Famous German Musicians

Music has been the source of entertainment and relaxation since times immemorial. Over the course of time music has evolved and many new styles have been invented. The contribution of German musicians in this regard is invaluable. Some of the finest musicians in the world hail from the country, making Western Classical music synonymous with German Classical music. From the compositions of famous German musicians like Mozart, Bach and Beethoven, to that of more recent composers like Hans Zimmer, German music has seen immense transformation. The rich legacy of music is carried forward by the modern day musicians, who have earned a name for themselves by inventing musical genres like ‘New German Wave’ and experimenting with rock, reggae, R&B and gothic music. The country renowned for its heavy metal music festivals also has an enriching legacy of folk music including the styles like Oom-pah and Bavarian folk music. Audiences from around the world are drawn towards the works of German musicians. You will find here, a collection of biographies of some of the most famous German musicians. Continue reading to find all about out their life stories, timelines and also some interesting facts & trivia related to their lives.

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 Hans Zimmer

Hans Zimmer
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Famous As: Film score composer
Birthdate: September 12, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German

German film score composer and record producer Hans Zimmer has composed music for over 150 films so far. He developed a love for music as a child and started playing professionally when he was in his teens. He eventually ventured into films. He is the recipient of four Grammy Awards and three Classical BRIT Awards.

 2 Johann Sebastian Bach

Johann Sebastian Bach
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 31, 1685
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German
Died: July 28, 1750

Johann Sebastian Bach was an 18-th century German composer of the Baroque period. He redefined both church and secular music. He served as the court musician of Duke Johann Ernst and King Augustus III. He created more than 300 cantatas and vocal music such as Mass in B minor.

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 3 Richard Wagner

Richard Wagner
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Famous As: Composer, conductor, theatre director
Birthdate: May 22, 1813
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: February 13, 1883
German composer and conductor Richard Wagner is best remembered for his operas and music dramas. He explored the concept of Gesamtkunstwerk, which combined many forms of art, including the visual, poetic, and musical. He also established the opera house Bayreuth Festspielhaus, which hosted his works The Ring and Parsifal.

 4 Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt
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Famous As: Composer, pianist, conductor and teacher
Birthdate: October 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German, Hungarian
Died: July 31, 1886

Franz Liszt was a Hungarian composer, conductor, arranger, music teacher, and virtuoso pianist of the Romantic era. Considered one of the greatest pianists ever, Liszt's works influenced his contemporaries and successors alike. Perhaps his greatest legacy is his work as a teacher, although his rich body of work might suggest otherwise; he taught people like Karl Klindworth among other pianists.

 5 Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German, American
Six-time Grammy-nominated rock singer Jackson Browne has sold more than 18 million albums in the U.S. Best known for his hits These Days, Running on Empty, and Doctor My Eyes, he was featured on Rolling Stone’s 100 Greatest Songwriters of All Time. The MUSE founder is an avid environmentalist, too.

 6 George Frideric Handel

George Frideric Handel
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 23, 1685
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German, British
Died: April 14, 1759

George Frideric Handel was a Baroque composer renowned for his oratorios, operas, anthems, and organ concertos. A great composer, Handel's works had a strong influence on popular Classical-era composers like Beethoven and Mozart. George Frideric Handel's life and work have also inspired several films, such as the 1942 British biographical film The Great Mr. Handel.

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 7 Rob Thomas

Rob Thomas
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Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: February 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German, American
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 8 Zedd

Zedd
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Famous As: Record Producer
Birthdate: September 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German, Russian

Zedd is a Russian-German songwriter, record producer, and DJ. He is best known for his 2012 single, Clarity, which earned him a Grammy Award in 2014 after peaking at number eight on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Although he mainly performs and produces electro house music, Zedd also draws inspiration from dubstep, progressive house, and classical music.

