Filippo Zapponi was born in 1976, in Milan. He began composing as a child and at the age of seventeen he entered the classes of Ivan Fedele and Giorgio Colombo Taccani at the Civica Scuola di Musica di Milano and at the Sezione di Musica Contemporanea, in Milan. In 1997, he was enrolled in Ivan Fedele's class at the Como Conservatory of Music “Giuseppe Verdi” and graduated with honours in 2000. Since 1997 he was also a student of Ivan Fedele at the Conservatoire National de Région de Strasbourg (France) where he graduated in 2001. In 1999-2001 he was Ivan Fedele's assistant and he worked at Luciano Berio's Centro Tempo Reale, in Florence.
In 2001 he moved to France, in that year he studied with Brian Ferneyhough, Brice Pauset and Stefano Gervasoni at the Session de composition du programme “Voix nouvelles” at the Fondation Royaumont, near Paris. In 2002, he was again Ferneyhough's student at the Centre Acanthes (Avignon, France).
Selected twice by the Ircam Reading Panel, he attended the Stage d'été (2006) and the Cursus I (2008-09) at Ircam (Paris) where he specialized in new technologies for music with Yan Maresz, Philippe Hurel, Philippe Manoury and Marco Stroppa.
From 2004 to 2007, he studied composition and analysis with Karlheinz Stockhausen (Stockhausen Courses Kürten) in Kürten, near Cologne (Germany). At the Stockhausen Foundation for Music, he also organized an annual meeting of composers.
In 2007, he graduated with honours in Musicology from the University of Strasbourg with a dissertation on Stockhausen's opera Freitag aus Licht.
His works have been performed in Europe, US, South America and Asia and he collaborates with many ensembles, soloists and festivals: Arditti Quartet, Jeffrey Lyman, Mario Caroli, Ensemble Calliopée, Accroche Note, Ensemble Linea, Sentieri Selvaggi, Festival Pablo Casals, Ircam, Philarmonie de Paris, Expo Milano 2015, Biennale Musica di Venezia, Festival Musica, University of Michigan (Ann Arbor), Pomona College (Claremont, California), Soochow University School of Music (China), France Culture, Fondation de France, Musée Würth-France, Mamc-Strasbourg, Opéra-Théâtre of Metz, Arsenal Concert Hall, Opéra National du Rhin, Radio Svizzera, among others.
He has undertaken many musical projects with pedagogical purposes, such as the children's opera Opera Mundi (2003) and Le voyage des grues cendrées (2008), the latter was awarded the prize “S'Unir pour Agir” of the Fondation de France. He has also collaborated with the Blicke Dance Company on several international productions.
Filippo Zapponi has been teaching composition, analysis and orchestration at the Metz Conservatory “Gabriel Pierné” since 2008; he was appointed Professor (Professeur d'Enseignement Artistique Titulaire) in 2011.
From 2005 to 2014 he taught composition, analysis and orchestration at the University of Strasbourg (CFMI – Centre de Formation de Musiciens Intervenants). He occasionally gives applied analysis seminars at the Cefedem de Lorraine.
Filippo Zapponi won twice the first prize at the XXI and XXII Composition Competition “Castello di Belveglio”, in 1999 and 2000.
He was awarded the prize “S'Unir pour Agir” of the Fondation de France for the project Le voyage des grues cendrées, in 2008.
In 2014, he was selected at the International Composition Competition « Feeding Music – Compositions From the World for Italian Pavilion Expo Milano 2015 » for a new commission for ensemble and electronics which was featured twice at Expo Milano 2015.
In 2015, he was awarded the first prize at the 6th International Composition Competition “Festival Pablo Casals” in Prades.