Nazanin Aghakhani

Nazanin Aghakhani was born in Vienna, Austria, to a family of Persian
heritage, combined with Russian ancestry.
After professional studies of classical piano at the State Conservatory in
Vienna, winning several national competitions as a young soloist and giving
piano-recitals, she continued as a conductor at the University of Music and
performing Arts in Vienna, at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and
finally at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where she took her Master’s
Degree in opera and symphonic conducting (with distinction) at the Sibelius
Academy in 2008.
Her most inspirational mentors throughout decades shaping here musical
perception were (order of chronological appearance) Karl Barth, Thomas
Christian David, Meira Farkas, Yuji Yuasa, Leopold Hager, Erwin Acel,
Howard Arman, Jorma Panula, Lars-Erik Rosell, Alan Gilbert, Manfred
Honeck, Paul Mägi, Anders Eby, Leif Segerstam, Daniel Barenboim and
Valery Gergiev.
Aghakhani is well recognized for her engagement to building bridges
starting from classical repertory from the late 18th century to the mid 20th
century leading into the fields of contemporary music – collaborating acitvely
with living composers on a regular basis is of great importance to her. She
herself studied also electro acoustic composition with Bill Brunson and
Fredrik Hedelin in Stockholm, which widened her musical and artistic
horizon immensely.
Aghakhani’s recent engagements as a conductor included cooperations with
orchestras and festivals throughout Europe such as Musica Nova Festival,
Salzburger Festspiele, Wien Modern, Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra, Kungliga Operan Stockholm, Norrköping Orchestra Sweden, Kuopio
Symphony Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic Orchestra Finland, RSO Wien
as well as Neubrandenburgische Philharmonie Deutschland.
Aghakhani was chief conductor and artistic director of the Academic
Symphony Orchestra in Munich between 2010 and 2012 – the first woman
appointed in the orchestra’s history. She was also invited as the first and
only woman in history ever in Iran to conduct the Tehran Symphony
Orchestra in 2010.
Besides performing as an orchestral conductor, Aghakhani has recorded
several albums as a pianist introducing her own music in a special
improvisational form. She has been invited as a jury member for
composition competitions and as a guest conducting teacher within Europe
and Asia regularly – also for several years Nazanin Aghakhani has been
giving lectures on leadership.
Future engagements within season 2016/17 will include her debut with the
Royal Philharmonic Stockholm.
During her last performance at the Musica Nova Festival in Helsinki (world
premiere of opera ”Fatal Lesson” by Ville Raasakka), the major Finnish paper
Helsingin Sanomat wrote about the conductor Aghakhani: ”…After Nazanin
Aghakhani had left the concert hall together with all her musicians, the
whole space was still filled with her enormous mental storm and her musical
electricity she had then just created. Her precise beating technique
combined with well-thought phrasing leaves no listener untouched.”