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Famous Composers from Germany

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Updated June 14, 2019 33.6k views 195 items

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 Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Sebastian Bach, in it. Featuring classical composers and more, this list has it all. 

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. 
1
Ludwig van Beethoven is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 57 (1770-1827)

Birthplace: Bonn, Germany

Ludwig van Beethoven ( (listen); German: [ˈluːtvɪç fan ˈbeːthoːfn̩] (listen); baptised 17 December 1770 – 26 March 1827) was a German composer and pianist. A crucial figure in the ...more

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2
Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 65 (1685-1750)

Birthplace: Eisenach, Germany

Johann Sebastian Bach (31 March [O.S. 21 March] 1685 – 28 July 1750) was a German composer and musician of the Baroque period. He is known for instrumental compositions such as the Art of Fugue, ...more

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Crazy Facts About Johann Sebastian Bach #11 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #61 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time

3
John Denver is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 54 (1943-1997)

Birthplace: Roswell, New Mexico, United States of America

Henry John Deutschendorf Jr. (December 31, 1943 – October 12, 1997), known professionally as John Denver, was an American singer-songwriter, record producer, actor, activist, and humanitarian, ...more

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The Best John Denver Albums of All Time #39 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #42 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time

4
George Frideric Handel ... is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 74 (1685-1759)

Birthplace: Halle, Germany

George Frideric (or Frederick) Handel (; born Georg Friederich Händel [ˈɡeːɔɐ̯k ˈfʁiːdʁɪç ˈhɛndl̩] (listen); 23 February 1685 (O.S.) [(N.S.) 5 March] – 14 April 1759) was a German, ...more

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#49 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #22 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #68 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song?

5
Johannes Brahms is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 64 (1833-1897)

Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

Johannes Brahms (German: [joˈhanəs ˈbʁaːms]; 7 May 1833 – 3 April 1897) was a German composer, pianist, and conductor of the Romantic period. Born in Hamburg into a Lutheran family, Brahms spent ...more

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#29 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #365 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #57 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time

6
Franz Liszt is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 75 (1811-1886)

Birthplace: Raiding, Austria, Austria

Franz Liszt (German: [ˈlɪst]; Hungarian: Liszt Ferencz, in modern usage Liszt Ferenc [ˈlist ˈfɛrɛnt͡s]; 22 October 1811 – 31 July 1886) was a Hungarian composer, virtuoso pianist, conductor, ...more

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#103 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #154 of 185 The All-Time Best Rock Bassists #188 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time

7
Nico is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 50 (1938-1988)

Birthplace: Cologne, Germany

Christa Päffgen (16 October 1938 – 18 July 1988), known by her stage name Nico, was a German singer, songwriter, musician, model, and actress. She had roles in several films, including ...more

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#590 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #638 of 1,043 The Best Singers of All Time #447 of 935 The Best Female Vocalists Ever

8
Richard Strauss is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 85 (1864-1949)

Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Richard Georg Strauss (German pronunciation: [ˈʁɪçaɐ̯t ˈʃtʁaʊs]; 11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for ...more

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#110 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #176 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time #18 of 362 The Best Classical Composers

9
Robert Alexander Schuman... is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 46 (1810-1856)

Birthplace: Zwickau, Germany

Robert Schumann (German: [ˈʃuːman]; 8 June 1810 – 29 July 1856) was a German composer, pianist, and influential music critic. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest composers of the ...more

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#211 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #899 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #225 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time

10
Richard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 70 (1813-1883)

Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany

Richard Wagner is a film score composer.

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#225 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #498 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #198 of 925 People We Wish Were Still Alive

11
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartho... is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 38 (1809-1847)

Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early ...more

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#244 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,364 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #48 of 152 The Greatest Musicians Who Died Before 40

12
Hans Zimmer is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Age: 61

Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Hans Florian Zimmer (German pronunciation: [ˈhans ˈfloːʁi̯aːn ˈtsɪmɐ] (listen); born 12 September 1957) is a German film score composer and record producer. Zimmer's works are notable for ...more

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#218 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,326 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #1,057 of 1,471 The Greatest Minds of All Time

13
André Previn is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Age: 89

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

André George Previn, (; born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929 – February 28, 2019) was a German-American pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor. His career was three-pronged. ...more

