Sir Antonio Pappano

»I am honoured and thrilled to be participating in the Salzburg Easter Festival 2024. To be bringing my Italian musical family – the choir and orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia – gives me great pride. I thank Nikolaus Bachler for his trust and for helping us to choose such an Italian oevre: ›La Gioconda‹ with an outstanding cast. The piece is very close to my heart and I look forward to an amazing time in Salzburg.«

Sir Antonio Pappano was born in London in 1959 to Italian parents, he studied piano, composition and conducting in the USA. Among the more impressive steps in his career must be cited his debuts at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1993, at the Metropolitan Opera in New York in 1997 and at the Bayreuth Festival in 1999. Sir Antonio Pappano has conducted many of the world’s major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Chicago Symphony, Berliner Philharmoniker, Wiener Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Staatskapelle Dresden, Staatskapelle Berlin, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and the London Symphony Orchestra. In April 2014, he made his debut at Teatro alla Scala in Milan with Berlioz’s »Les Troyens«, a production which was awarded the »Premio Abbiati della Critica Musicale Italiana« as Best Opera. In 2005, he was named Conductor of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society; that same year he also received the »Abbiati Prize« for his conducting of the Requiems by Brahms, Britten and Verdi together with the Artistic Ensembles of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

Antonio Pappano was Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia from 2005 to 2023, In 2002, had already become Music Director of London’s Royal Opera House Covent Garden. In the past, he has filled other prestigious positions: in 1990 he was named Music Director of Den Norske Opera of Oslo, and from 1991 to 2002 he carried out the same role at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.

Sir Antonio Pappano records extensively for Warner Classics and has made several recordings with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus. Among his recordings are Britten’s »War Requiem« and Verdi’s »Aida«, Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto no. 1 and Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto no. 2 with Beatrice Rana at the piano and, by Decca Records, Brahms’s Violin Concerto with the Orchestra dell'Accademia di Santa Cecilia. Sir Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra also recorded Jonas Kaufmann’s Puccini album »Nessun Dorma«, Schumann’s Symphonies No. 2 and No. 4, Elgar’s Symphony No. 1 (ICA Classics), and Anna Netrebko’s album »Verismo«(DG). In 2020 followed Verdi’s »Otello« with Jonas Kaufmann (Sony Classical) and »Tudor Queens« with Diana Damrau. In 2022, Rossini’s Messa di gloria (Warner Classics) was released and in March 2023 Puccini’s »Turandot« with Sondra Radvanovsky, Jonas Kaufmann and Ermonela Jaho (Warner Classics).

In February 2016 Sir Antonio Pappano was awarded with the 58th Grammy® Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Recording together with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato for their Erato Classics release. In April 2019, he received again the »Abbiati Prize« as Best conductor for Bernstein's »West Side Story« and for his Symphonies with Orchestra and Choir of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. In 2013, he was honoured at the International Opera Awards as Conductor of the Year.

In April 2007 Sir Antonio Pappano was named an Active Accademician of Santa Cecilia. In 2012 Pappano was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II for his services to music and in the same year he was appointed »Cavaliere di Gran Croce dell’Ordine al Merito della Repubblica Italiana«. In March 2015 the honorary degree in Music was conferred to Antonio Pappano by the University of Tor Vergata in Rome, and in May he received the RPS Gold Medal - the Royal Philharmonic Society’s highest honours - becoming the 100th RPS Gold Medallist since the honour was founded in 1870. He joins a rarefied group of musicians that includes Johannes Brahms, Edward Elgar, Richard Strauss, Igor Stravinsky and Benjamin Britten.

Starting from 2023/2024 Season he will become Chief Conductor Designate of the London Symphony Orchestra and will hold the position of Conductor emeritus of the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.