Official launch in 2018-19 with performances with Gothenburg Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and LUDWIG Orchestra

Equilibrium Young Artists (EQ) is an international mentoring initiative founded by soprano and conductor, Barbara Hannigan, designed for young professional musicians in the first substantial phase of their career. With a special focus on singers and conductors, EQ exists to elevate the participants’ level of total musicianship and discipline to the highest level. Through intense workshops, EQ artists work towards unprecedented professional performance opportunities with some of the world’s leading orchestras.

The initiative launches officially in 2018-19 with 24 participants - 20 singers and four conductors – each hand-selected via audition by Hannigan from over 350 applicants from 39 countries. Throughout the season the musicians are working extensively on repertoire including Mozart’s Requiem, Stravinsky’s Pulcinella, and Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress, building up to professional public performances with three leading orchestras, all conducted by Hannigan.

The Rake’s Progress will itself have over 15 semi-staged performances by Equilibrium artists and three orchestras this season: Gothenburg Symphony in December 2018, Münchner Philharmoniker in May 2019, and several performances with LUDWIG Orchestra: including dates at Belgium’s La Monnaie as part of Klarafestival in March 2019, followed by a five-city European tour in May 2019 taking in the Philharmonie de Paris, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Dortmund Konzerthaus, Dresden Musikfestspiele and Hamburg Elbphilharmonie. Lighting designer and director, Linus Fellbom, is working on the performances and Barbara Hannigan will conduct all performances.

The Rake’s Progress will be followed by performances of Mozart’s Requiem with Munich Philharmonic and Danish National Symphony Orchestra in March and April 2019 respectively. Pulcinella, as well as works by Vivier, Turnage, and a special programme called Rites of Passage, will be presented at the Ojai Festival in California.

In-depth workshops form a key part of the Equilibrium experience, with the purpose of fostering a culture of awareness of the complete musical and extra-musical picture for young artists and the challenges they face. With Hannigan leading through example, workshops address preparation, stamina, focus, mistake recovery and peak performance, factoring in not only the onstage challenges but also the day to day aspects of developing a successful and satisfying career. Guest conductors, experienced musicians and directors, casting directors as well as promoters join the workshops for inspiring and honest Q and A sessions. Yoga teacher Phyllis Ferwerda has designed a course specifically for the EQ team, and top sports coach Jackie Reardon is working with the group every day during the workshop periods and will join the team as they move onwards to Gothenburg. Having worked with Barbara for 10 years, Jackie’s expertise comes from a sport background, having worked with professional and Olympic athletes, CEOs in the fields of IT and business, and professional musicians.

EQ artists, who are already operating as professional musicians, will take up residency at Centquatre-Paris in November 2018 for one week of workshops in preparation for the 2018-19 season (and will return in February 2019). On the evening of 29 November, the cultural centre will open its doors to the public for a glimpse of Equilibrium in action via an open workshop and performance (for information and free tickets:

Barbara Hannigan comments “Equilibrium was born after I felt a genuine and deep need for a mentoring initiative that really worked in-depth with artists at this crucial first phase of their careers. Amidst all the musical and non-musical challenges the artists face at this time, the aim is to focus and strengthen their discipline, mental focus and work ethic so that their passion for music can stay at the core of their career.”

Equilibrium Young Artist’s first season has been generously supported by the Centquatre-Paris, Art Mentor Foundation Lucerne, and private donations.


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