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
Georg Solti Georg Solti
Hungarian, British

Ludwig GöranssonLudwig Göransson
Swedish
David Ogden StiersDavid Ogden Stiers
American
Sly StoneSly Stone
American

Felix MendelssohnFelix Mendelssohn
German

Daniel BarenboimDaniel Barenboim
Argentinian, Spanish, Israeli

Zubin MehtaZubin Mehta
Indian
Leopold StokowskiLeopold Stokowski
British

Gustavo DudamelGustavo Dudamel
Venezuelan
Tommy DorseyTommy Dorsey
American

Joshua BellJoshua Bell
American

Herbert von KarajanHerbert von Karajan
Austrian
Yehudi MenuhinYehudi Menuhin
Swiss, British, American

Brian TylerBrian Tyler
American
Art BlakeyArt Blakey
American

Maurice JarreMaurice Jarre
French

Lalo SchifrinLalo Schifrin
Argentinian, American
Simon RattleSimon Rattle
British
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Arturo ToscaniniArturo Toscanini
Italian
Bill ContiBill Conti
American

Craig Revel HorwoodCraig Revel Horwood
Australian, British

Mitch MillerMitch Miller
American

Claudio AbbadoClaudio Abbado
Italian
Alfred CortotAlfred Cortot
Swiss, French

Mstislav RostropovichMstislav Rostropovich
Azerbaijani, American, Russian

Michael Tilson ThomasMichael Tilson Thomas
American

Otto KlempererOtto Klemperer
German, Polish

MantovaniMantovani
Italian, British
Wilhelm FurtwänglerWilhelm Furtwängler
German

Sergiu CelibidacheSergiu Celibidache
Romanian
Angela MorleyAngela Morley
British, American

Valery GergievValery Gergiev
Russian

Antonia BricoAntonia Brico
Dutch, American
Eugène YsaÿeEugène Ysaÿe
Belgian

Mitsuko UchidaMitsuko Uchida
Japanese, British
Murray PerahiaMurray Perahia
American

Arthur FiedlerArthur Fiedler
American

Esa-Pekka SalonenEsa-Pekka Salonen
Finnish

Alexander GlazunovAlexander Glazunov
Russian

Thomas BeechamThomas Beecham
British
Peter Maxwell DaviesPeter Maxwell Davies
British

Hans von BülowHans von Bülow
German

James Reese EuropeJames Reese Europe
American

Mariss JansonsMariss Jansons
Latvian
Charles Villiers StanfordCharles Villiers Stanford
Irish
Lorin MaazelLorin Maazel
French, American

Marin AlsopMarin Alsop
American

Skitch HendersonSkitch Henderson
American

Victor HerbertVictor Herbert
Irish, American
Alexander von ZemlinskyAlexander von Zemlinsky
Austrian

Neville MarrinerNeville Marriner
British
Malcolm SargentMalcolm Sargent
British

Colin DavisColin Davis
British

Juan García EsquivelJuan García Esquivel
Mexican
Hans PfitznerHans Pfitzner
Russian

Henry WoodHenry Wood
British
Rudy ValleeRudy Vallee
American

Howard HansonHoward Hanson
American

Carl ReineckeCarl Reinecke
German
Rudolph GanzRudolph Ganz
Swiss, American

Franz Xaver SüssmayrFranz Xaver Süssmayr
Austrian
Gunther SchullerGunther Schuller
American

David BakerDavid Baker
American

Pierre MonteuxPierre Monteux
American

Morton GouldMorton Gould
American
William Sterndale BennettWilliam Sterndale Bennett
British

Rafael KubelíkRafael Kubelík
Czech

Nicolas SlonimskyNicolas Slonimsky
American

Carlo Maria GiuliniCarlo Maria Giulini
Italian

Arthur BlissArthur Bliss
British
Christopher HogwoodChristopher Hogwood
British

Goffredo PetrassiGoffredo Petrassi
Italian
Constant LambertConstant Lambert
British

Rafael Frühbeck de BurgosRafael Frühbeck de Burgos
Spanish

Patrick GilmorePatrick Gilmore
Irish, American
Dimitri MitropoulosDimitri Mitropoulos
Greek

Rodolphe KreutzerRodolphe Kreutzer
French
José IturbiJosé Iturbi
Spanish

Alexander SchneiderAlexander Schneider
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Eugene Aynsley GoossensEugene Aynsley Goossens
British

Erich KleiberErich Kleiber
Austrian, Czech

Walter DamroschWalter Damrosch
German, Polish, American
Giuseppe SinopoliGiuseppe Sinopoli
Italian

Erich KunzelErich Kunzel
American
Bruno MadernaBruno Maderna
Italian