Does the baton pass from father to son?

Does the baton pass from father to son?


norman lebrecht

December 07, 2019

Ten cases to consider:

1 Arvid and Mariss Jansons


2 Neeme and Paavo Järvi

3 Kurt and Michael Sanderling

4 Erich and Carlos Kleiber

5 Arman and Philippe Jordan

6 Marcello and Lorenzo Viotti

7 Michail and Vladimir Jurowski

8 Leopold and Walter Damrosch

9 Georg-Alexander and Marc Albrecht

10 Kurt and Ken-David Masur


  • Phillip Ayling says:

    I’m look forward to the first Mother-Daughter combo.

  • Caranome says:

    Where are the women!? We demand every orchestra needs to have a “Bring Your Daughter Day to Work” to address the systemic sexism.

  • Hans-Dieter Glaubke says:

    Let us not forget Kristjan, of the Järvi family, please.

  • Greg Bottini says:

    Felix and Leonard Slatkin

  • BP says:

    Felix and Leonard Slatkin
    Claudio and Roberto Abbado

  • Why not pianists and violinists? There seem to be plenty.

  • mary says:

    I look forward to the day mothers pass their batons to their daughters, or sons, we’re good that way.

  • Gustavo says:

    Johann and Johann Strauß

    • Sue Sonata Form says:

      The Bach, Couperin and Scarlatti families. But they’re not conductors, I know!!! But they passed the musical baton, as it were.

  • PJL says:

    and, of course, Stefan Sanderling and Thomas Sanderling, the older sons of Kurt

  • PJL says:


  • Eyal Braun says:

    I would add Mehli Mehta and his son Zubin

    Lahav Shani’s father- Michael- is a well known choral conductor in Israel

    and Neeme Jarvi is also the father of Kristjan..not just Paavo

  • Jay Shulman says:

    Felix and Leonard Slatkin

  • Andy Lim says:

    Armin Jordan instead of Arman Jordan.

  • Jean says:

    Sakari Oramo, Taavi Oramo

  • Andy Lim says:

    Maybe Kristjan Järvi and Thomas Sanderling should also be considered as conducting sons?

  • You’ve chosen some very good ones. There are some quite bad ones as well…..

  • Larry says:

    Kurt and Stefan Sanderling. Kurt and Thomas Sanderling.

  • david hilton says:

    Felix and Leonard Slatkin. Or does being Frank Sinatra’s conductor of choice rule one out?

  • Cubs Fan says:

    Neeme Jarvi and Kristian, too!

  • Paul Pellay says:

    11. Nikolai Anosov and Gennady Rozhdestvensky

  • RW2013 says:

    And the lesser sons?
    K. Järvi, T. and S. Sanderling, D. Jurowski.

  • Alasdair Munro says:

    Louis and Simon Halsey

    • Philip Moores says:

      Louis is always at the Barbican when his son’s LSO Chorus are performing. They are both gentlemen and always chat with me. Louis is in his 80’s now but looks a lot younger!

  • Alasdair Munro says:

    Norman and Jonathan Del Mar

  • Stretching it a bit, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Martin Fischer-Dieskau plus Placido Domingo and Placido Domingo, Jr (possibly under the category of semi-conductors!)

  • JAB says:

    and the most famous of all Erich and Carlos Kleiber

  • Petros Linardos says:

    Miltiades and Constantinos Carydis. Constantinos is now a young, rising conductor. His late father was no international star, but had a respectable career, primarily in Germany, Austria and Greece.

  • Jean says:

    Sure thing is that those fathers conductors inserted their batons into women to give birth to their sons.

  • sycorax says:

    To 7: Michail Jurowski has now got a second son with a baton: Dmitri is done with the violoncello (he’s got rheuma, the poor guy) and is now conducting, too.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Thanks for a trip down memory lane for those superb musical families.

  • Garry Humphreys says:

    Warwick Braithwaite (1896-1971) and Nicholas Braithwaite (b.1939).

  • klavierBWV988 says:

    Igor Markevitch and Oleg Caetani

  • Chew Chiat Naun says:

    Igor Markevitch and Oleg Caetani.

  • Fred says:

    In Oregon, Aaron and Jacob Avshalomov

  • fflambeau says:

    I think it certainly helps and so do record companies and orchestras (they can build on an established “name”). Witness Ken-David Masur, a gifted musician and good conductor, but Milwaukee auditioned a number of good other ones but chose Masur, I think, because of the name and connotations.

    So is it a good or bad thing? Probably a bit of both (if you are one of the competitors it is not so good).

    I’m not knocking Ken-David who is a fine musician and person and fully deserving of his new positions (he’s also in Chicago). But definitely, his name helped him.

    • Petros Linardos says:

      An illustrious name initially opens doors but later becomes too high a yardstick to measure against, especially if stays in the same field. Examples abound, not only in music.

  • Dave T says:

    Johann Sebastian Bach and…
    ah nevermind.

  • Julien says:

    Igor Markevitch and Oleg Caetani

  • Petros Linardos says:

    In the Kreizberg family, conductors skipped a generation: Yakov Kreizberg and his brother Semyon Bychkov had a grandfather conductor, also named Yakov Kreizberg, a conductor at the Odessa Opera. Their father was a doctor and military scientist.

  • Shawn says:

    Why are Rudolf and Peter Serkin not included?