Famous French Conductors

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

Vote for Your Favourite French Conductors

 1 
Maurice Ravel
(One of the Leading Composers of Impressionist Music, Known for His Orchestral Work "Boléro,")

Maurice Ravel
4
Birthdate: March 7, 1875
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Ciboure, France
Died: December 28, 1937
French impressionist composer Maurice Ravel is best known for his orchestral composition Boléro. He rejected the Legion d'honneur and all French awards. He was one the first composers to realize the importance of recording music to gain a wider reach. Most of his music consisted of piano and orchestration.

 2 
Camille Saint-Saëns
(One of the Greatest Organists and Composers of the Romantic Era)

Camille Saint-Saëns
4
Birthdate: October 9, 1835
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France
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.

 3 
Pierre Boulez
(Composer)

Pierre Boulez
4
Birthdate: March 26, 1925
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Montbrison, France
Died: January 5, 2016
Recommended Lists:

 4 
Hector Berlioz
(Composer, Conductor)

Hector Berlioz
4
Birthdate: December 11, 1803
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: La Côte-Saint-André, France
Died: March 8, 1869

Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic conductor and composer who was highly regarded in places like Russia, Britain, and Germany. Although he did not achieve fame as a composer, Berlioz became renowned internationally for his skills as a conductor. He also wrote musical journalism, which includes his influential work, Treatise on Instrumentation. 

 5 
Maurice Jarre
(Composer)

Maurice Jarre
4
Birthdate: September 13, 1924
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: 5th arrondissement of Lyon, Lyon, France
Died: March 28, 2009

 6 
Alexandre Desplat
(Film composer who earned Original Score Academy Award nominations for "Argo," "The King's Speech," "Fantastic Mr. Fox," and "Philomena.")

Alexandre Desplat
4
Birthdate: August 23, 1961
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France

 7 
Nadia Boulanger
(One of the Most Influential Teachers of Musical Composition of the 20th Century)

Nadia Boulanger
3
Birthdate: September 16, 1887
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Paris, France
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.

You May Like

 8 
Michel Legrand
(One of the Most Successful Foreign-Born Composers Ever to Grace the American Best-Seller Lists)

Michel Legrand
4
Birthdate: February 24, 1932
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: January 26, 2019

Michel Legrand was a French musician, conductor, composer, arranger, and jazz pianist. A prolific composer, Legrand wrote more than 200 television and film scores, apart from several songs. Over the course of his illustrious career, which spanned more than seven decades, Michel Legrand won several prestigious awards including three Academy Awards, five Grammy Awards, and a Golden Globe Award.

 9 
Lorin Maazel
(Conductor)

Lorin Maazel
3
Birthdate: March 6, 1930
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: July 13, 2014

 10 
Paul Mauriat
(Orchestra leader)

Paul Mauriat
3
Birthdate: March 4, 1925
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: November 3, 2006

 11 
Alfred Cortot
(French Pianist and Conductor Known for His Piano Trio with Violinist 'Jacques Thibaud' and Cellist 'Pablo Casals')

Alfred Cortot
3
Birthdate: September 26, 1877
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Nyon, Switzerland
Died: June 15, 1962

French pianist Alfred Cortot is remembered for his renditions of popular Romantic composers, such as Chopin and Schumann. The Paris Conservatory alumnus later established the Paris Orchestre Philharmonique and the École Normale de Musique. He also formed a trio with cellist Pablo Casals and violinist Jacques Thibaud.

 12 

Léo Ferré
3
Birthdate: August 24, 1916
Sun Sign: Virgo
Birthplace: Monte Carlo, Monaco
Died: July 14, 1993

 13 
Reynaldo Hahn
(Conductor, Composer)

Reynaldo Hahn
3
Birthdate: August 9, 1874
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Caracas, Venezuela
Died: January 28, 1947

Reynaldo Hahn was a Venezuelan-born French conductor, composer, singer, and music critic. A prolific composer, Hahn wrote a wide range of piano works and chamber music. His orchestral works include tone poems, concertos ballets, as well as incidental music for films and plays. Towards the end of his career, Reynaldo Hahn served as the director of the Paris Opéra. 

 14 

Nathalie Stutzmann
2
Birthdate: May 6, 1965
Sun Sign: Taurus
Birthplace: Suresnes, France

 15 

Michel Colombier
2
Birthdate: May 23, 1939
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Lyon, France
Died: November 14, 2004

 16 

Emil Waldteufel
2
Birthdate: December 9, 1837
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: February 12, 1915

 17 
Rodolphe Kreutzer
(French Violinist and Composer Known for Her Opera 'La mort d'Abel')

Rodolphe Kreutzer
2
Birthdate: November 15, 1766
Sun Sign: Scorpio
Birthplace: Versailles, France
Died: January 6, 1831
A pioneer of the French school of violin playing and a co-author of Méthode du violon, Rodolphe Kreutzer was also a fine music teacher at the Paris Conservatory. La mort d'Abel remains one of his best-known operas. He had also been a chamber musician of both Napoleon and Louis XVIII.

 18 
André Messager
(Composer)

André Messager
2
Birthdate: December 30, 1853
Sun Sign: Capricorn
Birthplace: Montluçon, France
Died: February 24, 1929

 19 
Franck Pourcel
(Composer)

Franck Pourcel
2
Birthdate: August 14, 1913
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: Marseille, France
Died: November 12, 2000

 20 

Alexandre Tansman
2
Birthdate: June 12, 1897
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Łódź, Poland
Died: November 15, 1986

 21 
William Christie
(Conductor)

William Christie
2
Birthdate: December 19, 1944
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Buffalo, New York, United States

 22 

Hidayat Inayat Khan
2
Birthdate: August 6, 1917
Sun Sign: Leo
Birthplace: London, England
Died: September 12, 2016

 23 
Charles Munch
(Conductor)

Charles Munch
2
Birthdate: September 26, 1891
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Strasbourg, France
Died: November 6, 1968

 24 

François de Roubaix
2
Birthdate: April 3, 1939
Sun Sign: Aries
Birthplace: Neuilly-sur-Seine, France
Died: November 22, 1975

 25 
André Campra
(Composer)

André Campra
1
Birthdate: December 4, 1660
Sun Sign: Sagittarius
Birthplace: Aix-en-Provence, France
Died: June 29, 1744

 26 

Manuel Rosenthal
1
Birthdate: June 18, 1904
Sun Sign: Gemini
Birthplace: Paris, France
Died: June 5, 2003

 27 
Michel Plasson
(Conductor)

Michel Plasson
1
Birthdate: October 2, 1933
Sun Sign: Libra
Birthplace: Paris, France

 28 

François Habeneck
0
Birthdate: January 22, 1781
Sun Sign: Aquarius
Birthplace: Charleville-Mézières, France
Died: February 8, 1849

 29 
Paul Méfano
(Composer)

Paul Méfano
0
Birthdate: March 6, 1937
Sun Sign: Pisces
Birthplace: Basrah, Iraq
Died: September 15, 2020