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Barbara Hannigan wins the 2022 EBU-IMZ Outstanding Achievement Award

The 2022 EBU-IMZ Outstanding Achievement Award honours soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan for her outstanding contributions to music and the audiovisual industry.

  • Barbara Hannigan | Copyright: © Marco Borggreve

    Barbara Hannigan © Marco Borggreve

Once again, the International Television Festival Golden Prague was a perfect stage for elevating one of music’s finest: The EBU European Broadcasting Union and the IMZ are delighted to announce that the 2022 EBU-IMZ Outstanding Achievement Award goes to soprano and conductor Barbara Hannigan.




“This award is an expression of gratitude towards professionals who shaped + inspired the performing arts film landscape through consistently excellent work,” IMZ President and Executive Producer at NRK, Arild Erikstad, explains. “Barbara Hannigan is among the most influential artists in our sector, and we are proud to celebrate her achievements with this award.”

Nicolas Auboyneau, Chairman of the EBU Music + Dance Experts, could not agree more. “Barbara Hannigan was the obvious choice! Her immense talents as an opera singer and conductor serve the music of our time and its contemporary creators. Each of her performances is a militant act to help people discover and fall in love with works that have been unfairly dismissed.”

Hannigan has been hailed as a champion of contemporary music, performing in over 85 world premières and collaborating with the likes of Pierre Boulez, Karlheinz Stockhausen, John Zorn, György Ligeti and Hans Abrahamsen, to name but a few. An accomplished conductor, Hannigan regularly sings and directs the orchestra simultaneously, placing her firmly at the forefront of creation.

To help secure the future of her craft, she founded the mentoring initiative Equilibrium Young Artists in 2017, followed in 2020 by Momentum: our future, now, a collective of leading musicians and organisations that allows young talent to perform alongside established masters.

This desire to give back also played a role in the EBU and IMZ’s decision. “Beyond her commitment as an artist, it is Barbara Hannigan’s desire to support new generations of musicians that is remarkable. Her mentoring initiatives show what music and musicians need to keep their high standards: a permanent solidarity between generations of artists,” Auboyneau explains.

Katharina Jeschke, Secretary General of the IMZ, is more than happy with the EBU + IMZ’s choice. “Throughout her entire career, Barbara has always taken the path less travelled, lending her voice – and star power – to countless contemporary productions and mentoring younger artists. I can think of no one more deserving and look forward to whatever she does next!”

Among Hannigan’s numerous other accolades are the 2018 Grammy Award for Best Classical Solo Vocal Album, the 2018 Rolf Schock Prize, the 2020 Léonie Sonning Music Prize and the Order of Canada, to which she was appointed in 2016.

The EBU-IMZ Outstanding Achievement Award is a joint initiative of the EBU and the IMZ alongside the ITF Golden Prague. Established in 2017, it recognises excellence in music + dance in the audiovisual industry and has so far been presented to Brian Large, Bruno Monsaingeon, Anca-Monica Pandelea + Gabrielle Babin Gugenheim, Christopher Nupen and Peter Sellars.

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