Organists

Know about famous organists, such as Fats Waller, Anton Bruckner, Greg Morris, Jeremiah Clarke and Marcel Dupre. This list of famous organists includes people from United States, England, Austria, France, Germany and many more countries.

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 Franz Liszt

Franz Liszt
4
Famous As: Composer, pianist, conductor and teacher
Birthdate: October 22, 1811
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Raiding, Austria
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.

 2 Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saëns
4
Famous As: Composer, Organist, Pianist
Birthdate: October 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: December 16, 1921
French composer and multi-instrumentalist Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was an icon of the Romantic era, known for masterpieces such as the First Cello Concerto and the opera Samson and Delilah. He was initially a church organist and then became a freelance composer and pianist. He also taught music in Paris.

 3 Albert Schweitzer

Albert Schweitzer
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Famous As: Theologian, Polymath
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.

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 4 Johann Pachelbel

Johann Pachelbel
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Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: 1653 AD
Birthplace: Free Imperial City of Nuremberg
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.

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 5 Chris Lowe

Chris Lowe
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: October 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK

 6 Fats Waller

Fats Waller
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Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: May 21, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 15, 1943
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 7 Gabriel Fauré

Gabriel Fauré
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Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: October 22, 1845
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Pamiers, France
Died: June 4, 1924

One of the greatest composers of all time, French pianist and organist Gabriel Fauré is best remembered for his masterpieces such as Requiem. His music career began at 9, when he was sent to Paris to become a choirmaster. At 75, he was awarded the Grand-Croix of the Légion d'honneur.

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 8 Olivier Messiaen

Olivier Messiaen
4
Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: December 10, 1908
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Avignon, France
Died: April 27, 1992

French composer and organist Olivier Messiaen is credited with creating melodically innovative scores, using what he called "modes of limited transposition." An ornithologist, too, he added bird songs into his compositions such as La fauvette des jardins and Catalogue d'oiseaux. His Messiaen: Concert A Quatre won a Grammy.

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 9 Anton Bruckner

Anton Bruckner
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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.

 10 Cesar Franck

Cesar Franck
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist, Organist
Birthdate: December 10, 1822
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Liège, Belgium
Died: November 8, 1890

Cesar Franck was a Belgian-born French Romantic composer, organist, pianist, and music teacher. Franck, who worked in Paris, is credited with popularizing new instruments made by Aristide Cavaillé-Coll all over France. From 1858 until his death in 1890, Franck also served as an organist at the Basilica of Saint Clotilde in Paris. Franck also taught future composers like Vincent d'Indy.

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 11 Danny Federici

Danny Federici
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Famous As: Organist, Musician
Birthdate: January 23, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Flemington, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 17, 2008

 12 Florence Price

Florence Price
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1887 AD
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Died: 1953 AD

 13 Dieterich Buxtehude

Dieterich Buxtehude
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: June 24, 1637
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Helsingborg, Sweden
Died: May 9, 1707

While some scholars believe Dieterich Buxtehude was born in Denmark, others claim he was from Germany. The composer and organist was a significant figure of the Baroque period and had Johann Sebastian Bach as his student. As a church musician, he also composed for family events and festivals.

 14 Giovanni Battista Pergolesi

Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 4, 1710
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Iesi, Italy
Died: March 16, 1736
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 15 Giovanni Gabrieli

Giovanni Gabrieli
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Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: 1557 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: August 12, 1612

Giovanni Gabrieli was an Italian organist and composer. One of the most popular musicians of his generation, Gabrieli's works were popularized throughout Europe by his association with the prestigious Scuola Grande di San Rocco, where he was appointed as an organist.

 16 Tony Banks

Tony Banks
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Famous As: Musician, Songwriter
Birthdate: March 27, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
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 17 Heinrich Schütz

Heinrich Schütz
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Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: October 18, 1585
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Bad Köstritz, Germany
Died: November 6, 1672
German composer and organist Heinrich Schütz was one of the first to bring the Italian style of music to Germany. While he had initially studied law, he later began his musical career in Venice. He is remembered for his works such as Symphoniae sacrae and the first German opera, Dafne.

 18 Max Reger

Max Reger
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 19, 1873
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Brand, Germany
Died: May 11, 1916

Max Reger was a German conductor, composer, organist, pianist, and academic teacher. Reger, who mainly composed Lieder, worked as a musical director at the court of Georg II, Duke of Saxe-Meiningen and at the Leipzig University Church. His works inspired Austrian-born composer Arnold Schoenberg. His life and career served as an inspiration to a couple of documentary films.

