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
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 ...more

A. R. Rahman is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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 ...more

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

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

Ennio Morricone is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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 ...more

Paul Shaffer is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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

Yuvan Shankar Raja is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
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 ...more

André Previn is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
André George Previn, KBE (/ˈprɛvɪn/; born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929 – February 28, 2019) was a German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the ...more

S. P. Balasubrahmanyam is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam is an Indian film playback singer, actor, music director, voice actor and film producer. He is mostly referred to as S. P. B. or Balu. He has won the ...more

Sergiu Celibidache is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Sergiu Celibidache was a Romanian conductor, composer, and teacher. Educated in his native Romania, and later in Paris and Berlin, Celibidache's career in music spanned over five decades, ...more

Hector Berlioz is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Hector Berlioz was a French Romantic composer, best known for his compositions Symphonie fantastique and Grande messe des morts. Berlioz made significant contributions to the modern orchestra ...more

Simon Rattle is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Sir Simon Denis Rattle, OM CBE, is an English conductor. He rose to international prominence during the 1980s and 1990s, while Music Director of the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra. He has ...more

Claudio Abbado is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Claudio Abbado, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI was an Italian conductor. One of the most celebrated and respected conductors of the 20th century, he served as music director of the La Scala opera ...more

Herbert von Karajan is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Herbert von Karajan was an Austrian conductor. He was principal conductor of the Berlin Philharmonic for 35 years. He is generally regarded as one of the greatest conductors of the 20th century, ...more

Wilhelm Furtwängler is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Wilhelm Furtwängler was a German conductor and composer. He is considered to be one of the greatest symphonic and operatic conductors of the 20th century. Furtwängler was principal ...more

Richard Strauss is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Richard Georg Strauss was a leading German composer of the late Romantic and early modern eras. He is known for his operas, which include Der Rosenkavalier and Salome; his lieder, especially his ...more

Leopold Stokowski is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Leopold Anthony Stokowski was a British conductor of Polish and Irish descent. One of the leading conductors of the early and mid-20th Century, he is best known for his long association with the ...more

Arturo Toscanini is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Arturo Toscanini was an Italian conductor. He was one of the most acclaimed musicians of the late 19th and 20th century, renowned for his intensity, his perfectionism, his ear for orchestral ...more

Gustav Mahler is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Gustav Mahler was an Austrian late-Romantic composer, and one of the leading conductors of his generation. As a composer he acted as a bridge between the 19th century Austro-German tradition and ...more

Walt Levinsky is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Walt Levinsky was an American big band and orchestral player, composer, arranger and band leader. While many of his big band assignments were as lead alto sax player, his favorite instrument was ...more

Sajid-Wajid is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Sajid-Wajid
Sajid–Wajid is a Hindi music composer duo consisting of brothers Sajid Ali and Wajid Ali. Sajid Ali and Wajid Ali are the sons of Ustad Sharafat Kha, a tabla player. Actress and singer Salma ...more

Marc Shaiman is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Marc Shaiman is an Grammy, Emmy, Tony winning, and multi Oscar nominated American composer, lyricist, arranger and performer for films, television, and theatre. He is perhaps best known for ...more

Harris Jayaraj is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Harris Jayaraj is an Indian film composer from Chennai, Tamil Nadu. He has written scores and soundtracks for Tamil, Telugu and Hindi films.

Michael Tilson Thomas is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Michael Tilson Thomas is an American conductor, pianist and composer. He is currently music director of the San Francisco Symphony, and artistic director of the New World Symphony Orchestra.

Daryl Coley is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Daryl Lynn Coley is an American Christian singer. At 14, Coley was a member of the nationally acclaimed ensemble Helen Stephens And The Voices Of Christ. He began performing with Edwin Hawkins ...more