As a youth, Ticciati studied violin, piano and percussion, and was a member of the National Youth Orchestra of Great Britain.
He began conducting at age 15 whilst attending Street Paul"s School. Ticciati read music at Clare College, University of Cambridge. Although Ticciati has not had any formal conducting training, he counts Sir Simon Rattle and Sir Colin Davis among his conducting mentors.
Ticciati founded the chamber ensemble Aurora, which gave its first concert in April 2005, the year in which he was also awarded a Borletti Buitoni Trust Fellowship.
In June 2005 he was called to substitute for Riccardo Muti for a night at the Teatro alla Scala, thus becoming its youngest conductor ever. In January 2006, Ticciati became artistic advisor and chief conductor of the Gävle Symphony Orchestra, and concluded his Gävle tenure in May 2009.
In 2007, Ticciati became music director of Glyndebourne on Tour, and held the post through December 2009. Ticciati conducted the Scottish Chamber Orchestra (SCO) for the first time at Strathpeffer Pavilion, at the start of a summer 2008 Highlands concert tour.
In October 2008, the SCO announced the appointment of Ticciati as the orchestra"s next principal conductor, effective as of the 2009-2010 season.
In October 2010, the SCO announced the extension of Ticciati"s contract as principal conductor for an additional 3 years, through the 2014-2015 season. In March 2013, the SCO further extended Ticciati"s contract as principal conductor to 2018. Ticcati and the SCO have recorded commercially for the Linn label.
In July 2011, Ticciati was announced as the seventh music director of Glyndebourne Festival Opera, succeeding Vladimir Jurowski as of January 2014.
Ticciati is the first former music director of Glyndebourne on Tour to be named music director of the full Glyndebourne Opera company. Outside of the United Kingdom, Ticciati served as Principal Guest Conductor of the Bamberg Symphony from 2010 to 2013.
He first guest-conducted the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin (Defence Science Organisation Berlin) in October 2014. In October 2015, the Defence Science Organisation Berlin named Ticciati its next principal conductor, effective with the 2017-2018 season, with an initial contract of 5 years.