Pappano: Mendelssohn, Elias – Roma – 28 gennaio 2021
Sir Antonio Pappano (born 30 December 1959) is an English-Italian conductor and pianist. He has been music director of the Royal Opera House since 2002. In 2015 he received a Gold Medal from the Royal Philharmonic Society.
Pappano was born in Epping, Essex. Pappano's family had relocated to England from Castelfranco in Miscano near Benevento, Italy, in 1958, and at the time of his birth his parents worked in the restaurant business. His father, Pasquale Pappano, was by vocation a singing teacher.
When Pappano was 13 years old, he moved with his family to Connecticut. After musical training in piano, composition, and conducting, he became a rehearsal accompanist at the New York City Opera at the age of 21.
Pappano attracted the attention of fellow pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, and became his assistant at the Bayreuth Festival. He worked in Barcelona and Frankfurt, and served as an assistant to Michael Gielen. His first conducting appearance at Den Norske Opera was in 1987, and he became music director there in 1990.
In 1992, Pappano became music director of La Monnaie, the Belgian Royal Opera House, a post he held until 2002. In that year, he was named the music director of the Royal Opera House (ROH), Covent Garden. At Covent Garden, Pappano and Kasper Holten, the ROH Director of Opera, shared responsibility for production. His current ROH contract runs through to 2017, and was extended until 2023. Pappano was the youngest conductor to lead the orchestra of the ROH, accompanying both the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet.
Pappano has also been principal guest conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. In 2005 he became music director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.
Pappano was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to music; he was also made a Knight Grand Cross of Italy's Order of Merit. On 17 January 2013 he received the Incorporated Society of Musicians' Distinguished Musician Award. He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2015.
Pappano is married to Pamela Bullock, an American vocal coach.
Pappano records regularly for Warner Classics. His recordings include:
Pappano has presented for the BBC including:
Maeckelbergh, Lucrèce, Antonio Pappano: Con Passione. Snoeck, 2006. ISBN 9053495274.