Nazanin Aghakhani


Nazanin Aghakhani has breezed through many of the music world’s perceived boundaries courtesy of her talent, diligence and charisma. She was the first woman to be appointed Chief Conductor and Artistic Director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra in Munich; the first woman to conduct the historic symphony orchestra of the Iranian capital Teheran; and the first woman to perform with the Musikgymnasium Wien at Vienna’s historic Musikverein, giving the world premiere of her own work Azizam in the process.

Nazanin was born in Austria to a family of Persian and Russian heritage and was a prizewinning piano student at the Vienna State Conservatory. She later studied conducting at the University of Music and the Performing Arts in Vienna, at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm and at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki where she graduated in 2008 with distinction. Her mentors have included Jorma Panula, Alan Gilbert, Manfred Honeck, Leif Segerstam, Daniel Barenboim and Valery Gergiev.

Nazanin’s repertoire ranges from the music of the seventeenth century to the music of today. She has excelled in the performance of complex contemporary scores and has worked tirelessly to build bridges between western classical music, electroacoustic music (which she studied with Bill Brunson and Fredrik Hedelin) and music from the Oriental and Asian traditions.

Nazanin has conducted at Musica Nova Helsinki, at the Salzburg Festival and at the Royal Swedish Opera. Ensembles she has worked with include the Vienna Radio, Helsingborg, Norrköping, Kuopio and Aarhus Symphony Orchestras and the Turku and New Brandenburg Philharmonic Orchestras, in addition to her leadership of the Academic Symphony Orchestra in Munich.

Nazanin has recorded several albums as a pianist, including examples of her own music that pay homage to her eastern heritage in their improvisational form. She has been a jury member for several composition competitions and is in demand as a conducting teacher in European and Asian conservatories. She regularly appears on radio and television discussing issues surrounding female equality, emancipation and leadership.

Recent engagements have taken Nazanin to the Volksoper Wien (where she conducted the new opera Limonen aus Sizilien by Manfred Trojahn) and to the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic. Her appearance at the prestigious Finnish festival Musica Nova Helsinki, where she conducted Ville Raasakka’s opera Fatal Lesson, was described by Helsingin Sanomat’s music critic as ‘musically electric,’ a performance that ‘left no listener untouched.’

Press Service

Photo: Bo Söderström

Photo: Bo Söderström

Photo: Aldraxart

Photo: Bo Söderström