Antonio Pappano

Born 1959

Antonio Pappano

Conductor • Piano


Born in London, Pappano moved to the USA at the age of 13. He conducted hisfirst performance in 1987 at theNorwegian National Opera, where he was to become Music Director in 1990. At the age of 32 he moved to Brussels, having been appointed to the same office at La Monnaie where he remained from 1992 to 2002. During this period he made his debuts in Vienna, at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, and at the Bayreuth Festival. He became Music Director of The Royal Opera in 2002 (gaining the 2003 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera) and of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome in October 2005. Highlights with The Royal Opera include a new production of Il trittico, a celebration of Plácido Domingo's 40 years performing with The Royal Opera, a tour to Japan (conducting Manon, La Traviata and Handel's Messiah) and the world premiere of Mark-Anthony Turnage's Anna Nicole. In May 2010 he presented a widely acclaimed, awarding winning series, 'Opera Italia', for BBC television, followed last year by a BBC series of the Voice. 

Pappano received a knighthood in the Queen's 2012 New Year Honours, and in May of this same year was made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce Dell'Ordine Al Merito della Repubblica Italiana.

Pappano has received many awards, including in 2015 the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal and was in 2016 named one of the ten most successful Italians working in the UK by the PrimiDieci Society. Gramophone Magazine recently nominated him for Artist of the Year 2016. “The best thing about this show — indeed the best thing I’ve experienced in a theatre all season — is Antonio Pappano’s superlative conducting and his orchestra’s stunning playing of Wagner’s epic score. The Royal Opera should rename the opera “Die Meisterinstrumentalisten”, except it might not fit on posters. This is a musical interpretation of exemplary fluidity and pace, stirring in the right places (abetted by a rampant chorus), but also precise, subtle and virtuosic. After five hours and some, I wanted to hear it all again. ” - Richard Morrison, The Times, 2017

Text courtesy of Warner