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Famous Composers from Germany

List of notable or famous composers from Germany, with bios and photos, including the top composers born in Germany and even some popular composers who immigrated to Germany. If you're trying to find out the names of famous German composers then this list is the perfect resource for you. These composers are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known composer from Germany is included when available.

The list you're viewing has a variety of people, like John Denver and Nico, in it.

This historic composers from Germany list can help answer the questions "Who are some German composers of note?" and "Who are the most famous composers from Germany?" These prominent composers of Germany may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected German composers.

Use this list of renowned German composers to discover some new composers that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. (195 items)


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    Ludwig van Beethoven was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the transition between the Classical and Romantic eras in Western art music, he remains one of the most famous and influential of all composers. His best-known compositions include 9 symphonies, 5 concertos for piano, 1 violin ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 57 (1770-1827)
    • Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
    • Profession: Songwriter, Pianist, Musician, Lyricist, Composer + 1 more
    • Credits: Fantasia, Amour, Immortal Beloved, Impromptu, A Boy Named Charlie Brown + 25 more
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    Johann Sebastian Bach was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He enriched established German styles through his skill in counterpoint, harmonic and motivic organisation, and the adaptation of rhythms, forms, and textures from abroad, particularly from Italy and France. Bach's ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 65 (1685-1750)
    • Birthplace: Eisenach, Germany
    • Profession: Musician, Harpsichordist, Composer, Cantor, Organist + 3 more
    • Credits: Cries and Whispers, Autumn Sonata, Amour, The Sacrifice, Battle In Heaven + 30 more
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    Henry John Deutschendorf, Jr., known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, actor, activist and humanitarian, whose greatest commercial success was as a solo singer, starting in the 1970s. He was one of the most popular acoustic artists of the decade and one of its ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 54 (1943-1997)
    • Birthplace: Roswell, New Mexico, United States of America
    • Profession: Pilot, Record producer, Poet, Guitarist, Songwriter + 8 more
    • Credits: Oh, God!, Mickey's Christmas Carol, John Denver and the Muppets: A Christmas Together, Take Me Home: The John Denver Story + 17 more
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    George Frideric Handel was a German-born, British Baroque composer who spent the bulk of his career in London, becoming well known for his operas, oratorios, anthems and organ concertos. Born in a family indifferent to music, Handel received critical training in Halle, Hamburg and Italy before settling ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 74 (1685-1759)
    • Birthplace: Halle, Germany
    • Profession: Composer
    • Credits: The Madness of King George, Autumn Sonata, 84 Charing Cross Road, The Testament of Orpheus, Operation Concrete + 3 more
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    Johannes Brahms was a German composer and pianist. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent much of his professional life in Vienna, Austria. In his lifetime, Brahms's popularity and influence were considerable. He is sometimes grouped with Johann Sebastian Bach and Ludwig van Beethoven as ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 64 (1833-1897)
    • Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
    • Profession: Pianist, Composer
    • Credits: Melinda and Melinda, Land Without Bread, Goodbye Again, Song of Love, The Lovers + 10 more
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    Franz Liszt is a film score composer. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 75 (1811-1886)
    • Birthplace: Raiding, Austria, Austria
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Priest, Pianist, Composer, Virtuoso
    • Credits: The Cat Concerto, Impromptu, One Hundred Men and a Girl, Lisztomania, Rhapsody + 8 more
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    Nico was a German singer-songwriter, lyricist, composer, musician, fashion model, and actress who became famous as a Warhol Superstar in the 1960s. She is known for her vocals on the Velvet Underground's debut album, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and her work as a solo artist. She also had roles in ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 50 (1938-1988)
    • Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Musician, Singer-songwriter, Model, Lyricist + 2 more
    • Credits: La Dolce Vita, Chelsea Girls, Salvador Dalí, Imitation of Christ, I + 4 more
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    Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his lieder, especially his Four Last Songs; and his tone poems Death and Transfiguration, Till Eulenspiegel's Merry Pranks, Also sprach ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 85 (1864-1949)
    • Birthplace: Munich, Germany
    • Profession: Conductor, Book editor, Composer
    • Credits: 2001: A Space Odyssey, 2010, Catch-22, Abraham's Valley, Richard Strauss: Arabella
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    Robert Schumann was a German composer and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the Romantic era. Schumann left the study of law, intending to pursue a career as a virtuoso pianist. He had been assured by his teacher Friedrich Wieck that he could become the ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 46 (1810-1856)
    • Birthplace: Zwickau, Germany
