Knighted in 2012, Sir Antonio Pappano was born to Italian parents in London in 1959. At the age of thirteen, he moved to the United States with his family, where he studied piano, composition and conducting. Through his work as a répétiteur and assistant conductor at several opera houses, Pappano quickly developed into a gifted opera conductor. He has led productions at the New York City Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Bayreuth.
His first permanent appointment as an opera conductor was with the Oslo Opera, followed by La Monnaie in Brussels. He was appointed music director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden in 2002.
In addition to his regular commitments at Covent Garden and with the Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome, Pappano is in high demand as a guest conductor with the world’s finest orchestras. Both as a conductor and a pianist, he has released a steady stream of CD and DVD recordings and has hosted programmes for the BBC, his introductions to Italian opera and Wagner’s Ring cycle deserving special mention.
Pappano first conducted the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in 2004, and has returned several times since. His last appearance with the orchestra was on the 2013 Prinsengracht Concert with tenor soloist Joseph Calleja performing a number of arias from Italian opera.