Famous German Musicians

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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.

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 1 
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
(One of the Greatest Composers in the History of Western Music)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
42
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 
Ludwig van Beethoven
(One of the Most Admired Composers and Pianists in the History of Western Music)
Ludwig van Beethoven
41
Birthdate: December 17, 1770
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Bonn, Germany
Died: March 26, 1827

German composer and pianist, Ludwig van Beethoven, remains one of the most admired composers in the history of Western music even two centuries after his death. Born into a musical family, he was initially tutored by his father. He found success early as a pianist and went on to become an admired composer despite suffering from hearing-impairment.

 3 
Hans Zimmer
(Film Score Composer and Music Producer Known for His Work in the Films: ‘The Lion King’ and ‘Dune’)
Hans Zimmer
24
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.

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 4 
Johann Sebastian Bach
(One of the Greatest Composers of All Time)
Johann Sebastian Bach
18
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.

 5 
Richard Wagner
(Known for His Operas and Music Dramas ‘Der Ring des Nibelungen’ and ‘Tristan und Isolde’)
Richard Wagner
9
Birthdate: May 22, 1813
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
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.
 6 
George Frideric Handel
(German-British Composer Known for His Works: ‘Water Music’ and ‘Music for the Royal Fireworks’)
George Frideric Handel
11
Birthdate: February 23, 1685
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Halle (Saale), 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 
Johannes Brahms
(One of the Romantic Period's Most Revered and Popular Composers)
Johannes Brahms
7
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.
 8 
Robert Schumann
(One of the Greatest Composer of the Romantic Era which include 'Carnaval, Symphonic Studies and Kinderszenen')
Robert Schumann
5
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.
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 9 
Felix Mendelssohn
(Best Known for His Solo Piano Composition 'Songs Without Words' and Founder of 'Leipzig Conservatory')
Felix Mendelssohn
7
Birthdate: February 3, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany
Died: November 4, 1847

Felix Mendelssohn was a German composer of the early Romantic period. He was also a skilled organist, pianist, and conductor. He composed symphonies, concertos, chamber music, and organ music. His collection of lyrical piano songs Songs Without Words is among his best-known works. He was the founder of the public university The Leipzig Conservatory. He died aged just 38. 

 10 
Hildegard of Bingen
(German Writer, Composer, Philosopher and Mystic Considered to be One of the Best-Known Composers of Sacred Monophony)
Hildegard of Bingen
7
Birthdate: 1098 AD
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.

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 11 
Richard Georg Strauss
(Considered a Leading Composer of The Late Romantic & Early Modern Eras)
Richard Georg Strauss
4
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.

 12 
Zedd
(DJ & Record Producer Best Known for His Song 'Clarity')
Zedd
8
Birthdate: September 2, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Saratov, Russia

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.

 13 
Rob Thomas
(Singer-Songwriter)
Rob Thomas
6
Birthdate: February 14, 1972
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Landstuhl, Germany
 14 
Nico
(Singer Know for Her Song 'The Velvet Underground's' debut album 'The Velvet Underground & Nico')
Nico
4
Birthdate: October 16, 1938
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: July 18, 1988

Nico was a German musician, singer, and songwriter. Her work continues to serve as an inspiration to several musicians like Björk, Morrissey, and the English rock band The Cure. In 2017, Susanna Nicchiarelli directed Nico's biographical film titled Nico, 1988. Also an actress, Nico appeared in many films, including Andy Warhol's experimental underground film Chelsea Girls.

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 15 
Till Lindemann
(Lead Vocalist and Lyricist of 'Neue Deutsche Härte' Band 'Rammstein')
Till Lindemann
6
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.

 16 
Ramin Djawadi
(Composer known for his scores for the 2008 Marvel film Iron Man and the HBO series Game of Thrones, for which he was nominated for Grammy Awards in 2009, 2018 and 2020)
Ramin Djawadi
7
Birthdate: July 19, 1974
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Duisburg, Germany
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 17 
Kim Petras
(German Pop Singer and Songwriter)
Kim Petras
6
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. 

