top of page

Raffaele Livio Ponti




"Internationally recognized Italian Conductor, Raffaele Livio Ponti is one of the most exciting, and popular conductors of his generation."

An artist of Dynamic Personality, Charismatic Performances, and Superb Musicianship, known for his powerful musical interpretations, rich and unique quality of sound, and breath of colors that he inspires, and draws from every orchestra he conducts. Making his mark as a model for today’s conductors, Raffaele Ponti is recognized for his commitment to creative artistry, innovative programming, and to audience and community engagement.

Raffaele Livio Ponti is the Music Director of Paducah Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Ponti maintains an active worldwide conducting schedule with the Lviv National Philharmonic of Ukraine, Sofia Symphony of Bulgaria, and multiple return engagements with the orchestras of Roma, Pescara, Siena, Arezzo, Pistoia, Lucca, Pisa, Firenze, Grosseto, Venezia, Padova, Pienza, Treviso, Spello, Milano, Perugia, Massa, Terni, Bologna, Ferrara, Ripatransone, Pesaro, Civitavecchia, San Gimignano, Genoa, Sinalunga, Cortona, Tocco da Casauria, Montepulciano, Montacatini Terme, Bagno Vignoni, and Prato. In the United States the Buffalo Philharmonic, Elgin Symphony, Rochester Philharmonic, Austin Symphony, Youngstown Symphony, Paducah Symphony, Billings Symphony, Binghamton Philharmonic, Charlotte Symphony, Orchestra of the Southern Finger Lakes, Utica Symphony, and Schenectady Symphony.

Winner of numerous awards including winner of the Mario Gusella International Conductors Competition in Pescara, Italy; Italian Musician of the Year, and the prestigious Bernard Adelstein Prize from the Cleveland Institute of Music. He carries on the teachings and philosophies of his mentor and teacher, Giuseppe Sinopoli, and is an inspiring musician, expert teacher, and speaker who enjoys inspiring musicians, and audiences of all ages. He is a popular conducting teacher, who leads conducting seminars in Italy, Canada, and the United States. 

Especially recognized for his interpretations of the core repertoire, Raffaele Ponti has also collaborated closely with many extraordinary living composers including Kenneth Fuchs, Roberto Sierra, and Jennifer Higdon. In recent seasons he has collaborated with world class artists David Kim, Ilya Kaler, William Wolfram, Terrance Wilson, Glenn Dicterow. Franklin Cohen, Joseph Alessi, Fabio Bidini, Eugenia Zukerman, Antonio Pompa-Baldi, Jeffrey Biegel, Stewart Goodyear, Juana Zayas, Timothy McAllister, Joan Kwuon, Serena Huang, Roman Rabinovich, Sabrina-Vivian Hopcker, Elena Urioste, Michael Ludwig, David Halen, Philippe Quint, Jeffrey Multer, all led to rave reviews.

Maestro Ponti is equally in demand as an opera conductor. In 1998 he was appointed Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Italia Konzert Opera Internationalewhere he tours Italy annually with triumph performances of Tosca, Il Trovatore, Nabucco, Madama Butterfly, L’Elisir d’amore, Carmen, Aida, La Boheme, andRigoletto. His Italian opera tours include the Sofia Symphony Orchestra, Varna State Opera, and Italia Konzert Opera Internationale. Among the international opera stars collaborated with are Paola Romano, Vittorio Grigolo, Maurizio Graziani, Stefano Algieri, Mariana Paunova, Silvia dalla Benetta, Ettore Nova, George Petean, Claudia Marci, Salvador Carbo, Tatiana Lisnic, Carlos Almaguer, Patrizia Cigna, Michele Sburlati, Galina Kalinina, Mina Tasca, Stanislas Arraez, Alessandro Busi, Mauro Augustini, Rubens Pelizzari, Davide Pastretti, and Ambra Vespasiani.

Ponti’s effective technique, and enthusiastic conducting style is from his professional performance experiences with Lorin Maazel, Sir Colin Davis, David Zinman, Yoel Levi, and Eric Leinsdorf. Before becoming a conductor, he played with the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning at the age of seventeen, and the Cleveland Orchestra, at nineteen. Other ensembles include the Cleveland Opera, Erie Philharmonic, Eastern Brass Quintet, Metropolitan Brass Quintet, and the Casals Music Festival.


"Raffaele Livio Ponti brings an exhilarating energy level to center stage. It’s an electrifying swagger - empowering and enabling him to pull music from light to darkness and back again.” 

The Courier News (Chicago)

“A bold yet sensitive conductor, Ponti highlights Brahms’ interplay between the instruments, expertly balancing the sections – emphasizing the delightful winds and fine trombones while holding in check ESO’s formidable string section – to illustrate the multiple layers that makes this work so sublime.” 

Daily Herald (Chicago)

“Ponti is regarded as a rising star, someone gaining international acclaim and attention.” 

The Courier News (Chicago)

“The music was exciting, and the performance was flawless. Ponti showed us how passionate he is about the music, and the orchestra demonstrated how committed they are to excellence.” 

Billings Gazette

“…it’s clear he has a tremendous zest for music, an exuberance recalling both the roar and rush of a roller coaster ride.” 

The Courier News (Chicago)

“Fans worldwide say that his passion shows.” 

The Courier News (Chicago)

“And, of course, the biggest collaborator of all was the Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, conducted by Raffaele Ponti. The orchestra’s musicians were the ultimate accompaniment, accentuating each song’s moods, nuances, and sounds. The sound was superb, as was the playing, but never overwhelmed the piano in the center of the stage…” 

Buffalo News

“Eyes hold an entire ensemble. A moment passes. Then, through a series of wordless impulses, an exceptional conductor, Ponti changes the human chemistry in an orchestra and audience.” 

The Courier News (Chicago)

“Ponti interprets the music beautifully. He brings the most modest of details out. He sees the picture he wants them to paint. They respond to the environment he creates. They are a beautifully rehearsed orchestra. It was a moving performance. So clear, so wonderful. One of the best I have seen so far. In less than five years, Ponti will be sought by orchestras all over the country.” 

Charlotte Sun (Florida)

“…guest conductor Raffaele Ponti, whose passionate approach to music has captured international attention.” 

The Courier News (Chicago)

“Heads bobbed and smiles broke out both on and off the stage Saturday night as the Billings Symphony Orchestra performed under the baton of Raffaele Ponti.” 

Billings Gazette

“The sound was big, and the orchestra played with great heart. By its end, musicians’ brows were wet, and some members of the audience were teetering on the edge of their seats.” 

Billings Gazette

“Led by last minute replacement conductor Raffaele Ponti of the Paducah Symphony Orchestra, the BPO gave an expressive performance of the achingly beautiful score (Swan Lake).” Buffalo News

“We have a great orchestra, a great hall, a great public, and a great Maestro.” 

Charlotte Sun (Florida)

bottom of page