Famous Austrian Composers

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Find out more about the greatest Austrian Composers, including Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Gustav Mahler, Arnold Schoenberg and Parov Stelar.
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 1 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(One of the Greatest Composers in the History of Western Music)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
8
Birthdate: January 27, 1756
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: December 5, 1791

A child prodigy, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is regarded as one of the greatest classical composers ever. A prolific composer, he had a profound influence on Western music. Many of his works are considered pinnacles of choral, symphonic, operatic, chamber, and concertante music. Before his death, at the age of 35, he had composed over 600 works.

 2 
Franz Peter Schubert
(Austrian Composer and One of the Greatest Piano Virtuosos of the Late Classical and Early Romantic Era)
Franz Peter Schubert
6
Birthdate: January 31, 1797
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Himmelpfortgrund, Vienna, Austria
Died: November 19, 1828

Austrian composer Franz Peter Schubert was one of the most prominent figures of the Viennese Classical and Romantic periods. He initially performed at the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde. His compositions include over 600 vocal works and several symphonies, operas, and piano sonatas. One of his most-talked-about works is the Unfinished Symphony.

 3 
Joseph Haydn
(Composer of the Classical Period Known As 'Father of the Symphony' & 'Father of the String Quartet')
Joseph Haydn
10
Birthdate: March 31, 1732
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Rohrau, Austria
Died: May 31, 1809

Joseph Haydn was an Austrian composer who played a key role in the progression of chamber music during the Classical period. He is often referred to as the Father of the String Quartet and Father of the Symphony for his contributions to musical form. Joseph Haydn is also credited with mentoring and tutoring Mozart and Beethoven, respectively.

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 4 
Gustav Mahler
(One of the Most Frequently Performed and Recorded of All Composers)
Gustav Mahler
6
Birthdate: July 7, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Czeh Republic
Died: May 18, 1911

Austro-Bohemian Romantic composer and conductor Gustav Mahler symbolized the transition of 19th-century Austro-German music to early-20th-century modernism. His music was banned during the Nazi era but was rediscovered later. Famous for his Eighth Symphony, he had also been the director of the Hofoper (Vienna Court Opera).

 5 
Arnold Schoenberg
(One of the Most Influential Composers of the 20th Century)
Arnold Schoenberg
7
Birthdate: September 13, 1874
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria
Died: July 13, 1951
Austrian-born composer Arnold Schoenberg was part of the German Expressionist Movement and led the Second Viennese School. Being Jewish, he was banned by the Nazis and later became an American citizen. Known for his twelve-tone technique, he coined the term developing variation and formed motifs without a centralized melodic idea.
 6 
Johann Strauss II
(Austrian Composer of Light Music)
Johann Strauss II
4
Birthdate: October 25, 1825
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Neubau, Vienna, Austria
Died: June 3, 1899

Johann Strauss II, also known as The Waltz King, was initially pushed by his composer father Johann Strauss I to become a banker, while he learned the violin secretly and conducted a restaurant band. Best remembered for his iconic composition The Blue Danube, he redefined the 19th-century waltzes and operettas.

 7 
Gyorgy Ligeti
(One of the Most Important Avant-Garde Composers of the 20th Century)
Gyorgy Ligeti
4
Birthdate: May 28, 1923
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Târnăveni, Romania
Died: June 11, 2006

Being a descendant of violinist Leopold Auer, Hungarian-Austrian composer Gyorgy Ligeti was no stranger to music in childhood. He lost his entire family, except his mother, to the Holocaust, but that didn’t prevent him from studying music later. He rose to be a legend of avant-garde music.

 8 
Alban Berg
(One of the Most Important Composers of the 20th Century)
Alban Berg
3
Birthdate: February 9, 1885
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 24, 1935
Nineteenth-century Austrian composer Alban Berg hadn’t had any formal training in music when he began composing. Owing to his poor financial condition, Arnold Schoenberg taught him music for free. He is best remembered for his twelve-tone technique. He tragically died of blood poisoning caused by an insect bite.
 9 
Anton Webern
(Austrian Composer Best Known for Extending the '12-Tone Technique' Method of Musical Composition)
Anton Webern
3
Birthdate: December 3, 1883
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 15, 1945

Anton Webern was an Austrian composer and conductor. He was a core member in the circle of the Second Viennese School and an exponent of atonality and twelve-tone technique. He focused on lyricism, nuance, and sensitivity in the performance of music and was considered radical for his era. He received posthumous attention in the latter half of the 20th century. 

 10 
Anton Bruckner
(Austrian Composer and Organist Best Known for His Symphonies: 'Masses', 'Te Deum' and 'Motets')
Anton Bruckner
5
Birthdate: September 4, 1824
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Ansfelden, Austria
Died: October 11, 1896

Austrian composer Anton Bruckner was born to a schoolmaster father who was also an organist. Bruckner learned to play the violin by 4. In spite of being a musical legend, he often criticized his own work and re-worked on his pieces, leading to many versions of the same piece.

