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

Georg Solti Georg Solti
Hungarian, British

Isaac Stern Isaac Stern
American

David Ogden StiersDavid Ogden Stiers
American
Ludwig GöranssonLudwig Göransson
Swedish
Felix MendelssohnFelix Mendelssohn
German

Sly StoneSly Stone
American

Leopold StokowskiLeopold Stokowski
British

Zubin MehtaZubin Mehta
Indian
Daniel BarenboimDaniel Barenboim
Argentinian, Spanish, Israeli

Gustavo DudamelGustavo Dudamel
Venezuelan
Herbert von KarajanHerbert von Karajan
Austrian

Tommy DorseyTommy Dorsey
American

Art BlakeyArt Blakey
American
Craig Revel HorwoodCraig Revel Horwood
Australian, British

Brian TylerBrian Tyler
American
Lalo SchifrinLalo Schifrin
Argentinian, American

Simon RattleSimon Rattle
British

Arturo ToscaniniArturo Toscanini
Italian
Joshua BellJoshua Bell
American
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Bill ContiBill Conti
American
Claudio AbbadoClaudio Abbado
Italian

Mstislav RostropovichMstislav Rostropovich
Azerbaijani, American, Russian

Mitch MillerMitch Miller
American

Otto KlempererOtto Klemperer
German, Polish
Esa-Pekka SalonenEsa-Pekka Salonen
Finnish

Michael Tilson ThomasMichael Tilson Thomas
American

Wilhelm FurtwänglerWilhelm Furtwängler
German

Sergiu CelibidacheSergiu Celibidache
Romanian

MantovaniMantovani
Italian, British
Valery GergievValery Gergiev
Russian

Antonia BricoAntonia Brico
Dutch, American
Eugène YsaÿeEugène Ysaÿe
Belgian

Murray PerahiaMurray Perahia
American

Thomas BeechamThomas Beecham
British
Alexander GlazunovAlexander Glazunov
Russian

Charles Villiers StanfordCharles Villiers Stanford
Irish
Peter Maxwell DaviesPeter Maxwell Davies
British

Mariss JansonsMariss Jansons
Latvian

Marin AlsopMarin Alsop
American

Angela MorleyAngela Morley
British, American

Hans von BülowHans von Bülow
German
Victor HerbertVictor Herbert
Irish, American

James Reese EuropeJames Reese Europe
American

Lorin MaazelLorin Maazel
French, American

Arthur FiedlerArthur Fiedler
American
Alfred CortotAlfred Cortot
Swiss, French
Rudy ValleeRudy Vallee
American

José IturbiJosé Iturbi
Spanish

Skitch HendersonSkitch Henderson
American

Colin DavisColin Davis
British
Alexander von ZemlinskyAlexander von Zemlinsky
Austrian

Juan García EsquivelJuan García Esquivel
Mexican
Neville MarrinerNeville Marriner
British

Gunther SchullerGunther Schuller
American

Naomi MunakataNaomi Munakata
Brazilian, Japanese
Morton GouldMorton Gould
American

Howard HansonHoward Hanson
American
Eugene Aynsley GoossensEugene Aynsley Goossens
British

Franz Xaver SüssmayrFranz Xaver Süssmayr
Austrian

Henry WoodHenry Wood
British
Malcolm SargentMalcolm Sargent
British

Arthur BlissArthur Bliss
British
Nicolas SlonimskyNicolas Slonimsky
American

Pierre MonteuxPierre Monteux
American

Carlo Maria GiuliniCarlo Maria Giulini
Italian

William Sterndale BennettWilliam Sterndale Bennett
British
Constant LambertConstant Lambert
British

Christopher HogwoodChristopher Hogwood
British

Rafael KubelíkRafael Kubelík
Czech

Carl ReineckeCarl Reinecke
German

Hans PfitznerHans Pfitzner
Russian
Dimitri MitropoulosDimitri Mitropoulos
Greek

David BakerDavid Baker
American
Rodolphe KreutzerRodolphe Kreutzer
French

Patrick GilmorePatrick Gilmore
Irish, American

Erich KleiberErich Kleiber
Austrian, Czech
Bruno MadernaBruno Maderna
Italian

Carl LoeweCarl Loewe
German
Giovanni BottesiniGiovanni Bottesini
Italian

Willem MengelbergWillem Mengelberg
Dutch
Giuseppe SinopoliGiuseppe Sinopoli
Italian

Alexander SchneiderAlexander Schneider
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Frans BrüggenFrans Brüggen
Dutch
Erich KunzelErich Kunzel
American

Gustav LeonhardtGustav Leonhardt
Dutch
André MessagerAndré Messager
French