It’s a horribly awkward title, I know.
This is a list I’ve been thinking about for a while, and I dare to answer the question: Which composers had the best beard/mustache? I would like to preempt this discussion with the fact that I have never had facial hair.
5. John Philip Sousa
Possibly the fullest beard you will ever see in your life. Sousa seems to have had more hair on his chin than on his head. Later in life he was to have a plain mustache, which was also pretty good looking. It looked a little more military. The downright frightening beard pictured here does nothing to reflect the lightness and jollity of his music. As a little plug here: Sousa was an absolute master of the march form, he wrote a shit-ton of them (and I believe that is an actually measurable quantity. One shit-ton equals 136 marches) and all of them are perfect.
4. Giuseppe Verdi
First off, he’s doing the Napoleon with his hand there. That’s a win. Second of all, the big ass coat (which he must have gotten from that thrift shop down the road) is incredibly dope. Thirdly, that’s one intense beard. It matches his “I really don’t give many fucks” personality. If this picture doesn’t make Verdi look fly, I don’t know what will. Maybe some of his operas will do the trick.
3. Edward Elgar
It kills me to have Elgar at three, because his mustache literally is the embodiment of everything that makes Britain bad ass. Everything about it just screams, at the time this picture was taken, we own pretty much all of the world and we are the best country in the world. Of course then these small countries started rebelling (Gandhi for the win!) and then America sort of beings to take over the whole world power thing, ect. Oh yeah, mustaches. But I mean really. Need I say more here? No, I don’t.
2. Johannes Brahms
The original insane composer beard. Of course in his early life, Johannes was clean shaven, but this is more of the image we associate with him. I read somewhere that he would sometimes just go around the park and hand out candy to little kids. Now of course if someone with that sort of beard did that, we’d call them a pedophile. Back in the day they called them one of the greatest composers ever. But seriously though, that’s one insane beard!
1. Alexander Scriabin
First off, Scriabin might have one of the coolest sounding last names ever. Just say it. Isn’t it great? The dude was freaking insane. In case you didn’t know, he, near the end of his life was planning out a piece, no an experience, where there would be music, smells, lights, and this would take place in some mountain temple, and at the end, the apocalypse would come. What? His other music was pretty far out, which is interesting because he started off writing little Chopin-esque piano works…Regardless, that mustache. Holy Jesus. Look at it! There is nothing in the world that screams dapper-ass mother-fucker, than that mustache. And that is why he is numbero uno.
On the other hand there have been some pretty great composers with some bad looking facial hair.
Mahler just looks bad. Maybe it’s because we’re used to seeing him without it. I actually have a friend who is related to Mahler, and he has a similar beard. No joke. You can’t make that shit up. I’ll give Gustav a break. He was young, and when we’re young, we’re prone to make some bad decisions. Unlike most young people who make bad decisions about their facial hair, Mahler went on to write some pretty incredible music.
I’d never seen this picture of Bruckner before. His inner creep who liked to propose marriage to women at least ten years younger than him really comes out in this picture. If this guy was to give you candy nowadays, he’d also be a pedophile. Of course he, like Mahler would go on to write some pretty incredible music, although he was to keep the mustache for a bit longer. Maybe the reason Hitler liked him was because of his mustache. Good news though, Bruckner didn’t hate the Jews. YAY!!