All-new classical power couples of 2020

All-new classical power couples of 2020


norman lebrecht

December 22, 2019

There have been multiple changes since our last power list, due to divorce, death and other human drifts but the top place is unchanged. Anna is getting Yusif into all the best gigs.

New entrants include Mr and Mrs Kaufmann and some rising maestro partners.

Here’s the 2020 leaders board:

1 Anna Netrebko and Yusif Eyvazov

2 Met boss Peter Gelb, conductor Kerri-Lynn Wilson

3 Berlin maestro-for-life Daniel Barenboim, festival director Elena Bashkirova

4 LSO chief Sir Simon Rattle, mezzo-soprano Magdalena Kozena

5 NY Philharmonic president Deborah Borda, Met’s chief development officer Coralie Toevs

6 Tenor Jonas Kaufmann, aspiring director Christiane Lutz

7 Tenor Roberto Alagna, soprano Aleksandra Kurzak

8 Antwerp conductor Elim Chan is engaged to hot percussionist Dominique Vleeshouwers

9 Conductors’ agent Michael Lewin, soprano Anja Kampe

10 Cellist Alisa Weilerstein, conductor Rafael Payare

11 Mezzo-soprano Elena Garanca, conductor Karel Mark Chichon

11 = Soprano Kristine Opolais, tenor Jonathan Tetelman

13 Violinist Nicola Benedetti, composer-trumpeter Wynton Marsalis

14 Glyndebourne hosts Gus Christie, soprano Danielle DeNiese

15 Soprano Sonya Yoncheva, conductor Domingo Hindoyan

16 Outgoing Minnesota music director Osmo Vänskä and concertmaster Erin Keefe

17 BBC conductor Sakari Oramo, soprano Anu Komsi

18 Trumpeter Alison Balsom and director Sam Mendes

19 Met music director Yannick Nézet-Séguin, violist Pierre Tourville

20 Cellist David Finckel and pianistWu Han, chamber music entrepreneurs

21 Soprano Kate Royal, singer and film actor Julian Ovenden

21 = Soprano Miah Persson, tenor Jeremy Ovenden

23 Nino Machaidze, baritone Guido Loconsolo.

24 Soprano Diana Damrau, bass-baritone Nicola Testé

25 Conductor Pinchas Zukerman, cellist Amanda Forsyth

26 Conductors Holly Mathieson and Jon Hargreaves

27 Composers Kaija Saariaho and Jean-Baptiste Barrière

28 Hollywood composers Eimar Noone and Craig Stuart Garfinkle

29 Pianist David Fray, director Chiara Muti

30 Conductor David Robertson, pianist Orli Shaham

31 US tenor Charles Castronovo, Russian soprano Ekaterina Siurina

off-piste: singer Placido Domingo, director Marta Domingo

conductor Charles Dutoit, violinist Chantal Juillet


  • Mustafa Kandan says:

    Lucky Yusif Eyvazov.

  • Victoria says:

    What about Eva-Maria Westbroek & Frank van Aken?

  • equality says:


  • Bloom says:

    Come on, it s a small world. They cannot elect profane partners, they pair within their own circle of trust.

  • Nijinsky says:

    You forgot Bonnie and Clyde, who I notice really aren’t on the list….


  • Guest says:

    Gosh, I am so out of it. I had no idea Nicola Benedetto and Winton Marsalis were a couple. They may not be the most powerful pair from the list, but they have to be the best looking.

  • Curios says:

    Wow… Michael Lewin, and Anja Kampe… Wasn’t Petrenko in a relationship with Kampe just a few years back?!? And hasn’t Lewin planned/designed Petrenkos career since the beginning? How does their relationship work?

    • HarterosFan says:

      Same curiosity here… would love more color as Kampe is simply fascinating as a singer and always very nice and kind to fans… hope she’s having a great time with this lucky guy!

  • Jack says:

    Are you sure Nicola and Wynton are a couple? I know he wrote her a concerto, but they don’t look like a couple.

  • V. Lind says:

    How do Kate Royal and Julian Ovenden outrank Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth? Has anyone written a double concerto for them?

  • Kate says:

    Number 11 is a mezzo-soprano, and her name is spelled Elīna Garanča.

  • Karl says:

    Pinchas Zukerman still plays violin more than he conducts. He should be listed as violinist/conductor.

  • Straussian says:

    Surprised that Olga Peretyatko and conductor Michele Mariotti, surely among the very best looking couples out there, are not on the list

  • Ceci says:

    Bartoli & Oliver Widmer

  • yes says:

    Did Nicola Benedetti break up with Leonard Elschenbroich? From when? they looked good together…

  • Elle says:

    Simone Alberghini ,Italian Bass-baritone and wife Anna Goryachova ,Russian mezzo-soprano . Netrebko started a relationship with Simone Alberghini when they met each other during performances of Rigoletto at the Washington National Opera in 1999. She announced their engagement but did not consider marrying due to a busy schedule. In May 2007 their relationship was confirmed as ended.