Canadian folksinger Ferron (Debby Foisy) is a pioneer in women's music who has been compared to Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen.
Playwright and composer William Finn, best known for his Tony Award-winning musical The Falsettos, speaks with understanding about confronting life in all its complexity with sadness and joy, dilemmas and hope intermingled.
Ari Gold, the award-winning recording artist, is unusual for his openness in an industry that has not exactly welcomed openly gay performers.
Composer Ricky Ian Gordon, often seen as an heir to the musical legacy of Stephen Sondheim, has been praised for the lyrical quality of his music and for bridging the worlds of theater and art song.
One of the few successful female solo artists during the era of the "girl groups," singer Lesley Gore is also a successful songwriter; in 2003, she came out publicly and hosted an episode of In the Life.
American composer Charles Tomlinson Griffes created works recognized for their refined construction, subtle gestures depicting texts and moods, rhythmic sensitivity, and a marked melodic gift.
Rob Halford--dubbed "The Metal God" by fans and critics--is one of the most talented vocalists in heavy metal music and one of the few out artists in the genre.
Around George Frideric Handel, one of the towering figures of Western classical music, was constructed the first biographical closet, of many to come, for a major composer in the West.
One of America's most original and articulate composers, Lou Harrison is particularly well known for his use of instruments from the East and his melodic and lyrical style.
Multi-talented Sam Harris is best known as a singer and actor; since coming out publicly in 1999, he has lent his voice to the cause of glbtq rights.
German composer and conductor Hans Werner Henze was remarkable for his ability to employ a wide range of styles, from those of the avant-garde to opulent neo-Romanticism, especially in his many stage and concert works.
A proponent of the "diva musical," Broadway composer and lyricist Jerry Herman made homosexuality the undisguised subject of La Cage aux Folles but he did so just as gay culture lost its need of a diva to voice its concerns.
Hildegard of Bingen, a German Benedictine abbess, mystic, scientific and theological writer, dramatist, and composer, formed a strong emotional attachment to a young nun and wrote music that expresses physical and spiritual desire for the Virgin Mary.
The British concert pianist Stephen Hough is among the most talented and most highly acclaimed classical musicians of his generation.
Nine time Grammy Award nominee Janis Ian uses her artistry as songwriter and performer to further the cause of social justice.
Pop superstar Elton John's combination of melodic skills, dynamic charisma, and raucous performance style have make him a remarkably popular musical artist.
Composer John Kander and lyricist Fred Ebb are the musical poets of the poymorphous perverse; their works glorify the creativity inherent in sexual ambivalence and celebrate unorthodox forms of political activism.
Composer Michael John LaChiusa, identified as a heir to Stephen Sondheim's legacy in the American musical theater, creates works that demand intellectual involvement on the part of the audience.
Although apparently heterosexual, musical theater composer Jonathan Larson wrote sympathetically about a diverse community of artists, many of whom are glbtq.
Seventeenth-century composer Jean Baptiste Lully established the basic principles of French opera, but his career declined as the result of a homosexual scandal.
The poems and songs of the amazingly prolific Rod McKuen express a bittersweet, aching tenderness that has endeared him to millions of fans.
Canadian-born composer Colin McPhee not only helped preserve the musical traditions of Bali but also incorporated non-Western musical styles into his own compositions, a practice that influenced other North American composers.
One of the leading classical composers of the twentieth century, Gian Carlo Menotti not only had a distinguished career, but also achieved acclaim at a time when his uncloseted homosexuality could have been a major barrier.
Featuring an openly gay singer-songwriter and an openly lesbian accompanist and chanteuse singing songs about love in all its permutations, Stephin Merritt and the Magnetic Fields have produced some of the most critically acclaimed queer-themed popular music in recent memory.
Conductor and composer Dimitri Mitropoulos achieved great success in the world of classical music, but was yet another victim of McCarthy-era homophobia.