Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia

Antonio Pappano, conductor
Sir Antonio Pappano has been the Music Director of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia since 2005 and worked previously as London’s Covent Garden’s Music Director and in other prestigious roles. In 1990, he was nominated Music Director of Oslo’s Norske Opera and from 1991 to 2002 he held the same role at Brussels Théâtre Royal de la Monnaie.  

Born in London in 1959 of Italian descent, he studied piano, composition, and conducting in the United States. He has conducted some of the most famous orchestras in the world, including The New York Philharmonic, Vienna Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, London Symphony Orchestra, and Staatskapelle Dresden. Some of the many prestigious moments in his career include: The Staatsoper of Vienna, The New York Metropolitan, and the Festival of Bayreuth. In 2005, he was nominated Director of the Year by the Royal Philharmonic Society and won the Abbiati award from the Italian Music Critics for the execution of Brahms Requiem, Britten, and Verdi, performed with the Orchestra and Chorus dell’Accademi di Santa Cecilia. In 2015, the Abbiati award was given for the performance of Les Troyens, conducted by Pappano at the Teatro alla Scala in Milan.

Pappano has recorded for Warner Classics and with the Orchestra and Chorus of Santa Cecilia    produced many CDs. Among the many recordings, highlighted are  Verdi’s Aida (winner of numerous awards, including the Gramophone Classical Music Awards 2016, l’ECHO Klassik Preis 2016 as Conductor of the Year e il Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik, German Record critics’ award), the Piano Concerto n.1 by ?aikovskij and the Piano Concerto n. 2 by Prokofiev with Beatrice Rana at the piano, the Violin Concerto by Brahms and the Violin Concert n. 1 by Bartók, interpreted by Janine Jansen, and  the Piano concerto by Schumann with Jan Lisiecki (DG).  Moreover, he has recorded the CD Anna Netrebko. Verismo (DG) and, for the label Ica Classics, the Second and Fourth Symphonies by Schumann and In the South and the First Symphony by Elgar, The Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns with Martha Argerich (Warner Classics).  In February of 2016, Pappano won a Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Recording together with mezzo-soprano Joyce DiDonato for their CD Joyce & Tony (Erato).  In 2018, he recorded with the Orchestra and Chorus of Santa Cecilia the integral Symphonies of Bernstein, in celebration of the composer’s birth 100 years ago (Warner Classics). In April 2007, Sir Antonio Pappano was nominated officially as a Faculty member of Santa Cecilia.  In 2012, Queen Elizabeth knighted him for his service to music. The same year, he was awarded Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Merit Order of the Italian Republic. In 2015, he was conferred an honorary degree in Music and Performance by Rome’s University of Tor Vergata and the RPS Gold Medal — the highest honor of the Royal Philharmonic Society — becoming the 100th RPS Gold Medalist recipient since the foundation of the award in 1870. In April  2019, The National Association of  Music Critics gave the XXXVIII award  “Franco Abbiati” for best conductor to Antonio Pappano, for the performance of  West Side Story, with which the Academy opened their 2018-19 season, and for the integral symphonies of Bernstein performed in February 2018 with the Orchestra and Chorus of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia.

Maxim Vengerov, violin
Universally hailed as one of the world’s finest musicians, and often referred to as the greatest living string player in the world today, Grammy award winner Maxim Vengerov also enjoys international acclaim as a conductor and is one of the most in-demand soloists.

Born in 1974, he began his career as a solo violinist at the age of five, won the Wieniawski and Carl Flesch international competitions at ages 10 and 15 respectively, studied with Galina Tourchaninova and Zakhar Bron, made his first recording at the age of 10, and went on to record extensively for high-profile labels including Melodia, Teldec and EMI, earning among others, Grammy and Gramophone artist of the year awards.

In 2007 he followed in the footsteps of his mentor, the late Mstislav Rostropovich, and turned his attention to conducting and in 2010 was appointed the first chief conductor of the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. June 2014 saw Vengerov graduate with a Diploma of Excellence from the Moscow Institute of Ippolitov-Ivanov with professor Yuri Simonov and he has since finished a further 2-year program of opera conducting.

In the last few seasons Maxim Vengerov has performed as soloist and/or conductor with all major orchestras, including the New York Philharmonic, Berlin Philharmonic, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Mariinsky Theatre Orchestra, Chicago, Montreal and Toronto Symphony Orchestras and toured extensively around the world in Recital. 

Highlights of 18/19 saw Vengerov opening the season of the Orchestra Filarmonica della Scala with Maestro Chailly, a Residence with Monte Carlo Philharmonic and the Philharmonie in Paris.

