18 Queer Composers Who Made Music History

From Beethoven to Britten, some of the most creative minds to put notes to a staff also pushed the boundaries of sexual acceptance. The complex compositions of classical music throughout history have explored the depths of sound, and LGBT individuals often led the way.

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1. Ludwig van Beethoven
One of the most famous composers of all time, Ludwig van Beethoven as far as history can tell never had a sexual relationship with a woman but clearly pined for a number of men in his life. He seemed to yearn for his brother Casper, and after Casper’s death, he fought his sister-in-law to ultimately become the guardian of his nephew Karl, according to research published by Rictor Norton. How healthy was the relationship? To Ludwig, it seemed almost like a marriage, but the love may not always have been reciprocated, as many preserved letters show the composer angry when the younger Beethoven would bring other men home.

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