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 is a German-American pianist, conductor, and composer. He is considered one of the most versatile musicians in the world and is the winner of four Academy Awards ...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

Salil Chowdhury is listed (or ranked) 26 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Salil Chowdhury was an Indian music composer, who mainly composed for Bengali, Hindi and Malayalam films. He was also a poet and a playwright. He is affectionately called Salilda by his ...more

Ted Sperling is listed (or ranked) 27 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Ted Sperling is a Musical Director, conductor, orchestrator, arranger, stage director and musician, primarily for the stage and concerts. He won the Tony Award for Best Orchestrations and the ...more

Himesh Reshammiya is listed (or ranked) 28 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Himesh Reshammiya is an Indian music director, singer, film actor, television producer, lyricist, film producer, film writer and distributor.

Vijay Antony is listed (or ranked) 29 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Vijay Antony is an Indian film composer.

M. S. Viswanathan is listed (or ranked) 30 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Manayangath Subramanian Viswanathan, also known as M.S.V., is a Kollywood music director and composer from South India. He is popularly known as Mellisai Mannar. He has composed songs in Tamil, ...more

Oscar Hammerstein II is listed (or ranked) 31 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Oscar Greeley Clendenning Hammerstein II was an American librettist, theatrical producer, and theatre director of musicals for almost forty years. Hammerstein won eight Tony Awards and two ...more

Paravur Devarajan is listed (or ranked) 32 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Paravoor Govindan Devarajan, popularly known as G. Devarajan or Devarajan master, was a Malayalam music composer. He is considered as one of the best music composers for Malayalam movies. His ...more

Pinchas Zukerman is listed (or ranked) 33 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Pinchas Zukerman is an Israeli violinist, violist, and conductor.

George Duke is listed (or ranked) 34 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
George Duke was an American musician, known as a keyboard pioneer, composer, singer and producer in both jazz and popular mainstream musical genres. He worked with numerous acclaimed artists as ...more

S. Thaman is listed (or ranked) 35 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Sai Srinivas is an actor.

Bharathwaj is listed (or ranked) 36 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Bharathwaj is a Tamil film composer. He has since scored music in languages including Tamil, Telugu and Malayalam. trained in Hindustani, Western and Carnatic music. He is a recipient of ...more

Jagjit Singh is listed (or ranked) 37 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Jagjit Singh, born Jagmohan Singh, was a prominent Indian Ghazal singer, songwriter and musician. Known as the "Ghazal King", he gained acclaim together with his wife, another renowned ...more

Kirk Franklin is listed (or ranked) 38 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Kirk Dwayne Franklin is an American gospel musician, choir director, and author. He is known for leading urban contemporary gospel choirs such as The Family, God's Property and One Nation Crew, ...more

Mithoon is listed (or ranked) 39 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Mithoon Mithun Sharma is a film score composer.

Daniel Barenboim is listed (or ranked) 40 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Daniel Barenboim is an Argentine pianist and conductor. Currently, he is general music director of La Scala in Milan, the Berlin State Opera, and the Staatskapelle Berlin; he previously served ...more

G. V. Prakash Kumar is listed (or ranked) 41 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
G. V. Prakash Kumar is an Indian film score and soundtrack composer and singer. He has mainly scored music for Tamil films. His first film was S Pictures' Veyil and he became popular in Tamil ...more

Patrice Rushen is listed (or ranked) 42 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Patrice Louise Rushen is an American composer, record producer, multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, music director and vocalist. Her 1982 single, "Forget Me Nots", received a Grammy ...more

Brian Bennett is listed (or ranked) 43 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Brian Laurence Bennett OBE is an English drummer, pianist, composer, arranger and record producer of popular music. He is best known as the drummer of the UK rock and roll group, The Shadows. He ...more

Aman Hayer is listed (or ranked) 44 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Aman Hayer is a film score composer.

Jeffrey Lesser is listed (or ranked) 45 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Jeffrey Lesser is a television producer and music director.

Kent Nagano is listed (or ranked) 46 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Kent George Nagano is an American conductor and opera administrator. He is currently the music director of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal and the Bavarian State Opera.

David Benoit is listed (or ranked) 47 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
David Benoit is an American jazz pianist, composer and producer from Los Angeles, California. Benoit has charted over 25 albums since 1980, and has been nominated for three Grammy Awards. He is ...more

Anu Malik is listed (or ranked) 48 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Anu Malik, born Anwar Sardaar Malik, is an Indian music director and singer who primarily works in the Hindi film industry. Son of veteran music director Sardar Malek, Anu Malik made his debut ...more

Sanjay Leela Bhansali is listed (or ranked) 49 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Sanjay Leela Bhansali is an Indian film director, producer, screenwriter, and music director. He is an alumnus of the Film and Television Institute of India. Bhansali has adopted the middle name ...more

Djansug Kakhidze is listed (or ranked) 50 on the list List of Famous Music Directors
Jansug Kakhidze was a Georgian conductor, nicknamed "the Georgian Karajan". Kakhidze was music director of the Georgian State Symphony Orchestra for two decades beginning in 1973. He ...more