‘Don’t be satisfied with being a big fish in a small pond’: Antonio Pappano’s 5 tips for musicians

Sir Antonio Pappano is Music Director at the Orchestra of the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden. So he knows a thing or two about conducting. We asked him for his tips for dealing with nerves, how to conduct your first big piece and the best piece of advice he’d ever been given.

Antonio Pappano's tips for young conductors

How do you deal with nerves?

Every musician suffers from an attack of nerves every now and then. How does one of the world’s best tackle them?

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

“Don’t be satisfied with being a big fish in a small pond,” says Pappano.

What one piece of advice would you give to someone who wanted to become a conductor?

We asked Pappano which one piece of advice he’d pass on. Here’s what he had to say:

What advice would you give to someone conducting their first big piece?

If you’re faced with conducting a big symphony for the first time. How should you approach that?

What advice do you give to young conductors?

“A minimum amount of clarity in your gesture is important.”

Don't miss Antonio Pappano conducting the Orchestra of the National Academy of Santa Cecilia (or, in Italian, the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia) at the Edinburgh International Festival on 7th August