Rheinberger was great influenced by his contemporary, Brahms, and earlier composers, such as Mendelssohn, Schumann and J. S. Bach.
A distinguished teacher, his students included Richard Strauss as well as American composers, Horatio Parker and George Whitefield Chadwick.
Rheinberger was a prolific composer (including a number of excellent choral works) but is best remembered for his elaborate and challenging organ compositions, including a vast collection of sonatas and two concertos. His music is characterized by the then modern Romantic spirit combining well-crafted counterpoint with a dignified organ style.
Rheinberger died in 1901 at age 62.