Prominent Nationalist Composers

Bohemia, Finland, Norway, Spain and USA

By the mid-19th century, music themes shifted to folklore and folk music became a style that influenced composers. This nationalist theme can be felt in the music of Russia, eastern Europe and Scandinavian countries. Aside from "The Mighty Five," there were other composers whose works were influenced by the history, people and places of their native country. These include:


  • Bedrich Smetana - Bohemian nationalist composer, conductor and teacher who founded the Czech national school of music.


  • Jean Sibelius - Finnish composer, conductor and teacher whose 1899 work titled "Finlandia" made him a national figure.


  • Edvard Grieg - One of the greatest and most prominent Norwegian composers, teacher, conductor and founder of "Musicforeningen," a concert society in Norway.


  • Isaac Albéniz - Spanish composer and pianist, one of the first Spanish composers that gained international recognition and harbinger of the Spanish nationalist school.


  • Louis Moreau Gottschalk - He pioneered the use of Creole and Latin American songs and dance themes in his compositions.
  • Edward MacDowell - American composer, pianist and teacher who was one of the first to incorporate native materials and tunes in his works.
  • John Philip Sousa - American composer of marches, conductor, performer and bandleader. He was a music education advocate and a firm supporter for composers' rights.