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 19 Joey DeFrancesco

Joey DeFrancesco
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Famous As: Trumpeter, Organist
Birthdate: April 10, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Springfield, Pennsylvania, United States

 20 Thomas Morley

Thomas Morley
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Famous As: Composer, Musician
Birthdate: 1557 AD
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: September 30, 1602
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 21 Franz Xaver Gruber

Franz Xaver Gruber
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: November 25, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hochburg-Ach, Austria
Died: June 7, 1863

 22 Jack McDuff

Jack McDuff
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: September 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois, United States
Died: January 23, 2001

 23 Maurice Duruflé

Maurice Duruflé
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: January 11, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louviers, Eure, France
Died: June 16, 1986

 24 Richie Cannata

Richie Cannata
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Famous As: Multi-instrumentalist
Birthdate: March 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States
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 25 Charles-Marie Widor

Charles-Marie Widor
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: February 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: March 12, 1937

 26 Bill Payne

Bill Payne
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Famous As: Pianist, Keyboardist
Birthdate: March 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States

 27 Louis Vierne

Louis Vierne
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Famous As: Composer, Organist
Birthdate: October 8, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers, France
Died: June 2, 1937

 28 Jeremiah Clarke

Jeremiah Clarke
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1674 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 1, 1707

 29 Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: April 30, 1562
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Deventer, Netherlands
Died: October 16, 1621

Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck was a Dutch composer, music educator, music organizer, harpsichordist, organist, and ensemble leader. He played a major role during the transition to Baroque music from Renaissance and is often regarded as the most prominent Dutch composer of the Early Modern Period. His music was not only popular in the Netherlands but also spread across Europe.

 30 Karl Richter

Karl Richter
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: October 15, 1926
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Plauen, Germany
Died: February 15, 1981

Karl Richter was a German conductor, pianist, choirmaster, organist, and harpsichordist. Interested in music from a young age, he received his training under prominent musicians like Günther Ramin and Karl Straube. He played and conducted a wide range of soul-searching and intense music. He also founded the Münchener Bach-Chor and the Münchener Bach-Orchester in honor of Johann Sebastian Bach. 

 31 Josef Rheinberger

Josef Rheinberger
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: March 17, 1839
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Died: November 25, 1901

 32 William Boyce

William Boyce
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: September 11, 1711
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 7, 1779

 33 Marcel Dupré

Marcel Dupré
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: May 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: May 30, 1971

 34 Francesco Landini

Francesco Landini
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1325 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 2, 1397

 35 Christian Petzold

Christian Petzold
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: 1677 AD
Birthplace: Königstein, Germany
Died: May 25, 1733

 36 Johann Jakob Froberger

Johann Jakob Froberger
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: May 19, 1616
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Stuttgart, Germany
Died: May 7, 1667

Johann Jakob Froberger was a German keyboard virtuoso, composer, and organist. Widely regarded as one of the most popular composers of his generation, Froberger played a key role in the development of the musical form of a suite in his keyboard works. His compositions were studied by several other composers like Dieterich Buxtehude, Johann Pachelbel, and Johann Sebastian Bach.

 37 Tommy Seebach

Tommy Seebach
3
Famous As: Singer
Birthdate: September 14, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 31, 2003

 38 Jimmy McGriff

Jimmy McGriff
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Famous As: Organists, Keyboardist
Birthdate: April 3, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 24, 2008

 39 Thomas Weelkes

Thomas Weelkes
2
Famous As: Organist, Composer
Birthdate: October 25, 1576
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sussex, England
Died: November 30, 1623

 40 Samuel Wesley

Samuel Wesley
3
Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: February 24, 1766
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: October 11, 1837

 41 André Messager

André Messager
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: December 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montluçon, France
Died: February 24, 1929

 42 Samuel Sebastian Wesley

Samuel Sebastian Wesley
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: August 14, 1810
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 1876

 43 Ronald Binge

Ronald Binge
0
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Derby, England
Died: September 6, 1979

 44 John Blow

John Blow
3
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 23, 1649
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nottinghamshire, England
Died: October 1, 1708

 45 John Stainer

John Stainer
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: June 6, 1840
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, Englanda
Died: March 31, 1901

 46 E. Power Biggs

E. Power Biggs
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Famous As: Organist
Birthdate: March 29, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westcliff-on-Sea, England
Died: March 10, 1977

 47 Johann Georg Albrechtsberger

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 3, 1736
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Klosterneuburg, Austria
Died: March 7, 1809

 48 Hans Leo Hassler

Hans Leo Hassler
2
Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: October 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nürnberg, Germany
Died: June 8, 1612

 49 Don Pullen

Don Pullen
2
Famous As: Jazz Pianist
Birthdate: December 25, 1941
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Roanoke, Virginia, United States
Died: April 22, 1995

 50 Johann Christoph Bach

Johann Christoph Bach
2
Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 16, 1671
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: February 22, 1721