She could easily wreck a fleet of ships if she so desired…her theatrical energy, her effortless heights and unearthly precision all become part of a seductive whole. “ – Financial Times London
Embodying music with an unparalleled dramatic sensibility, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan is an artist at the forefront of creation. Her artistic colleagues include Simon Rattle, Sasha Waltz, Kent Nagano, Vladimir Jurowski, John Zorn, Andreas Kriegenburg, Andris Nelsons, Esa Pekka Salonen, Christoph Marthaler, Antonio Pappano, Katie Mitchell, Kirill Petrenko, and Krszysztof Warlikowski. The late conductor and pianist Reinbert de Leeuw has been an extraordinary influence and inspiration on her development as a musician. The Canadian musician has shown a profound commitment to the music of our time and has given the world première performances of over 85 new creations. Hannigan has collaborated extensively with composers including Boulez, Zorn, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin, Dean, Benjamin and Abrahamsen. The past two seasons presented both challenges and opportunities, and true to form, Barbara continued at her own speed of light, premiering a new live video production of La Voix Humaine in which she both sings and conducts, created in collaboration with video artist Denis Guéguin and premiered with l’Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, which she has now performed in London, Copenhagen, Gothenburg, Rotterdam, Wroclaw and Munich. She gave the world premieres of John Zorn’s “Split the Lark” for soprano and piano and “Star Catcher” for soprano, piano, upright bass and drums, as well as Zosha di Castri’s “In the Half Light”, with the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Barbara performed across Europe with colleagues including Sir Simon Rattle and the LSO, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Gothenburg Symphony, Munich Philharmonic, festivals in Ludwigsburg and Aix en Provence, and celebrated her 50th birthday at the Concertgebouw in Amsterdam, conducting the Ludwig Orchestra in works of Haydn, Copland, and Gerald Barry, ending the celebration with two Kurt Weill songs arranged for Barbara by Bill Elliott. Her future projects and performances in 2022/23 season include her conducting debut with the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Montreal Symphony, Orchestre Chambre de Lausanne, a European tour with London Symphony Orchestra and a new multimedia project with pianists Katia and Marielle Labeque, and composers David Chalmin and Bryce Dessner, inspired by the cosmic compositions and contemplations of medieval polymath Hildegard von Bingen, designed and directed by Netia Jones/Lightmap. On record, Barbara Hannigan’s fruitful relationship with Alpha Classics began in 2017 with the release of Crazy Girl Crazy, which won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal album, among other awards including an Edison (Holland) and a Juno (Canada). Three critically-acclaimed recordings followed: Vienna: fin de siècle with pianist Reinbert de Leeuw, and two collaborations with Ludwig Orchestra: La Passione featuring works by Nono, Haydn and Grisey and Dance With Me. Hannigan’s fifth recording for Alpha Classics, Sehnsucht (Live in Rotterdam), is released in October 2022 and sees the soprano return to the Viennese fin-de-siècle period in a programme of Berg and Mahler in arrangements for chamber ensemble. Recordings with the Emerson String Quartet and pianist Bertrand Chamayou are en route for release in the coming seasons. Barbara’s commitment to the younger generation of musicians led her to create the mentoring initiative Equilibrium Young Artistsin 2017, and in 2020, Barbara created Momentum: our Future Now, an initiative which encourages other leading artists and organisations to support and mentor younger professional musicians. In spring 2020 Barbara was awarded the Dresdener Musikfestspiele Glashütte Award and, in May 2021, Denmark’s prestigious Léonie Sonning Music Prize. The multi award-winning Hannigan has also received the Order of Canada (2016), Rolf Schock Prize for Musical Arts (2018), and, in autumn 2022, received France’s Officier des Arts et des Lettres distinction and was named Gramophone Magazine’s 2022 Artist of the Year. Originally from Nova Scotia, Barbara resides in Finistère, on the northwest coast of France.
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