READ List of Famous Organists

Reference
43.3k views 576 items

List of famous organists, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top organists in the world? This includes the most prominent organists, living and dead, both in America and abroad. This list of notable organists is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic organists were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned organists.

This list features people like David Bowie and Elton John.

From reputable, prominent, and well known organists to the lesser known organists of today, these are some of the best professionals in the organist field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous organists ever?" and "What are the names of famous organists?" then you're in the right place. 

Elton John is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Organists
Sir Elton Hercules John CBE is an English singer, songwriter, composer, pianist, record producer, and occasional actor. He has worked with lyricist Bernie Taupin as his songwriter partner since ...more

David Bowie is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Organists
David Bowie is an English singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, record producer, arranger, and actor. He is also a painter and collector of fine art. Bowie has been a major figure in the ...more

Freddie Mercury is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Organists
Freddie Mercury was a British singer, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona ...more

Stevie Wonder is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Organists
Stevland Hardaway Morris, known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American musician, singer, songwriter, record producer, and multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, he has become one of ...more

Johann Sebastian Bach is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Organists
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 ...more

Billy Joel is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Organists
William Martin "Billy" Joel is an American pianist, singer-songwriter, and composer. Since releasing his first hit song, "Piano Man", in 1973, Joel has become the sixth ...more

George Harrison is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Organists
George Harrison, MBE was an English musician, multi-instrumentalist, singer and songwriter and music and film producer who achieved international fame as the lead guitarist of the Beatles. ...more

James Brown is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Organists
James Brown is a film score composer.

Brian Wilson is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Organists
Brian Douglas Wilson is an American musician, singer, songwriter, and record producer best known for being the multi-tasking leader and co-founder of the rock band the Beach Boys.

Robert Smith is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Organists
Robert James Smith is an English musician. He is the lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and principal songwriter of the rock band The Cure, and its only constant member since its formation in ...more

Count Basie is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Organists
William James "Count" Basie was an American jazz pianist, organist, bandleader, and composer. His mother taught him to play the piano and he started performing in his teens. Dropping ...more

Gregg Allman is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Organists
Gregory LeNoir "Gregg" Allman is an American rock and blues singer-songwriter, keyboardist, guitarist and a founding member, with his brother Duane, of The Allman Brothers Band. In the ...more

Antonín Dvořák is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Organists
Antonín Leopold Dvořák was a Czech composer. Following the nationalist example of Bedřich Smetana, Dvořák frequently employed aspects, specifically rhythms, of the folk ...more

James Taylor is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Organists
James Vernon Taylor is an American singer-songwriter and guitarist. A five-time Grammy Award winner, Taylor was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2000. Taylor achieved his ...more

Greg Graffin is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Organists
Gregory Walter Graffin is an American punk rock singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, college lecturer, and author. He is most recognized as the lead vocalist, songwriter, and only constant ...more

Lionel Hampton is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Organists
Lionel Leo Hampton was an American jazz vibraphonist, pianist, percussionist, bandleader and actor. Hampton worked with jazz musicians from Louis Armstrong, Benny Goodman, and Buddy Rich to ...more

Barbara Harbach is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Organists
Barbara Harbach is a composer, harpsichordist, organist and teacher. Since 2004, she has been Professor of Music at the University of Missouri-St. Louis. She founded Women in the Arts-St. Louis ...more

Isaac Hayes is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Organists
Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. was an American singer-songwriter, actor, and producer. Hayes was one of the creative forces behind the southern soul music label Stax Records, where he served both as an ...more

Anton LaVey is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Organists
Anton Szandor LaVey was an American author, occultist, and musician. He was the founder of the Church of Satan as well as the author of The Satanic Bible and the founder of LaVeyan Satanism, a ...more

Sun Ra is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Organists
Sun Ra was an American jazz composer, bandleader, piano and synthesizer player, poet and philosopher known for his "cosmic philosophy," prolific musical output, and performances. He ...more

Edward Elgar is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Organists
Sir Edward William Elgar, 1st Baronet, OM, GCVO was an English composer, many of whose works have entered the British and international classical concert repertoire. Among his best-known ...more

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Organists
Giovanni Battista Draghi, best known as Pergolesi or Giovanni Battista Pergolesi, was an Italian composer, violinist and organist.

