American People

Famous Conductors from the United States

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Updated October 13, 2018 4.2k views 506 items

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

People here include everything from Frank Zappa to Frank Sinatra.

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

Use this list of renowned American 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. (506 items)
1
Frank Sinatra is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 83 (1915-1998)

Birthplace: Hoboken, New Jersey, United States of America

Francis Albert Sinatra (; December 12, 1915 – May 14, 1998) was an American singer, actor and producer who was one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th century. He is ...more

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2
Frank Zappa is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 53 (1940-1993)

Birthplace: Baltimore, Maryland, United States of America

Frank Vincent Zappa (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American multi-instrumentalist musician, composer, and bandleader. His work is characterized by nonconformity, free-form ...more

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3
Jackie Gleason is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 71 (1916-1987)

Birthplace: Bushwick, New York City, New York, United States of America

John Herbert Gleason (February 26, 1916 – June 24, 1987), known as Jackie Gleason, was an American comedian, actor, writer, composer and conductor. Developing a style and characters from growing ...more

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4
Quincy Jones is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 85

Birthplace: Chicago, Illinois, United States of America

Quincy Delight Jones Jr. (born March 14, 1933) is an American record producer, multi-instrumentalist, singer, and film producer. His career spans over 60 years in the entertainment industry with ...more

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5
Harry Connick, Jr. is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 51

Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States of America

Joseph Harry Fowler Connick Jr. (born September 11, 1967) is a Grammy and Emmy-award winning American singer, composer, actor, and television host. He has sold over 28 million albums worldwide. ...more

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6
Leonard Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 72 (1918-1990)

Birthplace: Lawrence, Massachusetts, United States of America

Leonard Bernstein ( BURN-styne; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer, conductor, author, music lecturer, and pianist. He was among the first conductors born and educated ...more

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7
Igor Stravinsky is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 89 (1882-1971)

Birthplace: Lomonosov, Russia

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky (; Russian: И́горь Фёдорович Страви́нский, IPA: [ˈiɡərʲ ˈfʲɵdərəvʲɪtɕ strɐˈvʲinskʲɪj]; 17 June [O.S. 5 June] 1882 – 6 April 1971) was a Russian-born composer, ...more

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8
Aaron Copland is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 90 (1900-1990)

Birthplace: New York City, New York, United States of America

Aaron Copland (; November 14, 1900 – December 2, 1990) was an American composer, composition teacher, writer, and later a conductor of his own and other American music. Copland was referred to ...more

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9
Sergei Rachmaninoff is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 70 (1873-1943)

Birthplace: Semyonov, Nizhny Novgorod Oblast, Russia

Sergei Vasilyevich Rachmaninoff (Серге́й Васи́льевич Рахма́нинов) (1 April [O.S. 20 March] 1873 – 28 March 1943) was a Russian composer, virtuoso pianist and conductor of the late Romantic ...more

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10
John Williams is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 87

Birthplace: Floral Park, New York, United States of America

John Towner Williams (born February 8, 1932) is an American composer, conductor, and pianist. Widely regarded as one of the greatest American composers of all time, he has composed some of the ...more

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11
Richard Rodgers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 77 (1902-1979)

Birthplace: Arverne, New York City, New York, United States of America

Richard Charles Rodgers (June 28, 1902 – December 30, 1979) was an American composer of music, with over 900 songs and 43 Broadway musicals, leaving a legacy as one of the most significant ...more

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12
David Ogden Stiers is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 76

Birthplace: Peoria, Illinois, United States of America

David Allen Ogden Stiers ( STY-ərz; October 31, 1942 – March 3, 2018) was an American actor and conductor. Born and raised in Illinois, Stiers attended the University of Oregon before enrolling ...more

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13
Henry Mancini is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 70 (1924-1994)

Birthplace: Little Italy, Cleveland, Ohio, United States of America

Henry Nicola Mancini (born April 16, 1924 – June 14, 1994) was an American composer, conductor, arranger, pianist and flutist who is best remembered for his many film and television scores. ...more

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14
Lennie Moore is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 57

Birthplace: Hanford, California

Lennie Moore is an American composer, conductor, orchestrator of music for video games, film, TV, and Multi-media.
15
Arnold Schoenberg is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 77 (1874-1951)

Birthplace: Leopoldstadt, Vienna, Austria

Arnold Schoenberg or Schönberg (, US also ; German: [ˈʃøːnbɛɐ̯k] (listen); 13 September 1874 – 13 July 1951) was an Austrian, and later American, composer, music theorist, teacher, ...more

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16
Itzhak Perlman is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 73

Birthplace: Tel Aviv, Israel

Itzhak Perlman (Hebrew: יצחק פרלמן‎; born 31 August 1945) is an Israeli-American violinist, conductor, and music teacher. Over the course of his career, Perlman has performed worldwide, and ...more

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17
Marvin Hamlisch is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Marvin Hamlisch Dec. at 68 (1944-2012)

Birthplace: Manhattan, New York City, New York, United States of America

Marvin Frederick Hamlisch (June 2, 1944 – August 6, 2012) was an American composer and conductor. Hamlisch was one of only fifteen people to win Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony awards. This ...more

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18
John Philip Sousa is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 78 (1854-1932)

Birthplace: Washington, D.C.

John Philip Sousa (; November 6, 1854 – March 6, 1932) was an American composer and conductor of the late Romantic era known primarily for American military marches. He is known as "The ...more

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19
André Previn is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
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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20
Elmer Bernstein is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 82 (1922-2004)

Birthplace: New York City, USA, New York

Elmer Bernstein (April 4, 1922 – August 18, 2004) was an American composer and conductor known for his film scores. In a career that spanned more than five decades, he composed "some of the ...more
21
Max Steiner is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 83 (1888-1971)

Birthplace: Vienna, Austria

Maximilian Raoul Steiner (May 10, 1888 – December 28, 1971) was an Austrian-born American music composer for theatre and films, as well as a conductor. He was a child prodigy who conducted his ...more

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22
Mark Morris is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 62

Birthplace: Seattle, Washington

Mark Morris may refer to: Mark Morris (author) (born 1963), English author Mark Morris (choreographer) (born 1956), American dancer and choreographer Mark Morris (cinematographer), notable for ...more
23
Michael Tilson Thomas is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 74

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

Michael Tilson Thomas (born December 21, 1944) is an American conductor, pianist and composer. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, and artistic director of the New ...more
24
Dimitris Mitropoulos is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Dec. at 64 (1896-1960)

Birthplace: Athens, Greece

Dimitri Mitropoulos (Greek: Δημήτρης Μητρόπουλος; 1 March [O.S. 18 February] 1896 – 2 November 1960), was a Greek conductor, pianist, and composer. He received international fame both as a major ...more
25
James Horner is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list Famous Conductors from the United States
Age: 65

Birthplace: Los Angeles, California, United States of America

James Roy Horner (August 14, 1953 – June 22, 2015) was an American composer, conductor and orchestrator of film scores, writing over 100. He was known for the integration of choral and ...more

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