The Rake’s Progress European Tour with LUDWIG and Equilibrium Young Artists
Read all the reviews

“Yet again, Ludwig with Barbara Hannigan is fantastic”
“The inspiring success story of Ludwig and Barbara Hannigan continues. It has even gained momentum and impact.”
“They delivered the most beautiful and moving Stravinsky’s The Rake Progress I have ever heard.”
“After Munich and Paris, Amsterdam was the third European city that Ludwig and Hannigan visited with the opera. The tour ends on Wednesday in the Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. There, too, the public will not know afterwards how loudly they should cheer and shout. This orchestra and this conductor are solid gold for the promotion of classical music.”
“Under the guidance of Hannigan, Ludwig played razor sharp and certainly not without risk. This caused many miraculous sounds, with the dissonance of cello and viola in the graveyard scene as one of the highlights. The minimalist staging of Linus Fellbom was also very successful. If you bring The Rake like this, you no longer need opera houses.”
Het Parool, May 2019

“Hannigan led the LUDWIG Orchestra through the score, giving flexibility and charm to the boisterous and harmonic aspects.”
(4 out of 5 stars)
De Volkskrant, May 2019

“La Carrière du Libertin confirme la carrière de Barbara Hannigan à la baguette”
“Les applaudissements très chaleureux du public lancent avec enthousiasme le postlude de cet opus, chaque personnage venant donner sa morale de l’histoire, mais la plus éloquente des morales de cette soirée est offerte par la silencieuse baguette loquace de Barbara Hannigan.”
Olyrix, May 2019

“À la Philharmonie, Barbara Hannigan remet dans le droit chemin The Rake’s Progress”
“La direction très physique de Barbara Hannigan donne à l’ensemble une cohérence dynamique et permet surtout une précision millimétrée. Les entrées, les nuances et les tempos sont réglés avec la minutie d’une mécanique, ce qui n’a pas pour effet de perdre toute spontanéité musicale, mais de souligner au contraire la précipitation du cours tragique de l’action”
Bachtrack, May 2019

“The Canadian soprano conducts with an effective mix of diligence and craft”
La Libre Belgique, March 2019

Opera conducting debut: The Rake’s Progress
Equilibrium Young Artists | Gothenburg Symphony

“Opera conductor Barbara Hannigan triumphs with the “The Rake’s Progress” in Göteborg in an original new concept.”
“Α charming young and vibrant “Rake’s Progress” performed by the sweetest voices where Aphrodite Patoulidou’s incisive golden lustrous soprano voice makes Anne Truelove the show’s shimmering focus.”
“In her simple, bare-sleeved dress, Hannigan is exciting and endlessly enjoying making music.”
Dagens Nyheter, December 2018

“And last but not least – Barbara Hannigan, whose spirit, aesthetics, musicality and energy characterize the whole set. This is her first opera in the role of conductor and the will that everyone in this set radiates can not be missed.”
Expressen, December 2018

“Conductor Barbara Hannigan, who is also well-known in Gothenburg as a soprano, took the orchestra on a fabulous adventure”
Borås Tidning, December 2018

“And above it all, Barbara Hannigan’s mastery of the score, her incisive conducting and her electrifying presence gave coherent shape, energy and power to the whole score.””
Ojai Music Festival blog, December 2018

U.S. conducting debut with The Cleveland Orchestra

“From Berg to Gershwin, soprano Hannigan does delightful double-duty with Cleveland Orchestra”
“Unlike some musicians who take up conducting, Hannigan didn’t over-conduct, making no attempt to personalize the music through exaggerated dynamics or phrasing. But she still put her mark on the work, leading a performance that was almost Romantic in scope and style, far from the brittle Classical approach that many bring to Haydn.

There was a dynamic excitement to the buoyant melodies of the first movement, with a fiery performance of fast passages in the strings, although ensemble cohesion could have been tighter. The broad violin and wind melodies of the Largo came off with unusual passion and feeling. The well-mannered Menuet gave way to a luminous crescendo of ascending suspensions. And the Finale was joyous in the unique Haydn manner, with the main melody tripping from section to section in a performance that was full of energy to the end.
The Berg work was the Lulu Suite, assembled from his unfinished opera about a manipulative temptress who dies at the hands of a legendary serial killer. Here the full powers of an incomparable orchestra were on display, in a richly colored performance of subtle shades and frank sensuality.”
“The concert ended with the Girl Crazy Suite, a show-stopping series Gershwin songs, arranged by Hannigan and Bill Elliott. Her using some amplification, Hannigan lightened her voice to a thoroughly non-classical tone, giving a lively performance that ended with a dazzling ascent to her uppermost range for “I Got Rhythm.””
South Florida Classical Review, 1 February 2019

