Sir Antonio Honoured with the prestigious Olivier Award

19. 04. 2024

The Laurence Olivier Awards are recognised as the highest honour in British theatre. Sir Antonio Pappano received the 2024 Laurence Olivier Award for Outstanding Achievement in Opera for his work as Music Director of the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. This year’s Olivier Awards were bestowed in a ceremony at London’s Royal Albert Hall on 14 April.

Acclaimed as a superlative interpreter of the symphonic and operatic repertoire, Antonio Pappano has previously worked in Oslo, Brussels, Bayreuth, Rome and other centres. He has been Music Director of the Royal Opera House for the last 22 years. After musical training in piano and conducting, he worked as répétiteur and conductor at many of the most important opera houses in Europe and North America, including as assistant to Daniel Barenboim at the Bayreuth Festival. The latter appeared at the Ljubljana Festival’s jubilee 70th edition in 2022, conducting the West–East Divan Orchestra and pianist Lang Lang.

Sir Antonio has guest-conducted many of the world’s most prestigious orchestras, including the Berlin, Vienna and New York Philharmonics, the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He has been an exclusive recording artist for Warner Classics (formerly EMI Classics) since 1995. He received a knighthood in 2011 for services to music and in 2015 was named the 100th recipient of the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Gold Medal.

Appointed Chief Conductor Designate of the London Symphony Orchestra in September 2023, Sir Antonio will assume the full Chief Conductor title in September 2024. He has been a regular collaborator with the LSO since working with the orchestra for the first time on a recording of Giacomo Puccini’s opera La rondine at Abbey Road Studios in 1996. Conductor and orchestra will appear together at this year’s 72nd Ljubljana Festival with two concerts at Cankarjev Dom on 28 and 29 August.

The first concert will consist of Edward Elgar’s Violin Concerto in B minor, one of the most demanding violin concertos in the repertoire, and Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1 in D major (“Titan”). Mahler’s oeuvre is today a key part of the repertoire of every major conductor and orchestra. The guest soloist will be violinist Vilde Frang, who made her debut with the Vienna Philharmonic in 2012. She has been praised by critics for her recordings of works by a wide range of composers, including Sergei Prokofiev, Jean Sibelius, Erich Wolfgang Korngold, Benjamin Britten and Carl Nielsen.

The second evening will open with the Roman Carnival Overture by Hector Berlioz, a composer whose innovative approach to orchestration and programmatic works had a significant influence on the development of music. The evening will continue with Frédéric Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Bruce Liu, winner of the last International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw in 2021. The second half of the concert offers us a rare chance to hear Gustav Holst’s ever popular suite The Planets performed in its entirety. The orchestra will be joined by the Kaunas State Choir, returning to the Festival stage after last year’s successful appearance.