In 2019/20 Vengerov will mark his 40 years on stage with a gala performance at the Royal Albert Hall on June 12, joined by his colleagues Misha Maiski, Martha Argerich, the Oxford Philharmonic with its Music Director Marios Papadopoulos and students from the Royal College of Music London.

As one of Mr Vengerov’s greatest passions is the teaching and encouraging of young talent, he has held various teaching positions around the world. He currently holds the Stephan and Viktoria Schmidheiny Stiftungsprofessor at the Mozarteum University Salzburg and since September 2016 he is also the Polonsky Visiting Professor of Violin at the Royal College of Music in London

Vengerov has been profiled in a series of documentaries, including Playing by Heart, which was recorded by Channel Four Television and screened at the Cannes Television Festival in 1999, and Living the Dream, which was released worldwide and received the Gramophone Award for Best Documentary in 2008. 

Vengerov has received prestigious fellowships and honours from a number of institutions. In 2012 he was awarded an Honorary Visiting Fellowship at Trinity College Oxford and in 2019 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Royal College of Music London. 

Vengerov has also received numerous awards including Grammy Award for Best Instrumental Soloist Performance (with Orchestra) (2003), two Gramophone awards (1994, 1995), a Classical Brit Award (2004), five Edison Classical Music Awards (1995, 1996, 1998, 2003, 2004), two ECHO awards (1997, 2003) and a World Economic Forum Crystal award (2007) - honouring artists who have used their art to improve the state of the world.

He plays the ex-Kreutzer Stradivari (1727).

Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia
The Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia Roma was the first orchestra in Italy to devote itself exclusively to the symphonic repertoire. Founded in 1908, the Orchestra has been conducted by some of the major musical figures of the 20th century, such as Mahler, Debussy, Saint-Saëns, Strauss, Karajan, Bernstein and Abbado. Its stable conductors were Bernardino Molinari, Franco Ferrara, Fernando Previtali, Igor Markevitch, Thomas Schippers, Giuseppe Sinopoli, Daniele Gatti, and Myung-Whun Chung. From 1983 to 1990, Leonard Bernstein was the honorary President. Since 2005, Antonio Pappano has been the Music Director. 

With Pappano at the helm, the Orchestra and Chorus have been guests at major festivals including London’s Proms, Festival of the White Nights in Saint Pertersburg, Festival of Lucerna, Festival of  Salzburg, and the most prestigious concert halls, including the Philharmonic of Berlin, Musikverein of Wien, Concertgebouw of Amsterdam, Royal Albert Hall of London, Salle Pleyel of Paris, La Scala of Milan, Suntory Hall of Tokyo, Semperoper of Dresden, Konzerthaus of Wien, and Carnegie Hall of New York. 

Under the direction of Pappano, the Orchestra’s recording activity has intensified, with releases including: Madama Butterfly by Puccini with Angela Gheorghiu, (recognized with a Brit Award), Requiem by Verdi (Gramophone Award, BBC Music Magazine, Brit Classical), the Stabat Mater of Rossini and Pergolesi with Anna Netrebko (Gramophone Editors’ Choice Award), Guillaume Tell by Rossini, the Sixth Symphony by Mahler, the Petite Messe Solennelle by Rossini, the Quattro pezzi sacri by Verdi, the War Requiem by Britten, and the Rossini Overtures. The 2015, release of Aida by Verdi boasts a stellar cast (Anja Harteros, Jonas Kaufmann, Erwin Schrott), and garnered several awards including Best Recording 2015 for The New York Times and the Telegraph (UK), Best Opera 2015 — Apple Music, Choc Classica de l’année, Diapason D’or e Choix de France Musique (Francia), Record of the month per Gramophone (UK), and il Preis der deutschen Schallplattenkritik (Award of German music critics). Also recorded in 2015, were Concert n. 1 of ?ajkovskij and Concert n. 2 of Prokofiev, performed by Beatrice Rana, and Brahms’s violin concerto with Janine Jansen, both under the direction of Antonio Pappano. Antonio Pappano and the Orchestra have recorded Nessun Dorma, The Puccini Album with tenor Jonas Kaufmann (Best Classical Music Recordings of 2015 for The New York Times), which climbed the world charts. On the Deutsche Grammophon label, the Orchestra recorded the Concerto for piano of Schumann with Jan Lisiecki, and the album Anna Netrebko. Verismo, as well as Schumann’s Second and Fourth Symphonies. Additional recent recordings include In the South and the First Symphony of Elgar (Ica Classics), the Carnival of the Animals of Saint-Saëns with Martha Argerich, and the integral Symphonies of Bernstein (Warner Classics).