Barbara Hannigan and LUDWIG Orchestra European tour

“The enamoured public knows: we’ll still be talking about this in fifty years”
“On Monday she confirmed in the Concertgebouw what we never should have doubted: Hannigan is not only the coolest soprano around, but also the coolest conductor. Her technique is flawless, and she also dares to be unorthodox.”
“The Concertgebouw audience was so silent that you shared this experience together with 1200 people.”
“Hannigan has the potential to become legendary as a conductor”

de Volkskrant, 05 December 2017

“Hannigan feels the music with every fiber of her being, the result is magical”
“Soprano Barbara Hannigan impresses as soprano and conductor. With the LUDWIG collective she performed a fantastic program.”
“The orchestral version of Verklärte Nacht confirmed that Hannigan can convey her immense musicality not only vocally but also as a conductor. With her elegant technique … she elicited from the LUDWIG musicians a subtle, richly varied sound that excelled in responsiveness and dynamic range.”
Girl Crazy brought the house down. … with a superior feeling for timing, her entrance of ‘I got rhythm’ against a buzzing cluster chord – magical. She finished audaciously with a sizzling high note and a Saturday Night Fever pose.”

NRC Handelsblad, 05 December 2017

Hannigan and Ludwig are overwhelming
“the performance was brilliant, with Hannigan adding some of her own interesting accents”
“After the break, the excitement continued to grow with an unforgettable, formidably played Lulu Suite, in which Hannigan turned halfway through the piece 180 degrees around to sing Lulu’s Song, in a highly piercing manner. Conducting was with her head, back and arms, almost dance-like.”
“Overwhelming music, performed overwhelmingly.
The orchestral balance was never so refined, with crystal clear separation between primary and secondary parts.
What a night.”

Het Parool, 05 December 2017

“Barbara Hannigan is one of those artists who might give all of us a complex if she was not also such a joyously captivating personality. She is breathtakingly talented, looks like a goddess and is smart as a whip.”
“Berg’s Lulu Suite that followed was clearly something Hannigan knows inside and out and, even when conducting while singing with her back to the orchestra during the third and fifth movements, she made it seem effortless. This is indeed the kicker with Hannigan – she makes impossible things look like second nature. Her voice has one of the easiest floats to it in the business”

Backtrack, 09 December 2017

Musik kann so schön sein, dass man die Engel flirten hört
“Dirigieren ist für sie Verlängerung ihres Singens”
“Die größte, energiegeladenste und ­musikalisch verführerischste Sensation war die drahtig durchtrainierte Ganzkörpermusikerin auf dem Präsentierpodest, von deren Bühnencharisma an der hiesigen Staatsoper die komplette “Lulu”-Inszenierung unter Starkstrom gesetzt wird.
Hannigan singt, wie sie dirigiert, und dirigiert, wie sie singt: unmittelbar, hoch konzentriert, mit spielerischer Lässigkeit und um engsten Kontakt zum Gesamtgeschehen bemüht. Dieser Trick funktionierte auch bei diesem Schönberg, den sie so vorsichtig modellierte, als bestände er nur aus Luft und Liebe.”

Abendblatt, 13 December 2017

“Schließlich ist Barbara Hannigan längst nicht mehr nur eine sensationelle Sopranistin. Sie ist eine komplette Künstlerin, dirigiert und inszeniert, denkt nach, wie sich Inhalt und Form klassischer Konzerte neu begreifen lassen.”

Welt, 13 December 2017

La Nuit Transfigurée est enchaînée sans pause. Sa profondeur expressive est lumineuse dès l’introduction jouée pianissimo avec mystère et intensité. Cette interprétation dévoile une lecture portée par la passion de son chef charismatique. Aussi fluide que sensuelle, sa gestuelle suit les ondulations du phrasé et fait un avec l’ensemble Ludwig.
On est en présence d’un Schoenberg coloré dont le langage prend parfois des teintes de mysticisme.”

“Après l’entracte, la soprano canadienne retrouve le personnage de Lulu qu’elle affectionne tout particulièrement depuis plusieurs saisons, et qui est au cœur de son disque. L’enchaînement avec ce qui a précédé semble très naturel.
Son timbre, d’une réelle beauté, résonne avec conviction.”

