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

Ludwig GöranssonLudwig Göransson
Swedish

Leopold StokowskiLeopold Stokowski
British
David Ogden StiersDavid Ogden Stiers
American
Craig Revel HorwoodCraig Revel Horwood
Australian, British

Mariss JansonsMariss Jansons
Latvian

Michael Tilson ThomasMichael Tilson Thomas
American

Sly StoneSly Stone
American
Zubin MehtaZubin Mehta
Indian

Daniel BarenboimDaniel Barenboim
Argentinian, Spanish, Israeli
Georg SoltiGeorg Solti
Hungarian

Gustavo DudamelGustavo Dudamel
Venezuelan

Herbert von KarajanHerbert von Karajan
Austrian
Art BlakeyArt Blakey
American

Tommy DorseyTommy Dorsey
American
Joshua BellJoshua Bell
American

Brian TylerBrian Tyler
American

Lalo SchifrinLalo Schifrin
Argentinian, American
Arturo ToscaniniArturo Toscanini
Italian
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Mitch MillerMitch Miller
American
Bill ContiBill Conti
American

Simon RattleSimon Rattle
British

Mstislav RostropovichMstislav Rostropovich
Azerbaijani, American, Russian

Claudio AbbadoClaudio Abbado
Italian
Valery GergievValery Gergiev
Russian

Wilhelm FurtwänglerWilhelm Furtwängler
German

MantovaniMantovani
Italian, British

Otto KlempererOtto Klemperer
German, Polish

Sergiu CelibidacheSergiu Celibidache
Romanian
Marin AlsopMarin Alsop
American

Murray PerahiaMurray Perahia
American
Eugène YsaÿeEugène Ysaÿe
Belgian

Esa-Pekka SalonenEsa-Pekka Salonen
Finnish

Arthur FiedlerArthur Fiedler
American
Lorin MaazelLorin Maazel
French, American

James Reese EuropeJames Reese Europe
American
Hans von BülowHans von Bülow
German

Charles Villiers StanfordCharles Villiers Stanford
Irish

Victor HerbertVictor Herbert
Irish, American

Colin DavisColin Davis
British

Rudy ValleeRudy Vallee
American
José IturbiJosé Iturbi
Spanish

Neville MarrinerNeville Marriner
British

Skitch HendersonSkitch Henderson
American

André MessagerAndré Messager
French
Antonia BricoAntonia Brico
Dutch, American
Juan García EsquivelJuan García Esquivel
Mexican

Morton GouldMorton Gould
American

Christopher HogwoodChristopher Hogwood
British

Howard HansonHoward Hanson
American
William Sterndale BennettWilliam Sterndale Bennett
British

Gunther SchullerGunther Schuller
American
Nicolas SlonimskyNicolas Slonimsky
American

Malcolm SargentMalcolm Sargent
British

Franz Xaver SüssmayrFranz Xaver Süssmayr
Austrian
Pierre MonteuxPierre Monteux
American

Arthur BlissArthur Bliss
British
Dimitri MitropoulosDimitri Mitropoulos
Greek

Rafael KubelíkRafael Kubelík
Czech

Constant LambertConstant Lambert
British
Carl LoeweCarl Loewe
German

Carlo Maria GiuliniCarlo Maria Giulini
Italian
Hans PfitznerHans Pfitzner
Russian

Carl ReineckeCarl Reinecke
German

Maurice AbravanelMaurice Abravanel
Greek

Bruno MadernaBruno Maderna
Italian
Alexander SchneiderAlexander Schneider
-

Karl HaasKarl Haas
German, American

Rodolphe KreutzerRodolphe Kreutzer
French

Rosalyn TureckRosalyn Tureck
American

Patrick GilmorePatrick Gilmore
Irish, American
Ossip GabrilowitschOssip Gabrilowitsch
American, Russian

Frans BrüggenFrans Brüggen
Dutch
Sarah CaldwellSarah Caldwell
American

Giuseppe SinopoliGiuseppe Sinopoli
Italian

Erich KleiberErich Kleiber
Austrian, Czech
Adolf BuschAdolf Busch
Swiss, German

E. Power BiggsE. Power Biggs
British
Walter DamroschWalter Damrosch
German, Polish, American

Ernest AnsermetErnest Ansermet
Swiss
Willem MengelbergWillem Mengelberg
Dutch

Wolfgang SawallischWolfgang Sawallisch
German

Julián CarrilloJulián Carrillo
Mexican
Susanna MälkkiSusanna Mälkki
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Andrzej PanufnikAndrzej Panufnik
Polish
Franz DanziFranz Danzi
German