12 composers who were total heart-throbs in their 20s

9 October 2020, 11:24

Brahms' Hungarian Dance No.5

From the impeccably coiffured Johannes Brahms to the perennial heartbreaker Leonard Bernstein, these composers were all heart-breakingly handsome in their 20s.

  1. Frédéric Chopin

    Aged 20, Chopin was 10 per cent musical genius and 90 per cent cheekbones. *sigh*

    Young Frédéric Chopin (1830)
    Young Frédéric Chopin (1830). Picture: Getty
  2. Leonard Bernstein

    29-year-old Lenny’s composing and conducting talents were the stuff of legend in New York. He also had lovely, swoopy hair, and was an impeccable dresser.

    Young Leonard Bernstein (1947)
    Young Leonard Bernstein (1947). Picture: Getty
  3. George Gershwin

    Young Gershwin revolutionised classical music, created a jazz standard and fully understood the power of a good smoulder.

    George Gershwin
    George Gershwin. Picture: Getty
  4. Johannes Brahms

    27-year-old Brahms, stealing Clara Schumann's heart with that knowing swagger and incredibly coiffured head of hair.

    Johannes Brahms (1860)
    Johannes Brahms (1860). Picture: Getty
  5. Clara Schumann

    21-year-old Clara Schumann was a vision, from her huge eyes to her lovely up 'do. No wonder Brahms was obsessed…

    Clara Schumann (1840)
    Clara Schumann (1840). Picture: Getty
  6. Franz Liszt

    On the cusp of 30, Liszt still had all the swagger of a confident 20-year-old. And why wouldn’t he? Look at that pout. *dies*

    Franz Liszt (1841)
    Franz Liszt (1841). Picture: Getty
  7. Edward Elgar

    Edward Elgar: the envy of every man everywhere who can’t manage to grow a moustache in his 20s.

    Edward Elgar
    Edward Elgar. Picture: Getty
  8. Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky

    More beards! Manly Pyotr sure knew how to groom himself at 27. *fans self*

    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1867)
    Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1867). Picture: Getty
  9. Felix Mendelssohn

    From that elegant jawline to those lovely big brown eyes, young Felix was all kinds of adorable.

    Felix Mendelssohn
    Felix Mendelssohn. Picture: Getty
  10. Sergei Rachmaninov

    It takes a lot to look good in sepia – but young, moody Sergei pulls it off.

    Sergei Rachmaninov (1873)
    Sergei Rachmaninov (1873). Picture: Getty
  11. Gustav Mahler

    What was going on in Mahler’s head was anyone’s guess, but just look at those lovely dark ‘brows. Here he is, aged just 24.

    Gustav Mahler (1884)
    Gustav Mahler (1884). Picture: Getty
  12. Maurice Ravel

    Ah, Maurice. He wrote some of the most magical music of the 20th century, and was ahead of the curve when it came to geek chic.

    Maurice Ravel (1895)
    Maurice Ravel (1895). Picture: Getty