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#113 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #59 of 153 The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time #30 of 164 The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

14
Clara Schumann is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Clara Schumann Dec. at 77 (1819-1896)

Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany

Clara Schumann (; née Clara Josephine Wieck; 13 September 1819 – 20 May 1896) was a German musician and composer and is regarded as one of the most distinguished pianists and composers of ...more

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#92 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #408 of 525 Which Artist Would You Bring Back From The Dead To Write One More Song? #123 of 153 The Greatest Classical Pianists of All Time

15
Jacques Offenbach is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 61 (1819-1880)

Birthplace: Cologne, Germany

Jacques Offenbach (, also US: , French: [ʒak ɔfɛnbak], German: [ˈɔfn̩bax] (listen); 20 June 1819 – 5 October 1880) was a German-French composer, cellist and impresario of the romantic period. He ...more
16
Tom Tykwer is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Age: 53

Birthplace: Wuppertal, Germany

Tom Tykwer (German: [ˈtɪkvɐ]; born 23 May 1965) is a German film director, producer, screenwriter, and composer. He is best known internationally for directing the thriller films Run Lola Run ...more

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#188 of 226 The Greatest Living Directors, Ranked #343 of 778 The Greatest Directors In Movie History

17
Carl Philipp Emanuel Bac... is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 74 (1714-1788)

Birthplace: Weimar, Germany

Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach (8 March 1714 – 14 December 1788), also formerly spelled Karl Philipp Emmanuel Bach, was a German Classical period musician and composer, the fifth child and second ...more

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#242 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #53 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #36 of 64 The Most Musically Gifted Children of Musicians

18
Hans Werner Henze is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 86 (1926-2012)

Birthplace: Gütersloh, Germany

Hans Werner Henze (1 July 1926 – 27 October 2012) was a German composer. His large oeuvre of works is extremely varied in style, having been influenced by serialism, atonality, Stravinsky, ...more
19
Georg Philipp Telemann ... is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 86 (1681-1767)

Birthplace: Magdeburg, Germany

Georg Philipp Telemann (24 March [O.S. 14 March] 1681 – 25 June 1767) (German pronunciation: [ˈteːləman]) was a German Baroque composer and multi-instrumentalist. Almost completely self-taught ...more

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#334 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #1,331 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #43 of 362 The Best Classical Composers

20
Johann Nepomuk Hummel is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 59 (1778-1837)

Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia

Johann Nepomuk Hummel (14 November 1778 – 17 October 1837) was an Austrian composer and virtuoso pianist. His music reflects the transition from the Classical to the Romantic musical era.

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#1,384 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #122 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #88 of 176 The Greatest Pianists Ever

21
Christopher Franke is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Age: 65

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Christopher Franke (born 6 April 1953, Berlin) is a German musician and composer. From 1971 to 1987 he was a member of the electronic group Tangerine Dream. Initially a drummer with The ...more
22
Johann Pachelbel is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 53 (1653-1706)

Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany

Johann Pachelbel (baptised 1 September 1653 – buried 9 March 1706) was a German composer, organist, and teacher who brought the south German organ schools to their peak. He composed a large body ...more

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#320 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #844 of 2,835 The Most Influential People of All Time #54 of 362 The Best Classical Composers

23
Siegfried Wagner is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 61 (1869-1930)

Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland

Siegfried Helferich Richard Wagner (6 June 1869 – 4 August 1930) was a German composer and conductor, the son of Richard Wagner. He was an opera composer and the artistic director of the ...more
24
Adolf von Henselt is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 75 (1814-1889)

Birthplace: Schwabach, Germany

Georg Martin Adolf von Henselt (9 or 12 May 1814 – 10 October 1889) was a German composer and virtuoso pianist.

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#816 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #217 of 362 The Best Classical Composers

25
Carl Maria von Weber is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Composers from Germany
Dec. at 40 (1786-1826)

Birthplace: Eutin, Germany

Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (18 or 19 November 1786 – 5 June 1826) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, and was one of the first significant composers of the ...more

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#1,222 of 2,040 The Greatest Musical Artists of All Time #66 of 362 The Best Classical Composers #138 of 176 The Greatest Pianists Ever