Prêtre or Accardo? Böhm or Haitink? 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 1950 and 2000+ in Europe

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 : Prêtre (French orchestral and opera conductor) or Accardo (Italian classical violinist and conductor) ? Kempe (German conductor) or Bashmet (Russian conductor, violinist, and violist) ? 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 en Europe, between 1950 and 2000+. 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 in Europe for the years 1950-2000+

Who are these greatest conductors, the most famous over the 1950-2000+ era in Europe? 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. Gergiev, Cortot, Kremer, Järvi, Barenboim, Kleiber, Mravinsky...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 4400 conductors. So here is a selection of some conductors for the years 1950-2000+, in Europe, widely recognized around the world:

B

Luis <strong>Bacalov</strong> Luis BacalovThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1933-2017 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Paul <strong>Badura-Skoda</strong> Paul Badura-SkodaThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1927-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

John <strong>Barbirolli</strong> John BarbirolliThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1899-1970 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Daniel <strong>Barenboim</strong> Daniel BarenboimThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 77 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Rudolf <strong>Barshai</strong> Rudolf BarshaiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1924-2010 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Yury <strong>Bashmet</strong> Yury BashmetThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 67 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Arnold <strong>Bax</strong> Arnold BaxThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1883-1953 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Thomas <strong>Beecham</strong> Thomas BeechamThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1879-1961 (20th century)
Conductor

Eduard van BeinumThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1900-1959 (20th century)
Conductor

Jiří <strong>Bělohlávek</strong> Jiří BělohlávekThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1946-2017 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Ralph BenatzkyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1884-1957 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Luciano <strong>Berio</strong> Luciano BerioThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1925-2003 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Herbert <strong>Blomstedt</strong> Herbert BlomstedtThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 92 (20th century)
Conductor

Karl <strong>Böhm</strong> Karl BöhmThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1894-1981 (20th century)
Conductor

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

Willi BoskovskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1909-1991 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Nadia <strong>Boulanger</strong> Nadia BoulangerThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1887-1979 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Pierre <strong>Boulez</strong> Pierre BoulezThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1925-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Benjamin <strong>Britten</strong> Benjamin BrittenThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1913-1976 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Fritz <strong>Busch</strong> Fritz BuschThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1890-1951 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor


K

Dmitri <strong>Kabalevsky</strong> Dmitri KabalevskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1904-1986 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Tõnu KaljusteThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 66 (20th century)
Conductor

Emmerich <strong>Kálmán</strong> Emmerich KálmánThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1882-1953 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Alfrēds KalniņšThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1879-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Herbert von <strong>Karajan</strong> Herbert von KarajanThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1908-1989 (20th century)
Conductor

Leonidas <strong>Kavakos</strong> Leonidas KavakosThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 52 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Rudolf <strong>Kempe</strong> Rudolf KempeThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1910-1976 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

István <strong>Kertész</strong> István KertészThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1929-1973 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Albert <strong>Ketèlbey</strong> Albert KetèlbeyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1875-1959 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Aram <strong>Khachaturian</strong> Aram KhachaturianThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1903-1978 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Erich <strong>Kleiber</strong> Erich KleiberThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1890-1956 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Carlos <strong>Kleiber</strong> Carlos KleiberThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1930-2004 (20th century)
Conductor

Otto <strong>Klemperer</strong> Otto KlempererThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1885-1973 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Paul <strong>Kletzki</strong> Paul KletzkiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1900-1973 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Hans <strong>Knappertsbusch</strong> Hans KnappertsbuschThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1888-1965 (20th century)
Conductor

Oliver <strong>Knussen</strong> Oliver KnussenThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1952-2018 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Zoltán <strong>Kocsis</strong> Zoltán KocsisThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1952-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Zoltán <strong>Kodály</strong> Zoltán KodályThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1882-1967 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Kirill KondrashinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1914-1981 (20th century)
Conductor

Ton <strong>Koopman</strong> Ton KoopmanThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 75 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

M

Bruno <strong>Maderna</strong> Bruno MadernaThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1920-1973 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Muslim <strong>Magomayev</strong> Muslim MagomayevThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1942-2008 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Conductor

Igor <strong>Markevitch</strong> Igor MarkevitchThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1912-1983 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Neville <strong>Marriner</strong> Neville MarrinerThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1924-2016 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Frank <strong>Martin</strong> Frank MartinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1890-1974 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Jean MartinonThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1910-1976 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Kurt <strong>Masur</strong> Kurt MasurThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1927-2015 (20th century)
Conductor

Lovro von MatačićThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1899-1985 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

