Kovacevich or Domingo? Horenstein or Nézet-Séguin? 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 North America

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 : Kovacevich (American pianist and conductor) or Domingo (Spanish tenor and conductor) ? Davies (American conductor and pianist) or Monteux (French conductor) ? 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 North America, 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 North America for the years 1950-2000+

Who are these greatest conductors, the most famous over the 1950-2000+ era in North America? 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. Levine, Kunzel, Bolet, Dixon, Gilbert, Järvi, Cliburn...

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

K

Jeronimas KačinskasThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1907-2005 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

Milton KatimsThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1909-2006 (20th century)
Conductor

Werner KlempererThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1920-2000 (20th century)
Lyrical singer, Performer & Conductor

Rudolf KolischThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1896-1978 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Nikolai KorndorfThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1947-2001 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Erich Wolfgang <strong>Korngold</strong> Erich Wolfgang KorngoldThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1897-1957 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Andre KostelanetzThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1901-1980 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Serge <strong>Koussevitzky</strong> Serge KoussevitzkyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1874-1951 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Stephen KovacevichThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 79 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Yakov KreizbergThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1959-2011 (20th century)
Conductor

Ernst <strong>Krenek</strong> Ernst KrenekThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1900-1991 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Theodore <strong>Kuchar</strong> Theodore KucharThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 57 (20th century)
Conductor

Erich KunzelThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1935-2009 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Robert <strong>Kurka</strong> Robert KurkaThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1921-1957 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Milan KymlickaThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1936-2008 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor


M

Lorin <strong>Maazel</strong> Lorin MaazelThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1930-2014 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ernest MacMillanThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1893-1973 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Henry <strong>Mancini</strong> Henry ManciniThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1924-1994 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Arturo MárquezThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 69 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Wynton <strong>Marsalis</strong> Wynton MarsalisThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 58 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Eduardo MataThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1942-1995 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

Michael MinskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1918-1988 (20th century)
Lyrical singer & Conductor

Henri MiroThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1879-1950 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

Claude MonteuxThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1920-2013 (20th century)
Conductor

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

Douglas MooreThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1893-1969 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Oskar MorawetzThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1917-2007 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


S

Carlos <strong>Salzedo</strong> Carlos SalzedoThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1885-1961 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Lalo <strong>Schifrin</strong> Lalo SchifrinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 87 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Thomas SchippersThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1930-1977 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Alexander <strong>Schneider</strong> Alexander SchneiderThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1908-1993 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Gunther <strong>Schuller</strong> Gunther SchullerThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1925-2015 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

William SchumanThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1910-1992 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Gerard <strong>Schwarz</strong> Gerard SchwarzThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 72 (20th century)
Conductor

Sholom SecundaThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1894-1974 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Ralph <strong>Shapey</strong> Ralph ShapeyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1921-2002 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Howard <strong>Shore</strong> Howard ShoreThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 73 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Oscar ShumskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1917-2000 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Elie <strong>Siegmeister</strong> Elie SiegmeisterThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1909-1991 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Joseph SilversteinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1932-2015 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Leonard <strong>Slatkin</strong> Leonard SlatkinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 75 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Steven SloaneThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 62 (20th century)
Conductor

Nicolas SlonimskyThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1894-1995 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Nikolai SokoloffThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1886-1965 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Izler SolomonThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1910-1987 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

S. P. SomtowThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
age 67 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Ethel StarkThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1910-2012 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Leon SteinThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1910-2002 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

William SteinbergThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1899-1978 (20th century)
Conductor

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

Isaac <strong>Stern</strong> Isaac SternThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1920-2001 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Fritz StiedryThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1883-1968 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

William Grant <strong>Still</strong> William Grant StillThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1895-1978 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ignace StrasfogelThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1909-1994 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Gustav StrubeThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1867-1953 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Carlos SurinachThe great 20th-century conductors (1950-2000)
1915-1997 (20th century)
Composer & 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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