“Son jeu scénique prend une autre dimension dans Crazy Girl Suite qui regroupe les meilleurs extraits de la comédie musicale de Gershwin. Sans perdre de vue la direction de ses musiciens, Barbara Hannigan dévoile la flexibilité de ses qualités vocales et se fond avec charisme dans ce registre en apparence plus léger.
Les musiciens donnent également de la voix dans un titre irrésistible plein de charme mais aussi d’humour. Le public adore et le montre. Standing ovation de plusieurs minutes à l’issue d’un concert décalé, loin des sentiers battus.”

ResMusica, 18 December 2017

DR Symfoniorkestret | Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

Fierce soprano conducted herself and created something very special in the concert hall
“The audience stood up and shouted in delight at the end as Barbara Hannigan finished an unusual, ambitious and fascinating Thursday Concert.”
“Barbara Hannigan is not just another soprano. With her on the podium the door opened to a mythological Sibelius – and the the intensity of a cool Stravinsky. … This evening had a special, strong and good energy that separated it from all other Thursday concerts.”
* * * * * (5 out of 6 stars)

Politiken, 24 September 2016

“Occasions with Barbara Hannigan are like no other. The Canadian multi-musician is known as a ‘singer who can also conduct’. But she is something much bigger and broader and in a sense more important. … She can do away with classical music as a gentlemen’s club and change the traditional conventions of female conductors.
“The whole concert is very original, everything refreshing and delightfully different. This week’s Thursday concert will be one of the ones you will always remember.”
* * * * * (5 out of 6 stars)

Berlingske, 24 September 2016

“Singing conductor makes sparks fly with orchestra”
“An angel’s gentleness and vital power in one. With her flowing hair and athletic arms, Barbara Hannigan impressed in her double role as conductor and soprano”
“Thanks to both orchestra and conductor, it was an inspiring, magical night.”
* * * * * (5 out of 6 stars)

Jyllands-Posten, 25 September 2016

Ludwig Orchestra | MiTo Settembre Musica
Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

“Non accade certo tutti i giorni che un soprano dalla voce incantevole e dalla tecnica strepitosa decida di mettersi in gioco anche in veste di direttore d’orchestra. Barbara Hannigan affronta questo duplice ruolo da tempo e i risultati sono eccellenti. … E così ecco che la sera dello scorso 3 settembre, al Lingotto di Torino, il soprano canadese ha offerto un programma ricco e variegato a un pubblico attento e ricettivo con al centro diverse declinazioni di immagine femminile e l’acqua come elemento simbolico a saldare idealmente pagine assai dissimili, pur unificate dall’eros serpeggiante. … Poi ecco la Suite op. 80 ovvero le sublimi musiche di scena concepite dal raffinato Fauré per il Pelléas et Mélisande di Maeterlinck che la Hannigan ha diretto con mano felice e delicatezza di tratti, dall’iniziale Prélude, vero distillato di preziosità armoniche, giù giù sino alla toccante Morte de Mélisande. … Gran trionfo e applausi protratti per tutti, al termine di una serata dai contenuti davvero interessanti e foriera di emozioni, nonostante l’insolita e ragguardevole lunghezza.”
Il Corriere Musicale, 26 September 2016

Mahler Chamber Orchestra | Lucerne Festival
Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

“„Lasst mich meine Arbeit machen, und ihr werdet keine Fragen mehr haben!“, lautet das Motto von Barbara Hannigan. Die Kanadierin ist weltweit die einzige Sopranistin, die auch dirigiert. Wenn sie sich im Konzert plötzlich zum Publikum umdreht und ihre Stimme erklingen lässt, während sie mit einer Hand weiter Zeichen an die Musiker sendet, sind die meisten im Saal darüber noch erstaunter als über den ungewohnten Anblick einer Frau, die den Taktstock führt.

Ihr Konzert mit dem Mahler Chamber Orchestra beim noblen Lucerne Festival am Vierwaldstättersee zeigt allerdings auch, dass Barbara Hannigans Gestik nichts mit der kapellmeisterlichen Zeichengebung zu tun hat, wie man sie an Musikhochschulen lernt. Die 45-Jährige gibt eher Impulse als präzise Anweisungen, so wie man das auch bei Männern beobachten kann, die Instrumentalisten waren, bevor sie zu dirigieren begannen. Nikolaus Harnoncourt ist hier das prominenteste Beispiel.

