Conductors

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.

This ranking is based on an algorithm that combines various factors, including the votes of our users and search trends on the internet.

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 1 John Williams

John Williams
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 8, 1932
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: American

John Williams is an American composer, pianist, trombonist, and conductor. Widely considered the greatest film composer ever, John Williams has played a significant role in the American film industry by composing music for films, such as the Jurassic Park films, Star Wars saga, the Indiana Jones films, and Schindler's List. He has also influenced several other composers like Marcus Paus.

 2 Duke Ellington

Duke Ellington
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Famous As: Composer, Pianist and Bandleader
Birthdate: April 29, 1899
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American
Died: May 24, 1974
Jazz legend Duke Ellington managed his orchestra till his death, and over a 6-decade-long career. He is known for his collaborations with legends such as pianist and composer Billy Strayhorn. He termed his music “American music” and refused to attach any category to it. He received a posthumous Pulitzer Prize.
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 3 Harry Connick Jr.

Harry Connick Jr.
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Famous As: American singer
Birthdate: September 11, 1967
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: American

 4 Sergei Rachmaninoff

Sergei Rachmaninoff
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: April 1, 1873
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American, Russian
Died: March 28, 1943

Sergei Rachmaninoff was a Russian composer, conductor, and virtuoso pianist of the late Romantic period. Credited with exploring the expressive possibilities of the piano, Rachmaninoff's music continues to be featured in films. His four-year struggle with depression, which was followed by the critical failure of his Symphony No. 1, was depicted in the 2015 musical Preludes.

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 5 Felix Mendelssohn

Felix Mendelssohn
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: February 3, 1809
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: German
Died: November 4, 1847

 6 Sergey Prokofiev

Sergey Prokofiev
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: April 23, 1891
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 5, 1953
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 7 Craig Revel Horwood

Craig Revel Horwood
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Famous As: Reality TV Personalities
Birthdate: January 4, 1965
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Australian, British
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 8 Camille Saint-Saëns

Camille Saint-Saens
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Famous As: Composer, Organist, Pianist
Birthdate: October 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: French
Died: December 16, 1921
French composer and multi-instrumentalist Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns was an icon of the Romantic era, known for masterpieces such as the First Cello Concerto and the opera Samson and Delilah. He was initially a church organist and then became a freelance composer and pianist. He also taught music in Paris.
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 9 John Philip Sousa

John Philip Sousa
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Famous As: Conductor, Composer
Birthdate: November 6, 1854
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: March 6, 1932

 10 Leopold Stokowski

Leopold Stokowski
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: April 18, 1882
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: September 13, 1977
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 11 Gustavo Dudamel

Gustavo Dudamel
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Famous As: Music Conductor
Birthdate: January 26, 1981
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Nationality: Venezuelan

 12 Daniel Barenboim

Daniel Barenboim
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Famous As: Pianist, Conductor, Music director
Birthdate: November 15, 1942
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Argentinian, Spanish, Israeli

 13 Herbert von Karajan

Herbert von Karajan
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Famous As: Conductor, Music director
Birthdate: April 5, 1908
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Austrian
Died: July 16, 1989

 14 Zubin Mehta

Zubin Mehta
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Famous As: Conductor, Music director
Birthdate: April 29, 1936
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Indian

 15 Joshua Bell

Joshua Bell
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Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: December 9, 1967
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 16 Yehudi Menuhin

Yehudi Menuhin
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Famous As: Volinist
Birthdate: April 22, 1916
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Swiss, British, American
Died: March 12, 1999
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 17 Tommy Dorsey

Tommy Dorsey
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Famous As: Trombonist
Birthdate: November 19, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: American
Died: November 26, 1956

 18 Georg Solti

Georg Solti
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Famous As: Conductor, Pianist
Birthdate: October 21, 1912
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Hungarian, British
Died: September 5, 1997

Georg Solti was an operatic and orchestral conductor. He is best remembered for his association with opera companies in London, Frankfurt, and Munich. He also worked with the popular Chicago Symphony Orchestra where he served as a music director for a long time. Solti became the subject of a 1987 biographical TV documentary titled This Is Your Life.

