Maestro (//; from the Italian maestro [maˈestro; maˈɛstro], meaning "master" or "teacher") is an honorific title of respect (plural: maestri, feminine: maestra). The term is most commonly used in the context of Western classical music and opera, in line with the ubiquitous use of Italian musical terms.
In the world of Italian opera, the title is also used to designate a number of positions within the orchestra and company that have specific duties during rehearsal and performance. These include:
- Maestro sostituto or maestro collaboratore: musicians who act as répétiteurs and assistant conductors during performances.
- Maestro concertatore, the keyboard continuo player, who prepares singers and leads rehearsals.
- Maestro direttore: the leader of the first violins of the orchestra (see concertmaster), who may also have administrative duties such as hiring and paying musicians
- Maestro suggeritore: the prompter
- Lebrecht, Norman (1 January 2001) [First published 1991]. The Maestro Myth: Great Conductors in Pursuit of Power (2nd revised ed.). Citadel Press. ISBN 0-8065-2088-4.
- Kennedy, Michael (2006), The Oxford Dictionary of Music, 985 pages, ISBN 0-19-861459-4
- Warrack, John; West, Ewan (15 October 1992). The Oxford Dictionary of Opera. Oxford University Press, USA. ISBN 0-19-869164-5.