The 26-year-old conductor and pianist Anna Handler is currently studying orchestral conducting at the Juilliard School in New York. Her studies were made possible by the Juilliard Kovner Fellowship for outstanding students of classical music, which she was the first female conductor ever to receive.
Highlights of 2022 included her debuts with the Liechtenstein Symphony Orchestra, OFUNAM in Mexico, the Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin and the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, as well as leading the Káťa Kabanová Opera Camp at the Salzburg Festival.
As an assistant, she has already worked with renowned conductors and major orchestras. She assisted Kirill Petrenko and conducted the onstage music for a concert performance of Mazeppa with the Berlin Philharmonic. She has also worked as an assistant with Daniel Harding and the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra. At the Bavarian State Opera, she assisted Oksana Lyniv with the opera productions Mauerschau and Greek and, at the age of 23, took over the musical direction of the production Eva and Adam, which had 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.
A prizewinner of the International Hans von Bülow Competition in the category ‘conducting from the keyboard’, she made her debut with the Meininger Hofkapelle in 2018, performing Mozart’s Piano Concerto K. 488. She was awarded the Maria-Ladenburger-Förderpreis for music in the chamber music hall of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn, 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.
Anna Handler was born in 1996, has German-Colombian roots and grew up in Munich. As a pianist, she studied at the Munich University of Music and Performing Arts, among other conservatoires. From 2018 to July 2021 she studied orchestral conducting with Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik at the University of Music Franz Liszt Weimar. She is currently completing her Master’s degree at the Juilliard School.