A few days ago a thought came into my mind: the classical music world is full of Plain Janes and Average Joes. To illustrate my point go on Youtube and watch a full orchestra perform. Try to pick out the attractive guys (or gals) in the group. You’re lucky if you’re able to find 3 hotties out of a group of around 80 musicians. For whatever reason, this is just how it is in the classical world. I then challenged myself to find good-looking well known composers of the classical world. I scoured the internet for images of well known composers and I was only able to find 4 composers that I consider attractive. Yes, only 4 out of about 500 years of music. Also, the funny thing about these 4 is that they’re all gay (well one is still debated by musicologists but I’m pretty sure he’s queer). I guess the stereotype that gay men are better looking than their straight counterparts holds true here. Here are the 4 composers that I found:
His nose might be a little big for my taste but the composer of West Side Story definitely has that rugged masculine charm. Also, many people probably don’t know that he’s gay but it’s a pretty well documented fact. Do you expect the composer of one of the best known musicals in the world to be straight? I think not.
You’re probably asking “Who’s Samuel Barber?” Just listen to this piece:
His “Adagio for Strings” is probably one of the most recognizable pieces of the 20th century. It was used in the movie Apocalypse Now and there are even dance remixes of this piece. Also, like Bernstein, Barber was gay and spent his entire life with his partner Gian Carlo Menotti whom he met at Curtis while they were students there.
Uhmm…. ok maybe time didn’t treat Schubert well in his later years but how about this portrait of him as a youth:
Dreamy eh? Poor Schubert, however, died quite young at the age of 31. Although we may never know his true sexuality, many musicologists have argued that he’s gay and this subject is still in debate up to today. Regardless of his sexuality, Schubert wrote many beautiful pieces. His most famous and recognizable work is probably his “Unfinished” Symphony. This piece has been used in numerous movies including Steven Spielberg’s Minority Report.
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
Ok… maybe if you’re into daddies then you’ll find the older Tchaikovsky attractive. I can actually picture him in leather chaps and harness and see him fitting into the Folsom Street Fair crowd…. How about this portrait of the younger Tchaikovsky:
Ahhh so regal, so handsome, so classy and sexy… All you gays who have seen the movie Black Swan more than once and bawled every time Natalie Portman danced her last role better know that Tchaikovsky is the composer of that ballet. The fact that he’s gay is not as debated by musicologists (except by some homophobic ones maybe) as there are plenty of concrete evidence from his personal letters. These letters also show that poor Tchaikovsky was very tormented over his sexuality. I wish those “It Gets Better” videos were around when he was alive…. Aside from his ballet Swan Lake, other well known pieces by Tchaikovsky include the “1812 Overture,” Nutcracker ballet, Romeo and Juliet ballet and “Pathetique” symphony. With that, I will end this post with this scene from Ken Russell’s film The Music Lovers which depicts the horror Tchaikovsky experienced being seduced by a naked woman (I think I can relate to this…).