Photo credit: Damjan Švarc

Photo credit: Damjan Švarc

Daniela Candillari led the 16-piece chamber orchestra with a firm hand and sure sense of pacing and flow. Spears’ music soars to an almost cinematic lushness at times, and cries out for larger forces, strings especially. The Slovenian conductor did what she could with the limited numbers, giving lyrical moments expressive point while underlining the brooding atmosphere and ensuring dramatic peaks received full impact.

The conductor Daniela Candillari guides a uniformly powerful cast, as well as a tight ensemble of the Bang on a Can Opera musicians and the members of the Choir of Trinity Wall Street.
— Seth Colter Walls, THE NEW YORK TIMES

Conductor Daniela Candillari brought out the most unsettling aspects of the score impressively.
— Eric Myers, OPERA NEWS


Daniela Candillari is attracting increasing attention as a conductor. During the 2018/19 Season, Ms. Candillari returns to the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Manhattan School of Music, and makes her Asia debut at the New Vision Arts Festival in Hong Kong as well as her Philadelphia debut at the Curtis Institute of Music in collaboration with Opera Philadelphia. In September 2018 she conducts world premiere of PermaDeath with WhiteSnake Projects in Boston, and serves as assistant music director to Julian Wachner on Ellen Reid'sp r i s m at LA Opera and the PROTOTYPE Festival.    

During the 2017/18 Season, Ms. Candillari made her debut at the Lyric Opera of Chicago, followed by her debut at Minnesota Opera. Engagements in her home city of New York included debuts with NOVUS NY, the PROTOTYPE Festival, and the Manhattan School of Music Philharmonia. Other recent work includes Matthew Aucoin’s opera Crossing and Verdi’s Falstaff with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic, Sir Bryn Terfel and Vasily Petrenko. Additionally she led a workshop of Clint Borzoni's The Copper Queen for Arizona Opera andDouble Exposure for Opera Philadelphia. 

Ms. Candillari’s thorough competence in opera has come through a traditional route: as a Répétiteur work includes extended periods with Slovenian National Opera, European Opera Centre and Indiana University Jacobs School of Music; she has been an opera coach (working alongside Martina Arroyo and Carol Vaness); as a recitalist, she has worked with Håkan Hagegård and for the European Commission in London; as assistant conductor she has worked on contemporary projects for OPERA America and more traditional repertoire for Sarasota Opera; and at Slovenian National Opera she was successively chorus master, assistant conductor and assistant to the Artistic Director. Her broadcasting work includes  National Public Radio America, Austrian Radio, Slovenian National Radio and Television, and Serbian National Television.  

She has a strong interest in contemporary work in many different genres. Ms. Candillari conducted the world premiere of Stefania de Kenessey’s operaBonfire of the Vanities at Museo del Barrio, New York. At the Center for Contemporary Opera she workshopped Rachel Peters’ and Royce Vavrek’s opera Wild Beast of the Bungalow; and gave the first public presentation of Hannah Lash’s opera Beowulf. Ms. Candillari’s work as composer has given her a special insight into and understanding of contemporary work. Her own compositions - often commissioned by outstanding instrumentalists and most recently by the University of Pittsburgh - have now been performed by musicians from the symphony orchestras of Boston, Cleveland, Detroit, and Pittsburgh, and by the musicians from the three resident orchestras of the Lincoln Center - the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra, the New York Philharmonic and New York City Ballet. Alongside her championing of contemporary repertoire, Daniela Candillari has founded her own chamber orchestra - Gravity Shift - in New York City to take more traditional repertoire to new audiences.

A native of Slovenia, Daniela Candillari moved to the United States five years ago. Ms. Candillari holds a Doctorate in Musicology from the Universität für Musik in Vienna, a Master of Music in Jazz Studies from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music and a Master of Music and Bachelor in Piano Performance from Universität für Musik in Graz. She was a Fulbright scholar and was subsequently awarded TED Fellowship.