 11 
Alma Mahler
(Austrian Composer & Socialite)
Alma Mahler
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1879
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 11, 1964

Alma Mahler, remembered as the wife of composer Gustav Mahler and the daughter of landscape painter Emil Schindler, initially studied art but later acquired skills as a pianist. However, Mahler discouraged her from composing after marriage. She later had other affairs and married architect Walter Gropius and author Franz Werfel.

 12 
Max Steiner
(Conductor, Composer, Musician, Screenwriter, Film score composer)
Max Steiner
3
Birthdate: May 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: December 28, 1971
 13 
Joe Zawinul
(Austrian Jazz and Electric Keyboardist & Co-Founder of 'Weather Report' and 'The Zawinul Syndicate')
Joe Zawinul
3
Birthdate: July 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 11, 2007

Pathbreaking Austrian jazz musician Joe Zawinul co-founded the jazz fusion bands Weather Report and The Zawinul Syndicate. He was also a pioneering contributor to world music. Starting his training in music with the accordion, he later popularized the synthesizer and the electric piano. He lost his battle with cancer at age 75.

 14 
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart
(Pianist, Composer, Conductor, and the Youngest Son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart)
Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart
3
Birthdate: July 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 29, 1844

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was the youngest son of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Constanze. He followed in the footsteps of his father and went on to become a pianist, composer, conductor, and teacher. However, unlike his father, Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart was introverted and often underrated his talent. He also had a constant fear of being compared to his father.

 15 
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
(Composer, Conductor)
Erich Wolfgang Korngold
3
Birthdate: May 29, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brünn, Moravia, Austria
Died: November 29, 1957
 16 
Carl Czerny
(Austrian Pianist and Composer Known for His Pedagogical Works for the Piano)
Carl Czerny
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1791
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 15, 1857

Carl Czerny was an Austrian composer, pianist, and teacher of Czech origin.  Born into a musical family, he started playing the piano as a toddler and began composing at the age of seven. He was prolific in his music production and composed over a thousand works, with his music spanning the late Classical and early Romantic eras.  

 17 
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
(Composer and virtuoso pianist)
Johann Nepomuk Hummel
3
Birthdate: November 14, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia
Died: October 17, 1837
 18 
Franz Lehár
(Austro-Hungarian Composer Known for His Operettas)
Franz Lehár
3
Birthdate: April 30, 1870
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Komárom, Hungary
Died: October 24, 1948

Hungarian composer Franz Lehár is best remembered for his operettas and became a worldwide sensation with The Merry Widow, which was later filmed, too. His distinctive style of Viennese operetta consisted of satire and Parisian dances. Though he had a Jewish-turned-Catholic wife, Hitler loved his music.

 19 
Frederick Loewe
(Composer)
Frederick Loewe
2
Birthdate: June 10, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: February 14, 1988
 20 
Alfred Brendel
(Pianist, Composer)
Alfred Brendel
3
Birthdate: January 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Loučná nad Desnou
 21 
Hugo Wolf
(Austrian Composer Known for His Art Songs)
Hugo Wolf
2
Birthdate: March 13, 1860
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Slovenj Gradec, Slovenia
Died: February 22, 1903

Hugo Wolf was an Austrian composer best remembered for his art songs. Although he produced extraordinary musical pieces, his work was constantly affected by depression before he suffered a mental collapse in the late-1890s. Hugo Wolf is credited with producing some of the best-known lieders, a type of German song.

 22 
Michael Haydn
(Composer of the Classical period, the younger brother of Joseph Haydn)
Michael Haydn
2
Birthdate: September 14, 1737
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rohrau, Austria
Died: August 10, 1806
 23 
Max Brod
(Former prolific writer best remembered as the friend and biographer of writer Franz Kafka)
Max Brod
2
Birthdate: May 27, 1884
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Prague, Czech Republic
Died: December 20, 1968

Max Brod was a Czech German-speaking Jewish author, composer, and journalist. He studied law at the German Charles-Ferdinand University and proceeded to pursue a career as a journalist and composer. He worked as an editor and literary adviser for the Israeli national theatre for three decades. He was a close friend and biographer of writer Franz Kafka. 

 24 
Udo Jürgens
(One of the Best-Selling Austrian Composers and Winner of Eurovision Song Contest 1966 )
Udo Jürgens
2
Birthdate: September 30, 1934
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Klagenfurt, Austria
Died: December 21, 2014

Udo Jürgens first gained international acclaim after winning the 1966 Eurovision contest. While the Austrian singer began his career playing at clubs and on radio, he later revolutionized the German pop scene with songs such as Mit 66 Jahren. Buenos Días, Argentina remains one of his best-known songs.

