The great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)

 

Nikisch or Menuhin? Karajan or Jochum? It is difficult for inquiring minds to tackle such abundant fields as classical music and opera, covering 10 centuries of history: there are really many conductors. Making a selection of musicians, such as a “top 10” for example, is a difficult and subjective exercise. A musical selection is often the expression of personal preferences or artistic opinions, very interesting but also very different according to critics or musicologists, or simply influenced by the context: will an English conductor not be instinctively privileged by an English critic?

For example: in Mexico, Alondra de la Parra, Mexican conductor, occupies a special place in front of the Belgian conductor Philippe Herreweghe, who is more distant but nevertheless more internationally renowned.

Timeline of conductors, between 1900 and 1950

Whoever wants to discover classical music or opera does not always have an experienced music lover, an expert or an educator at his or her side to support and guide him or her in these fields. So : Nikisch (Hungarian conductor) or Menuhin (American violinist and conductor (1916–1999)) ? Perahia (American classical pianist and conductor) or Levine (American conductor and pianist) ? However, the knowledge available about musicians is enormous. It was processed to select the 10, 25, 50... most popular conductors around the world, for those living or having lived between 1900 and 1950. And this objectively, and for the first time (soClassiQ exclusivity).

Conductors rendered as a timeline to bring a little perspective:

ComposersConductorsReduce to conductors onlyLyrical singersPerformers WorldwideEuropeNorth AmericaSouth AmericaAsiaOceaniaAfrica 2020

This timeline is interactive to navigate through the ages or across continents (with ).

Top 10 conductors for the years 1900-1950

Who are these greatest conductors, the most famous over the 1900-1950 era? The carreer of these musician has marked the history of classical music. There are those you probably know, or at least by name and the others.

Here are these 10 conductors, renowned artists from around the world:


The musicians and artists who also composed were removed from this ranking.

The selections of musicians (conductors) proposed by soClassiQ are based exclusively on algorithms. The same applies to the composers, their works, the performers, the lyrical singers, les orchestras, and the venues : opera houses, concert halls or festivals.

What about the others? 25, 50 or more?

Summarizing to 10 musician names such a wide and diverse field may seem extreme or too simplistic for those who know classical music and lyrical art well, for those who can easily name 50 or more conductors. Oistrakh, Kleiber, Barenboim, Jansons, Perlman, Järvi, Muti...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 4400 conductors. So here is a selection of some conductors for the years 1900-1950, widely recognized around the world:

B

Paul <strong>Badura-Skoda</strong> Paul Badura-SkodaThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1927-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Mily <strong>Balakirev</strong> Mily BalakirevThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1837-1910 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

John <strong>Barbirolli</strong> John BarbirolliThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1899-1970 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Daniel <strong>Barenboim</strong> Daniel BarenboimThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 77 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Rudolf <strong>Barshai</strong> Rudolf BarshaiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1924-2010 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Thomas <strong>Beecham</strong> Thomas BeechamThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1879-1961 (20th century)
Conductor

Luciano <strong>Berio</strong> Luciano BerioThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1925-2003 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Leonard <strong>Bernstein</strong> Leonard BernsteinThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1918-1990 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Herbert <strong>Blomstedt</strong> Herbert BlomstedtThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 93 (20th century)
Conductor

Karl <strong>Böhm</strong> Karl BöhmThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1894-1981 (20th century)
Conductor

Victor <strong>Borge</strong> Victor BorgeThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1909-2000 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Nadia <strong>Boulanger</strong> Nadia BoulangerThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1887-1979 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Pierre <strong>Boulez</strong> Pierre BoulezThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1925-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Benjamin <strong>Britten</strong> Benjamin BrittenThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1913-1976 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Max <strong>Bruch</strong> Max BruchThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1838-1920 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Fritz <strong>Busch</strong> Fritz BuschThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1890-1951 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Ferruccio <strong>Busoni</strong> Ferruccio BusoniThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1866-1924 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


