Famous Austrian Musicians

Think Vienna, the music capital of the world, is all about pop, rock, blues & jazz? Not quite so. Before every musical tradition found its stage in Vienna, it used to be the sanctum sanctorum of legendary musicians like Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Schubert, Straus Sr. and Jr., Brahms and other classical musical marvels who gave the city its own musical identity. It was in the lilting land of Austria that the symphonic sounds of Mozart and Beethoven soared new scales. Modern day Vienna is torn between old and new sounds now with contemporary musical forms dominating the new-age music scene. But amid the pop, jazz and rock craze, one can still listen to the dulcet notes of violins, pianos and cellos reverberating in the hearts of every music lover. Such was the greatness of these Austrian musicians. These musical maestros have put Austria on the map over the years and delivered some best melodies the world has ever known. We have captured the timelines, life stories and interesting trivia & facts of some famous Austrian musicians in their biographies who wowed the world with their sheer musical ingenuity.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
33
Famous As: Composer
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

Franz Peter Schubert
6
Famous As: Composer
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

Joseph Haydn
6
Famous As: Composer
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

Gustav Mahler
5
Famous As: Composer, Conductor
Birthdate: July 7, 1860
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kaliště, Czechia
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).

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 5 Arnold Schoenberg

Arnold Schoenberg
7
Famous As: Composer
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 Falco

Falco
4
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: February 19, 1957
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: February 6, 1998

The man behind iconic tracks such as Der Kommisar and Rock Me Amadeus, legendary Austrian singer Johann "Hans" Hölzel, better known as Falco, was one of the best-selling singers from his country. Unfortunately, his career was short-lived, as he died in a car accident shortly before his 41st birthday.

 7 Herbert von Karajan

Herbert von Karajan
3
Famous As: He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 34 years
Birthdate: April 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: July 16, 1989

The principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for over 3 decades, Herbert von Karajan was a piano prodigy in childhood. Though a Nazi Party member, he later claimed he had not been too keen on joining the party. The three-time Grammy winner was also an avid sports lover.

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 8 Johann Strauss II

Johann Strauss II
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 9 Alban Berg

Alban Berg
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 10 Conchita Wurst

Conchita Wurst
5
Famous As: Singer, Model
Birthdate: November 6, 1988
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Gmunden

Born Thomas Neuwirth, Austrian singer, recording artist, and drag queen faced discrimination as a child because of his sexual orientation.  Around the age of nineteen, he embarked on his singing career, shortly developing the drag persona of a bearded woman called Conchita Wurst, gaining international attention when he won Eurovision Song Contest 2014 with his song Rise Like a Phoenix.

 11 Anton Webern

Anton Webern
2
Famous As: Composer, Conductor
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. 

 12 Fritz Kreisler

Fritz Kreisler
2
Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: February 2, 1875
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: January 29, 1962

Born to a doctor in Austria, Fritz Kreisler was a music prodigy. However, after being rejected by the Vienna Philharmonic, he had started studying medicine. He had also studied art and been part of the Austrian army, though he is chiefly remembered for his violin pieces such as Viennese Caprice.

 13 Andras Schiff

Andras Schiff
2
Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: December 21, 1953
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Budapest, Hungary

Born to Holocaust survivors, Hungarian-born pianist Andras Schiff began learning the piano at age 5. He is now best known for his interpretations of legends such as of Bach, Mozart, and Beethoven. His numerous awards include a Grammy. He was also knighted for his achievements.

 14 Gyorgy Ligeti

Gyorgy Ligeti
3
Famous As: Composer
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.

 15 Alfred Brendel

Alfred Brendel
2
Famous As: Pianist, Composer
Birthdate: January 5, 1931
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Loučná nad Desnou

 16 Parov Stelar

Parov Stelar
6
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 27, 1974
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Linz, Austria

Austrian electronic music artist and DJ Marcus Füreder, better known as Parov Stelar, has also created music under aliases such as Plasma and Cash Candy. His works include hit collaborations with artists such as Lady Gaga and Lana Del Ray. He also co-established the designer label Stelarbloom with his wife.

 17 Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner
5
Famous As: Composer
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.

 18 Joseph Joachim

Joseph Joachim
2
Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: June 28, 1831
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kittsee, Austria
Died: August 15, 1907

Hungarian violinist and composer Joseph Joachim was trained in Budapest and London before he became the director of the Hochschule für Ausübende Tonkunst in Berlin. He formed the Joachim Quartet and gained fame as a music teacher. He is best known for his versions of works by legends such as Beethoven.

 19 Theodore Bikel

Theodore Bikel
5
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: May 2, 1924
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 21, 2015

Legendary Austrian-American actor Theodore Bikel is best remembered for his Academy Award-nominated portrayal of Sheriff Max Muller in the film The Defiant Ones. He had also ruled the stage with plays such as Fiddler on the Roof. As a folk singer, he sang in 21 languages and also played the guitar.

