Peter Hanke – Principal Guest Conductor

Peter Hanke has made his career as a conductor in contemporary music, chamber opera and choral art forms with the ensembles Voces Copenhagen, and the Carmina Chamber Orchestra and choir among others. He received his education at the Danish Royal Academy of Music and the University of Copenhagen with the distinguished professors Jorma Panula and Dan-Olof Stenlund as mentors in conducting. As a conductor, Peter Hanke has specialised in advanced contemporary music for both instrumental and a cappella ensembles and as an interpreter of masterpieces of the  oratorio repertoire.

He has worked regularly as choirmaster for the National Danish Radio Choir, and since 2003 with advanced musical workshops with RIAS Kammerchor – Berlin, Helsinki Chamber Choir, Musica Beata – Oxford, Vox Luminis – The Netherlands. Peter Hanke has performed masterpieces by J.S. Bach: B-minor Mass, St. John’s Passion, Christmas Oratorio, by G.F. Handel: Messiah, Mozart’s Requiem, Verdi’s Requiem, Puccini: Messa di Gloria, Faure’s Requiem and many others.

First performances and works by 20th century composers have been a feature of Peter Hanke’s work throughout his career. He often combines choral performance solo elements, as well as music drama to widen the scope of the art of vocal performance on many levels. Peter Hanke has recorded music by Nielsen, Grieg, Barber, Holmboe, Nørgård, Lewkovitch, Elgar, Moeran, Vaughan Williams and Mendelssohn across a wide range of repertoire.

Peter on himself, his interests and agendas
Based on a life-long experience as a performer in classical music I am investigating similarities and connections between leadership, innovation and music making.

In various settings as a speaker and workshop organiser within Exart Performances I work with leadership in executive education programs all over Europe and also in the US.

As a musician I particularly value the creation of new forms of including listeners in the performance based tradition of scored music. When I get invitations to conduct ensembles I always seek to follow up by opening up the potential and aspirations surrounding the music making.”


Graduated in choral and orchestral conducting from the Royal Academy of Music in Copenhagen 1988. Conducting masterclasses in Sweden, Germany, Austria and Italy. Parallel studies in musicology and computer science at the Copenhagen University 1981-89. Trained as a producer in the Danish Broadcasting Corporation.

Important positions:

  • Owner of Exart Performances founded 2002 –
  • Conductor and artistic Director of Voces Academy –
  • Freelance conductor with European choirs and orchestras (DK, UK, SF, PL, SLO, D, NL)
  • Associate Fellow at Saïd Business School, Oxford University since 2008
  • External Associate Professor at Copenhagen University since 2009
  • Artistic Director at Centre for Art and Leadership, Copenhagen Business School 2003-6
  • Executive Producer at the Danish National Radio Symphony Orchestra 2000-2001
  • Director at the performance theatre Hotel Pro Forma 1997-2000

Received the 2005 award at Einar Hansen’s Research Foundation

Important writings.

Hanke, Peter: Performance & Lederskab. Passionen som drivkraft. Børsens Forlag 2008. 199 p.
Extracts in English: Performance and Leadership. 2012. Oxford

Hanke, Peter: Kulturens Skjulte Styrker. Institutioner, reservater og inspiration. Gyldendal Public 2010. 187 p.