Die Kommunikation mit den Musikern funktioniert trotzdem gut. Sei es, weil Barbara Hannigan in den Proben ihre Interpretationsvision gut erklären konnte, sei es, weil das experimentierfreudige, gedanklich äußerst wendige Mahler Chamber Orchestra ihr im wahrsten Wortsinn jeden Wunsch von den Lippen abliest. Denn wenn sie singt – an diesem Abend bei Sibelius’ Tondichtung „Luonnotar“, in der Suite aus Alban Bergs Oper „Lulu“ sowie bei einem Arrangement aus George Gershwins Musical „Girl Crazy“ – ist sie in erster Linie als Sopranistin präsent. Und als Bühnenmensch mit Lust an der Selbstinszenierung. Wenn sie das Konzert zur Show macht, mit Lichteffekten, mit Kostümwechseln und so manchem Flirt mit dem Publikum, passt Hannigans Performance perfekt zum Titel des diesjährigen Festivals: „Primadonna“.”

Der Tagesspiegel, 29 August 2016

“With her sultry timbre and fearless presence, the Canadian soprano is impossible to resist, and yet the Broadway persona is at times indulgent. Hannigan was more in her element in Berg’s Lulu Suite, drawing sensuous phrases from the episodic tangle of the opening movement. In “Lied der Lulu”, she sang to the audience with an air of both cool distance and torment while still beating time. By the final “Adagio” movement, she heaved her arms as if in slow motion against a searing allusion to Mahler.
At the concert’s best, the orchestra seemed an extension of Hannigan’s vocal interpretation. In Lulu, she was a seductress on the podium; in Sibelius’ tone poem Luonnotar, a daughter of nature, barefoot in a black pantsuit. The stratospheric soprano line was not compromised by her dramatic gestures as the winds overturn a duck’s nest whose eggs hatch into the sky.”

The Financial Times, 25 August 2016

“Aber Hannigan gab der jungfräulichen Urmutter nicht nur ihre Stimme, sondern behielt als Dirigentin Leib und Selbst – mit klaren Herrschaftsgesten, als gestaltende Interpretin. Begünstigt durch die akustischen Verhältnisse, entwarf sie einen gläsernen, fein gewirkten Sibelius.”
“Wie vertraut Hannigan mit dieser Musik ist, zeigte sich in ihrer entschiedenen Interpretation: ein ungemein packendes Fliessen im eröffnenden «Rondo», das «Ostinato» voll untergründiger Spannung. Dies alles überragt von ihren sängerischen Fähigkeiten – dieser Stimmkontrolle, diesen schwindelerregend weitgespannten Legati, dieser noch das volle Orchester schlank überwindenden Eindringlichkeit.
Bill Elliott knüpfte mit seinem Gershwin-Arrangement an Bergs Klangwelt an, liess aus Dissonanz-Nebeln «But Not for Me» auftauchen, Hannigan neckisch mit dem Orchester spielen – und in «Embraceable Me» auch die Musiker singen.”

Neue Zürcher Zeitung, 24 August 2016

“In einer eigenen Programmsparte bot das Lucerne Festival in diesem Jahr Dirigentinnen ein Podium. Insbesondere der Auftritt von Sopranistin Barbara Hannigan als singende Dirigentin hat Max Nyffeler in der FAZ begeistert: Diese Performance “zeugte von einer Souveränität und kommunikativen Lockerheit, wie sie nur eine bühnenerfahrene und zudem musikbesessene Künstlerin zustande bringt. Vielleicht öffnet sich hier ein Weg zu jenen neuen Konzertformen, von denen man sich heute die dringend nötige Erneuerung des Klassikbetriebs erhofft.”

Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, 24 August 2016

“Führungsqualitäten – die statt in High Heels meist barfüßig, ohne Taktstock dirigierende Kanadierin hat sie unbestritten. Ihr Konzertauftritt zeigt aber noch etwas anderes: den unkonventionellen, selbstbewussten und dabei ganz souveränen Umgang mit Musik. Europäische Konzertdramaturgen rümpften vermutlich eher die Nase ob einer Programmgestaltung, in der auf Sibelius Haydn, auf Alban Berg George Gershwin folgt. Doch bei Barbara Hannigan macht es Sinn. Und Spaß. Zumal die Verbindungen spürbar sind. Debussys poetischem Solostück über die Nymphe “Syrinx”, von Chiara Tonelli beispielhaft überirdisch auf der Flöte intoniert, folgt mit “Luonnotar” ein nordisches Fabelwesen. Hannigan gestaltet den schweren Sopranpart in Jean Sibelius‘ wenig bekannter Tondichtung traumwandlerisch sicher, ihr luzider, schlackenfreier Sopran durchschwebt den Raum wie eben jene Tochter der Himmelsmächte im finnischen Nationalepos.

