King Charles III's coronation is going to be a musical extravaganza, featuring many established coronation anthems and new compositions from some of Britain's top composers today. And at the helm of the Coronation Orchestra bringing it all together in perhaps the biggest gig of his life, is conductor Antonio Pappano.


Who is Antonio Pappano?

Sir Antonio Pappano is one of today's most famous conductors. He is the music director at the Royal Opera House and in September 2024 will be replacing Simon Rattle as Chief Conductor of London Symphony Orchestra.

How old is Antonio Pappano?

Antonio Pappano was born on 30 December 1959 in Epping, Essex.

Was his family musical?

Yes: Antonio's father was musical. He worked in the restaurant business in the UK, but was a singing teacher by vocation. This ambition would later become a reality when the family moved across the the Atlantic.

Where did he grow up?

Pappano was born in Epping, Essex, as his family had relocated to England from Castelfranco in Italy the year before his birth. The family moved to Connecticut when he was 13 years old so his dad could work as a full-time music teacher.

Where did he study music?

Antonio Pappano didn't attend music school, to help support his father in his business, but did study under various people including Norma Verrilli.

How did Antonio Pappano become a conductor?

It was working as a pianist that led him to becoming a conductor. After stints as a pianist with the New York City Opera and Frankfurt Opera, he did rehearsal work with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, where he came to the attention of a certain Daniel Barenboim, who snapped him up as his assistant.

When was his big break?

His conducting debut was with the Den Norske Opera was in 1987, and it seems they were impress as he became their music director in 1990 aged just 30. And he has done alright since!

He went onto work with some of the biggest names in classical music including Vienna State Opera before becoming music director at the Royal Opera House in 2002.

What is Antonio Pappano most famous for?

He is most famous as an opera conductor and as well as live performances has produced over 70 albums, with the majority devoted to opera.

When was Antonio Pappano knighted?

Antonio Pappano was knighted in 2012 for his work at the Royal Opera House. Tony Hall, chief executive of the Royal Opera House, said Pappano was a 'conductor who understands the singing voice like no other'.

What awards has he won?

His multiple awards include an Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, a Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award, and a Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society.

In 2012 Pappano was knighted in the New Year Honours for services to music and made a Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy.

Is Antonio Pappano married?

Pappano married vocal coach Pamela Bullock in 1995 and they live in London.

What are some great Antonio Pappano recordings?

A versatile conductor, Antonio Pappano has produced some excellent recordings across the opera and orchestral genres. For example, he conducted a superb set of Tchaikovsky Symphonies 4, 5 and 6 with Rome's Santa Cecilia Orchestra for EMI.

He also conducted a wonderful version of Richard Strauss's Heldenleben with the same forces.

He also conducted Janine Jansen when the violinist performed various pieces, each on one of 12 priceless Stradivari violins.

And we mustn't forget Antonio Pappano's many storied opera recordings. Highlights include a disc of Rossini Overtures, again with Santa Cecilia.

The same forces also produced a hugely acclaimed version of Verdi's exotic, Ancient Egypt-set opera, Aida, with an all-star cast.