A native of Slovenia, Daniela Candillari is recognized for her performances at opera houses and concert stages throughout North America and Europe. Her 2019-20 season has featured a number of debuts including the world premiere of Hannah Lash’s Desire at Miller Theatre at Columbia University followed by Virgil Thomson’s The Mother of Us All with the New York Philharmonic at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. She made her mainstage debut at Arizona Opera conducting Gregory Spears’ Fellow Travelers, which she led previously with both the Lyric Opera of Chicago and Minnesota Opera. She returned to the festival PROTOTYPE to conduct Rev. 23, produced by Trinity Wall Street and directed by James Darrah. An avid educator, Candillari spent the summer of 2019 conducting the west coast premiere of Jennifer Higdon’s Cold Mountain at the Music Academy of the West and returns to the Manhattan School of Music in April for performances of Martha. She makes her debut with Cincinnati Opera in the summer of 2020 for their 100th anniversary season, leading Dvořák’s Rusalka.
Past engagements have included Rene Orth’s Empty the House (Opera Philadelphia), the world premiere of PermaDeath (Boston), Acquanetta (PROTOTYPE), Du Yun’s Pulitzer Prize-winning opera Angel’s Bone (Hong Kong), and the world premiere of Stefania de Kenessey’s Bonfire of the Vanities at the Museo del Barrio (New York). She appeared in concert with Trinity Wall Street’s NOVUS NY Festival to open their 2018 season in celebration of Leonard Bernstein’s centennial and returned to the Lyric Opera of Chicago in 2019 for Perla’s An American Dream. Candillari has collaborated with Matthew Aucoin, on his opera Crossing for The Brooklyn Academy of Music’s NEXT WAVE Festival, and Vasily Petrenko, on a production of Falstaff with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic.
As a composer, Candillari has been commissioned by artists including instrumentalists from the Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh symphonies, as well as the three resident orchestras of Lincoln Center—the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, and the New York City Ballet Orchestra. Alongside her championing of contemporary repertoire, she founded the chamber orchestra Gravity Shift to bring traditional repertoire to new audiences.
A former Fulbright Scholar and a TED Fellow, Candillari holds a Ph.D. in musicology from the Universität für Musik in Vienna, an M.M. in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, and a M.M. and B.A. in Piano Performance from Universität für Musik in Graz.