Cosmopolitan and a bundle of energy, Sir Antonio Pappano switches in interviews between perfect German, English and Italian. And as a conductor, he is “obsessed to the core with rhythm”, someone “who pushes until an orchestra is able to absorb his theatrical impetus and begins to fly” ([Der Tagesspiegel]).
Pappano was born to Italian parents in London in 1959, and studied piano, composition and conducting in the USA. He then trained as a pianist, répétiteur and assistant at many of the foremost opera houses in Europe and North America, such as the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Daniel Barenboim’s Bayreuth Festival. In 1990, he was appointed music director of Norwegian Opera in Oslo and subsequently held the same position at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels. Since 2002, he has been music director of the Royal Opera House and since 2005 chief conductor of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, which he led to the top of the international orchestral scene. An all-rounder who is also a piano accompanist on the international stage, he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II in 2012. In the same year, he was also appointed Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy, and Knight of the British Empire for his services to music. Pappano regularly conducts at the Metropolitan Opera in New York, at the state opera houses of Vienna and Berlin, and at the festivals in Bayreuth and Salzburg. He also makes guest appearances with top orchestras such as the philharmonic orchestras in Berlin, Vienna, New York and Munich, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the London Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe.