Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra's principal guest conductor Barbara Hannigan

Canadian Barbara Hannigan has been the principal guest conductor of the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra since 2019. Embodying music with an unparalleled dramatic sensibility, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan is an artist at the forefront of creation.

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. Her concerts are intended as exciting overall experiences where the end result is greater than the sum of the parts. Internationally, she works successfully with, among others, the Berliner Philharmoniker, the London Symphony Orchestra, where she is Associate Artist, and the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France, where she is Première Artiste Invitée.

The audience may be treated to a moving solo song, surprising music combinations or a dramatic performance that touches deeply. When she both conducts and sings, a very special feeling arises in the interaction with the audience.

The world’s critics have also noticed this. The Financial Times wrote that “Hannigan has an ability to create colors of exceptional poetic beauty” and Presto stated that “her interpretation is extremely intense and highly personal.”


Barbara Hannigan has had a rewarding collaboration with the Gothenburg Symphony Orcehstra for many years. She gave her first concert with the orchestra in 2013 as conductor and soloist in pieces by Mozart, Ligeti and Rossini. In 2015-2016, Hannigan was the orchestra’s Artist in Residence with Alban Berg’s Lulu suite in the repertoire. In 2018 Barbara Hannigan gave acclaimed performances of Stravinsky’s opera The Road of the Rucklar.

In 2019 she was appointed the orchestra’s first guest conductor, a contract she extended in September 2022 through the summer of 2025. She has presented both Schönberg’s powerful Verklärte Nacht and the suite from Gershwin’s irresistible Girl Crazy.

In recent times, she has received increasing international attention and has been awarded several prizes and awards. In 2018, the Royal Academy of Music’s prestigious Rolf Schock Prize and 2020 Dresdener Musikfestspiele Glashütte Award. 2021 she received the Léonie Sonning Music Prize in Copenhagen and was awarded an honorary scholarship by The Sten A Olsson Foundation for Research and Culture.

As a singer and conductor, Barbara Hanniga collaborates with leading orchestras such as the London Symphony Orchestra, the French Radio Philharmonic, the Toronto Symphony Orchestra and the Munich Philharmonic. Barbara Hannigan’s debut album as a singer and conductor, Crazy Girl Crazy, was released in 2017 and received both a Grammy and a Juno for best vocal album.

Her commitment to the younger generation of musicians led her to create the mentor initiative Equilibrium Young Artists 2017.

“What I can do is bring young artists to my sphere of performance, invite them to share the stage with me and learn with me. We will work as colleagues. I will lead, as music director for the projects, and will mentor the younger artists by providing professional guidance and advice. I will give advice, consult and guide in situations before and after rehearsals, but the stimulus for the discipline I try to instill should come from the work environment. ” Barbara Hannigan

Concerts with Hannigan
Orkesterns musiker går mot kameran med instrumenten i handen.

A truly wonderful experience

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra consists of 109 musicians who are driven by their love of music and a desire to provide you with a truly wonderful experience that will live long in the memory. It is this passion and ambition that makes the Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, the National Orchestra of Sweden, one of the world’s foremost orchestras.

Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra
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