Nova Scotian musician Barbara Hannigan divides her time between singing on the world’s major stages and conducting leading orchestras. The Berlin Philharmonic, Münchner Philharmoniker, Gothenburg Symphony, Orchestra dell’Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Mahler Chamber Orchestra, and the Toronto Symphony are among the orchestras with whom she holds close relationships. Barbara has worked with the most prominent conductors, including Simon Rattle, Kent Nagano, Esa-Pekka Salonen, Andris Nelsons, and Yannick Nézet-Séguin. Her commitment to the music of our time has led to over 80 world premieres an extensive collaboration with composers including Boulez, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Zorn, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin and Abrahamsen.
In 2017, Barbara released her first album as both singer and conductor entitled Crazy Girl Crazy. The album features works by Berio, Berg and a specially commissioned Gershwin arrangement by Bill Elliott, as well as a bonus dvd by Mathieu Amalric. The album has won both the Grammy and Juno awards for best classical vocal album. Her previous vocal albums have garnered awards including the Edison, Victoires de la Musique, and Germany’s Ehrenpreis der Schallplattenkritiek.
Barbara was appointed as a member to the Order of Canada in 2016. She holds honorary doctorates from the University of Toronto (2017) and Mt Allison University (2017).
In 2017 Barbara created Equilibrium, an international mentoring initiative for young professional musicians, and chose 21 participants from a total of 350 applicants from 39 countries to participate in Equilibrium’s first season (2018/19), which will have over 20 performances with four partner orchestras.