Nazanin Aghakhani


Nazanin Aghakhani, an expert on contemporary opera, is well known for her grandios last minute jump-ins, for both symphonic and operatic repertoire. She has been referred to „a conductor without any fear, having nerves like steel“. She also gained worldwide recognition regarding her wide range of repertoire, starting from the late 17th century and her special passion for complex and newly written scores - leaving Aghakhani a unique specialist between „Wiener Klassik“ and contemporary music.

Nazanin 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.

Aghakhani is well recognized for her engagement to building bridges between well known classical repertoire and 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, Aarhus Symphony Denmark, 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.

Recent highlights included her debut with the Volksoper Wien (jump-in for contemporary opera „Limonen aus Sizilien“ by Manfred Trojahn) and concerts with the Royal Philharmonic Stockholm. In March 2018 she gave her concert debut as both, conductor and composer, at the Musikverein in Vienna - the first woman in history to perform with the Muskgymnasium Wien, premiering „Azizam“ in Farsi language (both a-capella and choir/orchestra version) written by Aghakhani herself.

Press Service

Photo: Bo Söderström

Photo: Bo Söderström

Photo: Aldraxart

Photo: Bo Söderström