I'd be remiss (I think) if I didn't include Jay Greenberg on this list of Consonant Classical Challenge. Greenberg, born in 1991 was hailed a musical genius, and a modern-day Mozart. Before hitting his teens, he had written some astonishingly mature works, including his Symphony No. 5.
Greenberg's style is certainly tonal, but not
slavishly so. If you're attracted to the Romantic Era composers who
favor emotion over structure, than Greenberg's music should also appeal.
Here's an excerpt from his "Four Scenes for String Orchestra."
Jay Greenberg is beginning to age out of his
wunderkind status, and it will be interesting to see how he matures as a
composer (Mozart also had to make that transition). Right now, not much
of Greenberg's music is getting programmed. After sampling the excerpts
above, you might wonder why. There's nothing there that should shock a
modern concert-going audience -- even one with a half-century or more
age advantage over the composer.
Recommended Recording: (right now, there's only one available)
Jay Greenberg: Symphony No. 5; Quintet for Strings [Hybrid SACD]