Karina Canellakis

Karina Canellakis © Mathias Bothor

Born in New York, Karina Canellakis took up the role of Principal Guest Conductor of the RSB at the beginning of the 2019/2020 season, also assuming a long-term collaboration with the orchestra alongside Vladimir Jurowski. Karina and the orchestra first performed together in September 2017 at the Mecklenberg-Vorpommern Festival and quickly built a strong rapport. Her successful first season astonished audiences, notably with the critically acclaimed performances of Beethoven’s ninth symphony at the RSB’s popular New Years’ Concerts.

As the Principal Guest Conductor, Karina Canellakis will establish her own thematic narrative throughout each season. She will conduct two concerts of the RSB in the 2020/2021 season. On 29 November 2020, Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 will precede Sibelius’ Symphony No. 5. Brahms fancied Hungarian sounds in music his whole life. That’s why he would probably welcome Frank Peter Zimmermann, who will interpret the Rhapsody No. 1 by Béla Bartók, with open arms. On 24 April 2021 the violinist will take the audiences on a journey from this unprecedented firework of Csárdás back to the Czech Republic, playing the breathtaking Suite Concertante by Bohuslav Martinů. Karina Canellakis will open the concert with the passionate tone poem „Jealosy“ by  Leoš Janáček.

Karina Canellakis, who has Greek and Russian ancestry and speaks English as well as German, French, and Italian, began her musical career as a violinist. In the course of her education, she became a member of the orchestra academy of the Berliner Philharmoniker, where she was encouraged by Sir Simon Rattle to devote herself more to conducting. She followed this advice with great enthusiasm and won the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016. With emotionally charged performances, technical brilliance, and interpretative depth, she quickly made a name for herself at orchestras and at opera houses in the USA, Europe, Asia, and Australia.

In addition to her involvement with the RSB, Karina Canellakis took up her first position as Chief Conductor at the Radio Filharmonisch Orkest of the Netherlands in autumn 2019, with whom she will launch a cycle of Janáček operas in January 2021, starting with „Jenůfa“.

In the 2020/2021 season, the charismatic conductor will realise some remarkable projects, such as her début with the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and the Deutsche Oper Berlin (Mozart’s „Le nozze de Figaro“). Again, she will be on the rostrum of the London und Royal Stockholm Philharmonic Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra, Sydney Symphony, Seattle and Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Wiener Symphoniker.