 9 Ramin Djawadi

Ramin Djawadi
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Famous As: Composer, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: July 19, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: German

 10 Ernest II

Ernest II
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Famous As: Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Birthdate: June 21, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: August 22, 1893
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 11 Till Lindemann

Till Lindemann
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Famous As: Singer, Actor, Poet, Swimmer, Writer, Carpenter, Songwriter
Birthdate: January 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German

 12 Schoolboy Q

Schoolboy Q
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Famous As: Hip-hop Artist
Birthdate: October 26, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German
German-American rapper Quincy Hanley, AKA Schoolboy Q, soared to fame with the west coast group Black Hippy, which he formed with artists such as Kendrick Lamar. His surname, Hanley, was made up by his mother, as his parents divorced before his birth. He grew up playing American football in school.

 13 Johannes Brahms

Johannes Brahms
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Famous As: Composer and pianist
Birthdate: May 7, 1833
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German
Died: April 3, 1897
German composer, conductor, and pianist Johannes Brahms is considered as one of the "Three Bs" of music, the other two being Bach and Beethoven. He was known for his perfectionism. Some of his best-known works are Saint Anthony Variations and A German Requiem. His work mingled traditional and modern elements.

 14 Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 3, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: November 4, 1847

 15 André Previn

André Previn
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German, American
German-American pianist and composer André Previn was a prominent figure in jazz and classical music. He composed tracks for MGM and won four Grammys and four Academy Awards. He was the music director of the Houston Symphony Orchestra and the main conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra, among others.

 16 Kim Petras

Kim Petras
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Famous As: Singer, Model
Birthdate: August 27, 1992
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German

 17 Robert Schumann

Robert Schumann
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Famous As: Composer, Aesthete and Music Critic
Birthdate: June 8, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: July 29, 1856
Robert Schumann was a German pianist, music critic, and composer. An influential musician of the Romantic era, Schumann is considered one of the greatest composers of the era. Schumann was initially focused on becoming the finest pianist in Europe. However, a hand injury brought an end to his dream, forcing him to focus on composing.

 18 Flula Borg

Flula Borg
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German

Flula Borg is a German actor, comedian, musician, DJ, and YouTube personality. Despite being a German, Borg has managed to establish himself in the American film and TV industry; he has appeared in films like Pitch Perfect 2 and Bad Therapy. Popular on social media, Flula Borg was named in The Hollywood Reporter magazine's Top 25 Digital Stars list in 2015.

 19 Richard Georg Strauss

Richard Georg Strauss
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 11, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: September 8, 1949

Richard Georg Strauss was a German conductor, composer, violinist, and pianist. Renowned for his pioneering subtleties of orchestration, Strauss is generally regarded as a modernist, although he was initially considered a conservative, backwards-looking composer. Over the years, his music has influenced other prominent composers like Béla Viktor János Bartók, Karol Maciej Szymanowski, Edward Elgar, and Benjamin Britten.

 20 Nena

Nena
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Famous As: Singer, Musician, Actor, Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German

 21 Lena Meyer-Landrut

Lena Meyer-Landrut
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Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 23, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German

Lena Meyer-Landrut is a German singer-songwriter who rose to fame after participating in the Eurovision Song Contest 2010. Her debut album peaked at No.1 in Germany and was accredited Platinum. She has since released many hit albums and singles. Besides singing, she has also served as a coach on five seasons of the reality TV series The Voice Kids.  

 22 Zaytoven

Zaytoven
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Famous As: Record producer
Birthdate: January 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German, American

 23 Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno
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Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 11, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: August 6, 1969

One of the most prominent intellectuals of the 20th century, Theodor Adorno was a pioneer of the Frankfurt School of Critical Theory and despised the culture industry. Born to a singer mother, the German sociologist grew up amid music and could even play Beethoven on the piano by 12.

 24 Michael Schenker

Michael Schenker
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Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: January 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German

 25 William Herschel

William Herschel
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Famous As: Astronomer, Composer
Birthdate: November 15, 1738
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German, British
Died: August 21, 1822

William Herschel was a German-born British astronomer and composer. He pioneered the use of astronomical spectrophotometry and discovered infrared radiation. Impressed by his work, King George III appointed him the Court Astronomer. Herschel often collaborated with his sister, Caroline Lucretia Herschel, a fellow astronomer. In 1816, he was made a Knight of the Royal Guelphic Order. 

