Embodying music with an unparalleled dramatic sensibility, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan is an artist at the forefront of creation. Her artistic colleagues include Christoph Marthaler, Sir Simon Rattle, Sasha Waltz, Kent Nagano, Vladimir Jurowski, John Zorn, Andreas Kriegenburg, Andris Nelsons, Reinbert de Leeuw, David Zinman, Antonio Pappano, Katie Mitchell, Kirill Petrenko, and Krszysztof Warlikowski.
As a singer and conductor 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.
Unforgettable operatic performances at the world’s leading opera companies include: Lulu in productions by both Krszysztof Warlikowski at La Monnaie and by Christoph Marthaler at Hamburg Staatsoper; Pelléas et Mélisande in both Katie Mitchell’s staging at the 2016 Festival d’Aix-en-Province conducted by Esa-Pekka Salonen and in Krszysztof Warlikowski’s 2017 production at the Ruhrtriennale; and Marie in Zimmermann’s Die Soldaten at the Bayerische Staatsoper directed by Andreas Kriegenberg and conducted by Kirill Petrenko, for which she won Germany’s Faust Award. Hannigan embodied the role of Elle in Warlikowski’s production of La Voix Humaine at Opéra de Paris in 2015 and again for its reprise in April 2018. She created the role of Agnès in George Benjamin’s landmark Written on Skin, which premiered at Festival d’Aix-en-Province in 2012. Further recent operatic world première incarnations include Ophelia in Brett Dean’s Hamlet at Glyndebourne Festival 2017, Isabel in George Benjamin’s Lessons in Love and Violence directed by Katie Mitchell (Royal Opera House Covent Garden and Dutch National Opera, 2018), and the title role in Michael Jarrell’s Bérénice at the Paris Opera (2018).
Barbara Hannigan’s 2019/2020 season marks the beginning of her role as Principal Guest conductor at Gothenburg Symphony. She also has engagements with London Symphony Orchestra, Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Münchner Philharmoniker, Danish National Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, and will be artist in residence at Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France. Hannigan will première the role of Gerda in Bayerische Staatsoper’s production of Hans Abrahamsen’s The Snow Queen and will return to the role of Lulu at Hamburgische Staatsoper.
In 2018-19 Hannigan was Music Director of Ojai Festival and artist in residence at Aldeburgh Festival.
In 2017 Barbara Hannigan created ‘Equilibrium Young Artists’, a mentoring initiative for young professional musicians, which quickly attracted over 350 applicants from 39 countries. Equilibrium officially launched in 2018, with 21 participants hand-selected by Hannigan and with whom she worked intensively on, among other works, Mozart’s Requiem, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, and The Rake’s Progress. The latter saw Hannigan make her debut as an opera conductor with over 15 performances with orchestras including Gothenburg Symphony and Münchner Philharmoniker, plus a tour with LUDWIG at Philharmonie de Paris, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Dresden Musikfestspiele and Hamburg’s Elbphilharmonie. Hannigan continues with Equilibrium in the upcoming season with partner orchestras including Munich Philharmonic, the Orchestre Philharmoniqe de Radio France, Swedish Radio Symphony Orchestra and Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra.
Hannigan’s first album as singer and conductor, Crazy Girl Crazy (Alpha Classics, 2017) – featuring works by Berio, Berg and Gershwin and with the accompanying film Music is Music, by Mathieu Amalric – won the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal album, the 2018 Opus Klassik award for Best Solo Vocal Performance, the 2018 Klara award for Best International Classical album and the 2018 JUNO Award for Classical Album of the Year. She continued her relationship with Alpha Classics and with her long-time collaborator and mentor, Dutch pianist Reinbert de Leeuw, for the 2018 album Vienna: Fin de Siècle. The 2019-20 season sees her release her next anticipated album on the French label. Previous recordings have garnered awards from Edison Klassiek, Grawemeyer, Victoires de la Musique Classique, Diapason and Gramophone.
Further awards include Singer of the Year (Opernwelt, 2013); Musical Personality of the Year (Syndicat de la Presse Francaise, 2012); Ehrenpreise (Preis der Deutschen Schallplattenkritik 2018); and the Rolf Schock Prize for Musical Arts (2018), the multi-disciplinary prize across science and the arts which recognises trailblazing and brilliant figures within their respective fields. Barbara Hannigan holds honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto and Mt Allison University, and was appointed to the Order of Canada in 2016. In April 2020, she will be awarded the Léonie Sonning Music Prize.
2019-2020 Not to be altered without permission. Please destroy all previous biographical material Barbara Hannigan is represented by HarrisonParrott.