music director, conductor
Birthplace: New York City
Julliard-trained as a pianist, Litton considered performing only a fallback in case his first love, conducting, couldn't pay the bills. He didn't have to worry, though. Since he won a conducting competition at age 23, he has had steady work as a conductor with prestigious symphonies around the U.S. and around the world. Litton has conducted the National Symphony Orchestra, the Bournemouth Symphony, the Tokyo Philharmonic, the Moscow State Symphony, and in 1994 he became the first American conductor to be hired by a major American orchestra in 10 years when he landed the plum role of conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. He has also won a Grammy for Best Choral Recording for Belshazzar's Feast (1997) with the Bournemouth Symphony.