Auch das Dirigat Hannigans scheint zu schweben: keine dirigentischen Zauberstücke, kein zwanghaftes Führen-wollen. Bei Haydns D-Dur-Sinfonie Hob. I:86 zeitigt das ein großartig, akzentuierendes Spiel – das hinreißend musizierende Mahler Chamber Orchestra atmet mit der Dirigentin. Und “singt” mit.

Das müssen die Musiker übrigens auch im wirklichen Wortsinn in Bill Elliotts virtuos-kühnem Arrangement von Melodien aus George Gershwins Musical “Girl Crazy”. Man hält den Atem an, wie Hannigan, wenige Minuten zuvor noch mit dem Monolog der Lulu und den Schlussworten der Gräfin Geschwitz aus Alban Bergs “Lulu” berührend, nun mit Gershwin den Raum pulsieren lässt: “I Got Rhythm” und “Embrace me”. Ja, man könnte sie umarmen. Und: Wie herrlich ist doch ein Musizieren so ganz ohne Berührungsängste.”

Badische Zeitung, 25 August 2016

Ludwig Orchestra | Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

Conducting and singing with every fiber in your body
Gent Festival van Vlaanderen brings double-talent Barbara Hannigan to the Saint Bavo Cathedral

“Barbara Hannigan is a hero. With her spontaneity, warmth and firepower. Just as Jacques Brel and Ramses Shaffy, she throws her whole body and soul into her role. With her whole being she inspires and encourages the musicians resulting in a dazzling spectacle.”

“Free of airs, the pure joy of music making was electrifying: in her singing, conducting and in her total lack of pretentiousness. The dedication of Barbara Hannigan is so intense that the concertgoer’s spiritual radar intuitively starts to pulsate. The Ludwig orchestra has this commitment in itself, but together the orchestra and conductor use all of their courage and fearlessness in their performance, both individually and collectively.
This concert was a musical mass, free from any god or commandment.”, An Rosiers, 24 September 2015

“Conducting without a score she embraced the musicians with expressive arms and illustrative hands. Her organic conducting style beautifully matched the non-conformity of the orchestra.”

“In the terrifically difficult Mozart aria, “Bella mia fiamma”, Hannigan dug deep, and showed the emotional and technical richness of her voice.”

“With Stravinsky’s Third Symphony, Hannigan chose for a work that curiously fits very well with “La Passione” by Haydn, even though nearly two centuries elapsed between the two pieces. The symphony is quite dark and angular, although here and there are folk music influences and lighter passages. It allowed Hannigan to demonstrate her broad palette as a conductor.
With and without a baton, small and geometric, sweeping and flowing. We saw a conductor which immersed herself in her orchestra and used every fiber of her body to communicate with her musicians. Inspiration that warmed the church.”, Guido Lauwaert, 24 September 2015

Münchner Philharmoniker | Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

Lulu hat sich emanzipiert
“Dass die Lulu sich bei ihrem Lied selbst begleitet, ist auf Figurenebene durchaus denkbar. Dass sie aber dazu gleich die voll besetzten Münchner Philharmoniker zur Verfügung hat, ist ein echter coup de théatre.”

“Keine Frage: Hannigan ist eine versierte Dirigentin mit mehr als passabler handwerklicher Fähigkeit. Sie dirigiert ohne Stock, doch gibt alle wichtigen Einsätze und hat von allen vier hier präsentierten Werken eine eigene Vorstellung. … Darüber hinaus verfügt die Kanadierin über einen sehr persönlichen Stil. Mit anmutigen Bewegungen gleiten die Hände durch den Raum der Philharmonie, entsprechend organisch, quasi in Wellen, entwickelt sich die Musik.”

Abendzeitung München, 2 Mei 2016

“Barbara Hannigan ist ein Phänomen. Sie ist eine brillante Sängerin, aber auch eine gefragte und weltweit gefeierte Dirigentin. Manchmal ist sie beides zugleich. In solchen Fällen dirigiert sie das Orchester, während sie zum Beispiel die Rolle der Lulu aus der “Lulu-Suite” von Alban Berg verkörpert. Sie selbst bezeichnet sich als “kreatives Tier”. Diesem scheint, wie sie auch in München bewies, alles zu gelingen.”

