Kirill Karabits

Biography

Chief Conductor: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
General Music Director and Principal Conductor: Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar (as of 2016/17)
Artistic Director: I,CULTURE Orchestra

“Karabits is an inspired architect....He has an energising presence on the podium, without being domineering...he paced the whirlwind finale in a way that brought the house down.” (The Telegraph)


Since 2008 Kirill Karabits has held the position of Chief Conductor of Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra. Together they have been recording a Prokofiev cycle since 2013, of which Symphony No.5 was released to critical acclaim in July 2015 shortly before its performance at the BBC Proms. The 2015-16 season opened with hugely successful concert performances of Salome and the orchestra also gave a sell-out Classic FM Live concert at the Royal Albert Hall in April 2015.

 

From September 2016 Karabits assumes the position of General Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar and his first production with them will be Die Meistersinger von Nurnberg.

 

Karabits has worked with many of the leading ensembles of Europe, Asia and North America, including the Cleveland, Philadelphia and San Fransisco Symphony orchestras, Philharmonia Orchestra, Rotterdam Philharmonic, Yomiuri Nippon Symphony Orchestra, Orchestra Filarmonica del Teatro La Fenice and the BBC Symphony Orchestra – including a concertante version of Bluebeard’s Castle at the Barbican Centre. In spring 2016, he conducted the Russian National Orchestra on their tour of the US and returned to the RNO in August 2016 to conduct two concerts at the Edinburgh International Festival both with Mikhail Pletnev as a soloist. Summer 2016 also saw his debut with the Chicago Symphony at the Ravinia Festival.

 

A prolific opera conductor, Karabits has conducted at Glyndebourne Festival Opera (La bohème and Eugene Onegin), English National Opera (Don Giovanni) and the Bolshoi Theatre. He also conducted Der fliegende Holländer at the Wagner Geneva Festival in celebration of the composer’s anniversary, and recently returned to Staatsoper Hamburg to conduct Madama Butterfly. The 2016-17 season will see debuts at both the Deutsche Oper and Oper Stuttgart.

 

Working with the next generation of bright musicians is of great importance to Karabits and as Artistic Director of I, CULTURE Orchestra he conducted them on their European tour in August 2015 with Lisa Batiashvili as soloist. In 2012 and 2014 he conducted the televised finals of the BBC Young Musician of the Year Award (working with the Royal Northern Sinfonia and BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra).

 

He was named Conductor of the Year at the 2013 Royal Philharmonic Society Music Awards.

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  • PROKOFIEV
    Symphony No. 5 in B flat major

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Press

Concert: 04 February 2017

Münchner Philharmoniker/Augustin Hadelich, Philharmonie am Gasteig

***** "Umso beachtlicher, wie absolut professionell der gebürtige Ukrainer es mit den Münchner Philharmonikern realisiert. Besonders in Édouard Lalos „Symphonie espagnole“ geht es darum, dem Orchester zu seinem eigenen Recht zu verhelfen, ohne den Solisten einzuschränken. Nicht, dass sich Augustin Hadelich nicht selbst behaupten könnte. Doch er agiert auch in einem solchen blendenden Virtuosenstück mit einer Diskretion und einer anmutigen Ernsthaftigkeit, die unmittelbar für ihn einnimmt, ihn aber auch etwas schutzbedürftig erscheinen lässt...
Mit überlegen klaren Gesten spannt Karabits hingegen den Horizont der beiden Suiten aus Maurice Ravels Ballett „Daphnis & Chloé“ auf zwischen üppiger, doch differenziert vorgestellter Breitwandigkeit und rhythmischer Prägnanz in den Tanzepisoden; die drei philharmonischen Flöten treten auf wie eine einzige – Chapeau! Den französischen Zungenschlag dieses Programms hätten die Münchner Philharmoniker nicht besser treffen können als unter dem polyglotten Karabits."

