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music List of Famous Music Directors

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List of famous music directors, with photos, bios, and other information when available. Who are the top music directors in the world? This includes the most prominent music directors, living and dead, both in America and abroad. Many of the top music directors are also featured on the best Indian music directors of all time and the most famous female music directors. This list of notable music directors is ordered by their level of prominence, and can be sorted for various bits of information, such as where these historic music directors were born and what their nationality is. The people on this list are from different countries, but what they all have in common is that they're all renowned music directors.

The list you're viewing contains popular musical directors and conductors like Leonard Bernstein, A. R. Rahman, and Gustav Mahler.

From reputable, prominent, and well known music directors to the lesser known music directors of today, these are some of the best professionals in the music director field. If you want to answer the questions, "Who are the most famous music directors ever?" and "What are the names of famous music directors?" then you're in the right place. 

Leonard Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Leonard Bernstein was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated in the United States of America to receive worldwide acclaim. According to music critic Donal Henahan, he was "one of the most prodigiously talented and ...more

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Age: Died at 72 (1918-1990)

Birthplace: Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Profession: Conductor, Film Score Composer, Pianist, Screenwriter Author, + more

Credits: Moonrise Kingdom, Silver Linings Playbook, Precious, Anger Management

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#9 on List of Famous Jewish Singers and Songwriters

#29 on The Best Jazz Composers of All Time

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A. R. Rahman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Allah-Rakha Rahman is an Indian composer, singer-songwriter, music producer, musician and philanthropist. Described as the world's most prominent and prolific film composer by Time, Rahman's works are noted for integrating Eastern classical music with electronic music, world music and traditional ...more

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Age: 48

Birthplace: Chennai, India

Nationality: India

Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician Music Producer, + more

Credits: Slumdog Millionaire, 127 Hours, The Hundred-Foot Journey, Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India

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#1 on Music : Top 25 Indian Music Directors of All Time

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Wynton Marsalis is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Wynton Marsalis is a nominee of 2013 News & Documentary Emmy Award for Outstanding Feature Story in a Regularly Scheduled Newscast. ...more

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Age: 54

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

Nationality: United States of America

Profession: Music Educator, Film Score Composer, Songwriter, Musician Bandleader, + more

Credits: Scooby-Doo! in Where's My Mummy?, Unforgivable Blackness, Tune in Tomorrow, The N-Word On the Shoulders of Giants, + more

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#6 on The Greatest Trumpeters of All Time

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Ilaiyaraaja is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Ilayaraja is a film music contributor. ...more

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Age: 72

Birthplace: Pannaipuram, Theni, India

Nationality: India

Profession: Conductor, Film Score Composer, Songwriter, Musician Film Producer, + more

Credits: Neethaane En Ponvasantham, Kaalapani, Hey Ram, Dhoni Thalapathi, + more

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#2 on Music : Top 25 Indian Music Directors of All Time

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Ennio Morricone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Ennio Morricone, Grand Officer OMRI is an Italian composer, orchestrator, conductor and former trumpet player, who has written music for more than 500 motion pictures and television series, as well as contemporary classical works. His career includes a wide range of composition genres, making him ...more

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Age: 87

Birthplace: Rome, Italy

Nationality: Kingdom of Italy, Italy

Profession: Music director, Conductor, Film Score Composer, Record producer Pianist, + more

Credits: The Hateful Eight, Inglourious Basterds, Django Unchained, Kill Bill: Vol. 1

Also Ranked

#81 on Dead Musicians You Most Want to See Perform as Holograms

#2 on The Best Modern Composers, Ranked

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Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Paul Allen Wood Shaffer, CM is a Canadian-American musician, actor, voice actor, author, comedian, and composer who has been David Letterman's musical director, band leader and sidekick since 1982. ...more

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Age: 66

Birthplace: Thunder Bay, Canada

Nationality: Canada, United States of America

Profession: Film Score Composer, Comedian, Musician, Bandleader Author, + more

Credits: Late Show with David Letterman, Late Night with David Letterman: 6th Anniversary Special, Gilda Live, Comedy Central Presents: The N.Y. Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase

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#19 on The Best Organists in Rock and Jazz Today

#5 on The Best Late Night TV Sidekicks

#14 on The Greatest Organists in Rock and Jazz History

#11 on The Best SNL Cast Members of the '70s

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Yuvan Shankar Raja is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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Yuvan Shankar Raja is an Indian singer-songwriter, film score, and soundtrack composer, singer and occasional lyricist from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He has predominantly scored music for Tamil films. Being the youngest son of noted film composer Ilaiyaraaja, he began his musical career in 1996, at age ...more

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Age: 36

Birthplace: Chennai, India

Nationality: India

Profession: Film Score Composer, Record producer, Songwriter, Musician Lyricist, + more

Credits: Billa II, Mankatha, Vettai, Billa Kazhugu, + more

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#3 on Music : Top 25 Indian Music Directors of All Time

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André Previn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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André George Previn, KBE is a German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world and is the winner of four Academy Awards for his film work and ten Grammy Awards for his recordings. ...more

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Age: 86

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Nationality: United States of America, Germany

Profession: Conductor, Film Score Composer, Arranger, Pianist Musician, + more

Credits: My Fair Lady, Rollerball, Jesus Christ Superstar, Bad Day at Black Rock Paint Your Wagon, + more

Also Ranked

#34 on The Greatest Jazz Pianists of All Time

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