“An diesem Abend wurde nur allzu hörbar und deutlich, über welch enorme Musikalität Barbara Hannigan verfügen kann. Diese verband sich mit der besagten Liebe zum Neuartigen und wurde mit einer gehörigen Dosis Abenteuerlust abgeschmeckt.”

“So ist sie “Sowohl-als Auch”. Ihr scheint alles zu gelingen. Ganz gleichgültig ob sie als Sängerin in „Let Me Tell you“ von Abrahamsen brilliert, ob sie wie an diesem Abend ein Orchester leitet oder ob sie in einem Duo mit einem Pianisten Lieder von Erik Satie auf anrührende und herausragende Weise interpretiert.
Barbara Hannigan ist in der Tat ein „kreatives Tier“, das niemals zu ruhen scheint. Mit eiserner Disziplin und Arbeitswut singt und dirigiert sie Werke, vor der andere Sängerinnen und Dirigenten kapitulieren würden. Eines ist klar: Auch in Zukunft wird sich Hannigan bewegen und sich und ihr Publikum herausfordern. Der Abend in München war lediglich eine sehr gelungen und beeindruckende Momentaufnahme.”

Alpen Feuilleton, 2 Mei 2016

Britten Sinfonia | Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

Direct action for a super soprano
“Soprano Barbara Hannigan is one of our most brilliant and versatile singing actresses, as comfortable with Boulez and Ligeti as with Mozart and Handel, and she’s added a new string to her bow.
For her programme with the Britten Sinfonia at the Barbican – a felicitous blend of Baroque and Stravinskian neo-Baroque – she would both sing and direct. Most female conductors dress and act like male ones, but as Hannigan stepped out in her coral-pink frock and gave the leader a kiss – not a handshake – the chemistry felt different. And so it proved in practice.
If the overture to Idomeneo was slightly lacking in bit, it made up for that in warmth; the overture to La Clemenza di Tito gave unusually clear hints of The Magic Flute, and the furious angularity of Haydn’s ‘La Passione’ symphony was softened: Hannigan opened our ears to latent alternatives. Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite is usually all jagged rhythms and acidulated timbral contrasts, but here it had a kind of tenderness.”

The Independent, Michael Church, 7 May 2015

“What she could do was quite marvellous, matched in the second half by her dazzling Mozart concert aria, “Bella mia fiamma, addio”. This came after his La clemenza di Tito overture and preceded Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite. To the joyous, crisp part – writing of the latter and, earlier, the sustained lament of Haydn’s Symphony No 49 in F minor ‘La Passione’, she brought alike, I felt, a palpable refinement.”

The Sunday Times, Paul Driver, May 2015

“Hannigan has a very exact feeling for tempo relationships, and knows just when to lead the orchestra, and when to let go. It would not be a surprise if over time Hannigan’s second career actually supplants her first.”

The Telegraph, Ivan Hewett, 7 May 2015

“Stravinsky’s Pulcinella is a quirky confection of melodies by minor 18th-century composers, re-heard through the ears of a 20th-century genius. This was Hannigan and Britten Sinfonia in a dancing mood, the performance brimming with cheeky energy, the woodwinds fruity, the strings exuberant.”

London Evening Standard, Nick Kimberley, 7 May 2015

“Hannigan saved the best for last in Stravinsky’s Pulcinella suite, cleanly delivered and confidently sculpted.”

The Times, Neil Fisher, 8 May 2015

“Haydn’s solemn and serious ‘La Passione’ Symphony found Hannigan giving a spacious outing for the opening Adagio, the music’s darkness well sustained if fluidly expressive and intrinsically progressing. The fast second and final movements – Haydn writing with energy and spirit if with no place for his customary wit, let alone jokes – found Hannigan and friends sustaining an emotional charge throughout, including during the quietest pianissimos, and not fearing the severity and shadows of the Minuet, the Trio, quickened-for, providing light relief in its dance – that was a wonderful moment. The use of harpsichord was judicious, ensuring that its colour didn’t become commonplace. Hannigan was generous with repeats – observing most if not quite all – and that she used antiphonal violins (double basses behind the firsts) confirmed that conduction for her is a genuine and probing endeavour. ”

Classical Source, Colin Anderson, 6 May 2015

“Ms Hannigan’s conducting was clear, precies and expressive as her singing. Haydn’s ‘La Passione’ symphony lived up to its name and it was plain to hear why this was an important stage in the development of an artform later perfected by Beethoven.
In Stravinsky’s Pulcinella Suite, she and the Sinfonia manipulated the complex rhythms deftly and convincingly to a triumphant finale.”

