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life maestoso

 

Nazanin Aghakhani was born in Vienna, Austria, to a family of Persian heritage. Already when she was eight years old, she decided on becoming an orchestral conductor as it was her calling.

At the age of twelve she started taking extra lessons in score reading and counterpoint with Austrian composer and conductor Thomas Christian David while being a classical piano student to Karl Barth at the Vienna State Conservatory, later privately to Meira Farkas.She gave her first recital at the age of 15, followed by performances live on TV and radio.

She continued her studies at the University for Music and Performing Arts Vienna with Erwin Acel, Leopold Hager and Yuji Yuasa, followed by in depth studies at the Royal Academy of Music Stockholm with Jorma Panula, where she also joined the class of electro-acoustic composition lead by Bill Brunson and Frerik Hedelin.

In 2006 Nazanin Aghakhani entered the Master of Arts programme at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, where, guided by her mentor - and now also life-long friend - Leif Segerstam, she successfully rounded off her musical education as an orchestral conductor and was awarded her final diploma with distinction in March 2008.

After repetitive invitations to festivals such as the Salzburg Festival, Musica Nova Festival and Wien Modern, Aghakhani became the first - and since then the only - woman in history ever to lead the Tehran Symphony Orchestra in Iran; in the same year she was announced chief conductor of the Academic Symphony Orchestra Munich/Germany, also the first woman in their history of conductors.

Nazanin Aghakhani not only acts as in the role of an alchemist re-connecting Orient and Occident artistically, but also sees it as a continuous mission to intertwine old and new: she consciously chooses concert programs embedding newly written compositions within traditional classical concert repertory, cooperating with living composers steadily.

In addition to being an orchestral conductor, Nazanin stayed truthful to her piano playing. Throughout the years she has developed her own improvisational style - six albums have already been recorded. There are no cuts, no retakes or corrections on all recordings.

Recently Nazanin Aghakhani has also been invited as a lecturer for major entrepreneur companies throughout Germany and has been asked to talk about the complexity of handling an orchestra, regarding the aspects of leadership, diversity, time-management as well as the topic “women in leading positions” - also addressing the issue of handling family and business life at the same time successfully has been in strong demand from the participants.

In summer 2011 Nazanin Aghakhani moved back to Austria where she now, together with her husband Dr. Friedrich Schwarzinger - lawyer, mediator and writer - and their children live reclusively.

Recent assignments braught her to orchestras such as Neubrandenburger Philharmonie/Germany, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Sweden, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic/Finland.

Her most recent engagement included the world premiere of Benjamin Staern´s trumpet concertino “Surprise” performed by Filip Draglund together with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra/Sweden. This concert was recorded live by the Swedish Radio Station PR2 and will be broadcasted in fall 2015.

During her last performance at the „Musica Nova Festival“ in Helsinki (world premiere of „Fatal Lesson“ by Ville Raasakka), the major Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat wrote about the young conductor Aghakhani:

“...After Nazanin Aghakhani had left the concert hall together with all her musicians, the whole space was still filled with her enormous mental storm and her musical electricity she had then just created. Her precise beating technique combined with well-thought phrasing leaves no listener untouched...“.

 

 

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Nazanin Aghakhani was born in Vienna, Austria, to a family of Persian heritage. Her musical talent was nourished early on - she took her first piano lessons at the age of seven.

Between 1992 and 2000 Nazanin studied the classical piano intensively at the main Vienna Conservatory, where her first teacher, Karl Barth, played a vital part in shaping her musical language. Further studies with pianist Meira Farkas followed.

In addition to winning youth competitions, Nazanin also gave solo recitals and performed live on TV. At about this time Nazanin became fascinated by the flexibility and possibilities of orchestral sound. At the age of twelve she was already taking extra lessons in score reading and counterpoint with Austrian composer and conductor Thomas Christian David.

In 2000 she embarked on her training as an orchestral conductor: Between 2000 and 2002 Aghakhani studied conducting at the University of Music in Vienna with Erwin Acel, Leopold Hager and Yuji Yuasa, and choral conducting with Howard Arman.

In 2002 she continued with in-depth studies at the Royal Academy of Music in Stockholm, Sweden, with Jorma Panula, and choral conducting with Anders Eby. This culminated in a Bachelor of Arts degree in 2006.

Aghakhani also was regularly involved in master courses with conductors Alan Gilbert and Jukka-Pekka Saraste.

While in Stockholm Nazanin Aghakhani took the opportunity to develop her skills as a composer, especially of electro-acoustic music. Her teachers, Bill Brunson and Fredrik Hedelin, have given her a professional insight into versatile techniques and also introduced her to contemporary music at the highest level.

All in all, Aghakhani's repertory as a symphonic conductor extends from the Viennese classics until the 21st century. Her greatest passion is for Russian composers of the first half of the 20th century (perhaps not surprisingly as Aghakhani has Russian ancestry in her blood).

Her range of opera literature begins in the late 18th century, starting with operas by Mozart, moving on to the 19th century including the Italian greats such as Puccini and Verdi, as well as works by Russians such as Mussorgsky and Tchaikovsky. Her 20th century opera repertory includes works by Bartók, Berg, Janacek, Korngold, Stravinsky and Weill.