Camille Saint-Saëns is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Organists
Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works include Introduction and Rondo Capriccioso, the Second Piano ...more

Gabriel Fauré is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Organists
Gabriel Urbain Fauré was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation, and his musical style influenced many ...more

Hugh Paddick is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Organists
Hugh William Paddick was an English actor, whose most notable role was in the 1960s BBC radio show Round the Horne, in sketches such as "Charles and Fiona" and "Julian and ...more

Anton Bruckner is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Organists
Anton Bruckner was an Austrian composer known for his symphonies, masses, and motets. The first are considered emblematic of the final stage of Austro-German Romanticism because of their rich ...more

Jon Lord is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Organists
John Douglas "Jon" Lord was an English composer, pianist, and Hammond organ player known for his pioneering work in fusing rock with classical or baroque forms, especially with Deep ...more

Daniel Pinkham is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Organists
Daniel Rogers Pinkham, Jr. was an American composer, organist, and harpsichordist.

Rick Wakeman is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Organists
Richard Christopher "Rick" Wakeman is an English keyboard player and songwriter best known for being the former keyboardist in the progressive rock band Yes. He is also known for his ...more

Richard Wright is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Organists
Richard William "Rick" Wright was an English musician, composer, singer and songwriter, best known for his career with Pink Floyd. A multi-instrumentalist, Wright's richly textured ...more

Sly Stone is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Organists
Sly Stone is an American musician, songwriter, and record producer, most famous for his role as frontman for Sly and the Family Stone, a band which played a critical role in the development of ...more

Keith Jarrett is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Organists
Keith Jarrett is an American pianist and composer who performs both jazz and classical music. Jarrett started his career with Art Blakey, moving on to play with Charles Lloyd and Miles Davis. ...more

Tom Constanten is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Organists
Tom Constanten is an American keyboardist, best known for playing with Grateful Dead from 1968 to 1970.

Johann Pachelbel is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Organists
Johann Pachelbel was a German composer, organist and teacher who brought the south German organ tradition to its peak. He composed a large body of sacred and secular music, and his contributions ...more

Guy E. Fletcher is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Organists
Guy Edward Fletcher is an English multi-instrumentalist, best known for his position as the keyboardist in the rock band Dire Straits from 1984 until the group's dissolution, and his involvement ...more

Virgil Fox is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Organists
Virgil Keel Fox was an American organist, known especially for his flamboyant "Heavy Organ" concerts of the music of Bach. These events appealed to audiences in the 1970s who were more ...more

Alice Coltrane is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Organists
Alice Coltrane, née McLeod was an American jazz pianist, organist, harpist, and composer, and the second wife of jazz saxophonist and composer John Coltrane. One of the few harpists in ...more

Brent Mydland is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Organists
Brent Mydland was an American keyboardist and vocalist, best known as the fourth keyboardist to play with the American rock band the Grateful Dead. He was with the band for eleven years, longer ...more

Mike Mills is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Organists
Michael Edward "Mike" Mills is an American multi-instrumentalist and composer who was a founding member of the alternative rock band R.E.M. Though known primarily as a bass guitarist, ...more

John Bull is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Organists
John Bull was an English composer, musician and organ builder. He was a renowned keyboard performer of the virginalist school and most of his compositions were written for this medium.

Todd Wilson is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Organists
Todd Wilson is an American organist. He is head of the organ department at Cleveland Institute of Music, house organist at Stan Hywet Hall and Gardens in Akron and organ curator of the Cleveland ...more

Melvin Rhyne is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Organists
Melvin Rhyne Indianapolis, Indiana, was a jazz organist best known for his work with Wes Montgomery.

Peter Hurford is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Organists
Peter Hurford OBE is a British organist and composer. Educated at Blundell's School, he later studied both music and law at Jesus College, Cambridge, graduating with dual degrees, subsequently ...more

Gustav Leonhardt is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Organists
Gustav Leonhardt was a renowned Dutch keyboard player, conductor, musicologist, teacher and editor. He was a leading figure in the movement to perform music on period instruments. He ...more

Bradley Joseph is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Organists
Bradley Joseph is an American composer, arranger, and producer of contemporary instrumental music. His compositions include works for orchestra, quartet, and solo piano, while his musical style ...more

Gabriel Pierné is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Organists
Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné was a French composer, conductor, and organist.

Karl Richter is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Organists
Karl Richter was a German conductor, choirmaster, organist, and harpsichordist. He was born in Plauen and studied first in Dresden, where he was a member of the Dresdner Kreuzchor and later in ...more

Planet P Project is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Organists
Planet P Project is a pseudonym used by American rock musician Tony Carey for his science-fiction themed, progressive rock/space rock music. Carey has released six albums under the Planet P ...more

Dr. John is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Organists
Malcolm John Rebennack, better known by his stage name Dr. John, is an American singer and songwriter. His music combines blues, pop, jazz, boogie woogie and rock and roll. Active as a session ...more

Chester Thompson is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Organists
Chester Cortez Thompson is an American drummer and session musician.