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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
    Leonard Bernstein ( BURN-styne; August 25, 1918 – October 14, 1990) was an American composer,...  more

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  • A. R. Rahman
    Allahrakka Rahman pronunciation ; born A. S. Dileep Kumar) known professionally as A. R....  more
  • Wynton Marsalis
    Wynton Learson Marsalis (born October 18, 1961) is an American virtuoso trumpeter, composer,...  more

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    #9 of 177 The Greatest Trumpeters of All Time#3 of 61 The Best Trumpeters in the World

  • Ilaiyaraaja
    Ilaiyaraaja (born Gnanathesikan; 2 June 1943) is an Indian film composer, singer, songwriter,...  more
  • Ennio Morricone
    Ennio Morricone (November 10, 1928 – July 6, 2020) was an Italian composer, orchestrator,...  more

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  • Paul Shaffer
    Paul Allen Wood Shaffer, CM (born November 28, 1949) is a Canadian singer, composer, actor,...  more

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  • Yuvan Shankar Raja
    Yuvan Shankar Raja (born 31 August 1979) is an Indian film score and soundtrack composer and...  more
  • André Previn
    André George Previn, (; born Andreas Ludwig Priwin; April 6, 1929 – February 28, 2019) was a...  more

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  • S. P. Balasubrahmanyam
    Sripathi Panditaradhyula Balasubrahmanyam (born 4 June 1946) mostly referred to as S. P. B. or...  more
  • Sergiu Celibidache
    Sergiu Celibidache (Romanian: [ˈserdʒju tʃelibiˈdake]; 11 July [O.S. 28 June] 1912, Roman,...  more
  • Hector Berlioz
    Louis-Hector Berlioz (, French: [ɛktɔʁ bɛʁljoz]; 11 December 1803 – 8 March 1869) was a French...  more
  • Simon Rattle
    Sir Simon Denis Rattle (born 19 January 1955) is a British conductor. He rose to...  more
  • Claudio Abbado
    Claudio Abbado, Cavaliere di Gran Croce OMRI (Italian pronunciation: [ˈklaudjo abˈbaːdo]; 26...  more
  • Herbert von Karajan
    Herbert von Karajan (German: [ˈhɛɐbɛɐt fɔn ˈkaraˌjan] (listen); born Heribert Ritter von...  more
  • Wilhelm Furtwängler
    Gustav Heinrich Ernst Martin Wilhelm Furtwängler (UK: FOORT-veng-glər, US: -⁠lər, German:...  more
  • Richard Strauss
    Richard Georg Strauss (German pronunciation: [ˈʁɪçaɐ̯t ˈʃtʁaʊs]; 11 June 1864 – 8 September...  more
  • Leopold Stokowski
    Leopold Anthony Stokowski (18 April 1882 – 13 September 1977) was an English conductor of...  more
  • Arturo Toscanini
    Arturo Toscanini (, Italian: [arˈtuːro toskaˈniːni]; March 25, 1867 – January 16, 1957) was an...  more
  • Gustav Mahler

    Gustav Mahler

    Gustav Mahler (German: [ˈmaːlɐ]; 7 July 1860 – 18 May 1911) was an Austro-Bohemian...  more


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  • Walt Levinsky
    Walt Levinsky was an American big band and orchestral player, composer, arranger and band...  more
  • Sajid-Wajid


    Sajid–Wajid is a Hindi music composer duo consisting of brothers Sajid Ali and Wajid...  more
  • Marc Shaiman
    Marc Shaiman (; born October 22, 1959) is an American composer and lyricist for films,...  more
  • Harris Jayaraj
    Harris Jayaraj (born 8 January 1975) is an Indian film composer from Chennai , Tamil Nadu. He...  more
  • Michael Tilson Thomas
    Michael Tilson Thomas (born December 21, 1944) is an American conductor, pianist and composer....  more
  • Daryl Coley
    Daryl Lynn Coley (October 30, 1955 – March 15, 2016) was an American Christian singer. At 14,...  more

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