The great classical music conductors Europe

 

Rattle or Barenboim? Muti or Beecham? 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 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 : Rattle (British conductor) or Barenboim (Israeli Argentine-born pianist and conductor) ? Mravinsky (Soviet conductor) or Nikisch (Hungarian 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 Europe, . 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 2021

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

Top 10 conductors in Europe

Who are these greatest conductors, the most famous over the 1880-2020 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. Jansons, Kleiber, Jochum, Oistrakh, Järvi, Järvi, Gergiev...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 4500 conductors. So here is a selection of some conductors for the years 1880-2020, in Europe, widely recognized around the world:

B

Mily <strong>Balakirev</strong> Mily BalakirevThe great classical music conductors
1837-1910 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

Daniel <strong>Barenboim</strong> Daniel BarenboimThe great classical music conductors
age 77 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

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

Yury <strong>Bashmet</strong> Yury BashmetThe great classical music conductors
age 67 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

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

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

Herbert <strong>Blomstedt</strong> Herbert BlomstedtThe great classical music conductors
age 93 (20th century)
Conductor

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

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

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Johannes <strong>Brahms</strong> Johannes BrahmsThe great classical music conductors
1833-1897 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Max <strong>Bruch</strong> Max BruchThe great classical music conductors
1838-1920 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Hans von <strong>Bülow</strong> Hans von BülowThe great classical music conductors
1830-1894 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

Ferruccio <strong>Busoni</strong> Ferruccio BusoniThe great classical music conductors
1866-1924 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


F

Leo FallThe great classical music conductors
1873-1925 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Zdeněk <strong>Fibich</strong> Zdeněk FibichThe great classical music conductors
1850-1900 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Dietrich <strong>Fischer-Dieskau</strong> Dietrich Fischer-DieskauThe great classical music conductors
1925-2012 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer, Performer & Conductor

Julius <strong>Fučík</strong> Julius FučíkThe great classical music conductors
1872-1916 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Wilhelm <strong>Furtwängler</strong> Wilhelm FurtwänglerThe great classical music conductors
1886-1954 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


K

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Kirill KondrashinThe great classical music conductors
1914-1981 (20th century)
Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

Gidon <strong>Kremer</strong> Gidon KremerThe great classical music conductors
age 73 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

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


... L

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

Mykola <strong>Lysenko</strong> Mykola LysenkoThe great classical music conductors
1842-1912 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


M

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

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

Gustav <strong>Mahler</strong> Gustav MahlerThe great classical music conductors
1860-1911 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Oskar <strong>Merikanto</strong> Oskar MerikantoThe great classical music conductors
1868-1924 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

Stevan Stojanović <strong>Mokranjac</strong> Stevan Stojanović MokranjacThe great classical music conductors
1856-1914 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

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

Moritz <strong>Moszkowski</strong> Moritz MoszkowskiThe great classical music conductors
1854-1925 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

Riccardo <strong>Muti</strong> Riccardo MutiThe great classical music conductors
age 80 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor


R

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Simon <strong>Rattle</strong> Simon RattleThe great classical music conductors
age 65 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Max <strong>Reger</strong> Max RegerThe great classical music conductors
1873-1916 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Carl <strong>Reinecke</strong> Carl ReineckeThe great classical music conductors
1824-1910 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

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

Hans <strong>Richter</strong> Hans RichterThe great classical music conductors
1843-1916 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

André <strong>Rieu</strong> André RieuThe great classical music conductors
age 71 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Nikolai <strong>Rimsky-Korsakov</strong> Nikolai Rimsky-KorsakovThe great classical music conductors
1844-1908 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

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

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

Nikolai <strong>Rubinstein</strong> Nikolai RubinsteinThe great classical music conductors
1835-1881 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Anton <strong>Rubinstein</strong> Anton RubinsteinThe great classical music conductors
1829-1894 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

John <strong>Rutter</strong> John RutterThe great classical music conductors
age 75 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor


S

Camille <strong>Saint-Saëns</strong> Camille Saint-SaënsThe great classical music conductors
1835-1921 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Esa-Pekka <strong>Salonen</strong> Esa-Pekka SalonenThe great classical music conductors
age 62 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Pablo de <strong>Sarasate</strong> Pablo de SarasateThe great classical music conductors
1844-1908 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

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

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Bedřich <strong>Smetana</strong> Bedřich SmetanaThe great classical music conductors
1824-1884 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

Alexander <strong>Spendiaryan</strong> Alexander SpendiaryanThe great classical music conductors
1871-1928 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Wilhelm <strong>Stenhammar</strong> Wilhelm StenhammarThe great classical music conductors
1871-1927 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

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

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

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

Eduard <strong>Strauss</strong> Eduard StraussThe great classical music conductors
1835-1916 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Arthur <strong>Sullivan</strong> Arthur SullivanThe great classical music conductors
1842-1900 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Franz von <strong>Suppè</strong> Franz von SuppèThe great classical music conductors
1819-1895 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Johan <strong>Svendsen</strong> Johan SvendsenThe great classical music conductors
1840-1911 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

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

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


U

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


W

Richard <strong>Wagner</strong> Richard WagnerThe great classical music conductors
1813-1883 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Émile <strong>Waldteufel</strong> Émile WaldteufelThe great classical music conductors
1837-1915 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Bruno <strong>Walter</strong> Bruno WalterThe great classical music conductors
1876-1962 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

William <strong>Walton</strong> William WaltonThe great classical music conductors
1902-1983 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Anton <strong>Webern</strong> Anton WebernThe great classical music conductors
1883-1945 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Kurt <strong>Weill</strong> Kurt WeillThe great classical music conductors
1900-1950 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Felix von <strong>Weingartner</strong> Felix von WeingartnerThe great classical music conductors
1863-1942 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ralph Vaughan <strong>Williams</strong> Ralph Vaughan WilliamsThe great classical music conductors
1872-1958 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


Y

Eugène <strong>Ysaÿe</strong> Eugène YsaÿeThe great classical music conductors
1858-1931 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor


Some conductors to be celebrated very soon

Next month, more than 40 important artists and musicians will be honoured. In November 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 2, Dimitri Mitropoulos (1896-1960), 60th anniversary (Death),
on 7, Ferenc Erkel (1810-1893), 210th anniversary (Birth),
on 12, Oscar Strasnoy (1970- ), 50th anniversary,
on 14, Aaron Copland (1900-1990), 120th anniversary (Birth),
on 22, Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900), 120th anniversary (Death),
...

There are others to discover. And it is not too late to focus on the October 2020 celebrations (30+).

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

See also...

Last update : 2020-10-01

Make classical music accessible to all.

EN FR ES DE IT