Roberto Paternostro was born in Vienna where he studied at the Music University under Hans Swarowsky. Further studies under György Ligeti and Christoph von Dohnányi in Hamburg. 1978 to 1984 he was assistant of Herbert von Karajan in Berlin.
Performances include appearances at the Bayerischen Staatsoper in Munich (Macbeth, Eugen Onegin), Deutsche Staatsoper in Berlin (Falstaff), Semperoper in Dresden (La Boheme), Teatro La Fenice in Venice, Teatro Liceu in Barcelona, Volksoper in Vienna as well as the opera houses of Madrid, Genua, Parma, Teatro San Carlo in Naples, Seville, Budapest etc.
From 1991 to 2000 he was General Music Director of the Württembergische Philharmonie, from 1997 to 2007 General Music Director of the State Theatre in Kassel (Germany) where his new productions with works of Richard Wagner (Tristan, Ring des Nibelungen, Parsifal, Tannhäuser, Lohengrin), Verdi (Otello, Macbeth, Simone Boccanegra, La Traviata, Don Carlos, Rigoletto, Il Trovatore, Maskenball), Puccini and Richard Strauss (Elektra, Rosenkavalier, Ariadne) brought much public attention.
In the field of symphonic repertoire outstanding performances and recordings with the HR-Symphony Orchestra in Frankfurt, WDR-Symphony Orchestra in Cologne, the Munich Philharmonic, SWR-Symphony Orchestra in Stuttgart, NHK-Symphony Orchestra in Tokyo, Tokyo Philharmonic Orchestra, NDR Philharmonie Hanover, MDR-Symphony Orchestra in Leipzig, Konzerthausorchester Berlin, Vienna Symphony Orchestra, Israel Chamber Orchestra, Brucknerorchester Linz, DSO in Berlin, Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra, Opera Canada Symphony amongst others. Numerous concerts at festivals such as the Brucknerfest in Linz (Götterdämmerung), Mahlerwoche in Toblach including Mahler's 2nd, 4th and 9th symphonies as well as Euro Classic in Berlin.
CD recordings of Wagner’s “Ring“, Verdi’s “La Traviata“ and “Simone Boccanegra“, Bruckner’s symphonies (complete recording) as well as the Mass in d-minor and f-minor, Mahler’s 4th and 9th symphonies. Acclaimed television recordings were a twelve-part series with Montserrat Caballé for Arte/ZDF and the ZDF simulcast of the ECHO Klassik concert. Latest CD releases include the complete recordings of Mozart’s “Masonic Music“ with the Spohr Kammerorchester Kassel, arias and scenes by Beethoven, R. Strauss and R. Wagner with the Württembergische Philharmonie and one of the first recordings of Hans Gál's Violin Concerto op. 39 as well as Mendelssohn Concerti with the Israel Chamber Orchestra.
2009-2013 Roberto Paternostro held the post of Music Director of the Israel Chamber Orchestra. Season’s 2010/11 tours of the Israel Chamber Orchestra under the baton of Roberto Paternostro included venues in Austria (Haydnfestival Eisenstadt, Brucknerfest Linz, CD recording in Vienna), Germany (Liederhalle Stuttgart, Philharmonie Köln) as well as in July 2011 Bayreuth and Italy – with the orchestra’s first performance of a work by Richard Wagner.
Season 2010/11 included also Paternostro’s successful debuts in Cincinnati and at the Prague State Opera (Season’s opening Verdi Festival with “Aida”), he also lead the repeat performances of “Carmen” at the Volksoper Vienna and turned back to Budapest with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 3. In October 2011 Roberto Paternostro turned back to Toronto with a contemporary oratory by Zane Zalis, in December he conducted the premiere of "Rigoletto" at the Teatro Massimo Bellini di Catania (Sicily).
The season 2012/13 includes engagements as the season’s opening of the Akademiekonzerte Mannheim (Beethoven "Pastoral", Richard Strauss "Don Quixote"), concerts in Milan (R. Strauss Violin Concerto, Beethoven "Pastoral"), with the Israel Chamber Orchestra in Tel Aviv, repeat performances of "Il Tabarro / Gianni Schicchi" by Puccini in Vienna and the premiere of Richard Strauss’s "Salome“ at the Palm Beach Opera.
In October 2012 Roberto Paternostro received the prestigious ECHO Klassik Award in Berlin and lead the first Conductor's Workshop of the Deutsche Musikrat in Israel. In November 2012 Paternostro made his debut at the Teatro Colón, Buenos Aires, with Richard Wagner's "Ring des Nibelungen" (abailable on DVD including documentary). In August 2013 Paternostro conducted the premiere of "Le Nozze di Figaro" by Mozart at Teatro Colón.