Josef Gabriel Rheinberger (1839–1901) was an organist and composer, born in Liechtenstein and resident for most of his life in Germany.
The stylistic influences on Rheinberger ranged from contemporaries such as Brahms to composers from earlier times, such as Mendelssohn, Schumann, Schubert and, above all, Bach. He was also an enthusiast for painting and literature.
In 1877 he was appointed court conductor, responsible for the music in the royal chapel. He was subsequently awarded an honorary doctorate by Ludwig Maximilian University of Munich. A distinguished teacher, he numbered many Americans among his pupils, including Horatio Parker, William Berwald, George Whitefield Chadwick, Bruno Klein and Henry Holden Huss.
Other students of his included important figures from Europe: Italian composer Ermanno Wolf-Ferrari, and German composers Engelbert Humperdinck and
Richard Strauss and the conductor (and composer) Wilhelm Furtwängler. When the second (and present) Munich Conservatorium was founded, Rheinberger was appointed Royal Professor of organ and composition, a post he held for the rest of his life.
Today Rheinberger is remembered above all for his elaborate and challenging organ compositions; these include two concertos, 20 sonatas in 20 different keys (of a projected set of 24 sonatas in all the keys), 22 trios, and 36 solo pieces.