The Best of 80s Classical Music

A look at some of the best classical music from the 1980s.


It would be hard to overstate the impact that the 1980s had on classical music. Thanks in part to a wealthy young American patron named Charles Wadsworth, who put together a ground-breaking series of concerts called “The Dawn of the Age of Ascent,” classical music in the 1980s became cool, hip, and happening.

The decade also saw the rise of such superstar performers as pianist Vladimir Horowitz, violinist Itzhak Perlman, and cellist Yo-Yo Ma. And thanks to a new breed of composer known as the “minimalists,” classical music in the 1980s was also fresh, exciting, and downright fun.

So without further ado, let’s take a look at some of the best classical music of the 1980s.

The Golden Age of Classical Music

The 1980s was a monumental decade for classical music. It saw the births of some of the most well-known and influential composers of our time. This was also a decade of incredible technical advances in recording and playback technologies, which allowed for a new level of fidelity and accessibility in classical music.

The Three Tenors

The Three Tenors are a vocal group consisting of Plácido Domingo, José Carreras, and Luciano Pavarotti who sang together for the first time at a concert in Rome on 7 July 1990, during Italia ’90. The concert was held to raise money for Pavarotti’s charity, The Pavarotti International. The recording of this concert became the best-selling classical album of all time and led to additional concerts and recordings by the trio.

The Five Browns

The Five Browns are an American classical piano ensemble consisting of five siblings—Desirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melody, and Ryan Brown. They were trained at the Juilliard School of Music and rose to prominence in the 1980s. The group has been described as “piano playing’s first family”.

The siblings were born in Houston, Texas, to Keith and Sandra Brown. Their father was an ophthalmologist and their mother a former model. The couple later divorced. The children were all home-schooled by their mother. They began piano lessons at age three; by age seven, they were performing publicly. In 1996, they made their Carnegie Hall debut performing Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue.

The Five Browns have released eight albums on the Sony Classical label. Their album ‘The Five Browns in Hollywood’ was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Classical Crossover Album in 2010.

The Legacy of Classical Music

The 80s were a time when classical music saw a resurgence in popularity. Many of the great composers of the past were rediscovered and new composers were celebrated. This was a time when classical music was truly appreciated by the masses. Let’s take a look at some of the best classical music of the 80s.

The Three Tenors

The Three Tenors were a popular operatic singing group consisting of Spanish singers Plácido Domingo and José Carreras, and Italian singer Luciano Pavarotti. The trio began their collaboration with a televised performance at the 1990 World Cup in Rome. Over the next decade, they performed several sold-out concerts around the world and became one of the most commercially successful classical music groups of all time.

Although the Three Tenors were not formally trained as opera singers, they quickly gained popularity for their powerful vocals and charming stage presence. They became known for their renditions of popular opera arias, as well as traditional Neapolitan songs and other classic Italian ballads. The group’s skills in crossing over into different genres helped to broaden the appeal of classical music to a wider audience.

The Three Tenors enjoyed immense popularity throughout their career, but their legacy has been tarnished somewhat in recent years due to allegations of sexual misconduct against Domingo. Nevertheless, their contributions to classical music are undeniable, and they continue to be beloved by fans around the world.

The Five Browns

The Five Browns are an American classical piano quintet consisting of siblings Desirae, Deondra, Gregory, Melissa, and Ryan Brown. They were trained at the Juilliard School and became the first family of five to be concurrently enrolled in the school’s history. Although they initially rose to fame playing covers of pop songs on YouTube, they have since become classical music superstars, with Desirae even appearing as a guest host on NPR’s “From the Top.”


In conclusion, the 80s was a great decade for classical music. Many new and innovative composers emerged and created works that are still popular today. If you are a fan of classical music, then you should definitely check out some of the best works from the 80s.

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