius they produced. Writing with verve and passion, broadcaster and writer Jeremy Nicholas presents, in chronological order, elegant, informative and often affectionate biographical profiles of 50 of the greatest composers in the history of classical music. The biographies not only describe the life, artistic development and creative output of each composer, but also set the composers and their works in a broader historical and cultural context. Furthermore, shortlists of 'must-hear' masterpieces for each composer give the reader all the information they need to begin to build a brilliant classical music collection. Taken together, the 50 profiles in The Great Composers amount to a concise history of 500 years of classical music. Accessible and entertaining, but also informative and authoritative, this is the perfect introduction to the world of classical music for the general reader.