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.
14
Famous As: Film score composer
Birthdate: September 12, 1957
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

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

Hans Zimmer.
12
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 31, 1685
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Eisenach, Germany
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

Hans Zimmer.
4
Famous As: Composer, conductor, theatre director
Birthdate: May 22, 1813
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leipzig
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 Jackson Browne

Hans Zimmer.
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: October 9, 1948
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Heidelberg, Germany
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.

 5 J. Cole

Hans Zimmer.
13
Famous As: Rapper, Record Producer, Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: January 28, 1985
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

German born American rapper, singer, songwriter, and record producer J. Cole is considered one of the most respected and influential rappers of his generation. Interested in music from a young age, he decided to become a singer when he was just 12. His debut mixtape was a hit, and he went on to release many other successful mixtapes and albums.

 6 George Frideric Handel

Hans Zimmer.
6
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 23, 1685
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle, Germany
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 Franz Liszt

Hans Zimmer.
6
Famous As: Composer, pianist, conductor and teacher
Birthdate: October 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Raiding, Hungary
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.

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 8 Johannes Brahms

Hans Zimmer.
4
Famous As: Composer, pianist
Birthdate: May 7, 1833
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
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.
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 9 Robert Schumann

Hans Zimmer.
4
Famous As: Composer, Pianist & Music Critic
Birthdate: June 8, 1810
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Zwickau, Germany
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.

 10 Wolfgang Dziony

Hans Zimmer
5
Famous As: Drummer
Birthdate: August 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Elze, Germany
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 11 Felix Mendelssohn

Hans Zimmer
5
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 3, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 4, 1847

 12 Hildegard of Bingen

Hans Zimmer.
5
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 16, 1098
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Bermersheim vor der Höhe, Germany
Died: September 17, 1179

Hildegard of Bingen was a German writer, composer, Christian mystic, visionary, philosopher, polymath, and Benedictine abbess of the High Middle Ages. Apart from being the most-recorded composers of sacred monophony in modern history, Hildegard of Bingen is also widely regarded as the founder of scientific natural history.

 13 Zedd

Hans Zimmer.
8
Famous As: Record Producer
Birthdate: September 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saratov

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.

 14 Richard Georg Strauss

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 11, 1864
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
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.

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 15 Schoolboy Q

Hans Zimmer.
4
Famous As: Hip-hop Artist
Birthdate: October 26, 1986
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Wiesbaden
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.

 16 Ramin Djawadi

Hans Zimmer
6
Famous As: Composer, Record producer, Film score composer
Birthdate: July 19, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Duisburg
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 17 Till Lindemann

Hans Zimmer
6
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: January 4, 1963
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany

German singer-songwriter and poet Till Lindemann is best-recognised as the lead vocalist and lyricist of the German heavy-metal band Rammstein and for the musical project Lindemann that he fronted. Roadrunner Records listed him among "50 Greatest Metal Frontmen of All Time". He has also published two books of poetry, In stillen Nächten and Messer, and featured in minor roles in movies.

 18 André Previn

Hans Zimmer.
5
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: April 6, 1929
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Berlin
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.
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 19 Kim Petras

Hans Zimmer
5
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: August 27, 1992
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany

Kim Petras is a German singer-songwriter currently based in USA. She was assigned male at birth and underwent medical gender transition as a teenager. Interested in music from a young age, she began recording music as a teenager. Her debut single topped several viral music charts on Spotify. Since then, she has released many hit albums and singles. 

 20 Karlheinz Stockhausen

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mödrath
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. 

 21 Nena

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: March 24, 1960
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hagen, Germany

German singer/songwriter Gabriele Susanne Kerner, better known as Nena, soared to international fame with the hit 99 Luftballons. Known for her energetic performances, Nena is also a mother of four and has co-founded the Neue Schule Hamburg school, based on the American Sudbury model of education.

 22 Lena Meyer-Landrut

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Singer-songwriter
Birthdate: May 23, 1991
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover

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.  

 23 Flula Borg

Hans Zimmer.
7
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: March 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erlangen, West Germany

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.

 24 Rob Thomas

Hans Zimmer
6
Famous As: Singer-Songwriter
Birthdate: February 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Landstuhl, Germany

 25 Ernest II

Hans Zimmer
4
Famous As: Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha
Birthdate: June 21, 1818
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Coburg, Germany
Died: August 22, 1893

Ernest II, the eldest son of Duke Ernest I, had been the duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. He was quite close to his brother, Prince Albert, consort to England’s Queen Victoria. Best known for his support of the German unification, he was also a skilled composer of operas and an avid sports lover.

 26 Theodor W. Adorno

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Philosopher
Birthdate: September 11, 1903
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
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.