 25 
Johann Joseph Fux
2
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: Langegg bei Graz, Austria
Died: February 13, 1741
 26 
Franz von Suppé
(Austrian Composer of Light Operas)
Franz von Suppé
2
Birthdate: April 18, 1819
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Split, Croatia
Died: May 21, 1895

Austrian composer Franz von Suppé was a major figure of the 19th-century light music in both Austria and Germany. He mostly performed at Viennese theaters such as Theater an der Wien. Some of his best-known works are Leichte Kavallerie, or Light Cavalry, and Dichter und Bauer, or Poet and Peasant.

 27 
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
(One of the Best Violin Composers of the 17th Century)
Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
2
Birthdate: August 12, 1644
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stráž pod Ralskem, Czechia
Died: May 3, 1704

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber was a Bohemian-Austrian violinist and composer. He is widely regarded as one of the best violin composers of the 17th century. Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber wrote operas, music for chamber ensemble, and sacred music. Today, his compositions are widely performed and recorded.

 28 
Peter Wolf
(Composer)
Peter Wolf
2
Birthdate: August 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
 29 
Franz Xaver Gruber
2
Birthdate: November 25, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hochburg-Ach, Austria
Died: June 7, 1863
 30 
Hanns Eisler
(Composer)
Hanns Eisler
2
Birthdate: July 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: September 6, 1962
 31 
Friedrich Gulda
(Austrian Composer and Pianist)
Friedrich Gulda
2
Birthdate: May 16, 1930
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: January 27, 2000
 32 
Alexander von Zemlinsky
2
Birthdate: October 14, 1871
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 15, 1942
 33 
Artur Schnabel
(Composer and pedagogue known for his intellectual seriousness as a musician)
Artur Schnabel
2
Birthdate: April 17, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lipnik, Poland
Died: August 15, 1951
 34 
Franz Xaver Süssmayr
2
Birthdate: July 22, 1766
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Schwanenstadt, Oberösterreich, Austria
Died: September 17, 1803
 35 
Anton Karas
(Musician)
Anton Karas
2
Birthdate: July 7, 1906
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 10, 1985
 36 
Léon Minkus
(Former composer of ballet music, a violin virtuoso and teacher)
Léon Minkus
2
Birthdate: March 23, 1826
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 7, 1917
 37 
Ernest Gold
(Composer)
Ernest Gold
2
Birthdate: July 13, 1921
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: March 17, 1999
 38 
Josef Strauss
(Composer)
Josef Strauss
2
Birthdate: August 20, 1827
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 22, 1870
 39 
Hermann Nitsch
2
Birthdate: August 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Hailed for his contribution to the experimental and multimedia modes, Hermann Nitsch is known to interpret life as a passion and the process of painting, its incarnation. Beginning his career as a graphic designer, he later combined Expressionism with religious arts and began working on the idea of the Orgien Mysterien Theater, eventually establishing himself as an internationally acclaimed artist.

 40 
Thomas Daniel Schlee
2
Birthdate: October 26, 1957
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna
 41 
Ernst Krenek
(Composer)
Ernst Krenek
2
Birthdate: August 23, 1900
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: December 22, 1991
 42 
Franz Schmidt
(Composer)
Franz Schmidt
2
Birthdate: December 22, 1874
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia
Died: February 11, 1939

Austrian composer Franz Schmidt was first trained in the piano by his mother. He later began his music career as a cellist at the Vienna Court Opera Orchestra. Best remembered for his oratorio The Book with Seven Seals, he taught and later became the director and then the rector at the Vienna Conservatory.

 43 
Therese Malfatti
(Musician best known as one of the possible dedicatees of Beethoven's famous bagatelle, Für Elise, WoO 59)
Therese Malfatti
2
Birthdate: January 1, 1792
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: April 27, 1851
 44 
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf
(Composer, Violinist)
Carl Ditters von Dittersdorf
2
Birthdate: November 2, 1739
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: October 24, 1799
 45 
Anton Diabelli
(Music Publisher)
Anton Diabelli
1
Birthdate: September 5, 1781
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Mattsee, Austria
Died: April 7, 1858
 46 
Eduard Strauss
(Composer)
Eduard Strauss
1
Birthdate: February 14, 1835
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Austria
Died: December 28, 1916
 47 
Franz Schreker
(Composer)
Franz Schreker
1
Birthdate: March 23, 1878
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Monaco
Died: March 21, 1934
Oswald von Wolkenstein
1
Birthdate: 1377 AD
Birthplace: Pfalzen, Italy
Died: August 2, 1445

Known as the "one-eyed singer" because of his dropping right eye caused due to an injury, Oswald von Wolkenstein was one of the last troubadours. Known for his autobiographical lyrics, he was named Knight of the Holy Sepulchre. He had also been a diplomat and military commander to Emperor Sigismund.

 49 
Georg Friedrich Haas
1
Birthdate: August 16, 1953
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Graz, Austria
Maria Theresia von Paradis
2
Birthdate: May 15, 1759
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 1, 1824