The Argus, James Simister, 13 May 2015

Ludwig Ensemble | Barbara Hannigan, soprano/conductor

“The conducting debut of Barbara Hannigan in the Concertgebouw was nothing less than a miracle. Graceful, feminine (yes), but also clear, compelling and inviting.”
“Hannigan’s debut was one of the most memorable ZaterdagMatinees in years.”
“This can be added to the list of Unforgettable Moments in the Concertgebouw.”
“I cannot imagine any man that could imitate her – it was a revolution in conducting.”
“A stunning display of musicality.”
“We are going to hear a lot more of conductor Barbara Hannigan.”

* * * * * (5 out of 5 stars)
Het Parool, 07 April 2014

> READ the review (in Dutch)

“Intensely musical, intoxicating, graceful, passionate…”
“Hannigan is an all-round musician, her whole being breathes music. With her expressive body language she could completely remain true to herself. Five stars for Hannigan!”

* * * * * (5 out of 5 stars)
De Telegraaf, 07 April 2014

> READ the review (in Dutch)

“Hannigan has a very physical approach to singing and conducting, her abilities do not only rely on intuition but also on a solid technique.”
“Hannigan’s greatest merit is that everything – also the typically Stravinsky rhythmical jumps – sounds natural and never forced.”

* * * * * (5 out of 5 stars)
De Volkskrant, 07 April 2014

> READ the review (in Dutch)

“The Canadian blonde has a graceful and determined conducting style, she makes sweeping gestures, without a baton, as if she is embracing the music and the musicians.”

* * * * (4 out of 5 stars)
Trouw, 7 April 2014

“The agility and control of her voice were completely at the service of emotion, ranging from intense outbursts to barely audible whispers. This same range of dynamics and amplified intensity was showcased in an imaginative, buoyant performance of Joseph Haydn’s Symphony No. 49 ‘La passione’.”

NRC Handelsblad, 7 April 2014

Various conducting reviews

“In Renard, a 20 minute folk tale burlesque, a lively quartet of singers and the London Sinfonietta, with Hannigan conducting, showed how vividly Stravinsky could compress an opera, and indeed a whole sound-world.”

Financial Times, 13 February 2013

“Hannigan returned to conduct the final work, a pungent, punchy account of one of the lest-often heard of Stravinsky’s minor masterpieces….Done as slickly as this, its a real treat.

The Guardian, 13 February 2013

“Turning conductor, Hannigan delivered a pungent account of the burlesque opera-ballet.”

The Times, 13 February 2013

“As conductor, Hannigan proved adept in music that can easily fall a victim to its rhythmic consistency – ensuring that the dialogue passages had an intensifying pathos such as offset those “chase and retribution” sequences which follow them, with the march that frames the whole rendered with the right degree of deadpan jollity.”

Classical Source, February 2013

“Barbara Hannigan, who has become known as a soprano, conducted Tapiola Sinfonietta, sang arias and accompanied herself on the piano. I wondered for how many roles she was paid. The truth seems to be quite the contrary, Hannigan gave a volume discount.
An alliance of multiplicity, quality and artistic integrity is rare. Her versatility is both deep and wide. The pianist who slipped onstage in the dark turned out to be Hannigan when Haydn’s tender Shakespeare-song She never told her love started. It is not easy to bring to life the ascetic first movement of Haydn’s Symphony No 49, but Hannigan succeeded even in that. In this, as in everything she was helped by the flexible and sensitive Tapiola Sinfonietta.
In Mozart’s three arias Hannigan transformed herself from the naughty Susanna to a suffering figure from the middle ages. Berg’s Seven Early Songs breathed the languishingly darkened salon atmosphere or the early 1900’s which Schönberg’s Transfigured Night turned into something whisperingly ponderous before the the great transfiguring climax.

Helsingin Sanomat, Jukka Isopuro, 07 April 2013

“The concert was announced as Spring Shock?! Well! Not so much of a shock, but rather a surprise party of rare sort. For that reason the task of delivering four (stars) was very difficult on this occasion. However, to simplify things one can appreciate that no one else could achieve anything close to Barbara Hannigan’s musical and theatrical performance. Hence the mark above! (Five stars.) Seven minutes of Rossini, fourteen minutes of Mozart, five of Nono, fifteen of Stravinsky and twenty one of Ligeti. How does one characterise that? A combination seldom offered!

