Director

Antonio Pappano

Antonio Pappano

Sir Antonio Pappano has been Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia since 1st October 2005; he had already become Music Director of London’s Covent Garden in September 2002. In the past, he has filled other prestigious positions: in 1990 he was named Music Director of the Den Norske Opera of Oslo, the theater where he made his international debut, and from 1991 to 2002 he carried out the same role at the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels.

Born in London in 1959 to Italian parents, he studied piano, composition and conducting in the United States. Among the more impressive steps in his career must be cited his debuts at the Vienna Staatsoper in 1993, at the Metropolitan in New York in 1997 and at the Bayreuth Festival in 1999.

Sir Antonio has conducted many of the world’s major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, the Berlin Philharmonic, the Amsterdam Concertgebouw, the Symphony Orchestra of the Bayerischer Rundfunk, the Vienna Philharmonic and the London Symphony. In 1997 he was named Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra.

Sir Antonio Pappano records extensively for EMI Classics and many of his recordings have received important recognition. In 2005, he was named “Conductor of the Year” by the Royal Philharmonic Society; that same year he also received the “Abbiati” Prize, awarded by Italian Music Critics, for his conducting of the Requiems by Brahms, Britten and Verdi together with the Artistic Ensembles of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.

In his ninth year as Music Director of the Santa Cecilia Orchestra, he has already led the musicians on tours to Spain, Austria, Germany, Switzerland, Great Britain, Russia, Japan, Holland, France, Great Britain, Benelux and in the Far East, attaining great public and critical success everywhere.

Sir Antonio has made several recordings with the Santa Cecilia Orchestra and Chorus for EMI Classics and many of his recordings have received important recognition: two all-Tchaikovsky CDs (Overtures & Fantasies and the last three symphonies by the great Russian composer); one with cellist Han-Na Chang entitled Romance with music by Lalo, Dvořák, Glazunov and Saint-Saëns; and another devoted to music by Respighi. In 2008 Sir Antonio Pappano directed a recording of Puccini’s opera Madama Butterfly and in 2009, a live recording of the Verdi Requiem which, released the same year, received the 2010 BBC Music Magazine Award as best recording (choral section) and the 2010 Classical Brits Critics Award. His most recent recognition, also for the Verdi Requiem, was a 2010 Gramophone Award.

Among his latest recordings are: the Stabat Mater by Rossini for EMI with an all-star cast: Anna Netrebko, Joyce DiDonato, Lawrence Brownlee, Ildebrando D’Arcangelo and the Orchestra and Chorus of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia; the Stabat Mater by Pergolesi (recorded in July 2010 for Deutsche Grammophon with Anna Netrebko); Verismo Arias with Jonas Kaufmann (recorded for Decca) and the opera William Tell by Rossini, which inaugurated the 2010-2011 Season at the Accademia and was recorded live by EMI. The last CDs, that have just been released, under Pappano’s direction with Santa Cecilia is Rachmaninoff’s Symphony No. 2, Mahler’s Symphony No. 6, Dvořák’s Symphony  No. 9  “From the New World”, Rossini’s Petite Messe Solennelle, Verdi’s Quattro pezzi sacri and Britten’s War Requiem.

In May 2010 Sir Antonio presented a widely-acclaimed series, ‘Opera Italia’, for BBC television.

On 16 April 2007 Sir Antonio Pappano was named an Active Accademician of Santa Cecilia and in December 2008 he was honored with the title of Commander of the Order of Merit of the Italian Republic. The last decoration is the knighthood for his services to music in the 2012 Queen’s New Year’s Honours List.