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, the Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra. She was Principal Guest Conductor of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin (RSB) until the end of the 2022/23 season.
As Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra, she recently led an extensive tour of Germany’s most prestigious concert halls with the orchestra and soloist Daniil Trifonov. Karina continues to present exciting modern pieces as well as well-known masterpieces at the Concertgebouw Amsterdam and TivoliVredenburg in Utrecht with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, where she holds the title of Chief Conductor.
In the 23-24 season, Vienna’s Musikverein will feature her as an Artist-in-Residence, appearing several times across the season with four different orchestras.
Since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016 Karina has become a guest conductor with leading orchestras around the world, including the Boston Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Chicago Symphony, Philadelphia Orchestra, Bavarian Radio Symphony, Gewandhausorchester Leipzig, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Orchestre de Paris, London Symphony Orchestra, LA Phil, San Francisco Symphony, Vienna Symphony and Munich Philharmonic. She was the first woman to conduct the First Night of the BBC Proms in London in 2019, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra. She was also the first woman to ever conduct the Nobel Prize Concert with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic in 2018.
Already known to many in the classical music world for her virtuoso violin playing, Karina was initially encouraged to pursue conducting by Sir 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 her summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, until conducting eventually became her focus. Karina was born and raised in New York City.
After the great success of “Kat’a Kabánova” in the previous season, she brings another Janáček opera, “The Cunning Little Vixen“, to the stage of the Concertgebouw in April 2023. Her concert performances of acts of Wagner’s “Die Walküre”, “Tristan und Isolde”, and “Siegfried” have been met with tremendous critical praise, and she has conducted critically acclaimed productions of Tchaikovsky’s “Eugene Onegin”, Mozart’s “Don Giovanni”, “Die Zauberflöte”, “Le nozze di Figaro”, David Lang’s “the loser” and Peter Maxwell Davies’ “The Hogboon”.