    • Profession: Pianist, Music critic, Composer
    • Credits: The Brontë Sisters, Made in U.S.A., Song of Love, Ludwig, The Door + 7 more
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    Richard Wagner is a film score composer. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 70 (1813-1883)
    • Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
    • Profession: Conductor, Theatre Director, Music critic, Author, Composer + 1 more
    • Credits: Excalibur, Nosferatu the Vampyre, Melancholia, Triumph of the Will, An Andalusian Dog + 24 more
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    Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early Romantic period. A grandson of the philosopher Moses Mendelssohn, Felix Mendelssohn was born into a prominent Jewish family. Although initially he was ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 38 (1809-1847)
    • Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
    • Profession: Conductor, Pianist, Composer, Violist
    • Credits: Breaking Away, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Barbie in the 12 Dancing Princesses, The Visitors II: The Corridors of Time, The Story of Sin + 2 more
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    Hans Florian Zimmer is a German film composer and music producer. He has composed music for over 150 films, including film scores for The Lion King, The Thin Red Line, Gladiator, The Last Samurai, Pirates of the Caribbean and the The Dark Knight Trilogy. Zimmer spent the early part of his career in the ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 58
    • Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Music Producer, Composer
    • Credits: The Dark Knight, The Dark Knight Rises, The Lion King, Batman Begins, Gladiator + 133 more
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    André George Previn, KBE is a German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world and is the winner of four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 86
    • Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
    • Profession: Conductor, Film Score Composer, Arranger, Pianist, Musician + 2 more
    • Credits: My Fair Lady, Rollerball, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bad Day at Black Rock, Paint Your Wagon + 50 more
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    Clara Schumann was a German musician and composer, considered one of the most distinguished pianists of the Romantic era. She exerted her influence over a 61-year concert career, changing the format and repertoire of the piano recital and the tastes of the listening public. Her husband was the composer ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 77 (1819-1896)
    • Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
    • Profession: Pianist, Composer
    • Credits: The Europeans, Clara, Dancing Soul
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    Jacques Offenbach was a German-born French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He is remembered for his nearly 100 operettas of the 1850s–1870s and his uncompleted opera The Tales of Hoffmann. He was a powerful influence on later composers of the operetta genre, particularly Johann ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 61 (1819-1880)
    • Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
    • Profession: Impresario, Composer, Cellist
    • Credits: The Hotel New Hampshire, Prêt-à-Porter, The Tales of Hoffmann, Mr. & Mrs. Bridge, Ludwig + 4 more
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    Tom Tykwer is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. He is best known internationally for directing the thrillers Run Lola Run, Heaven, and Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, the action thriller The International, and, with The Wachowskis, the science fiction film Cloud Atlas. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: age 50
    • Birthplace: Wuppertal, Germany
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician, Film Producer + 3 more
    • Credits: Cloud Atlas, Run Lola Run, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, Heaven, Friday Afternoon + 22 more
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    Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach was a German Classical period musician and composer, the fifth child and second son of Johann Sebastian Bach and Maria Barbara Bach. His second name was given in honor of his godfather Georg Philipp Telemann, a friend of Johann Sebastian Bach. C. P. E. Bach was an influential ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 74 (1714-1788)
    • Birthplace: Weimar, Germany
    • Profession: Pianist, Composer
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    Hans Werner Henze was a German composer. His prolific oeuvre of works is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, Italian music, Arabic music and jazz, as well as traditional schools of German composition. In particular, his stage works reflect "his ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 86 (1926-2012)
    • Birthplace: Gütersloh, Germany
    • Profession: Film Score Composer, Composer
    • Credits: The Lost Honour of Katharina Blum, Swann in Love, Muriel, Young Törless, L'Amour à mort + 3 more
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    Georg Philipp Telemann was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught in music, he became a composer against his family's wishes. After studying in Magdeburg, Zellerfeld, and Hildesheim, Telemann entered the University of Leipzig to study law, but eventually ... more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 86 (1681-1767)
    • Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany
    • Profession: Oboist, Composer
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    Johann Nepomuk Hummel was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era. more on Wikipedia
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    • Age: Died at 59 (1778-1837)
    • Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia
    • Profession: Pianist, Composer
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