Kney was born in Speyer-am-Rhein, Germany. At the age of 15, he apprenticed to Paul Sattel of Speyer to become an organ builder, and concurrently studied organ and composition with Erhard Quack and Ludwig Doerr at the Bishop’s Institute for Church Music in Speyer.
In 1955 he formed with John Bright the Kney and Bright Organ Co to build tracker organs. Blanton (1957) described their first instrument as "a handsome little organ with mechanical action, slider chests, 1-3/4" pressure". They were at the vanguard of the tracker organ revival in Canada, so much so that they were then to build 30 electro-pneumatic organs before customers caught on and started ordering instruments with mechanical action. In the early 1960s, they rebuilt the organs of Aeolian Hall in London and St Michael's Cathedral in Toronto.
In 1967, Kney formed Gabriel Kney Pipe Organ Builders, Ltd., and by 1990 he and his seven employees had built more than 110 organs, mostly for customers in the Great Lakes region. Some of the best examples of this company's designs are the organs of Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, Ontario, Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral in Kansas City, Christ Church Parish in Pensacola, Florida, and the University of St. Thomas in St. Paul, Minnesota.
- Bouchard, Antoine; Graham, Melva. "Kney, Gabriel". Encyclopedia of Music in Canada. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "Organs in Ames Churches". Ames Historical Society. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- Blanton, Joseph E. (1957). The organ in church design. Albany Tx: Venture Press. p. 431.
- Komisaruk, Kevin (2005). "Gabriel Kney Pipe Organ, Opus 95, 1981". The Corporation of Massey Hall and Roy Thomson Hall. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "About the Cathedral's organ". Grace and Holy Trinity Cathedral. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "Christ Church (Episcopal)". American Guild of Organists - Pensacola Chapter. Retrieved 2008-04-20.
- "Gabriel Kney · Opus 105". University of St. Thomas. Retrieved 2008-04-19.
- "1987 Kney organ at the University of St. Thomas, St. Paul, MN". American Public Media. Retrieved 2008-04-19.[dead link]