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Barbara Hannigan Receives Professorship at the Royal Academy of Music

The professorship is named for the late Reinbert De Leeuw, one of Hannigan's mentors


In her new role as the Royal Academy of Music (RAM)'s Reinbert de Leeuw Professor of Music, soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan will see her working with students in both domains by conducting ensembles, as well as offering coaching and mentorship to the Academy's singers.

As well as being renowned for her interpretation of the musical canon, Barbara Hannigan is also firmly established as a new music specialist. She has given premiere performances of more than 85 works and worked with composers such as Boulez, Zorn, Dutilleux, Ligeti, Stockhausen, Sciarrino, Barry, Dusapin, Dean, Benjamin, and Abrahamsen.

Hannigan is also heavily involved in the mentoring of younger musicians. In 2017 she set up the Equilibriium Young Artists initiative, and in 2020, created the Momentum: our Future Now —both of which provide support to younger professional musicians.

"I am delighted to be joining the special learning environment of the Academy," Hannigan said. "The institution’s fabulous energy and purpose, alongside a high collective artistic ambition, has been a joy in my visits so far."

"To keep Reinbert de Leeuw's name close to mine by this title is a special honor, as Reinbert remains a deep inspiration to me in all I do," she added. "I look forward so much to my upcoming visits to the Academy, working towards launching young artists with grounded musicianship and the right skills for both successful and satisfying careers!"

"Our two periods of concerts and recording this year – and most recently with The Juilliard School where Barbara has been a Creative Associate – have inspired us all in countless ways, but most of all, offering ever-fresh artistic possibilities to our students and enabling them to deliver brave and innovative performances," said Jonathan Freeman-Attwood, RAM's Principal.

"Barbara is an exceptional force of nature and a brilliant role model," he continued. "I am thrilled that she will become part of the fabric of Academy life and that Reinbert de Leeuw will be remembered in her title."

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