Michael Bastian Weiß, Abendzeitung Muenchen, 5 February 2017

SHOSTAKOVICH

Symphony No. 8: 25 January 2017

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Poole Lighthouse

**** "...Karabits’s sense of the first movement’s epic architecture proved faultless, and the grinding central climax, as well as the bereft cor anglais solo that follows it, were beautifully engineered. In all three of the central movements too there was the sense that something was being held back – the passacaglia, fourth in the sequence, was icily controlled – and even the hints of warmth and optimism that tinge the opening of the finale proved fleeting, and the last few pages seemed more than usually enigmatic and provisional." Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 26 January 2017

BORODIN, STRAUSS & RACHMANINOV

Concert: 28 November 2016

Staatskapelle Weimar/Alena Baeva, Congress Centrum Neue Weimarhalle

"Wunderbar aber ist, wenn Orchester und Dirigent strukturelle Defizite in freudvolle Wahrnehmung verwandeln. Unter ihrem neuen Chefdirigenten Kirill Karabits ging die Weimarer Staatskapelle wahrlich in die vom Komponisten geforderten Vollen. Mit dem sprichwörtlich langen Atem sowie mit sattem Streichersound und herrlichen Solostimmen wurde das Werk geadelt." Ursula Mielke, Thüringer Allgemeine Weimar, 29 November 2016

WAGNER

Die Meistersinger von Nuernberg: 05 November 2016

DNT Weimar, Grosses Haus Weimar

"Einem Dirigenten verlangt gerade dieses Finale äußerste Umsicht ab, da Bühne, Graben und Saal samt Fernorchester punktgenau koordiniert werden müssen. Für einen Karabits, der an diesem Abend das erste Mal im Weimarer Theater arbeitete, war das überhaupt kein Problem.
Dieser junge Ukrainer könnte sich – man vermeide vorschnellen Überschwang! – als wahrhafter Glücksgriff erweisen. Dank tiefen Musikverstands, schlagtechnischer Präzision und einer durchaus sympathisch-charismatischen Führungskraft besitzt er das Zeug dazu, weit über hiesige Provinzen hinaus Ruhm zu erwerben. Wie stringent sinfonisch seine Wagner-Interpretation konzipiert ist! Wie sinnlich er gleich im ersten Vorspiel satte Mischklänge anbietet und dann mit der vorzüglich aufgelegten Staatskapelle im Graben das solide musikalische Fundament fürs Bühnengeschehen bereitet! Wie farbmächtig, motivreich, durchhörbar er das Wagnersche Klanggespinst präsentiert!
Hörbar hat dieser Kerl Spaß an der eisern durchgehaltenen Prügelfuge, und das Vorspiel zum dritten Akt mit seiner tief elegischen Dünung formt er zu dem berührendsten Moment an diesem langen, an Eindrücken so reichen Abend. Aber kein Pathos, keine Sentimentalitäten oder billigen Effekte. Stets hält Karabits Kontakt zu den Chören, und selbstverständlich verlangt er den Sängersolisten in­ter­nationale Standards ab... Gut möglich, dass wir hier ei­nen Rising Star erleben."
Wolfgang Hirsch, Thüringer Allgemeine, 7 November 2016

GRIEG & BEETHOVEN

CONCERT: 28 August 2016

Staatskapelle Weimar/Yulianna Avdeeva, Kurhaus Wiesbaden

"Karabits leitete nun ein burghofspieltypisches, klassisch-romantisches Standardprogramm, in dem er Edvard Griegs zweite „Peer-Gynt“-Suite und dessen einziges Klavierkonzert Ludwig van Beethovens dritter Sinfonie, der „Eroica“, gegenüberstellte. Unbedingt spannend zu erleben war, wie er das tat: Griegs zweite Suite aus der Schauspielmusik zu Henrik Ibsens Drama stand hier über aller Tendenz zur anschmiegsamen Häppchenklassik, war vielmehr als Seelenmusik des Anti-Helden plastisch bis drastisch durchgestaltet. Der „Arabische Tanz“ ein perkussiv irrlichterndes Szenario, „Solvejgs Lied“ eine innig-sehnige Klage von tiefer Einsamkeit." Axel Zibulski, Wiesbadener Kurier, 30 August 2016

MUSSORGSKY, MOZART & TCHAIKOVSKY

Edinburgh International Festival; 20 August 2016

Russian National Orchestra/Paul Lewis, Usher Hall, Edinburgh

Chances to hear a performance of Tchaikovsky's Second Symphony, the so-called "Little Russian", are relatively rare at all, so the opportunity to hear it played by the Russian National Orchestra under the baton of rising Ukrainian star conductor Kirill Karabits, chief conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and one of Nicola Benedetti's favourite collaborators, was one to savour... All of the players in the large version of the orchestra had a great deal to do, but all that gainful employment was under the very firm control of Karabits, particularly in the rousing finale, which seems to do climactic finale-type things for its entire duration. Keith Bruce, Herald Scotland, 21 August 2016

