The German conductor and pianist Anna Handler, born in 1996, has recently been named a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 2023/24 season. In May 2023 she graduated with a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from the Juilliard School in New York. Her studies were made possibly by the Juilliard Kovner Fellowship for outstanding students of classical music, which she was the first female conductor to receive. In the 2023/24 season, along with a return to Salzburg Festival, she will appear with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, the Graz Philharmonic Orchestra and the Munich Radio Orchestra. Highlights of 2022 included her debuts with the Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, the OFUNAM in Mexico, the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, as well as her Salzburg Festival debut.
As an assistant Anna Handler has worked with renowned conductors and leading orchestras and ensembles. She has assisted Kirill Petrenko at the Berlin Philharmonic and worked as an assistant to Daniel Harding with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. She assisted Oksana Lyniv with opera productions at the Bavarian State Opera, and, at the age of 23, took over the musical direction of the production Eva and Adam, which received its premiere as part of the 2019 Munich Opera Festival.
As the founder and artistic director of the Enigma Classica ensemble, she has worked with outstanding soloists such as Arabella Steinbacher and Sabine Meyer. Together with the Enigma Classica team she presented an interdisciplinary project on music education using video animations (in real time) at the Festival junger Künstler Bayreuth in August 2022. Her aim is to decipher the riddle that is music and to make it accessible to a younger and wider audience through the technical means of today – and the future.
She made her debut in 2018 with the Meininger Hofkapelle after winning the International Hans von Bülow Competition in the category ‘conducting from the keyboard’. Other awards include the Maria-Ladenburger-Förderpreis for music in cooperation with the WDR, the Cusanuswerk Foundation and Deutsche Grammophon. She also received the Rising Star Award from the Initiativkreis Mönchengladbach and the European Cultural Foundation EUROPAMUSICALE. Together with her sister, violinist Laura Handler, she performs in a successful duo.
As a pianist she studied at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Munich. From 2018 to July 2021 she studied orchestral conducting at the University of Music Franz Liszt in Weimar. She holds scholarships from the Cusanuswerk Foundation and the Deutsche Stiftung Musikleben.