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Famous Conductors from Germany

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Updated June 14, 2019 11.8k views 178 items

List of notable or famous conductors from Germany, with bios and photos, including the top conductors born in Germany and even some popular conductors who immigrated to Germany. If you're trying to find out the names of famous German 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 Germany is included when available.

List features Richard Strauss, Siegfried Wagner and more.

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

Use this list of renowned German 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. (178 items)
1
Richard Strauss is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 85 (1864-1949)

Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Richard Georg Strauss (German pronunciation: [ˈʁɪçaɐ̯t ˈʃtʁaʊs]; 11 June 1864 – 8 September 1949) was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for ...more

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2
Richard Wagner is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
3
Felix Mendelssohn-Bartho... is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 38 (1809-1847)

Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

Jakob Ludwig Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy (3 February 1809 – 4 November 1847), born and widely known as Felix Mendelssohn, was a German composer, pianist, organist and conductor of the early ...more

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4
André Previn is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Age: 89

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

André George Previn, (; born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929 – February 28, 2019) was a German-American pianist, composer, arranger, and conductor. His career was three-pronged. ...more

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5
Siegfried Wagner is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 61 (1869-1930)

Birthplace: Lucerne, Switzerland

Siegfried Helferich Richard Wagner (6 June 1869 – 4 August 1930) was a German composer and conductor, the son of Richard Wagner. He was an opera composer and the artistic director of the ...more
6
Wolfgang Fortner is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 80 (1907-1987)

Birthplace: Leipzig, Germany

Wolfgang Fortner (12 October 1907 – 5 September 1987) was a German composer, composition teacher and conductor.
7
Carl Maria von Weber is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 40 (1786-1826)

Birthplace: Eutin, Germany

Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (18 or 19 November 1786 – 5 June 1826) was a German composer, conductor, pianist, guitarist and critic, and was one of the first significant composers of the ...more

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8
Erich Kunzel is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 74 (1935-2009)

Birthplace: New York City, New York

Erich Kunzel, Jr. (March 21, 1935 – September 1, 2009) was an American orchestra conductor. Called the "Prince of Pops" by the Chicago Tribune, he performed with a number of leading ...more
9
Chris Walden is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Age: 52

Birthplace: Hamburg, Germany

Chris Walden (born October 10, 1966 in Hamburg, Germany) is a German composer, arranger, and conductor living in the U.S. He leads the Chris Walden Big Band, and was nominated seven times for a ...more
10
Paul Hindemith is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 68 (1895-1963)

Birthplace: Hanau, Germany

Paul Hindemith (; 16 November 1895 – 28 December 1963) was a prolific German composer, violist, violinist, teacher and conductor. In the 1920s, he became a major advocate of the Neue ...more
11
Matthias Pintscher is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Age: 48

Birthplace: Marl, Germany

Matthias Pintscher is a German composer and conductor. As a youth, he studied the violin and conducting.
12
Martin Böttcher is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Age: 91

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Martin Böttcher (17 June 1927 – 20 April 2019) was a German composer, arranger and conductor.
13
Karl Richter is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 55 (1926-1981)

Birthplace: Plauen, Germany

Karl Richter (15 October 1926 – 15 February 1981) was a German conductor, choirmaster, organist and harpsichordist.
14
Lukas Foss is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 87 (1922-2009)

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Lukas Foss (August 15, 1922 – February 1, 2009) was a German-American composer, pianist, and conductor.

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15
Heinrich Hollreiser is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 93 (1913-2006)

Birthplace: Munich, Germany

Heinrich Hollreiser was a German conductor. Born in Munich, he attended the State Academy of Music there, and went on to serve as the conductor at the opera houses in Wiesbaden, Darmstadt, ...more
16
Franz Danzi is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Franz Danzi Dec. at 63 (1763-1826)

Birthplace: Schwetzingen, Germany

Franz Ignaz Danzi was a German cellist, composer and conductor, the son of the noted Italian cellist Innocenz Danzi. Born in Schwetzingen, Franz Danzi worked in Mannheim, Munich, Stuttgart and ...more
17
Carl Reinthaler is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Carl Reinthaler Dec. at 74 (1822-1896)

Birthplace: Erfurt, Germany

Carl Martin Reinthaler was a German organist, conductor and composer. Alternative spellings include Karl Martin Reinthaler and Carl Martin Rheinthaler.
18
Max Reger is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 43 (1873-1916)

Birthplace: Brand, Bavaria, Germany

Johann Baptist Joseph Maximilian Reger (19 March 1873 – 11 May 1916), commonly known as Max Reger, was a German composer, pianist, organist, conductor, and academic teacher. He worked as a ...more
19
Otto Gerdes is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Otto Gerdes Dec. at 69 (1920-1989)

Birthplace: Cologne, Germany

Otto Gerdes was a German conductor and record producer. He studied music at the Hochschule für Musik Köln, including conducting with Hermann Abendroth. He conducted opera in Berlin, ...more
20
Gershon Kingsley is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Age: 96

Birthplace: Bochum, Germany

Gershon Kingsley (born Götz Gustav Ksinski; October 28, 1922) is a contemporary German-American composer, a pioneer of electronic music and the Moog synthesizer, founder of the First Moog ...more

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21
Thomas Hengelbrock is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Thomas Hengelbrock Age: 60

Birthplace: Wilhelmshaven, Germany

Thomas Hengelbrock is a German violinist, musicologist, stage director and conductor. He is the founder and director of the Balthasar-Neumann-Chor and the Balthasar-Neumann-Ensemble. Since 2011, ...more
22
Carl Reinecke is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 86 (1824-1910)

Birthplace: Altona, Hamburg, Germany

Carl Heinrich Carsten Reinecke (23 June 1824 – 10 March 1910) was a German composer, conductor, and pianist in the Middle Romantic Era.
23
Joseph Keilberth is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 60 (1908-1968)

Birthplace: Karlsruhe, Germany

Joseph Keilberth (19 April 1908 – 20 July 1968) was a German conductor who specialised in opera. He started his career in the State Theatre of his native city, Karlsruhe. In 1940 he became ...more
24
Alfred Hertz is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 70 (1872-1942)

Birthplace: Frankfurt, Germany

Alfred Hertz (July 15, 1872 – April 17, 1942) was a German conductor.
25
Bruno Walter is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Conductors from Germany
Dec. at 86 (1876-1962)

Birthplace: Berlin, Germany

Bruno Walter (born Bruno Schlesinger, September 15, 1876 – February 17, 1962) was a German-born conductor, pianist and composer. Born in Berlin, he left Germany in 1933 to escape the Third ...more