Of great importance to Nazanin Aghakhani is to stay part of time in the loop of the artistic development, the metamorphosis of sound and also the constantly changing way of interaction between composer, conductor, director, performer and audience.

In September 2006 Nazanin Aghakhani entered the Master of Arts programme at the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki, Finland, where, guided by her mentor - and now also friend - Leif Segerstam, she successfully rounded off her musical education as an orchestral conductor and was awarded her final diploma with distinction in March 2008 (video "The Firebird" on MEDIA).

During her time at the Sibelius Academy, Aghakhani focused on Nordic and Russian orchestral repertory (Nielsen, Rautavaara, Sibelius, Shostakovich, Tchaikovsky etc.) as well as on opera literature starting from the late 18th century up to the present.

Besides working at the Royal Opera Stockholm as an assistant conductor - both orchestral and choral - Aghakhani also has also conducted several different symphony orchestras and ensembles from Austria, Finland and Sweden.

She has also worked regularly as a solo-repetiteur (i.e. for Kammersänger Peter Schreier), and as a tutor for Swedish youth orchestras.

Aghakhani has performed her own compositions and has gained recognition especially for her commitment to introducing contemporary music to a broader audience throughout Europe.

She made her début appearance as a conductor in Helsinki at the Musica Nova Festival in March 2007 (video "Mosaic" on MEDIA).

After returning to Vienna in spring 2008, Aghakhani was immediately engaged at the Salzburg Festival as an assistant conductor for the production of Mozart's "Don Giovanni".

She also was invited by Austrian piano company Bösendorfer to take the stage as a pianist again, performing challenging pieces written only for the left hand. In November 2008 Aghakhani conducted for the first time at Wien Modern, the Vienna Festival for contemporary music, premiering compositions by five young European composers.

Throughout fall/winter 2008/2009 Aghakhani participated as a member of the jury at the UNM Festival, which is designed to showcase young composers from Scandinavia.

In February 2009 Nazanin Aghakhani was invited back to conduct at the Musica Nova Festival in Helsinki - for the third time- and was also asked as a specialist on mew music to conduct at the Vienna Conservatory, bringing several complex pieces from composition students of Christian Minkowitsch´ class to life.


After moving to Munich in 2010, Nazanin Aghakhani became the first female orchestral conductor ever to perform in Iran- she gave her debut with Tehran Symphony Orchestra in summer - the Vahdat hall was sold out. Happily, after that historical incident, some young Iranian women found the courage to follow their hearts and enrolled on conducting programs abroad.

(for enlargement click on picture)

Also in 2010 (two weeks after becoming a mother), Aghakhani became the new Musical Director of the Academic Symphony Orchestra Munich in Germany.

In addition to being an orchestral conductor, Nazanin stayed truthful to her piano playing. Throughout the years she has developed her own improvistational style - 6 albums have already been recorded (last one with the title „SNÖ II“, recorded in December 2014) - there are no cuts, no retakes or corrections on the whole record (more on PERSONAL) NEW --- !!! DOWNLOAD NAZANIN´s SOLO ALBUMS HERE NOW

Her latest orchestral composition was recorded with the Academic Orchestra Munich in Dezember 2012, right at the wonderful Herkuleshall in Munich: the sound-signation „GeBuOne“ for her long-time friend and personal sound-engineer Georg Burdicek. (audio on MEDIA)

Recently Nazanin Aghakhani has also been invited as a lecturer for major entrepreneur companies throughout Germany and has been asked to talk about the complexity of handling an orchestra, regarding the aspects of leadership, diversity, time-management as well as the topic “women in leading positions” - also addressing the issue of handling family and business life at the same time successfully has been in strong demand from the participants.

Nazanin's passion for languages make her speak English, Farsi, German and Swedish fluently.

In summer 2011 Nazanin Aghakhani moved back to Austria where she now, together with her husband Dr. Friedrich Schwarzinger - lawyer, mediator and writer - and their children live reclusively.

Recent assignments braught her to orchestras such as Neubrandenburger Philharmonie/Germany, Norrköping Symphony Orchestra/Sweden, Kuopio Symphony Orchestra and Turku Philharmonic/Finland.

Her most recent engagement included the world premiere of Benjamin Staern´s trumpet concertino “Surprise” performed by Filip Draglund together with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra/Sweden. This concert was recorded live by the Swedish Radio Station PR2 and will be broadcasted in fall 2015.

During her last performance at the „Musica Nova Festival“ in Helsinki (world premiere of „Fatal Lesson“ by Ville Raasakka), the major Finnish paper Helsingin Sanomat wrote about the young conductor Aghakhani:

“...After Nazanin Aghakhani had left the concert hall together with all her musicians, the whole space was still filled with her enormous mental storm and her musical electricity she had then just created. Her precise beating technique combined with well-thought phrasing leaves no listener untouched...“.


Nazanin Aghakhani with Academic Symphony Orchestra Munich-

at Herkules-Hall in 2012 (for enlargement click on picture)