 18 
Wolfgang Dziony
5
Birthdate: August 29, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Elze, Germany
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 19 
Karlheinz Stockhausen
(German Composer Best Known for His Compositional Series and Analytical Contributions to Music Theory)
Karlheinz Stockhausen
3
Birthdate: August 22, 1928
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Mödrath, Kerpen, Germany
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. 

 20 
Albert Schweitzer
(Physician and Founder of the “Albert Schweitzer Hospital” in Lambaréné,)
Albert Schweitzer
4
Birthdate: January 14, 1875
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Kaysersberg-Vignoble, France
Died: September 4, 1965

Albert Schweitzer was an Alsatian polymath who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1952 for his philosophical work, Reverence for Life. He is credited with founding the Albert Schweitzer Hospital, which was a direct result of his philosophical expression. Schweitzer is also credited with influencing the Organ reform movement, which began in the mid-20th-century.

 21 
Nena
(German Singer-Songwriter Best Known as the Lead Singer of the Band 'Nena')
Nena
4
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 
Bill Kaulitz
(Singer-Songwriter and Lead Singer of Pop Rock Band 'Tokio Hotel')
Bill Kaulitz
3
Birthdate: September 1, 1989
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany
German singer and LGBT icon Bill Kaulitz, also known as Billy, gained fame as the lead vocalist of the band Tokio Hotel, which has released chartbusting tracks such as Monsoon. He began his solo career with the debut I’m Not OK. A strict vegetarian, he has campaigned for PETA, too.
 23 
Lena Meyer-Landrut
(German Singer Best Known as the Winner of the 'Eurovision Song Contest 2010' for Her Song 'Satellite')
Lena Meyer-Landrut
4
Birthdate: May 3, 1991
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany

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.  

 24 
Ernest II
(Duke of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha)
Ernest II
4
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.

 25 
Johann Pachelbel
(One of the Most Influential Composers and Organists of the Middle Baroque Era)
Johann Pachelbel
4
Birthdate: 1653 AD
Birthplace: Nuremberg, Germany
Died: March 7, 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.

 26 
Anne-Sophie Mutter
(Violinist who played with the Berlin Philharmonic at the age of thirteen and who went on to become a decorated violist)
Anne-Sophie Mutter
3
Birthdate: June 29, 1963
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Rheinfelden, Germany

Anne-Sophie Mutter had started learning the piano at age 5 but later switched to the violin. A prodigy, she first played for the Berlin Philharmonic at 13 and became a Royal Academy of Music fellow at 22. She is known for wearing custom-made designer strapless gowns while playing.

 27 
Michael Schenker
(Guitarist)
Michael Schenker
3
Birthdate: January 10, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Sarstedt, Lower Saxony, Germany
 28 
Klaus Meine
(Vocalist, songwriter and instrumentalist best known as the frontman of the rock band Scorpions)
Klaus Meine
3
Birthdate: May 25, 1948
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany

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. 

 29 
Max Richter
(One of the Best-Selling German Composers and Pianists)
Max Richter
3
Birthdate: March 22, 1966
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Hamelin, Germany

German-born British composer Max Richter is known for his experiments with classical music, which he often mingles with contemporary electronica. Apart from performing at sold-out concerts at venues such as the Royal Albert Hall, he has also composed for shows such as Black Mirror and Taboo and films such as Hostiles.

 30 
William Herschel
(Astronomer Known for His Discovery of 'Uranus' and 'Infrared Radiation')
William Herschel
4
Birthdate: November 15, 1738
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hanover, Germany
Died: August 23, 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. 

 31 
Jürgen Prochnow
3
Birthdate: June 10, 1941
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
 32 
Clara Wieck Schumann
(Musician & Composer)
Clara Wieck Schumann
4
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 
Flula Borg
(German Actor, Musician and Youtuber)
Flula Borg
7
Birthdate: March 28, 1982
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Erlangen, 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.