The Overture from L’Italiana in Algeri became an elegant whirlwind. After that came a selection of Mozart. The situation of soloist with orchestra accompaniment as such seized us immediately. Hannigan communicated with her whole body what her beautiful soprano voice was expressing. The orchestra could do nothing else but to become one with her interpretation. This was, in the best possible way, chamber music, although in principal, opera. To follow was Ligeti, in a setting I think very few have heard here before. Romanian folklore of a similar style to Bartók, but in an enriched instrumental format. Very contagious and colourful music, where Per Enoksson had the opportunity to display true excellence in breathtaking solo playing. This was followed by a haunting vocal solo, as expected when it comes to Nono, based on a political factual event. However, the music pleads for focus and commitment on its on terms. Hannigan must possess perfect pitch, as far as my ears could pick up, since she didn’t leave room for any doubt at any point.
A wonderful divertimento in form of the Stravinsky Octet gave Barbara Hannigan the opportunity to re-enter the stage for Ligeti’s Mysteries of the Macabre, in high heel platform boots. The move was magnificent, the interaction perfect and the audience’s reaction overwhelming. It was like being transformed thirty years back in time, but with the difference of being great art, not just an experiment.

* * * * * (5 out of 4 stars)
Göteborgs Posten, April 2013

“Hannigan returned to conduct the final work. A pungent, punchy account of one of the least-often ear of Stravinsky’s minor masterpieces, the burlesque Renard. Tenors Daniel Normal and Edgaras Montvidas were superb as the Fox and the Cock, while Roderick WIlliams and John Molloy added the Cat and the Goat to the farmyard community, and the (London) Sinfonietta created the wonderfully abrasive sound world around them. Done as slickly as this, its a real treat.

The Guardian, Andrew Clements, 13 February 2013

“Particular credit must go to Barbara Hannigan for bringing such a programme to the stage, not only as a performer but also as an accomplished conductor.”

One Stop Arts, February 2013

“…Les deux pièces restantes en effet avaient été bien choisies pour compléter ce programme. On allait pouvoir se secouer un peu, raviver nos esprit. Renard tout d’abord, cette fable composée pour le salon de la princesse de Polignac, qui montre encore quel grand compositeur était Stravinsky.
Implacable, il résume son discours au strict nécessaire : pas de gratuité, pas une note en trop, tout n’est qu’efficacité au service de l’émotion. Les interprètes ont un plaisir évident à jouer cette pièce, à l’image du cymbaliste, hilare mais impeccable.
Les quatre chanteurs dont la voix est mise à rude épreuve s’en sortent avec les honneurs, sous la conduite énergique et bienveillante de Barbara Hannigan.
Un sacré bout de femme, cette Barbara Hannigan, qui allait nous montrer l’éventail de ses talents dans le Ligeti suivant. Pensez donc, la voilà qui arrive sur scène, toute de cuir vêtue et coiffée d’une sombre perruque, pour chanter et diriger. Plus de pupitre, plus de partition, elle prend à bras le corps ces Mystères et nous donne une performance proprement ébouriffante, avec la complicité de ses musiciens.
La timbalière froisse une grande feuille de papier, donne des coups de sifflet, le pianiste se met soudain à hurler « What is going on ?, pendant que la soprano multiplie les prouesses vocales et enchaîne les répliques absurdes ou grivoises tout en battant la mesure avec un aplomb formidable. C’est parfaitement décousu – c’est tout bonnement jouissif, et cela nous emmène dans un ailleurs fantaisiste, bien loin des fauteuils rembourrés du Châtelet, et certainement à mille lieu de l’ennui conventionnel.”

ResMusica, Etiennes Comes, 22 February 2011

“In the first half of the concert Hannigan conducted Igor Stravinsky’s Renard for two tenors, two basses and orchestra. This vividly stuttering and jesting piece is no easy task for any conductor, but with clear and exact beats Hannigan brilliantly kept it together. And the best part was that Hannigan created a hilarious burlesque story out of the unhappy destiny of the fox, where deceptive monks, puffed up little tyrants, and raw characters got what they deserved.”

Helsinki Sanomat, 17 January 2011

Intensely musical, intoxicating, graceful, passionate…
Hannigan is an all-round musician, her whole being breathes music.De Telegraaf