One of today’s most sought-after conductors, acclaimed for his charismatic leadership and inspirational performances in both symphonic and operatic repertoire, Sir Antonio Pappano has been Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden since 2002, and Music Director of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome since 2005. Nurtured as a pianist, repetiteur and assistant conductor at many of the most important opera houses of Europe and North America, he has held titles with Norwegian Opera, Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, Brussels, and the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2023 he becomes Chief Conductor Designate of the London Symphony Orchestra, taking the full Chief Conductor title from 2024.
Pappano appears as guest conductor with many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, festivals and opera houses, including the Berlin and New York Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Chamber Orchestra of Europe, the London, Chicago and Boston Symphonies, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, Vienna State Opera, Metropolitan Opera New York and Teatro alla Scala Milan, the Salzburg and Verbier Festivals, and the BBC Proms. He has been an exclusive recording artist for Warner Classics (formerly EMI Classics) since 1995.
As a pianist, Antonio Pappano appears as an accompanist with some of the most celebrated singers, including Joyce DiDonato, Diana Damrau, Gerald Finley and Ian Bostridge. He has also partnered singers and instrumental soloists on disc, including in operatic recitals with Nina Stemme, Placido Domingo, Anna Netrebko and Jonas Kaufmann, concerto recordings with soloists including Leif Ove Andsnes, Maxim Vengerov, Janine Jansen, Jan Lisiecki and Beatrice Rana, and chamber recitals with Ian Bostridge, Barbara Bonney and Joyce DiDonato.
Antonio Pappano was born in London to Italian parents, and moved with his family to the United States at the age of 13. He studied piano with Norma Verrilli, composition with Arnold Franchetti and conducting with Gustav Meier. His awards and honours include Gramophone’s ‘Artist of the Year’ in 2000, the 2003 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, the 2004 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and the Bruno Walter prize from the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris. In 2012 he was created a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy, and a Knight of the British Empire for his services to music, and in 2015 he was named the 100th recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal, the body’s highest honour. He has also developed a notable career as a speaker and presenter, and has fronted several critically-acclaimed BBC Television documentaries including ‘Opera Italia’, ‘Pappano’s Essential Ring Cycle’ and ‘Pappano’s Classical Voices’.