Internationally acclaimed for her emotionally charged performances, technical command, and interpretive depth, Karina Canellakis has become one of the most in-demand conductors of her generation. She is the chief conductor of Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, principal guest conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, and principal guest conductor of the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra.
In the 2022–23 season, Canellakis makes her National Symphony Orchestra debut and returns to the Boston and Dallas Symphony Orchestras as well as the Orchestre de Paris. She leads an extensive tour of Germany’s most prestigious concert halls with the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Daniil Trifonov as soloist and also leads the Berlin Radio Symphony Orchestra in Berlin. She continues to present exciting pieces as well as well-known masterpieces at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw and Utrecht’s TivoliVredenburg with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra.
After the previous season’s success of Kat’a Kabánova, she brings another Janáček opera, The Cunning Little Vixen, to the Concertgebouw in April 2023. Among the other operas she has conducted are Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin, Mozart’s Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, and Le nozze di Figaro, David Lang’s the loser, and Peter Maxwell Davies’s The Hogboon.
Since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016, Karina Canellakis has appeared as guest conductor with leading orchestras around the world, including the London Symphony Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Munich Philharmonic, and the Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto, Cincinnati, Minnesota, Detroit, and Vienna symphony orchestras. She was the first woman to conduct the First Night of the BBC Proms in London in 2019 with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and also was the first woman to conduct the Nobel Prize Concert with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in 2018.
Already known as a violin virtuoso, Canellakis was initially encouraged to pursue conducting by Simon Rattle while she was playing regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic for two years as a member of their Orchester-Akademie. She performed for many years as a soloist, guest leader, and chamber musician, spending summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, until conducting became her focus. Karina Canellakis was born and raised in New York City.
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