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 19 Art Blakey

Art Blakey
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Famous As: Drummer
Birthdate: October 11, 1919
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American
Died: October 16, 1990

 20 Lalo Schifrin

Lalo Schifrin
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: June 21, 1932
Sun Sign: Gemini
Nationality: Argentinian, American
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 21 Maurice Jarre

Maurice Jarre
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: September 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: French
Died: March 28, 2009

 22 Brian Tyler

Brian Tyler
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: May 8, 1972
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: American

 23 Arturo Toscanini

Arturo Toscanini
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Famous As: Conductor, Music director
Birthdate: March 25, 1867
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 16, 1957

 24 Bill Conti

Bill Conti
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: April 13, 1942
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American
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 25 Simon Rattle

Simon Rattle
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: January 19, 1955
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: British

 26 Alfred Newman

Alfred Newman
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Famous As: American composer
Birthdate: March 17, 1901
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: American
Died: February 17, 1970

 27 Nadia Boulanger

Nadia Boulanger
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: September 16, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: French
Died: October 22, 1979

Born to a music instructor father, French composer and conductor Nadia Boulanger was no stranger to music as a kid. The first woman to conduct prime orchestras, she had the who’s who of the music industry, such as Elliott Carter, Roy Harris, and Quincy Jones, on her list of students.

 28 Mstislav Rostropovich

Mstislav Rostropovich
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Famous As: Cellist, Conductor
Birthdate: March 27, 1927
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: Azerbaijani, American, Russian
Died: April 27, 2007

 29 Rudy Vallee

Rudy Vallee
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Famous As: Actor
Birthdate: July 28, 1901
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: American
Died: July 3, 1986

 30 Mitch Miller

Mitch Miller
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: July 4, 1911
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: July 31, 2010

 31 Isaac Stern

Isaac Stern
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Famous As: American violinist
Birthdate: July 21, 1920
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: American
Died: September 22, 2001

 32 Claudio Abbado

Claudio Abbado
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Famous As: Conductor, Politician, Pianist, Music director
Birthdate: June 26, 1933
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Italian
Died: January 20, 2014

 33 Valery Gergiev

Valery Gergiev
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: May 2, 1953
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: Russian

 34 Michael Tilson Thomas

Michael Tilson Thomas
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: December 21, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: American

 35 Wilhelm Furtwängler

Wilhelm Furtwängler
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Birthdate: 0000 AD
Nationality: German

 36 Mykola Leontovych

Mykola Leontovych
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: December 13, 1877
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Ukrainian
Died: January 23, 1921

 37 Mantovani

Mantovani
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: November 15, 1905
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Nationality: Italian, British
Died: March 29, 1980

 38 Otto Klemperer

Otto Klemperer
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: May 14, 1885
Sun Sign: Taurus
Nationality: German, Polish
Died: July 6, 1973

 39 Mariss Jansons

Mariss Jansons
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: January 14, 1943
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Nationality: Latvian
Died: November 30, 2019

 40 Angela Morley

Angela Morley
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: March 10, 1924
Sun Sign: Pisces
Nationality: British, American
Died: January 14, 2009

 41 Marin Alsop

Marin Alsop
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Famous As: Conductor
Birthdate: October 16, 1956
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: American

 42 Mitsuko Uchida

Mitsuko Uchida
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Famous As: Classical pianist
Birthdate: December 20, 1948
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Nationality: Japanese, British

 43 Murray Perahia

Murray Perahia
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Famous As: Pianist
Birthdate: April 19, 1947
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: American

 44 Peter Maxwell Davies

Peter Maxwell Davies
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: September 8, 1934
Sun Sign: Virgo
Nationality: British
Died: March 14, 2016

 45 Esa-Pekka Salonen

Esa-Pekka Salonen
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Famous As: Musician
Birthdate: June 30, 1958
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Finnish

 46 Sergiu Celibidache

Sergiu Celibidache
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Famous As: conductor, composer, university teacher
Birthdate: June 28, 1912
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Romanian
Died: August 14, 1996

 47 Alexander Glazunov

Alexander Glazunov
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: August 10, 1865
Sun Sign: Leo
Nationality: Russian
Died: March 21, 1936

 48 Eugène Ysaÿe

Eugène Ysaÿe
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Famous As: Violinist
Birthdate: July 16, 1858
Sun Sign: Cancer
Nationality: Belgian
Died: May 12, 1931

 49 Neville Marriner

Neville Marriner
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Famous As: British musician
Birthdate: April 15, 1924
Sun Sign: Aries
Nationality: British
Died: October 2, 2016

 50 Charles Villiers Stanford

Charles Villiers Stanford
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Famous As: Composer
Birthdate: September 30, 1852
Sun Sign: Libra
Nationality: Irish
Died: March 29, 1924
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