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#531990 - 10/25/05 02:27 PM Life span of famous composers
Rockitman Offline
Full Member

Registered: 12/30/04
Posts: 284
Loc: Central Calif
I was recently reading short bios of the famous piano composers and was alarmed as to how many died very young. I decided to chart out the ages at death of the biggies and get an average. Surprisingly, the average is not that bad when you consider the average life span of humans was only 44 around the turn of the 20th century. You can expect that number to decrease as we go back in time too. Anyways, here's the list:

Bach 65
Scarlatti 72
Haydn 77
Mozart 35
Beethoven 57
Shubert 31
Mendelssohn 38
Chopin 39
Schumann 46
Liszt 75
Brahms 64
Tchaikovsky 53
Rachmaninoff 70
Debussy 56
Ravel 62
Bartok 64
Prokofiev 62
Gershwin 39

Average age at death: 55.8

What a shame the likes of Chopin, Shubert, Schumann, Mozart and Gershwin never lived long. To think of all that music that could have been.

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#531991 - 10/25/05 02:46 PM Re: Life span of famous composers
Siddhartha Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 12/08/04
Posts: 1244
Loc: Cleveland, Ohio
At least we got to hear a good body of work from them while they were here. I'm more bummed about all the great music that never came about due to great composers who were never born, because their would-be parents never actually met, due to some arbitrary circumstance. \:\(
I was born the year Glenn Gould stop playing concerts. Coincidence?

#531992 - 10/25/05 02:47 PM Re: Life span of famous composers
yellowville Offline
Full Member

Registered: 09/17/05
Posts: 246
Loc: Ithaca, NY
Throw Scriabin in there: he died at 42 of a lip boil.
That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest. - H. D. Thoreau

#531993 - 10/25/05 04:06 PM Re: Life span of famous composers
mrenaud Offline
1000 Post Club Member

Registered: 01/29/02
Posts: 1323
Loc: Switzerland
Lately, there have been some composers who got really old (or still are) so if we add them, the average age will probably be significantly higher:

Stravinsky: 89
Messiaen: 84
Ligeti: 82 (still alive)
Boulez: 80 (dito)
I have an ice cream. I cannot mail it, for it will melt.


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