What classical music composers were devout Catholics?

I only know one that is a saint (St. Hildegard von Bingen), and one that was particularly devout (Joseph Haydn). I also think Mozart was partially devout. Anybody else?

Twentieth century French composers Durufle and Messaien.


There’s a number listed here:




I see Mozart listed on the wikipedia list, but I vaguely recall something about his involvement with the Masons. Maybe I’m wrong, but I thought I’d bring it up.

God bless,

Mozart was a Freemason, but he was so before the Church condemned them in Austria.

Pope St Gregory the Great - revolutionised church music (hence the term “Gregorian chant”). :thumbsup:

An excellent modern Catholic composer is Andrew T. Miller. He recently (~2006) unveiled a cantata on the theme of the Birth of Christ. It was performed at Saint Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin, Ireland and the Vatican.

The Birth of Christ

The only goof on it is that Liam Neeson refers to Handel as a Catholic, which he was not (he was a Lutheran).

20th/21st century composer Harold Boatrite who is internationally known in the classical music world. He was my husband’s composition teacher for a while, very intelligent/brilliant and a devout Catholic convert. He is a member of the Mater Ecclesiae parish in Berlin, NJ which only does the EF mass.

Here is info on him and his music:


You can hear his “Ave Maria” here.


I once posted this on a secular bridal forums when a Catholic bride was asking for an “Ave Maria”. I actually was struck by how many brides wrote in and actually loved this piece and wished they had a choir to do it at their wedding. A couple wanted to know where they could purchase the music.

Yes, and many of his letters talk about his devotion to the Catholic church throughout his life.

Franz Liszt (who admittedly had a problem with the ladies and something his father even predicted of him and said would be his major cross to bear) was actually a very devout Catholic. Later in life he received minor orders and you can see him wearing clerical garb in portraits or photos of him.

Some people do not like his Via Crucis, but I do, but I’ve always loved Liszt since I was a little girl, even having dreams of him teaching me how to play the piano. My husband really came to love his work after he heard his Dante Symphony live. We even have his portrait in our home hanging over our piano. :o


Antonin Dvorak, my favorite composer of classical music, was also a Catholic!

If you want to have something to listen to during Lent for a devotion, get a copy of his Stabat Mater – it is absolutely amazing. He wrote parts of it when he himself had lost some of his children and you can feel the pain of a parent losing a child permeate the music and know how Mary’s heart sorrowed upon looking at her Son dying on the Cross.

Of course, Giovanni Battista Pergolesi’s (another Catholic) Stabat Mater is phenomenal, too!

Vivaldi was a priest

Saint Hildegard von Bingen is one of my favorite composers. Kassia, St. Godric of Finchale, Henryk Goreki, Antonio Salieri, Giovanni Pierluigi da Palestrina, Joseph Haydn, and Edward Elgar were also Catholic.

Interesting thread. I did not realize so many famous composers were Catholic.

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Gustav Mahler was Jewish but converted to Catholicism later in life.

I posted this in another classical thread, but Palestrina’s Missa Brevis is 100% Catholic, and 100% fun/cool/great!:slight_smile:


I like your thread, by the way, EphelDuath!:thumbsup:

I may as well add, despite my big fat mouth when it comes to politics/current events, I honestly love and feel some true camaraderie with the awesome music you guys turn me onto! Heaven’s music means way more to me than whatever trivial worldly garbage we have to deal with!

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