Composers Inspired by Shakespeare's Works

More on Shakespeare and Composers

The British writer William Shakespeare is hailed as the greatest writer of all time. His large body of work, which includes 37 plays, has been a source of inspiration for many composers and musicians throughout the years. Here are six more acclaimed composers whose works were inspired by Shakespeare's plays.

Charles Gounod - He is especially known for his operas, particularly "Faust," and the song "Ave Maria." In Paris, he became organist at the Church of the Missions Étrangères and in 1852 became conductor at the Orphéon Choral Society.

His opera, Roméo et Juliette, was based on Shakespeare's play.

Felix Mendelssohn - He was a prolific composer of the Romantic period. He was a piano and violin virtuoso, a maestro and conductor. He was the founder of Leipzig Conservatory. His Overture to A Midsummer Night's Dream, which he wrote at the age of 17 (1826), was inspired by Shakespeare's comedy. He then composed the incidental music for the play in 1842.

Sergey Prokofiev - He was a Russian composer of the 20th century especially notable for his stage works. His ballet, Romeo and Juliet, was based on Shakespeare's play.

Gioachino Rossini - He was an Italian composer known for his comic operas. He was also a conductor and accompanist. His opera, Othello, with libretto by Francesco Maria Berio di Salsi, was based on Shakespeare's play.

Arthur Sullivan - He was a British conductor, teacher and composer whose collaborations with librettist William Schwenk Gilbert helped establish the English operetta.

He composed the incidental music to Shakespeare's play The Tempest.

Giuseppe Verdi - He was a composer of operas, a music director, librettist, senator, highly-revered musician, and a rich but charitable artist. His operas Macbeth, Otello and Falstaff were all based on Shakespeare's plays.