Associate Conductor, Naples Philharmonic
Director, Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra
Radu Paponiu is the associate conductor of the Naples Philharmonic and director of the Naples Philharmonic Youth Orchestra. Since 2017, Radu has conducted the Naples Philharmonic in more than 100 different classical, education and pops programs. Radu was also recently appointed artistic and music director of the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra. As a guest conductor, Radu has appeared with the Transylvania State Philharmonic Orchestra and Banatul Philharmonic of Timişoara in Romania, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, California Young Artists Symphony and National Repertory Orchestra. Radu has collaborated with notable soloists such as Yefim Bronfman, Midori, Vladimir Feltsman, Robert Levin, Nancy Zhou, Stella Chen and the Ébène Quartet. Radu has served as cover conductor with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra and Konzerthausorchester Berlin, and he has assisted conductors including Andrey Boreyko, Iván Fischer, Fabio Luisi, Stéphane Denève, Hans Graf, Donald Runnicles, Cristian Măcelaru, Bernard Labadie and Ludovic Morlot. Radu has served on the conducting faculty of the Juilliard Pre-College as well as conductor for the Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Shanghai, China, and at the Southeast Asia Music Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Radu completed his Master of Music in orchestral conducting at the New England Conservatory of Music, where he studied with Hugh Wolff. While in Boston, Radu was also conductor apprentice with the Handel and Haydn Society. In the summer of 2017, Radu was appointed assistant conductor of the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado, as well as conducting fellow for the Cabrillo Festival Workshop in California. Radu 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, Radu furthered his studies under the guidance of Robert Spano, Larry Rachleff, Leonard Slatkin, Patrick Summers and Federico Cortese.
Radu began his musical studies on the violin at age 7, studying privately with Carmen Runceanu and Ștefan Gheorghiu. After coming to the United States at the invitation of the Perlman Music Program, Radu completed two degrees in violin performance under the guidance of Robert Lipsett at the Colburn Conservatory in Los Angeles. As a soloist and chamber musician, Radu has appeared in festivals throughout Europe and North America, collaborating with artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Clive Greensmith, Martin Beaver, Merry Peckham and Vivian Hornik Weilerstein.
Radu currently resides in Naples, Florida, with his wife, flutist Blair Francis Paponiu. In his spare time, he enjoys chamber music reading parties, fishing, biking and playing tennis.