Järvi or Järvi? Järvi or Ormandy? 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 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 : Järvi (Estonian conductor) or Järvi (Estonian conductor) ? Alsop (Conductor and violinist) or Hannigan (Canadian operatic soprano) ? 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, . 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

Who are these greatest conductors, the most famous over the 1880-2020 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. Nézet-Séguin, Menuhin, Cliburn, Perahia, Kovacevich, Monteux, Levine...

At this time, soClassiQ has listed more than 4400 conductors. So here is a selection of some conductors for the years 1880-2020, in North America, widely recognized around the world:

C

Juventino Rosas <strong>Cadenas</strong> Juventino Rosas CadenasThe great classical music conductors
1868-1894 (Romantic)
Composer & Conductor

Enrique Bátiz CampbellThe great classical music conductors
age 78 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Karina <strong>Canellakis</strong> Karina CanellakisThe great classical music conductors
age 39 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Julián CarrilloThe great classical music conductors
1875-1965 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Alejandro García <strong>Caturla</strong> Alejandro García CaturlaThe great classical music conductors
1906-1940 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Carlos <strong>Chávez</strong> Carlos ChávezThe great classical music conductors
1899-1978 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

William <strong>Christie</strong> William ChristieThe great classical music conductors
1944-1922 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Van <strong>Cliburn</strong> Van CliburnThe great classical music conductors
1934-2013 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

George M. <strong>Cohan</strong> George M. CohanThe great classical music conductors
1878-1942 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer & Conductor

Sergiu ComissionaThe great classical music conductors
1928-2005 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

James <strong>Conlon</strong> James ConlonThe great classical music conductors
age 70 (20th century)
Conductor

Aaron <strong>Copland</strong> Aaron CoplandThe great classical music conductors
1900-1990 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

MasterpiecesComplete works

Anton <strong>Coppola</strong> Anton CoppolaThe great classical music conductors
1917-2020 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Carmine CoppolaThe great classical music conductors
1910-1991 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Robert <strong>Craft</strong> Robert CraftThe great classical music conductors
1923-2015 (20th century)
Conductor


K

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

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

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

Rudolf KolischThe great classical music conductors
1896-1978 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Nikolai KorndorfThe great classical music conductors
1947-2001 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Andre KostelanetzThe great classical music conductors
1901-1980 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

Stephen KovacevichThe great classical music conductors
age 79 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Yakov KreizbergThe great classical music conductors
1959-2011 (20th century)
Conductor

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

Theodore <strong>Kuchar</strong> Theodore KucharThe great classical music conductors
age 57 (20th century)
Conductor

Erich KunzelThe great classical music conductors
1935-2009 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

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

Milan KymlickaThe great classical music conductors
1936-2008 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor


L

Alondra de la ParraThe great classical music conductors
age 39 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Calixa <strong>Lavallée</strong> Calixa LavalléeThe great classical music conductors
1842-1891 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Michel <strong>Legrand</strong> Michel LegrandThe great classical music conductors
1932-2019 (20th century)
Composer, Lyrical singer, Performer & Conductor

S

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

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

Thomas SchippersThe great classical music conductors
1930-1977 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

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

William SchumanThe great classical music conductors
1910-1992 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Gerard <strong>Schwarz</strong> Gerard SchwarzThe great classical music conductors
age 72 (20th century)
Conductor

Sholom SecundaThe great classical music conductors
1894-1974 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

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

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

Alexander <strong>Siloti</strong> Alexander SilotiThe great classical music conductors
1863-1945 (20th century)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Joseph SilversteinThe great classical music conductors
1932-2015 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

Leonard <strong>Slatkin</strong> Leonard SlatkinThe great classical music conductors
age 75 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

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

Izler SolomonThe great classical music conductors
1910-1987 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

S. P. SomtowThe great classical music conductors
age 67 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

John Philip <strong>Sousa</strong> John Philip SousaThe great classical music conductors
1854-1932 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Ethel StarkThe great classical music conductors
1910-2012 (20th century)
Performer & Conductor

William SteinbergThe great classical music conductors
1899-1978 (20th century)
Conductor

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

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

Fritz StiedryThe great classical music conductors
1883-1968 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

Josef StránskýThe great classical music conductors
1872-1936 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

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

MasterpiecesComplete works

Gustav StrubeThe great classical music conductors
1867-1953 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

Frank Van der <strong>Stucken</strong> Frank Van der StuckenThe great classical music conductors
1858-1929 (Romantic)
Composer, Performer & Conductor

Carlos SurinachThe great classical music conductors
1915-1997 (20th century)
Composer & Conductor

George <strong>Szell</strong> George SzellThe great classical music conductors
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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