 20 Maria Anna Mozart

Maria Anna Mozart
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 30, 1751
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Salzburg, Austria
Died: October 29, 1829

 21 Nikolaus Harnoncourt

Nikolaus Harnoncourt
2
Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: December 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: March 5, 2016

Nikolaus Harnoncourt began his musical career as a classical cellist and grew up to be one of the finest conductors of Austria. He ruled the music scene with the ensemble Concentus Musicus, focusing on historical performance, and later also worked with modern ensembles such as the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.

 22 Leopold Mozart

Leopold Mozart
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: November 14, 1719
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Augsburg, Germany
Died: May 28, 1787

German violinist and composer Leopold Mozart is best remembered as the father and music teacher of legendary composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. However, Leopold was often blamed for exploiting his son’s musical talent by pushing him to perform as a child. He also had a troubled relationship with his adult son.

 23 Alma Mahler

Alma Mahler
2
Famous As: Composer
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.

 24 Max Steiner

Max Steiner
2
Famous As: Conductor, Composer, Musician, Screenwriter, Film score composer
Birthdate: May 10, 1888
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Vienna
Died: December 28, 1971

 25 Joe Zawinul

Joe Zawinul
3
Famous As: Keyboardist
Birthdate: July 7, 1932
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: September 11, 2007

 26 Artur Schnabel

Artur Schnabel
2
Famous As: Composer and pedagogue known for his intellectual seriousness as a musician
Birthdate: April 17, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Lipnik, Poland
Died: August 15, 1951

 27 Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart
2
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 26, 1791
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria
Died: July 29, 1844

 28 Erich Wolfgang Korngold

Erich Wolfgang Korngold
2
Famous As: Composer, Conductor
Birthdate: May 29, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Brünn, Moravia, Austria
Died: November 29, 1957

 29 August Kubizek

August Kubizek
2
Famous As: Conductor best known for being a close friend of Adolf Hitler, when both were in their late teens
Birthdate: August 3, 1888
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Linz, Austria
Died: October 23, 1956

Austrian musical conductor August Kubizek is best-remembered for his close friendship with Adolf Hitler during their late-teens. They reunited after thirty years following which the Nazi Party hired Kubizek to write about his youth with Hitler in two short propaganda booklets called Reminiscences. Kubizek also wrote about his childhood experience with Hitler in the book The Young Hitler I Knew.

 30 Carl Czerny

Carl Czerny
2
Famous As: Composer
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.  

 31 Johann Nepomuk Hummel

Johann Nepomuk Hummel
2
Famous As: Composer and virtuoso pianist
Birthdate: November 14, 1778
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Bratislava, Slovakia
Died: October 17, 1837

 32 Franz Lehár

Franz Lehár
2
Famous As: Composer
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.

 33 Thomas Lang

Thomas Lang
2
Famous As: Drummer and founding member of the avant garde metal group stOrk
Birthdate: August 5, 1967
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

 34 Rose May Alaba

Rose May Alaba
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: May 26, 1994
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

 35 Cesár Sampson

Cesár Sampson
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: August 18, 1983
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Linz, Austria

 36 Hugo Wolf

Hugo Wolf
2
Famous As: Composer
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.

 37 Frederick Loewe

Frederick Loewe
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 10, 1901
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
Died: February 14, 1988

 38 Michael Haydn

Michael Haydn
3
Famous As: Composer of the Classical period, the younger brother of Joseph Haydn
Birthdate: September 14, 1737
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rohrau, Austria
Died: August 10, 1806

 39 Udo Jürgens

Udo Jürgens
2
Famous As: Composer
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.

 40 Lisa Wagner

Lisa Wagner
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 16, 1994
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Austria

 41 Max Brod

Max Brod
2
Famous As: Former prolific writer best remembered as the friend and biographer of writer Franz Kafka
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. 

 42 Johann Joseph Fux

Johann Joseph Fux
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1660 AD
Birthplace: Langegg bei Graz, Austria
Died: February 13, 1741

 43 Mona Wagner

Mona Wagner
2
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: June 16, 1994
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Austria

 44 DJ Otzi

DJ Otzi
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: January 7, 1971
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: St. Johann in Tirol, Austria

 45 Franz von Suppé

Franz von Suppé
2
Famous As: Former Composer, Conductor notable for his four dozen operettas
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.

 46 Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber

Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 12, 1644
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Stráž pod Ralskem, Czechia
Died: May 3, 1704

 47 Walther von der Vogelweide

Walther von der Vogelweide
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1170 AD
Birthplace: Austria
Died: 1230 AD

One of the finest German lyric poets of the Middle Ages, Walther von der Vogelweide was a regular at various royal courts. His works mostly include love songs such as Under der linden, apart from elegies and religious poems. He had also been given a small fief by Frederick II.

 48 Patrizio Buanne

Patrizio Buanne
2
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 20, 1978
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

 49 Hanns Eisler

Hanns Eisler
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 6, 1898
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
Died: September 6, 1962

 50 Peter Wolf

Peter Wolf
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 25, 1952
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Vienna, Austria