Karina Canellakis

  • Instrument Conductor
Karina Canellakis

Karina Canellakis is the newly appointed Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, beginning in the 2019/20 season. Internationally acclaimed for her emotionally charged performances, technical command and interpretive depth, Karina’s reputation has risen quickly since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016.

Karina makes several notable debuts in the 2018/19 season, including with the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, St. Louis Symphony Orchestra, London Philharmonic, Deutsches Symphonie-orchester Berlin, Dresdner Philharmoniker, Oslo Philharmonic, and Stavanger Symphony. She also makes her Australian debut in a four-city tour conducting the symphony orchestras of Melbourne, Perth, Adelaide, and Tasmania. In addition, Canellakis leads the prestigious 2018 Nobel Prize Concert with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, with whom she appears twice in this season. Over the summer, she made her Wiener Symphoniker debut at the Bregenz Festival and returned to the Proms with the BBC Symphony Orchestra.

Re-invitations this season feature the Los Angeles Philharmonic at the Hollywood Bowl as well as the symphony orchestras of Cincinnati, Dallas, Detroit, Milwaukee, and North Carolina. She also conducts Don Giovanni with the Curtis Opera Theater at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. In Europe, she returns to the London Philharmonic Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Gürzenich Orchestra Cologne, Swedish Radio Orchestra, Orchestre National de Lyon, and Scottish Chamber Orchestra, among others.

Recent seasons have featured debuts with the Orchestre de Paris, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Bamberger Symphoniker, National Orchestra of Spain, the Hallé Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Royal Scottish National Orchestra, Hong Kong Philharmonic, and the Toronto, Vancouver, and Houston symphonies. On the operatic stage, she has conducted Die Zauberflöte with the Zurich Opera, Le nozze di Figaro with Curtis Opera Theatre, and gave the world premiere of David Lang’s opera The Loser at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. She has also led Peter Maxwell Davies’ new opera The Hogboon with the Luxembourg Philharmonic, and a fully staged production of Verdi’s Requiem at the Zurich Opera.

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. In addition to appearing frequently as a soloist with various North American orchestras, she subsequently played regularly in the Chicago Symphony for over three years and appeared on several occasions as guest concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway. She also spent many summers performing at the Marlboro Music Festival. She plays a 1782 Mantegazza violin on generous loan from a private patron.

Karina previously served as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. She is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music and the Juilliard School. Born and raised in New York City, she speaks French, German and Italian.

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