If you've read the introduction to my musical life, you will have guessed something of what will be revealed here.
In the wider “classical” sphere, not necessarily the usual greatest symphonists (say, Mozart and Beethoven), but particularly Mahler and Sibelius. Of the more strictly classical composers, I go for J.S.Bach’s organ works, and other instrumental work, but not the definitely religious and liturgical work such as masses or chorales, which don't really interest me.
For “permission” (as it were) in more recent times to go on trying with tonal music, before it became fashionably acceptable again, I bow to Karl Jenkins and, indeed, Paul McCartney — not in the latter case for his vast number of pop or rock songs (which don't impinge on this area), but for his small number of big “classical” pieces.
As for what I try to do, the work of jazz composers, especially George Gershwin and Edward “Duke;” Ellington, have especially inspired me. I would love to have the time to work at acquiring the skill to write more orchestral music using classical structures but with a jazz feel to it.
To be continued ...