This year, listeners around the country will cast their vote for the composer they couldn’t live without in ABC Classic’s traditional Classic 100 poll. While favourite symphonies, operas and chamber pieces have battled it out in the past, this is the first time in the classical music countdown’s history that composers themselves will jostle for a spot in the top 100. Faithful listeners will recall that Mozart has the special distinction of being the only composer to have been the subject of a countdown, back in 2006.

“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime chance to champion the composer that means the most to you,” said ABC Classic Weekend Breakfast presenter Ed Ayres, who has thrown his support behind Peter Sculthorpe. “Make sure you vote so that your composer gets the place they deserve in the countdown – after all the joy they’ve given, it’s the least you can do!”

“We’re asking for people to champion their favourite composer – and that means we’re going to be hearing about the composers close to people’s hearts,” added presenter of ABC Classic Breakfast Russell Torrance, who is championing Ravel. “Every day of the year, we hear from our listeners about the music that moves them and touches their lives, and this music is always from an astonishing array of composers. At last we’re going to find out definitively the public’s favourite composer, and none of the results in this countdown are a given.”

Listeners have until May 20 to get their votes in, with over 500 composers on the ticket representing nine centuries of musical excellence. The countdown of the top 100 will take place over the weekend beginning June 8, followed by the customary deluxe CD boxset featuring music by all 100 composers.

“Over the 18 years of the Classic 100 countdowns, 56 composers have had their music in the top 10,” said ABC Classic Content Manager Toby Chadd. “The scene is set for a fascinating and close contest this year, in the ultimate Battle of the Composers.”

The Classic 100: Composer countdown airs June 8 – 9 on ABC Classic

Vote here