Anna Handler is a German-Colombian conductor and pianist who grew up in Munich. She is a Dudamel Fellow with the Los Angeles Philharmonic for the 2023-24 season. In June 2022 she graduated from the Juilliard School in New York, where she received mentorship from David Robertson and was the proud recipient of the Juilliard Kovner Fellowship for outstanding students of classical music, which she was the first conductor ever to receive.
Following her debut at the Salzburg Festival in 2022 as director of the Káťa Kabanová opera camp, Handler was immediately re-engaged to conduct new productions of L'enfant et les sortilèges (2023) and Die Kluge (2024). Further 2023-24 highlights include her debuts with the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, Grazer Philharmoniker, Münchner Rundfunkorchester, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra and North Carolina Symphony. The 2022-23 season saw her debut with Deutsches Symphonie Orchester Berlin, Sinfonieorchester Liechtenstein, OFUNAM Orchestra in Mexico and Mecklenburgische Staatskapelle Schwerin.
Handler has already worked as an assistant to renowned conductors such as Kirill Petrenko, where she also conducted the incidental music for the concert opera production Mazeppa with the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra. She assisted Daniel Harding with the Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunk, Barbara Hannigan, Manfred Honeck and Simone Young. At the Bayerische Staatsoper, she assisted Oksana Lyniv in the opera productions Mauerschau and Greek and took over the musical direction of the youth production Eve and Adam, which premiered as part of the 2019 Munich Opera Festival.
As founder and director of the Ensemble "Enigma Classica," she has performed with notable soloists including Arabella Steinbacher, Daniel Müller-Schott and Sabine Meyer. Together with her team at Enigma Classica, Handler presented an interdisciplinary project on music education, using real-time generative video animation at the Young Artist Festival Bayreuth in August 2022. She was awarded the Maria Ladenburger Förderpreis in cooperation with WDR, the Cusanuswerk Foundation and Deutsche Grammophon. She has also received the Rising Star Award from the European Cultural Foundation Europamusicale.
Handler studied piano at the Hochschule für Musik und Theater München, the Accademia Pianistica di Imola and the Folkwang University of the Arts, working with professors such as Ingrid Fliter, Pavel Gililov and Henri Sigfridsson. She went on to study orchestral conducting with Nicolás Pasquet and Ekhart Wycik at the Hochschule für Musik "Franz Liszt" Weimar between 2018 and 2021.