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 nearly forty different classical, education, and pops programs. As a guest conductor, Radu has appeared with the Transylvania State Philharmonic in Romania, Southwest Florida Symphony, Colorado Music Festival Orchestra, North Carolina Symphony, and National Repertory Orchestra. Radu has served as cover conductor on multiple occasions with the Dallas Symphony, St. Louis Symphony, and Konzerthaus Orchestra Berlin, and has assisted conductors including Andrey Boreyko, Iván Fischer, Stéphane Denève, Hans Graf, Donald Runnicles, Cristian Măcelaru, Bernard Labadie, and Leonidas Kavakos. A former faculty member of the Juilliard Pre-College Division, Radu continues his collaboration this season as conductor for the Southeast Asia Music Festival in Hanoi, Vietnam, and Summer Performing Arts with Juilliard in Shanghai, China.

Radu 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, Radu was also conductor apprentice with the Handel and Haydn Society. In the summer of 2017, Radu was appointed assistant conductor for the National Repertory Orchestra in Colorado as well as conducting fellow for the Cabrillo Festival Workshop in Santa Cruz, California. For two consecutive summers, 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, Hugh Wolff, Patrick Summers, and Federico Cortese. Additionally, Radu served as assistant conductor for the Aspen Opera Theater Center’s full production of Mozart’s Così fan tutte.

Radu began his musical studies on the violin at age 7 studying privately with Carmen Runceanu and Stefan Gheorghiu. After coming to the US 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 degree and an Artist Diploma degree in violin performance. As a 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 Weilerstein. Radu is currently on the chamber music faculty for the Perlman Music Program.

Beginning his conducting studies in Los Angeles with Maxim Eshkenazy and continuing with Yehuda Gilad and Alexander Treger, Radu was appointed assistant conductor of the American Youth Symphony in spring 2011. While in Los Angeles. Radu frequently conducted the Colburn Conservatory Orchestra, Colburn Chamber Orchestra, Colburn Youth Orchestra and the Colburn Contemporary Players. An active supporter of community engagement, Radu conducted the Herbert Zipper Outreach Orchestra in numerous in-school performances throughout the greater Los Angeles area.