K

Dmitri <strong>Kabalevsky</strong> Dmitri KabalevskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1904-1986 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Emmerich <strong>Kálmán</strong> Emmerich KálmánThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1882-1953 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Herbert von <strong>Karajan</strong> Herbert von KarajanThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1908-1989 (20th century)
Conductor

Rudolf <strong>Kempe</strong> Rudolf KempeThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1910-1976 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Albert <strong>Ketèlbey</strong> Albert KetèlbeyThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1875-1959 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Aram <strong>Khachaturian</strong> Aram KhachaturianThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1903-1978 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Erich <strong>Kleiber</strong> Erich KleiberThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1890-1956 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Carlos <strong>Kleiber</strong> Carlos KleiberThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1930-2004 (20th century)
Conductor

Otto <strong>Klemperer</strong> Otto KlempererThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1885-1973 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Hans <strong>Knappertsbusch</strong> Hans KnappertsbuschThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1888-1965 (20th century)
Conductor

Zoltán <strong>Kodály</strong> Zoltán KodályThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1882-1967 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Kirill KondrashinThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1914-1981 (20th century)
Conductor

Erich Wolfgang <strong>Korngold</strong> Erich Wolfgang KorngoldThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1897-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Serge <strong>Koussevitzky</strong> Serge KoussevitzkyThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1874-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Gidon <strong>Kremer</strong> Gidon KremerThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 73 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Rafael <strong>Kubelík</strong> Rafael KubelíkThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1914-1996 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


... L

Witold <strong>Lutosławski</strong> Witold LutosławskiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1913-1994 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Mykola <strong>Lysenko</strong> Mykola LysenkoThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1842-1912 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


M

Lorin <strong>Maazel</strong> Lorin MaazelThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1930-2014 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Bruno <strong>Maderna</strong> Bruno MadernaThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1920-1973 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Muslim <strong>Magomayev</strong> Muslim MagomayevThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1942-2008 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Conductor

Gustav <strong>Mahler</strong> Gustav MahlerThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1860-1911 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Henry <strong>Mancini</strong> Henry ManciniThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1924-1994 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Neville <strong>Marriner</strong> Neville MarrinerThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1924-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Frank <strong>Martin</strong> Frank MartinThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1890-1974 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Pietro <strong>Mascagni</strong> Pietro MascagniThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1863-1945 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Kurt <strong>Masur</strong> Kurt MasurThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1927-2015 (20th century)
Conductor

Zubin <strong>Mehta</strong> Zubin MehtaThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 84 (20th century)
Conductor

Erkki <strong>Melartin</strong> Erkki MelartinThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1875-1937 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Willem <strong>Mengelberg</strong> Willem MengelbergThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1871-1951 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Gian Carlo <strong>Menotti</strong> Gian Carlo MenottiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1911-2007 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Yehudi <strong>Menuhin</strong> Yehudi MenuhinThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1916-1999 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Oskar <strong>Merikanto</strong> Oskar MerikantoThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1868-1924 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Darius <strong>Milhaud</strong> Darius MilhaudThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1892-1974 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Dimitri <strong>Mitropoulos</strong> Dimitri MitropoulosThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1896-1960 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Stevan Stojanović <strong>Mokranjac</strong> Stevan Stojanović MokranjacThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1856-1914 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Pierre <strong>Monteux</strong> Pierre MonteuxThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1875-1964 (20th century)
Conductor

Vittorio <strong>Monti</strong> Vittorio MontiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1868-1922 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ennio <strong>Morricone</strong> Ennio MorriconeThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1928-2020 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Moritz <strong>Moszkowski</strong> Moritz MoszkowskiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1854-1925 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Yevgeny <strong>Mravinsky</strong> Yevgeny MravinskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1903-1988 (20th century)
Conductor

Riccardo <strong>Muti</strong> Riccardo MutiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 80 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor


R

Sergei <strong>Rachmaninoff</strong> Sergei RachmaninoffThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1873-1943 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Maurice <strong>Ravel</strong> Maurice RavelThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1875-1937 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Max <strong>Reger</strong> Max RegerThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1873-1916 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Carl <strong>Reinecke</strong> Carl ReineckeThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1824-1910 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Fritz <strong>Reiner</strong> Fritz ReinerThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1888-1963 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ottorino <strong>Respighi</strong> Ottorino RespighiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1879-1936 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Hans <strong>Richter</strong> Hans RichterThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1843-1916 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Karl <strong>Richter</strong> Karl RichterThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1926-1981 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

André <strong>Rieu</strong> André RieuThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 70 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Nikolai <strong>Rimsky-Korsakov</strong> Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1844-1908 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Mstislav <strong>Rostropovich</strong> Mstislav RostropovichThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1927-2007 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Nino <strong>Rota</strong> Nino RotaThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1911-1979 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Gennady <strong>Rozhdestvensky</strong> Gennady RozhdestvenskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1931-2018 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Miklós <strong>Rózsa</strong> Miklós RózsaThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1907-1995 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

John <strong>Rutter</strong> John RutterThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 74 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor


S

Camille <strong>Saint-Saëns</strong> Camille Saint-SaënsThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1835-1921 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Pablo de <strong>Sarasate</strong> Pablo de SarasateThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1844-1908 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Jordi <strong>Savall</strong> Jordi SavallThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 79 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Wolfgang <strong>Sawallisch</strong> Wolfgang SawallischThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1923-2013 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Franz <strong>Schalk</strong> Franz SchalkThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1863-1931 (Romantic)
Conductor

Arnold <strong>Schoenberg</strong> Arnold SchoenbergThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1874-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Peter <strong>Schreier</strong> Peter SchreierThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1935-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Conductor

Howard <strong>Shore</strong> Howard ShoreThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
age 73 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Jean <strong>Sibelius</strong> Jean SibeliusThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1865-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Georg <strong>Solti</strong> Georg SoltiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1912-1997 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Alexander <strong>Spendiaryan</strong> Alexander SpendiaryanThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1871-1928 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Wilhelm <strong>Stenhammar</strong> Wilhelm StenhammarThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1871-1927 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Isaac <strong>Stern</strong> Isaac SternThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1920-2001 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Leopold <strong>Stokowski</strong> Leopold StokowskiThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1882-1977 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Robert <strong>Stolz</strong> Robert StolzThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1880-1975 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Oscar <strong>Straus</strong> Oscar StrausThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1870-1954 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Eduard <strong>Strauss</strong> Eduard StraussThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1835-1916 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Richard <strong>Strauss</strong> Richard StraussThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1864-1949 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Igor <strong>Stravinsky</strong> Igor StravinskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1882-1971 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Arthur <strong>Sullivan</strong> Arthur SullivanThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1842-1900 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Johan <strong>Svendsen</strong> Johan SvendsenThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1840-1911 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Yevgeny <strong>Svetlanov</strong> Yevgeny SvetlanovThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1928-2002 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

George <strong>Szell</strong> George SzellThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1897-1970 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


U

Viktor <strong>Ullmann</strong> Viktor UllmannThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1898-1944 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


Y

Eugène <strong>Ysaÿe</strong> Eugène YsaÿeThe great 20th-century conductors (1900-1950)
1858-1931 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


Some conductors to be celebrated very soon

Next month, more than 30 important artists and musicians will be honoured. In September 2020 some of them may celebrate a special anniversary. For others, amateurs and enthusiasts will celebrate the bicentenary of their birth or the fiftieth anniversary of their death for example. Among them, some famous conductors:

on 8, Lars Vogt (1970- ), 50th anniversary,
on 14, Luigi Cherubini (1760-1842), 260th anniversary (Birth),
on 20, Ildebrando Pizzetti (1880-1968), 140th anniversary (Birth),
on 29, Václav Neumann (1920-1995), 100th anniversary (Birth),
on 30, Johan Svendsen (1840-1911), 180th anniversary (Birth),
...

There are others to discover. And it is not too late to focus on the August 2020 celebrations (40+).

Always good opportunities to discover or deepen, (re)listen, explore the vastness and diversity of classical music...

See also...

Last update : 2020-08-01

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