 34 
Frank Farian
(German Singer-Songwriter and Founder of 1970s Disco-Pop Group ‘Boney M')
Frank Farian
3
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 
Julia Fischer
(German Classical Violinist and Pianist)
Julia Fischer
2
Birthdate: June 15, 1983
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Munich, Germany

One of the greatest classical violinists of the 21st century, Julia Fischer is also a skilled pianist. She first gained fame with her performances with conductor Lorin Maazel in New York. The German musician had started learning the violin at age 3 and the piano at age 4.

 36 
Rudolf Schenker
(Guitarist)
Rudolf Schenker
3
Birthdate: August 31, 1948
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Hildesheim, Germany
 37 
Thomas Anders
(Lead vocalist of the pop duo Modern Talking)
Thomas Anders
3
Birthdate: March 1, 1963
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Münstermaifeld, Germany

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.  

 38 
Zaytoven
(Record producer)
Zaytoven
4
Birthdate: January 12, 1980
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany
 39 
Jennifer Rush
3
Birthdate: September 28, 1960
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States
 40 
Carl Orff
(German Composer Known for His Cantata 'Carmina Burana')
Carl Orff
3
Birthdate: July 10, 1895
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Munich, Germany
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.

 41 
Caroline Vreeland
(Singer-songwriter)
Caroline Vreeland
3
Birthdate: October 26, 1987
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Washington, D.C, United States
Matthias Schweighofer
3
Birthdate: March 11, 1981
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Anklam, Germany

Matthias Schweighofer is a German actor, film director, voice actor, and producer. Over the course of his career, Schweighofer has received several prestigious awards like the German Television Prize, Adolf Grimme Award, and Bavarian Film Award. Matthias Schweighofer is also a fashion enthusiast; he is credited with co-founding a fashion label named German Garment along with television presenter Joko Winterscheidt.

 43 
Klaus Voormann
3
Birthdate: April 29, 1938
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Berlin, Germany
 44 
Wilhelm Furtwängler
3
Birthdate: January 25, 1886
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Schöneberg, Berlin, Germany
Died: November 30, 1954
 45 
Haddaway
(Singer, Musician)
Haddaway
3
Birthdate: January 9, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Port of Spain
 46 
Otto Klemperer
(Orchestra)
Otto Klemperer
2
Birthdate: May 14, 1885
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Wrocław, Poland
Died: July 6, 1973
 47 
Jacques Offenbach
3
Birthdate: June 20, 1819
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Cologne, Germany
Died: October 5, 1880
 48 
E. T. A. Hoffmann
3
Birthdate: January 24, 1776
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Königsberg, Germany
Died: June 25, 1822

E. T. A. Hoffmann was a German author, jurist, artist, composer, and music critic. His stories served as an inspiration and laid the foundation for The Tales of Hoffmann by Jacques Offenbach. The Nutcracker by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky is also based on Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. Hoffmann is among the most influential authors of the Romantic Movement.

 49 
John Kay
(Rock Singer, Songwriter, and Guitarist Known as the Frontman of 'Steppenwolf')
John Kay
3
Birthdate: April 12, 1944
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Sovetsk, Kaliningrad, Russia

John Kay is a German-born Canadian singer, guitarist, and songwriter. He is credited with co-forming the popular American rock band Steppenwolf for which he served as the lead vocalist. He is also credited with contributing immensely to the success of the band. In 2004, he was inducted into the Canada's Walk of Fame.

 50 
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
(Musician and Composer)
Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel
2
Birthdate: November 14, 1805
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Hamburg
Died: May 14, 1847

Fanny Mendelssohn Hensel was a German pianist and composer of the early Romantic era. Many of her works were published under her younger brother Felix Mendelssohn's name due to the social conventions about the roles of women at that time and the reservations of her family. However, she has been getting the recognition that she deserves since the 1990s.