Barbara Hannigan


When LUDWIG was founded in 2012 we immediately thought about people we would love to collaborate with – and Barbara Hannigan was at the top of our list. So we got together and started thinking about things that we would love to do. The first try-out of our collaboration was Facade by William Walton which was performed in a programme named A Truly British Afternoon. As an encore we played Gustaf Holsts Thaxted and Barbara conducted us for the first time.


After the enjoyment of working together on Facade we considered future plans. Around that time de ZaterdagMatinee in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam gave Barbara Carte Blanche for three days and Barbara suggested singing/conducting a programme with LUDWIG. On april 5 2014 we performed Haydn Symphony no 49, two Mozart arias, two arias from Stravinsky’s The Rakes Progress and Stravinsky’s Danses Concertantes. The concert was completely sold out, broadcasted live on television and a huge succes. It received raving reviews and the prize of the Dutch board of Theaters and Concerthalls for the most innovative concert of the year 2014.


Soon after that LUDWIGs artistic director Peppie Wiersma and Barbara met again, this time in Paris, and spoke of more ideas. Barbara had been invited by the Gent Festival and so we performed a programme in the Gent Cathedral, similar to the concert in the Concertgebouw in september 2015. In 2017 we toured Europe with Alban Berg’s  Lulu suite and a fantastic new arrangement of music by George Gershwin by Barbara and Bill Elliot: the Girl Crazy Suite. In the same year we recorded our first cd together in a joint collaboration with Alpha Records, Barbara Hannigan, LUDWIG and Harrison Parrott: Crazy Girl Crazy which was awarded with a Grammy in january 2018. 


After doing The Rake’s arias in Amsterdam in 2014 it seemed very tempting to dream about a full version of Rake’s. Barbara had been invited by the Ojai Festival in California as music director for it’s 2019 edition. Meanwhile she had founded the Equilibrium Young Artists Programme, which focuses on young musicians who are finished with their training and in the first substantial phase of their professional career, with special attention to singers. A semi staged production of Rake’s Progress was created in 2019 in collaboration with Göteborg Symphony Orchestra, Munich Philharmonic and LUDWIG with Barbara as conductor/music director, soloists from the Equilibrium Programme and Linus Fellbom as stage director.
The Rake’s toured Europe and was part of the Ojai Festival and Aldeburgh Festival in 2019. In both festivals various other programmes were performed by LUDWIG with Schönberg Verklärte Nacht, Stravinsky Pulcinella, Grisey Quatre Chants, Gershwin Girl Crazy Suite, Haydn symphony 49, Waltons Facade etcetc.


One of the projects LUDWIG presented at Ojai with great acclaim was LUDWIGs Ballroom Band. The audience danced under the stars to ballroom hits ranging from Johann Strauss to Ritchie Valence. In 2020 LUDWIG will record a ballroom cd for Alpha Classics where Barbara appears as Special Guest alongside the young trumpetplayer Lucienne Renaudin.


On the 8th of May 2021 a performance of Gerald Barry’s new composition Salome will receive it’s Dutch premiere with Barbara singing and conducting during the ZaterdagMatinee in the Concertgebouw Amsterdam.