Sir Antonio Pappano appointed chief conductor of London Symphony Orchestra

30 March 2021, 15:16 | Updated: 30 March 2021, 15:20

Sir Antonio Pappano appointed chief conductor of London Symphony Orchestra
Sir Antonio Pappano appointed chief conductor of London Symphony Orchestra. Picture: Getty

By Rosie Pentreath

Pappano will take the baton from Sir Simon Rattle, who has been at the helm of the London Symphony Orchestra since 2017.

Sir Antonio Pappano has been appointed chief conductor of London Symphony Orchestra (LSO).

Due to take the baton as chief conductor designate in September 2023, before stepping into the chief conductor role in 2024, Pappano will replace Sir Simon Rattle, whose departure was announced at the beginning of this year.

Pappano steps down from his current post as music director of Royal Opera House at the end July 2024, a position he has held since 2002.

He is set to conduct the LSO, Classic FM’s Orchestra in the City of London, in its annual season at the Barbican Centre, where it is resident orchestra.

Pappano says he is “humbled and excited to receive this honour and trust”.

Read more: Sir Simon Rattle steps down from London Symphony Orchestra >

“Since I first collaborated with the LSO in 1996, I have time and again been overwhelmed by the team spirit inherent in this fabulously talented group of musicians,” the conductor continues.

“The combination of a unique energy, flair and virtuosity has always set this orchestra apart. That I have been chosen as chief conductor is a dream come true and a most wonderful gift.”

Read more: ‘We shouldn’t be ashamed of charging money for our concerts’ – Pappano on how classical music can survive COVID >

Managing director of LSO, Kathryn McDowell says, “I am delighted to welcome Sir Antonio Pappano as chief conductor of the LSO. We are deepening our association with him at a crucial time of rebuilding and refocussing following the challenges of the pandemic. With Tony, every concert performance is a memorable and special event.”

Pappano has expressed his commitment to keeping London as his “musical home” and looked forward to exploring “technological and broadcast opportunities to convey the message of music to an ever greater audience.”

Pappano has received numerous honours throughout his career, including Gramophone Artist of the Year in 2000, the 2003 Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera, and the Royal Philharmonic Society Gold Medal in 2015. He was made a Commendatore of the Republic of Italy in 2008, and knighted for services to music in the 2012 New Year Honours.

Over the next three Seasons at the Royal Opera House, Pappano will conduct a selection of new operas, including new productions of Rigoletto and Samson et Dalila, and revivals of beloved classics The Marriage of FigaroCavalleria rusticana and Pagliacci in 2021/22.