Assistant Conductor: Naples Philharmonic
Director: Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
A native of Romania, Paponiu is quickly establishing himself as a promising talent in the classical music world. Paponiu recently completed his Master of Music degree in orchestral conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, where he studied with Hugh Wolff. While in Boston, Paponiu was also conductor apprentice with the Handel and Haydn Society, assisting Harry Christophers and Richard Egarr. Paponiu also served on the conducting faculty for the Juilliard School Pre-College Division in New York.
In the 2016-17 season, Paponiu appeared as guest conductor for education concerts with the Naples Philharmonic and the North Carolina Symphony and participated in a conducting workshop with the New World Symphony led by Michael Tilson Thomas. Additionally, Paponiu was appointed assistant conductor for the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado for the 2017 summer season as well as conducting fellow for the Cabrillo Festival Workshop in Santa Cruz, California.
For two consecutive summers, Paponiu participated in the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at the Aspen Music Festival and School as the recipient of both the Albert Tipton Aspen Fellowship and the David A. Karetsky Memorial Fellowship. In Aspen, Paponiu furthered his studies under the guidance of Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Leonard Slatkin, Hugh Wolff, Patrick Summers and Federico Cortese. Additionally, Paponiu served as assistant conductor for the Aspen Opera Theater Center’s full production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte.
Paponiu began his musical studies on the violin at age seven, moving on to study privately with Carmen Runceanu and Stefan Gheorghiu. After coming to the US at the invitation of the Perlman Music Program, Paponiu was accepted to the studio of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn School Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, California, where he earned both a Bachelor of Music degree and an Artist Diploma degree in violin performance. As a chamber musician, Paponiu has appeared in festivals throughout Europe and North America, collaborating with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Clive Greensmith, Martin Beaver, Merry Peckham and Vivian Weilerstein.
Beginning his conducting studies in Los Angeles with Maxim Eshkenazy and continuing with Yehuda Gilad and Alexander Treger, Paponiu was appointed assistant conductor of the American Youth Symphony in spring 2011. Paponiu frequently conducted the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, Colburn Chamber Orchestra, Colburn Youth Orchestra and the Colburn Contemporary Players. An active supporter of community engagement, Paponiu conducted the Herbert Zipper Outreach Orchestra in numerous in-school performances throughout the greater Los Angeles area. Paponiu has guest conducted the LG Youth Orchestra in Korea, Luzerne Music Center String Orchestra and the Inland Valley Youth Symphony.
Photo © Yoon Sun