Organists

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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.
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 1 
Camille Saint-Saëns
(One of the Greatest Organists and Composers of the Romantic Era)
Camille Saint-Saëns
4
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.
 2 
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.

 3 
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.

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 4 
Gabriel Fauré
(One of the Major French Composers Associated With the End of Romanticism.)
Gabriel Fauré
4
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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 5 
Chris Lowe
(Musician)
Chris Lowe
8
Birthdate: October 4, 1959
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Blackpool, Lancashire, England, UK
 6 
Fats Waller
(Jazz Pianist)
Fats Waller
8
Birthdate: May 21, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: New York City
Died: December 15, 1943
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 7 
Olivier Messiaen
(One of the Major Composers, Organists and Ornithologists of the 20th Century Who Developed 'Modes of Limited Transposition')
Olivier Messiaen
4
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.

 8 
Cesar Franck
(Composer and Pianist Famous for His Works 'Symphonic Variations' and 'Symphony in D Minor')
Cesar Franck
4
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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 9 
Danny Federici
(Organist, Musician)
Danny Federici
4
Birthdate: January 23, 1950
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Flemington, New Jersey, United States
Died: April 17, 2008
 10 
Florence Price
(Composer)
Florence Price
6
Birthdate: 1887 AD
Birthplace: Little Rock, Arkansas, United States
Died: 1953 AD
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Giovanni Battista Pergolesi
4
Birthdate: January 4, 1710
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Iesi, Italy
Died: March 16, 1736
 12 
Tony Banks
(Musician, Songwriter)
Tony Banks
0
Birthdate: March 27, 1950
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: East Sussex, England, United Kingdom
 13 
Giovanni Gabrieli
(Italian Composer, Organist and One of the Most Influential Musicians of His Time)
Giovanni Gabrieli
3
Birthdate: 1557 AD
Birthplace: Venice, Italy
Died: 1612 AD

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.

 14 
Heinrich Schütz
(German Early Baroque Composer and Organist)
Heinrich Schütz
3
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.
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 15 
Max Reger
(German Composer, Pianist, Organist and Conductor)
Max Reger
3
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.

 16 
Joey DeFrancesco
(Trumpeter, Organist)
Joey DeFrancesco
6
Birthdate: April 10, 1971
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Springfield, Pennsylvania, United States
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 17 
Thomas Morley
(Composer, Musician)
Thomas Morley
3
Birthdate: 1557 AD
Birthplace: Norwich, England
Died: September 30, 1602
 18 
Franz Xaver Gruber
4
Birthdate: November 25, 1787
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Hochburg-Ach, Austria
Died: June 7, 1863
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 19 
Maurice Duruflé
3
Birthdate: January 11, 1902
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Louviers, Eure, France
Died: June 16, 1986
 20 
Jack McDuff
(Organist)
Jack McDuff
5
Birthdate: September 17, 1926
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Champaign, Illinois, United States
Died: January 23, 2001
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 21 
Bill Payne
(Pianist, Keyboardist)
Bill Payne
2
Birthdate: March 12, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Waco, Texas, United States
 22 
Dieterich Buxtehude
(Organist and Church Music Composer of the Baroque period)
Dieterich Buxtehude
0
Birthdate: 1637 AD
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.

 23 
Richie Cannata
(Multi-instrumentalist)
Richie Cannata
5
Birthdate: March 3, 1949
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Long Island, New York, United States
 24 
Louis Vierne
(Composer, Organist)
Louis Vierne
3
Birthdate: October 8, 1870
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Poitiers, France
Died: June 2, 1937
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 25 
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
(Dutch Composer and Pedagogue Famous for His Brilliant Improvisations at the Organ and Harpsichord)
Jan Pieterszoon Sweelinck
3
Birthdate: 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.

 26 
Charles-Marie Widor
(French Organist and Composer Known for His 'Toccata' from the 'Fifth Organ Symphony' Composition)
Charles-Marie Widor
3
Birthdate: February 21, 1844
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: March 12, 1937
 27 
Karl Richter
(Conductor)
Karl Richter
3
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. 