 27 Zaytoven

Hans Zimmer
4
Famous As: Record producer
Birthdate: January 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

 28 William Herschel

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Astronomer, Composer
Birthdate: November 15, 1738
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover
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. 

 29 Johann Pachelbel

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Composer, Organist and Teacher
Birthdate: September 1, 1653
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Nuremberg
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.

 30 Michael Schenker

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: January 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sarstedt, Lower Saxony, Germany

 31 Lou Bega

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Recording artist
Birthdate: April 13, 1975
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Lou Bega became an overnight sensation with the 1999 international chartbuster Mambo No. 5, based on Pérez Prado's 1949 original. Born in Germany, Lou was the son of a Ugandan father and a Sicilian mother. Initially inspired by rap and R&B, he deviated to mambo music after a trip to Miami.

 32 Clara Wieck Schumann

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Musician & Composer
Birthdate: September 13, 1819
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leipzig
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.

 33 Anne-Sophie Mutter

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Violinist, Music educator
Birthdate: June 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rheinfelden

 34 Frank Farian

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Record producer
Birthdate: July 18, 1941
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Kirn, Rhineland-Palatinate, Germany

German record producer Frank Farian founded iconic pop groups such as Boney M. and No Mercy. He was accused of showcasing attractive dancers as members of Milli Vanilli, while others had actually sung the songs. He has also been associated with groups such as La Bouche and Eruption.

 35 Jürgen Prochnow

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: June 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

 36 Klaus Meine

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Singer, Composer, Songwriter, Guitarist
Birthdate: May 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover

Klaus Meine is a German singer, songwriter, and instrumentalist. He is best known as the lead singer of the heavy metal band Scorpions. He wrote or co-wrote most of the songs released by the band. During the peak of his career, he temporarily lost his voice due to a medical condition but was able to make a comeback. 

 37 Julia Fischer

Hans Zimmer
2
Famous As: Classical Violinist
Birthdate: June 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich, Germany

 38 Haddaway

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Singer, Musician
Birthdate: January 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port of Spain

 39 Wilhelm Furtwängler

Hans Zimmer
2
Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: January 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: November 30, 1954

 40 Rudolf Schenker

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Guitarist
Birthdate: August 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany

 41 Carl Orff

Hans Zimmer.
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: July 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Munich
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.

 42 Thomas Anders

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Composer, Singer, Actor, Songwriter, Record producer
Birthdate: March 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Münstermaifeld

Thomas Anders is a German singer and songwriter. He gained prominence as the lead singer of the German duo Modern Talking. He developed an early love for music and began his career when he was a teenager. Despite being talented, he struggled for a few years before he could make it big in the music scene.  

 43 Dieter Bohlen

Hans Zimmer
4
Famous As: Songwriter
Birthdate: February 7, 1954
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Berne, Germany

German singer/songwriter Dieter Bohlen redefined the Eurobeat in the 1980s and is also known as the Pop-Titan. He formed the duo Modern Talking with Thomas Anders, creating international superhits such as Brother Louie. He later went solo as Blue System, releasing hits such as Gangster Love, before rejoining Modern Talking.

 44 Klaus Nomi

Hans Zimmer
5
Famous As: Vocalizer
Birthdate: January 24, 1944
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Immenstadt, Germany
Died: August 6, 1983

Klaus Nomi was a German countertenor with a wide vocal range. He wore heavy makeup, unusual costumes, and a highly stylized signature hairdo. He had an otherworldly stage persona that was unique to him. His music was also considered unusual. He suffered from AIDS and was one of the earliest musicians known to die of the illness.  

 45 Rainer Werner Fassbinder

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Film maker
Birthdate: May 31, 1945
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Bad Wörishofen, Germany
Died: June 10, 1982

 46 Jennifer Rush

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States

 47 Ari Up

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: January 17, 1962
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Munich, West Germany [now Germany]
Died: October 20, 2010

Born into a musical family, Ari Up began experimenting with punk music early in her life. At fourteen, she co-founded post-punk band, The Slits, releasing their debut album Cut in 1979 and her first full-length solo album, Dread More Dan Dead, in 2005. Known for her wild hair and odd stage outfits, she died at forty-eight after battling breast cancer.

 48 Angela Gossow

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Vocalist
Birthdate: November 5, 1974
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany

German singer Angela Gossow is best known to fans as the lead vocalist of the Swedish death metal band Arch Enemy. She is one of the few female singers who use death grunts as part of their performances. An atheist and a vegan, she is quite vocal about her opinions.

 49 David Garrett

Hans Zimmer
4
Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: September 4, 1980
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Aachen, Germany

 50 Klaus Voormann

Hans Zimmer
3
Famous As: Artist
Birthdate: April 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany