Who was the busiest conductor in 2011? (update)

Who was the busiest conductor in 2011? (update)


norman lebrecht

January 06, 2012

The Bachtrack.com website annually lists performance statistics for concert halls. What caught my eye in today’s published rankings was not so much the most-played composers – they don’t change that much year to year – but which conductor was busiest through 2011. Was it Valery Gergiev with the LSO? Rattle in Berlin? Chailly in Leipzig Who, then?


You guessed: the Dude’s officially the world’s busiest baton. Here’s the full ranking:

Conductor (age)
2011 Concerts

1Gustavo Dudamel (30) 82

2Iván Fischer (60) 74

Sir Simon Rattle (56) 70

4Paavo Järvi (49) 69

5Charles Dutoit (75) 68

6Michael Tilson Thomas (67)65

7Richard Tognetti (46) 64

8Alan Gilbert (44) 57

9Andris Nelsons (33) 55

10Bernard Haitink (82) 55

UPDATE: Bachtrack apparently only follows major venues. It looks like several maestros slipped through the Bachtrack cracks. Valery Gergiev is privately estimated to have given 183 concerts in 2011, while Esa-Pekka Salonen’s people tell me he notched up 73, including one opera.

That puts Gergiev far ahead of the rest.




  • Mathieu says:

    It seems unbelievable that Gergiev is not in this list. But it does not include opera and ballet (if it did, no doubt James Levine would be #1!)

    • Boyce says:

      Doubtful Levine would make the list now…he can barely mount the podium. When was the last time he conducted?

      • Mathieu says:

        I was being ironical!

        • Steve de Mena says:

          I think Levine’s count would be a negative number if you deducted scheduled operas at the Met. Hoping to see him on this list some day, not near the top but at a pace his health can handle.

          • Thomas says:

            I’m sorry, but that’s never going to happen. He’s juggled far too many little boys on his lap over the years, from which he’ll never recover.

          • Mathieu says:

            This is of course a wish all of us Levine fans make.

  • Jo says:

    As David partially points out on Bachtrack, the stats are by no means complete. For example at least 50% of the LSO’s performances don’t appear on Bachtrack because they are on tour and therefore outside of the scope of the marketing dept to enter on to the site (they are promoted by the venue or local promoter). The busiest conductor and orchestra lists might well actually be very different…

  • And where are Gergiev and Barenboim in this list?


  • Cue some smartass marketing Dudamel as “The Busiest Conductor in the World!”

  • MusicLover says:

    Anyone below Dutoit ought be ashamed!

    • Petros Linardos says:

      MusicLover, since when does quality trump quality? Do you seriously mean that Christian Thielemann and Claudio Abbado should be ashamed for being quality oriented? Are they slackers?

  • Peter van Laarhoven says:

    The Bachtrack list is – like last year – far from complete. I keep a list of Gergiev’s performances since 2002; for 2011 my count stops at 183 orchestral concerts (and, including opera (54) and ballet (9), a total of 246).

    2011 was a quiet year though, for 2010 my tally was 274!

  • Christophertheoboist says:

    News: Bachtrack is just a listings site – not the oracle. End news.

  • As a follow up to the busy comments section here both James Levine and Valery Gergiev cancelled a number of concert dates during 2011 which were reflected in our lower numbers for them. Gergiev conducts a great deal with the Mariinsky (orchestral and opera) and they haven’t added their events to the site.

    We do not claim to include every concert but we do encourage promoters to add their concert information to our site which they can do free. Wouldn’t it be useful if the information was complete?

  • Duncan Reed says:

    Carlos Kleiber conducted 96 concerts in his life! Though he was far more active in opera…

  • harold says:

    Gergiev is no.1!Look at
    his website,and you see how many performances(often 4 or 5 per week;including his opera performances at the Marinsky) he does.