 26 Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Rainer Werner Fassbinder
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Famous As: Film maker
Birthdate: May 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German
Died: June 10, 1982

 27 Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel
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Famous As: Composer, Organist and Teacher
Birthdate: September 1, 1653
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: March 9, 1706

Johann Pachelbel was a German composer, teacher, and organist who is credited with helping the south German organ schools achieve their peak. His contributions to the progression of the fugue and chorale prelude have established him as one of the most prominent composers of the middle Baroque era. During his lifetime, his music became a model for several German composers.

 28 Lou Bega

Lou Bega
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Famous As: Singer, Composer
Birthdate: April 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: German

 29 Jürgen Prochnow

Jürgen Prochnow
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German, American

 30 Klaus Meine

Klaus Meine
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Famous As: Singer, Composer, Songwriter, Guitarist
Birthdate: May 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German

 31 Clara Wieck Schumann

Clara Wieck Schumann
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Famous As: Musician & Composer
Birthdate: September 13, 1819
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: May 20, 1896

Clara Wieck Schumann was a German pianist, teacher, and composer. One of the most famous pianists of the Romantic era, Schumann changed the way concerts were conducted during her time and made a long-lasting impression as a pianist. She also influenced other pianists through her teaching; among her students were famous English pianist, Mathilde Verne.

 32 Clara Schumann

Clara Schumann
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Famous As: Pianist, Composer, Music educator
Birthdate: September 13, 1819
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German
Died: May 20, 1896

 33 Nina Hagen

Nina Hagen
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Famous As: Actor, Singer
Birthdate: March 11, 1955
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German

 34 Karlheinz Stockhausen

Karlheinz Stockhausen
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: German
Died: December 5, 2007

Karlheinz Stockhausen was a German composer widely regarded as one of the 20th century's most prominent and controversial composers. Remembered for his pioneering work in electronic music, Stockhausen received several distinctions and prizes throughout his career. His compositions remain widely influential on jazz, popular music, and composers. 

 35 Frank Farian

Frank Farian
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Famous As: Record producer
Birthdate: July 18, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: German

 36 Rudolf Schenker

Rudolf Schenker
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Famous As: Composer, Entrepreneur, Guitarist, Writer
Birthdate: August 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German

 37 Thomas Anders

Thomas Anders
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Famous As: Composer, Singer, Actor, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: March 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German

 38 Haddaway

Haddaway
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Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: January 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German, Trinidadian

 39 Dieter Bohlen

Dieter Bohlen
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Famous As: songwriter, guitarist, autobiographer, singer, record producer
Birthdate: February 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German

 40 David Garrett

David Garrett
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Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: September 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: German

 41 Jennifer Rush

Jennifer Rush
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Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: German, American

 42 Klaus Nomi

Klaus Nomi
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Famous As: Vocalizer
Birthdate: January 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: August 6, 1983

 43 Carl Orff

Carl Orff
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: German
Died: March 29, 1982

German composer Carl Orff is remembered for his work in operas and his innovative music education system, which relied on group exercises and playing percussion instruments. A man who had started training in music at 5, Orff later co-founded the Günther School to impart lessons in dance, music, and gymnastics.

 44 Ari Up

Ari Up
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: German, British
Died: October 20, 2010

 45 Angela Gossow

Angela Gossow
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Famous As: Singer, Journalist, Writer, Songwriter
Birthdate: November 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German

 46 Kurt Weill

Kurt Weill
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 2, 1900
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: German
Died: April 3, 1950

Kurt Weill was a German composer best remembered for his collaboration with Bertolt Brecht. An influential composer, Weill's music has been recorded by several performers like Frank Sinatra and David Bowie. Singers like Marianne Faithfull and Anne Sofie von Otter have recorded several albums of his music. His music continues to be performed in classical as well as popular contexts.

 47 John Kay

John Kay
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Famous As: Inventor
Birthdate: April 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Canadian, German

 48 Jacques Offenbach

Jacques Offenbach
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Famous As: Composer, Cellist, Conductor, Impresario
Birthdate: June 20, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: German, French
Died: October 5, 1880

 49 Christian Lorenz

Christian Lorenz
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 16, 1966
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: German

 50 Armin Mueller-Stahl

Armin Mueller-Stahl
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: December 17, 1930
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: German