Find out more about the greatest conductors, including Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, Hector Berlioz, Richard Wagner, Arthur Nikisch and Marin Alsop.

conductors are probably among those professionals who never get the due credit they deserve! While everyone who attends concerts raves about the brilliant performances of the musicians, only a few are even aware of the significant role a music conductor plays in directing the artistes’ performances. Conductors not only act as guides to the orchestras but also choose the work the musicians perform. Music conducting, in its modern form, began to evolve in the 19th century. Giuseppe Fortunino Francesco Verdi, an Italian opera composer, was an eminent conductor of his era. The renowned composers Hector Berlioz and Richard Wagner were also considered conductors of great calibre. Wagner played a major role in shaping the conductor's role in directing the orchestra. In the 20th century, Hungarian conductor Arthur Nikisch emerged as one of the most successful conductors of all time. While women conductors were unheard of once upon a time, the 21st century saw many talented ladies like Hortense von Gelmini (de), Marin Alsop and Simone Young break the gender barrier and build careers for themselves as conductors. Taiwanese-born Apo Hsu is another woman conductor of international fame. Check out this section to know more about some of the greatest conductors, the world has seen.

Sergei Rachmaninoff Sergei Rachmaninoff
American, Russian

Isaac Stern Isaac Stern
American

Leopold StokowskiLeopold Stokowski
British

David Ogden StiersDavid Ogden Stiers
American

Ludwig GöranssonLudwig Göransson
Swedish

Mariss JansonsMariss Jansons
Latvian
Zubin MehtaZubin Mehta
Indian

Gustavo DudamelGustavo Dudamel
Venezuelan

Daniel BarenboimDaniel Barenboim
Argentinian, Spanish, Israeli

Herbert von KarajanHerbert von Karajan
Austrian
Art BlakeyArt Blakey
American

Georg SoltiGeorg Solti
Hungarian
Tommy DorseyTommy Dorsey
American

Arturo ToscaniniArturo Toscanini
Italian

Lalo SchifrinLalo Schifrin
Argentinian, American
Joshua BellJoshua Bell
American

Simon RattleSimon Rattle
British
Mitch MillerMitch Miller
American

Mstislav RostropovichMstislav Rostropovich
Azerbaijani, American, Russian

Claudio AbbadoClaudio Abbado
Italian
Michael Tilson ThomasMichael Tilson Thomas
American
Continue Reading Below

Antonia BricoAntonia Brico
Dutch, American
Valery GergievValery Gergiev
Russian

Wilhelm FurtwänglerWilhelm Furtwängler
German

Otto KlempererOtto Klemperer
German, Polish

MantovaniMantovani
Italian, British
Craig Revel HorwoodCraig Revel Horwood
Australian, British
Sergiu CelibidacheSergiu Celibidache
Romanian

Eugène YsaÿeEugène Ysaÿe
Belgian

Marin AlsopMarin Alsop
American

Esa-Pekka SalonenEsa-Pekka Salonen
Finnish
Charles Villiers StanfordCharles Villiers Stanford
Irish

Murray PerahiaMurray Perahia
American

Hans von BülowHans von Bülow
German

Lorin MaazelLorin Maazel
French, American

James Reese EuropeJames Reese Europe
American
Victor HerbertVictor Herbert
Irish, American

Malcolm SargentMalcolm Sargent
British
Arthur FiedlerArthur Fiedler
American

Colin DavisColin Davis
British

Neville MarrinerNeville Marriner
British
Rudy ValleeRudy Vallee
American

Skitch HendersonSkitch Henderson
American
Juan García EsquivelJuan García Esquivel
Mexican

Otto NicolaiOtto Nicolai
German

Paul SacherPaul Sacher
Swiss

Yoel LeviYoel Levi
Israeli

Sergey ProkofievSergey Prokofiev
Russian
Sir Adrian Cedric BoultSir Adrian Cedric Boult
British