Francis Johnson - He composed band music, marches and dances. He played many different instruments like the keyed bugle and the violin. He is considered the first major band master in the United States.
Nadia Boulanger - She is primarily known as one of the most influential musical composition teachers of the 20th century. She also brought attention to works of other composers such as Heinrich Schütz and Claudio Monteverdi by performing or recording their works. In 1937, she became the first woman to conduct a program in its entirety with London's Royal Philharmonic.
Florence Beatrice Price - She wrote symphonies, chamber music, classical music, spirituals and vocal works. She incorporated Negro spirituals in her music and as such, became an important contributor to the New Negro Arts Movement. She was the first African-American female composer whose work, Symphony in E Minor, was played by a major U.S. orchestra (Chicago Symphony Orchestra).
William Grant Still - His Afro-American Symphony was the first work by a black composer to be performed by a major American orchestra (Rochester Philharmonic). In 1936, he became the first African-American to conduct a major symphony orchestra (Los Angeles Philharmonic).
Charles Ives - He wrote symphonies, sonatas, chamber music, vocal and piano pieces, often based on American themes. He is considered the first major composer from the United States.
Elisabeth-Claude Jacquet de la Guerre - She wrote instrumental chamber music including sonatas. She wrote pieces for the keyboard including suites and vocal pieces such as operas, cantatas, songs and airs. She is known as the first French woman who published a book of harpsichord pieces and the first French woman to compose an opera.
Gian Carlo Menotti - His The Old Maid and the Thief was the first opera for radio; his Amahl and the Night Visitors was the first opera written for television and his Le dernier sauvage was the first opera by a non-Frenchman commissioned by the Paris Opera.
Fats Waller - He wrote a series of pieces for solo piano under the title "London Suite;" it is his longest composition recorded while he was in Britain. He is said to be the first musician to use the pipe organ and Hammond organ in jazz music.
Leonard Bernstein - He wrote, among others, symphonies, musicals, ballets, film scores and other stage works. In 1953, he became the first American to conduct at La Scala, Milan.