Antonio Pappano

Pappano (right) receiving the Vittorio de Sica prize from President Napolitano (2010)[1]
Born (1959-12-30) 30 December 1959 (age 64)
Epping, Essex, England
Alma materRoyal Academy of Music, London
Known forConductor of Royal Opera House, and Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and London Symphony Orchestra
SpousePamela Bullock (1995–present)

Sir Antonio Pappano CVO (born 30 December 1959) is an English-Italian conductor and pianist. He is currently music director of the Royal Opera House[2] and of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He is now become chief conductor of the London Symphony Orchestra.[3]

Early life

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.[4]

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.[5]


Pappano attracted the attention of fellow pianist and conductor Daniel Barenboim, and became his assistant at the Bayreuth Festival.[6] He worked in Barcelona and Frankfurt, and served as an assistant to Michael Gielen.[7]

Pappano's first conducting appearance at Den Norske Opera was in 1987, and he became music director there in 1990.[4] From 1992 to 2002, Pappano served as music director of Royal Theatre of La Monnaie Brussels, Belgium. He was principal guest conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra from 1997 to 1999. In 2005, Pappano became music director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia.[8] He is scheduled to stand down from the Santa Cecilia post in 2023.[9]

In 2002, Pappano was named the music director of the Royal Opera House (ROH), Covent Garden.[4] Pappano was the youngest conductor at the orchestra of the ROH, performing for the Royal Opera and Royal Ballet. At Covent Garden, Pappano and Kasper Holten, the ROH Director of Opera, shared responsibility for production.[10] The ROH contract has renewed Pappano's contract several times, to 2017, and to 2023.[11] BBC Radio broadcast in 2017 an hour-long documentary of Pappano's preparation of a new production of La Boheme at the Royal Opera House.[12] In March 2021, the ROH announced the latest extension of Pappano's contract through the 2023–2024 season, and the scheduled conclusion of Pappano's tenure at the close of the 2023–2024 season.[13]

Pappano had first guest-conducted the London Symphony Orchestra (LSO) in 1996. He has returned as guest conductor to the LSO on over 70 occasions, and made several recordings with the LSO. In March 2021, the LSO announced the appointment of Pappano as its next chief conductor, effective in September 2024. He is scheduled to hold the title of chief conductor-designate in the orchestra's 2023–2024 London season.[14] He returned to the Metropolitan Opera in 2021 to conduct Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg.[15]

In 2023 he directed the orchestra at the coronation of Charles III and Camilla.[16]

Awards and honours

Pappano's awards and honours include Gramophone's ‘Artist of the Year’ (2000), the 2003 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, the 2004 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and the Académie du Disque Lyrique's Bruno Walter prize. On 17 January 2013 he received the Incorporated Society of Musicians' Distinguished Musician Award.[17] He was awarded the Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society in 2015.[18]

Pappano was knighted in the 2012 New Year Honours for services to music.[19] In 2012, he was made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy.[4] He was appointed Commander of the Royal Victorian Order (CVO) in the 2024 New Year Honours for services at the coronation.[20]

Personal life

Pappano is married to Pamela Bullock, an American vocal coach[10] and they live in London.[citation needed]


Pappano records regularly for Warner Classics. His recordings include:


Pappano has presented for the BBC including:


  1. ^ "Palazzo del Quirinale 23/11/2010". Fotografia – Primo Mandato. Presidenza della Repubblica. Retrieved 24 November 2016.
  2. ^ Duchen, Jessica (February 2012). "Balancing Act". Opera News: 18–22.
  3. ^ "Sir Antonio Pappano appointed chief conductor of London Symphony Orchestra". Classic FM. 30 March 2021.
  4. ^ a b c d Tonkin, Boyd (6 July 2013). "Sir Antonio Pappano: 'I had no ambition to conduct'". The Independent. Independent News and Media. Retrieved 8 November 2014.
  5. ^ Anna Picard (3 December 2006). "Antonio Pappano: Local hero". The Independent. Archived from the original on 30 September 2007. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  6. ^ Rupert Christiansen (2 September 2002). "High octane, high hopes". The Telegraph. Retrieved 7 September 2007.[dead link]
  7. ^ Peter Conrad (23 February 2003). "Lightning conductor". The Observer. Retrieved 7 September 2007.
  8. ^ Peter Conrad (12 March 2011). "Antonio Pappano: 'I didn't know what I was. Now I'm discovering my Italian roots.'". The Observer. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  9. ^ Peter Conrad (25 October 2021). "After 24 Years, a Conductor Returns to the Met Opera". The New York Times. Retrieved 26 October 2021.
  10. ^ a b Rupert Christiansen (8 September 2008). "Antonio Pappano: the unstoppable maestro". Telegraph. Archived from the original on 17 September 2008. Retrieved 8 September 2008.
  11. ^ Fiona Maddocks (14 November 2018). "Antonio Pappano: Why the maestro isn't bowing out yet". The Observer. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  12. ^ "Following Pappano (Omnibus) - BBC Sounds".
  13. ^ "The Royal Opera House confirms Antonio Pappano as Music Director until 2023/24 Season" (Press release). The Royal Opera. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  14. ^ "London Symphony Orchestra appoints Sir Antonio Pappano as Chief Conductor" (Press release). London Symphony Orchestra. 30 March 2021. Retrieved 30 March 2021.
  15. ^ "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg". Archived from the original on 28 October 2021. Retrieved 28 October 2021.
  16. ^ Royal Family, "New music commissions for the coronation service at Westminster Abbey", 17 April 2023. Retrieved 9 May 2023.
  17. ^ "Sir Antonio Pappano receives prestigious ISM Distinguished Musician Award". Incorporated Society of Musicians. Archived from the original on 8 November 2014. Retrieved 18 January 2013.
  18. ^ "Antonio Pappano, Andris Nelsons and Mary Bevan among RPS Awards winners". Retrieved 18 September 2015.
  19. ^ "No. 60009". The London Gazette (Supplement). 31 December 2011. p. 1.
  20. ^ "No. 64269". The London Gazette (Supplement). 30 December 2023. p. N4.
  21. ^ "BBC Four – Opera Italia, Beginnings". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  22. ^ "BBC Four – Opera Italia, Viva Verdi". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2021.
  23. ^ "BBC Four – Opera Italia, The Triumph of Puccini". BBC. Retrieved 8 November 2021.


Maeckelbergh, Lucrèce, Antonio Pappano: Con Passione. Snoeck, 2006. ISBN 90-5349-527-4.