Antonio Pappano was born in London to Italian parents and moved with his family to the United States at the age of 13. He studied piano with Norma Verrilli, composition with Arnold Franchetti and conducting with Gustav Meier.
He was appointed Music Director of the Oslo Opera Den Norske in 1990 and was Music Director of the Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie in Brussels from 1992-2002. From 1997-1999 he was Principal Guest Conductor of the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra. Since 2002 he has been Music Director of the Royal Opera House Covent Garden and since 2005 Music Director of the Orchestra dell'Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. Pappano is therefore in great demand as an opera conductor at the Metropolitan Opera New York, the State Operas of Vienna and Berlin, the Bayreuth and Salzburg Festivals, the San Francisco Opera, the Lyric Opera of Chicago, the Théâtre du Châtelet and the Teatro alla Scala, among others.
Pappano has also appeared as guest conductor with many of the world's most renowned orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna, New York and Munich Philharmonic Orchestras, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Chicago and Boston Symphony Orchestras, the Philadelphia and Cleveland Orchestras, and the Orchestre de Paris. Upcoming highlights include return visits to the Staatskapelle Berlin, the London Philharmonic, the Gewandhausorchester Leipzig and extensive tours with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia. He is also heavily involved in the promotion of young singers and instrumentalists, and in summer 2020 he will deepen his links with the Aldeburgh and Verbier Festivals and will lead concerts and master classes.
Since 1995 Pappano has been an exclusive artist for Warner Classics and his discography includes numerous complete operas, including »Don Carlo«, »La Rondine«, »Guillaume Tell«, »Il Trittico«, »Werther«, »Il Trovatore«, »Tristan and Isolde« and most recently »Aida«. His orchestral recordings with the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia include Rachmaninov's 2nd, Mahler's 6th, Dvorak's 9th and Tchaikovsky's 4th, 5th and 6th symphonies, Respighi's Roman Trilogy, Rossini's Stabat Mater, Petite Messe Solenelle and selected overtures, Britten's War Requiem and Verdi's Requiem. His discography also documents his work with other ensembles, including the London Symphony Orchestra, the Berlin Philharmonic and the orchestras of the Royal Opera House and Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie, with music ranging from Pergolesi and Mendelssohn to Panufnik, Boesmans and Maxwell Davies.
His awards and honours include Gramophone's »Artist of the Year« in 2000, the Olivier Award 2003 for outstanding achievements in opera, the Royal Philharmonic Society Music Award 2004 and the Bruno Walter Prize of the Académie du Disque Lyrique in Paris. In 2012 he was appointed Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Republic of Italy and Knight of the British Empire for his services to music. In 2015 he received the 100th Gold Medal of the Royal Philharmonic Society, the organisation's highest distinction. He has also developed a remarkable career as a narrator and presenter and has been at the forefront of several critically acclaimed BBC television documentaries, including »Opera Italia«, »Pappano's Essential Ring Cycle« and »Pappano's Classical Voices«.