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Home: Bipolar Information: Famous: Music

Famous Musicians & Composers with Bipolar Disorders

The following list is drawn from Kay Jamison's Touched With Fire; Manic-Depressive Ilness and the Artistic Temperament

In Appendix B: Writers, Artists, and Composers with Probable Cyclothymia, Major Depression, or Manic-Depressive Illness.

"This is meant to be an illustrative rather than a comprehensive list; for systematic studies, see text. Most of the writers, composers, and artists are American, British, European, Irish, or Russian; all are deceased . . . Many if not most of these writers, artists, and composers had other major problems as well, such as medical illnesses, alcoholism or drug addiction, or exceptionally difficult life circumstances. They are listed here as having suffered from a mood disorder because their mood symptoms predated their other conditions, because the nature and course of their mood and behavior symptoms were consistent with a diagnosis of an independently existing affective illness, and/or because their family histories of depression, manic-depressive illness, and suicide--coupled with their own symptoms--were sufficiently strong to warrant their inclusion."

KEY:
    H = Asylum or psychiatric hospital
    S = Suicide
    SA = Suicide attempt

Composers

  • Anton Arensky
  • Hector Berlioz (SA)
  • Anton Bruckner (H)
  • Jeremiah Clarke (S)
  • John Dowland
  • Edward Elgar
  • Carlo Gesualdo
  • Mikhail Glinka
  • George Frederic Handel
  • Gustav Holst
  • Charles Ives
  • Otto Klemperer (H)
  • Orlando de Lassus
  • Gustav Mahler
  • Modest Mussorgsky
  • Sergey Rachmaninoff
  • Giocchino Rossini
  • Robert Schumann (H, SA)
  • Alexander Scriagbin
  • Peter Tchaikovsky
  • Peter Warlock (S)
  • Hugo Wolf (H, SA)
  • Bernd Alois Zimmerman (S)

Nonclassical composers and musicians

Modified August 6, 2004

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