 28 
Josef Rheinberger
3
Birthdate: March 17, 1839
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Vaduz, Liechtenstein
Died: November 25, 1901
 29 
William Boyce
(Composer)
William Boyce
3
Birthdate: September 11, 1711
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: February 7, 1779
 30 
Marcel Dupré
(Musician)
Marcel Dupré
3
Birthdate: May 3, 1886
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Rouen, France
Died: May 30, 1971
 31 
Jeremiah Clarke
(Composer)
Jeremiah Clarke
3
Birthdate: 1674 AD
Birthplace: London, England
Died: December 1, 1707
 32 
Christian Petzold
3
Birthdate: 1677 AD
Birthplace: Königstein, Germany
Died: May 25, 1733
 33 
Francesco Landini
3
Birthdate: 1325 AD
Birthplace: Florence, Italy
Died: September 2, 1397
 34 
Stanisław Moniuszko
(Polish Composer and Conductor Regarded as the 'Father of Polish National Opera')
Stanisław Moniuszko
3
Birthdate: May 5, 1819
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Ubel', Belarus
Died: June 4, 1872

Stanisław Moniuszko was a Polish composer, teacher, and conductor. He is credited with writing several popular operas and art songs with patriotic folk themes that depicted the valor of the people of former Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth. Thanks to his efforts to glorify the people of Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Stanisław Moniuszko is called the father of Polish national opera.

 35 
Jimmy McGriff
(Organists, Keyboardist)
Jimmy McGriff
2
Birthdate: April 3, 1936
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Germantown, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Died: May 24, 2008
 36 
Johann Jakob Froberger
(One of the Most Famous and Influential Composers of the Early Baroque Era)
Johann Jakob Froberger
3
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 
Walter Wanderley
(Pianist, Organist)
Walter Wanderley
3
Birthdate: May 12, 1932
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Recife, State of Pernambuco, Brazil
Died: September 4, 1986

Walter Wanderley was a Brazilian pianist and organist best remembered for his bossa nova and lounge music. He is also remembered for his instrumental version of Marcos Valle's 1964 song Summer Samba, which became an international hit. Walter Wanderley was also renowned for his mastery of the Hammond organ and distinctive staccato stuttering style.

 38 
Thomas Weelkes
(Organist, Composer)
Thomas Weelkes
2
Birthdate: October 25, 1576
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Sussex, England
Died: November 30, 1623
 39 
Samuel Wesley
(Organist)
Samuel Wesley
3
Birthdate: February 24, 1766
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Bristol, England
Died: October 11, 1837
 40 
Tommy Seebach
5
Birthdate: September 14, 1949
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Copenhagen, Denmark
Died: March 31, 2003
 41 
Ronald Binge
(Musician)
Ronald Binge
0
Birthdate: July 15, 1910
Sun Sign: Cancer
Birthplace: Derby, England
Died: September 6, 1979
 42 
Samuel Sebastian Wesley
3
Birthdate: August 14, 1810
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: April 19, 1876
 43 
John Blow
(Composer)
John Blow
3
Birthdate: February 23, 1649
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Nottinghamshire, England
Died: October 1, 1708
 44 
André Messager
(Composer)
André Messager
5
Birthdate: December 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montluçon, France
Died: February 24, 1929
 45 
E. Power Biggs
(Organist)
E. Power Biggs
3
Birthdate: March 29, 1906
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Westcliff-on-Sea, England
Died: March 10, 1977
 46 
John Stainer
(Composer)
John Stainer
5
Birthdate: June 6, 1840
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: London, Englanda
Died: March 31, 1901
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger
3
Birthdate: February 3, 1736
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Klosterneuburg, Austria
Died: March 7, 1809
 48 
Hans Leo Hassler
2
Birthdate: October 26, 1564
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Nürnberg, Germany
Died: June 8, 1612
 49 
Johann Christoph Bach
2
Birthdate: June 16, 1671
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany
Died: February 22, 1721
 50 
Théodore Dubois
2
Birthdate: August 24, 1837
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Rosnay, France
Died: June 11, 1924