Brahms/Mahler

Concert: 04 May 2016

(Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra/Guy Braunstein), The Lighthouse, Poole

**** "[Karabits] has acquired a taste for English symphonic music, and has led the orchestra in some remarkable projects, such as the revival of a long-lost passion by C.P.E Bach. And the audience have taken him to their hearts, turning out in droves even for Karabits’s most daring ideas.
At this concert, the last of the season, he rewarded them for their loyalty by returning to the dead centre of classical music, with two giant 19th-century masterworks. In the first of them, Brahms’s Violin Concerto, he showed that blend of urgency and yielding tenderness that makes his performances of romantic repertoire so winning."
Ivan Hewett, The Telegraph, 05 May 2016
**** "The test in this symphony... is how the conductor paces those outer movements, which continually simmer and subside and simmer again before erupting. This was where Karabits particularly impressed." Richard Morrison, The Times, 06 May 2016

Dutilleux/Tchaikovsky

Concert: 20 January 2016

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Lighthouse Poole

**** “The bold colours of Tchaikovsky’s Manfred Symphony seemed the broadest of brush strokes. The score is no pushover for any orchestra, and it’s a measure of what Karabits has achieved in Bournemouth that he should have programmed it, and then carried it off so convincingly. The fine detail and the depth of tone were consistently impressive – a glassiness in some of the string sonorities was down to the harshness of the Lighthouse acoustic more than anything else – while after a deceptively languid start Karabits’ performance gained steadily in power and presence.”  Andrew Clements, The Guardian, 21 January 2016

Prokofiev

Concert: 07 March 2016

Russian National Orchestra/Stefan Jackiw, Kravis Center West Palm Beach.

“[Karabits] commanded whipcrack, turn on a dime response from the ensemble with seamless changes of meter. There was balletic lightness in the Firebird’s Dance and the pantomime was full of Russian languor. Karabits sharply pointed up the percussion effects in the Infernal Dance and gave the final processional clarion impact. The terrific performance brought the usually sedate Kravis audience to its feet with cheers and bravos.” 

Lawrence Budman, South Florida Classical Review, March 2016

Prokofiev

Symphonies Nos 4 & 5

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

***** "This first-rate recording of Prokofiev's most famous and least performed symphonies is a testament to Kirill Karabit's understanding of the composer."

Geoffrey Norris, The Telegraph, 26 July 2015

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Recordings

Concertos for Orchestra

IVAN KARABITS
Concerto for Orchestra, No. 2
Concerto for Orchestra, No.3 "Holossinya" (Lamentations)
Concerto for Orchestra, No. 1 "Musikalnoe prinosheniye Kievu" (Musical Gift to Kiev)

VALENTIN SILVESTROV
Elegy
Abschiedsserenade

Other performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra




Naxos

Prokofiev: Symphonies Vol. III

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Symphony No.5 in B flat, op.100
Symphony No.4 in C, op.47 (1930)
Dreams, op.6

Other performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra



Onyx

Prokofiev Symphonies 1 & 2

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891- 1953)
Symphony No.2 in D minor, op.40
Sinfonietta in A, op.5/48
Symphony No.1 in D, op.25 'Classical'

Other performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Onyx

Prokofiev Symphonies 3 & 7

SERGEI PROKOFIEV (1891-1953)
Symphony No. 3 in C minor, op. 44
Symphony No. 7 in C sharp minor, op. 131

Other performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Onyx

Britten & Shostakovich

BENJAMIN BRITTEN (1913-1976)
Violin Concerto, op.15

DMITRI SHOSTAKOVICH (1906-1975)
Violin Concerto No.1 in A minor, op.77

Other performers: James Ehnes (violin), Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Onyx

Tchaikovsky & Mussorgsky

PYOTR ILYICH TCHAIKOVSKY (1840-1893)
Symphony No.2 in C minor op.17 'Little Russian'

MODEST MUSSORGSKY(1839-1881)
Night on the Bare Mountain
Pictures at an Exhibition

Other performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Onyx

Khachaturian

ARAM KHACHATURIAN (1903-1978)
Spartacus (1956) Excerpts
Gayaneh (1942) Excerpts

Other performers: Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra
Onyx