Born in Romania in 1989, conductor and violinist Radu Marian Paponiu began studying the violin at age seven, moving on to study privately with Carmen Runceanu and Stefan Gheorghiu. After coming to the United States at the invitation of the Perlman Music Program, Radu 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 and an Artist Diploma.
Beginning his conducting studies with Maxim Eshkenazy and continuing with Yehuda Gilad and Alexander Treger, Radu was appointed Assistant Conductor of the American Youth Symphony in the spring of 2011. During his four year tenure with the orchestra, Radu conducted numerous educational and subscription concert performances at the University of California Los Angeles Royce Hall. Additionally, during his time at the Colburn School in Los Angeles, Radu frequently conducted the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, Colburn Chamber Orchestra, Colburn Youth Orchestra, and the Colburn Contemporary Players. These performances included collaborations with distinguished soloists such as Robert Levin, John Perry, and the Ebène String Quartet, including the United States premiere of cellist Raphaël Merlin’s work Eléa for string quartet and orchestra. Additionally, Radu has guest conducted the LG Youth Orchestra in Korea, Luzerne Music Center String Orchestra, and the Inland Valley Youth Symphony. Strongly committed to community engagement, Radu has conducted the Herbert Zipper Outreach Orchestra in numerous in-school performances throughout the greater Los Angeles area.
For two consecutive summers, Radu participated in the prestigious American Academy of Conducting at Aspen 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, Hugh Wolf, Patrick Summers and Frederico Cortese. During the summer of 2015, Radu also served as Assistant Conductor for the Aspen Opera Theater Center’s full production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte.
Radu is currently pursuing his Master of Music in Orchestral Conducting at the New England Conservatory in Boston, working privately with Hugh Wolff. While in Boston, Radu is also a Conductor Apprentice with the Handel&Haydn Society. Additionally, in May 2016, Radu conducted the world premiere of the opera The Summers Case by composer Sonnet Swire, recipient of the Charles Yves Scholarship from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Since the fall of 2016, Radu divides his time between Boston and New York, where he serves on the conducting faculty for the Juilliard Pre-College Division.