<strong>Maur</strong>o <strong>Maur</strong> Mauro MaurThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 61 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Willem <strong>Mengelberg</strong> Willem MengelbergThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1871-1951 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Gian Carlo <strong>Menotti</strong> Gian Carlo MenottiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1911-2007 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Yehudi <strong>Menuhin</strong> Yehudi MenuhinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1916-1999 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Darius <strong>Milhaud</strong> Darius MilhaudThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1892-1974 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Dimitri <strong>Mitropoulos</strong> Dimitri MitropoulosThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1896-1960 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Pierre <strong>Monteux</strong> Pierre MonteuxThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1875-1964 (20th century)
Conductor

Ennio <strong>Morricone</strong> Ennio MorriconeThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 91 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Yevgeny <strong>Mravinsky</strong> Yevgeny MravinskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1903-1988 (20th century)
Conductor

Riccardo <strong>Muti</strong> Riccardo MutiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 79 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor


P

Selim <strong>Palmgren</strong> Selim PalmgrenThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1878-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Andrzej <strong>Panufnik</strong> Andrzej PanufnikThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1914-1991 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Antonio <strong>Pappano</strong> Antonio PappanoThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 60 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Andrew ParrottThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 73 (20th century)
Conductor

Krzysztof <strong>Penderecki</strong> Krzysztof PendereckiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1933-2020 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Kirill <strong>Petrenko</strong> Kirill PetrenkoThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 48 (20th century)
Conductor

Trevor <strong>Pinnock</strong> Trevor PinnockThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 73 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Nicola <strong>Piovani</strong> Nicola PiovaniThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 74 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ildebrando <strong>Pizzetti</strong> Ildebrando PizzettiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1880-1968 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Mikhail <strong>Pletnev</strong> Mikhail PletnevThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 63 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Maurizio <strong>Pollini</strong> Maurizio PolliniThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 78 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Georges <strong>Prêtre</strong> Georges PrêtreThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1924-2017 (20th century)
Conductor

André <strong>Previn</strong> André PrevinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1929-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Sergei <strong>Prokofiev</strong> Sergei ProkofievThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1891-1953 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works


S

Esa-Pekka <strong>Salonen</strong> Esa-Pekka SalonenThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 61 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Kurt SanderlingThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1912-2011 (20th century)
Conductor

Jukka-Pekka <strong>Saraste</strong> Jukka-Pekka SarasteThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 64 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Malcolm <strong>Sargent</strong> Malcolm SargentThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1895-1967 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Jordi <strong>Savall</strong> Jordi SavallThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 78 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Wolfgang <strong>Sawallisch</strong> Wolfgang SawallischThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1923-2013 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Ahmed Adnan <strong>Saygun</strong> Ahmed Adnan SaygunThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1907-1991 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Hermann <strong>Scherchen</strong> Hermann ScherchenThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1891-1966 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

András <strong>Schiff</strong> András SchiffThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 66 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Othmar <strong>Schoeck</strong> Othmar SchoeckThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1886-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Arnold <strong>Schoenberg</strong> Arnold SchoenbergThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1874-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Peter <strong>Schreier</strong> Peter SchreierThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1935-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Conductor

Leif <strong>Segerstam</strong> Leif SegerstamThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 76 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Vissarion <strong>Shebalin</strong> Vissarion ShebalinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1902-1963 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Jean <strong>Sibelius</strong> Jean SibeliusThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1865-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Georg <strong>Solti</strong> Georg SoltiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1912-1997 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Max <strong>Steiner</strong> Max SteinerThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1888-1971 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Leopold <strong>Stokowski</strong> Leopold StokowskiThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1882-1977 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Robert <strong>Stolz</strong> Robert StolzThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1880-1975 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Oscar <strong>Straus</strong> Oscar StrausThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1870-1954 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Igor <strong>Stravinsky</strong> Igor StravinskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1882-1971 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Yevgeny <strong>Svetlanov</strong> Yevgeny SvetlanovThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1928-2002 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

George <strong>Szell</strong> George SzellThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1897-1970 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


Some conductors to be celebrated very soon

Next month, more than 40 important artists and musicians will be honoured. In July 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 3, Carlos Kleiber (1930-2004), 90th anniversary (Birth),
on 7, Gustav Mahler (1860-1911), 160th anniversary (Birth),
on 15, Leopold von Auer (1845-1930), 90th anniversary (Death),
on 21, Isaac Stern (1920-2001), 100th anniversary (Birth),
on 28, Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750), 270th anniversary (Death),
...

There are others to discover. And it is not too late to focus on the June 2020 celebrations (20+).

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

See also...

Last update : 2020-06-01

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