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Famous Conductors from France

Updated October 13, 2018 6.8k views77 items

List of notable or famous conductors from France, with bios and photos, including the top conductors born in France and even some popular conductors who immigrated to France. If you're trying to find out the names of famous French conductors then this list is the perfect resource for you. These conductors are among the most prominent in their field, and information about each well-known conductor from France is included when available.

List features people like Reynaldo Hahn and Maurice Jarre.

This historic conductors from France list can help answer the questions "Who are some French conductors of note?" and "Who are the most famous conductors from France?" These prominent conductors of France may or may not be currently alive, but what they all have in common is that they're all respected French conductors.

Use this list of renowned French conductors to discover some new conductors that you aren't familiar with. Don't forget to share this list by clicking one of the social media icons at the top or bottom of the page. {#nodes}
  • 1

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Alexandre Michel Gérard Desplat (French: [a.lɛk.sɑ̃dʁ dɛ.pla]; born 23 August 1961) is a French film composer, of Greek descent. He has won two Academy Awards, for his musical scores to the films The...  more
  • 2

    Alexandre Luigini

    Dec. at 56 (1850-1906)

    BirthplaceLyon, France

    Alexandre Clément Léon Joseph Luigini (9 March 1850 – 29 July 1906) was a French composer and conductor, especially active in the opera house. As a composer, he is now remembered almost solely for...  more
  • 3

    Alfred Cortot

    Dec. at 84 (1877-1962)

    BirthplaceNyon, Switzerland

    Alfred Denis Cortot (26 September 1877 – 15 June 1962) was a Franco-Swiss pianist, conductor, and teacher who was one of the most renowned classical musicians of the 20th century. He was especially...  more
  • 4

    André Campra

    Dec. at 83 (1660-1744)

    BirthplaceAix-en-Provence, France

    André Campra (French: [kɑ̃pʁa]; baptized 4 December 1660 – 29 June 1744) was a French composer and conductor. Campra was one of the leading French opera composers in the period between Jean-Baptiste...  more
  • 5

    André Cluytens

    Dec. at 62 (1905-1967)

    BirthplaceAntwerp, Belgium

    André Cluytens (French pronunciation: ​[ɑ̃ːdʁe klɥitɑ̃s], Dutch pronunciation: [ɑn'dreː 'klœ.ytəns]; born Augustin Zulma Alphonse Cluytens; 26 March 1905 – 3 June 1967) was a Belgian-born French...  more
  • 6

    André Messager

    Dec. at 75 (1853-1929)

    BirthplaceMontluçon, France

    André Charles Prosper Messager (French: [mɛsaʒe]; 30 December 1853 – 24 February 1929) was a French composer, organist, pianist and conductor. His compositions include eight ballets and thirty opéras...  more
  • 7

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Bertrand de Billy (born Paris, 11 January 1965) is a French conductor. He attended a Jesuit school, but only started serious musical studies when he was around 14-15; he studied piano and...  more
  • 8

    Camille Chevillard

    Dec. at 63 (1859-1923)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Paul Alexandre Camille Chevillard (14 October 1859 – 30 May 1923) was a French composer and conductor....  more
  • 9

    Camille Saint-Saëns

    Dec. at 86 (1835-1921)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Charles-Camille Saint-Saëns (French: [ʃaʁl kamij sɛ̃ sɑ̃(s)]; 9 October 1835 – 16 December 1921) was a French composer, organist, conductor and pianist of the Romantic era. His best-known works...  more
  • 10

    Carlos Salzedo

    Dec. at 76 (1885-1961)

    BirthplaceArcachon, France

    Carlos Salzedo (6 April 1885 – 17 August 1961) was a French harpist, pianist, composer and conductor. His compositions brought a new modernist sensibility to the virtuoso repertoire of the...  more
  • 11

    Charles Bruck

    Dec. at 84 (1911-1995)


    Charles Bruck (2 May 1911 – 16 July 1995) was a Hungarian-French conductor. Bruck was born in Temesvár, Kingdom of Hungary, Austro-Hungarian Empire, since 1920 Timişoara in Romania. He left Romania...  more
  • 12

    Charles Lamoureux

    Dec. at 65 (1834-1899)

    BirthplaceBordeaux, France

    Charles Lamoureux (pronounced [ʃaʁlʁø]; 28 September 1834 – 21 December 1899) was a French conductor and violinist....  more
  • 13

    Charles Münch

    Dec. at 77 (1891-1968)

    BirthplaceStrasbourg, France

    Charles Munch (French pronunciation: ​[ʃaʁl mynʃ]; born Charles Münch; 26 September 1891 – 6 November 1968) was an Alsacian, German-born French symphonic conductor and violinist. Noted for his...  more
  • 14

    BirthplaceAvignon, France

    Christophe Rousset (French: [ʁusɛ]; born 12 April 1961) is an internationally renowned French harpsichordist and conductor, specializing in the performance of baroque music on period instruments. He...  more
  • 15

    Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht

    Dec. at 84 (1880-1965)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Désiré-Émile Inghelbrecht (17 September 1880 – 14 February 1965) was a French composer, conductor and writer....  more
  • 16

    BirthplaceTossa de Mar, Spain

    Diego Masson (born 21 June 1935) is a French conductor, composer, and percussionist. The son of artist André Masson and brother of the singer and actor Luís Masson, Diego Masson was born in Tossa de...  more
  • 17

    Édouard Colonne

    Dec. at 71 (1838-1910)

    BirthplaceBordeaux, France

    Édouard Juda Colonne (23 July 1838 – 28 March 1910) was a French conductor and violinist, who was a champion of the music of Berlioz and other eminent 19th-century composers....  more
  • 18

    Édouard Deldevez

    Dec. at 80 (1817-1897)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Édouard-Marie-Ernest Deldevez (31 May 1817 – 6 November 1897) was a French violinist, conductor at important Parisian musical institutions, composer, and music teacher....  more
  • 19

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Emmanuelle Haïm (French pronunciation: ​[ɛmanɥɛl aim]; born 11 May 1962 in Paris) is a French harpsichordist and conductor with a particular interest in early music and Baroque music....  more
  • 20

    Eugène Bigot

    Dec. at 77 (1888-1965)

    BirthplaceRennes, France

    Eugène Bigot (28 February 1888 – 17 July 1965) was a French composer and conductor. ...  more
  • 21

    Eugène Goossens, fils

    Dec. at 91 (1867-1958)

    BirthplaceBordeaux, France

    Eugène Goossens (28 January 1867 – 31 July 1958) was a French born conductor and violinist. He was born in Bordeaux and studied in Bruges and the conservatoire in Brussels. He moved to England with...  more
  • 22

    Francis Casadesus

    Dec. at 83 (1870-1954)

    BirthplaceParis, France

    Francis Casadesus is a film score composer, a composer and a conductor....  more
  • 23

    Gabriel Fauré

    Dec. at 79 (1845-1924)

    BirthplacePamiers, France

    Gabriel Urbain Fauré (French: [ɡabʁiɛl yʁbɛ̃ fɔʁe]; 12 May 1845 – 4 November 1924) was a French composer, organist, pianist and teacher. He was one of the foremost French composers of his generation,...  more
  • 24

    Gabriel Pierné

    Dec. at 73 (1863-1937)

    BirthplaceMetz, France

    Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné (16 August 1863 – 17 July 1937) was a French composer, conductor, and organist....  more
  • 25

    BirthplaceWaziers, France

    Georges Prêtre (French pronunciation: ​[ʒɔʁʒ pʁɛːtʁ]; 14 August 1924 – 4 January 2017) was a French orchestral and opera conductor....  more