Conductors

Karina Canellakis

© Todd Rosenberg

Introduction

Winner of the 2016 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Karina Canellakis is internationally acclaimed for her emotionally charged performances, technical command and interpretive depth. She made her European conducting debut in 2015 with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe in Graz, Austria, replacing the late Nikolaus Harnoncourt, returning the following June to conduct Concentus Musicus Wien in four symphonies of a Beethoven Cycle. She first made headlines in 2014 filling in at the last-minute for Jaap van Zweden in Shostakovich Symphony No. 8 with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, where she held the position of Assistant Conductor for two seasons.

Karina begins the 2017/18 season with her debut at the BBC Proms in London with the BBC Symphony Orchestra and a return to the Opernhaus Zürich to conduct Mozart’s Die Zauberflöte.  Notable debuts this season include the Orchestre de Paris, Wiener Symphoniker, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Guerzenich-Orchester Köln, Bamberger Symphoniker, Orquesta Nacional de España, Radio Filharmonisch Orkest, the Hallé Orchestra and Seattle Symphony; alongside re-invitations to the Kungliga Filharmoniska Orkestern, Sveriges Radios Symfoniorkester, DR SymfoniOrkestret, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra and Vancouver Symphony.

Download Karina’s full 2017/18 biography


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Performance Schedule

  • 18:00 02 Sep 2017 Landgestuet Redefin, Mecklenburg More info  

    SCHUMANN Cello Concerto in A minor Op. 129
    GRIEG Piano Concerto in A minor Op. 16
    RACHMANINOV ‘Vocalise’ for Cello and Piano
    BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 7 Op. 92

    Piano: Alice-Sara Ott
    Cello: Daniel Müller-Schott

    Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin

  • 19:30 05 Sep 2017 Royal Albert Hall, LONDON More info  

    MISSY MAZZOLI Sinfonia Orbiting Spheres
    BARTOK Piano Concerto No. 2 in G major Sz. 95
    DVORAK Symphony No 8 Op. 88

    Piano: Jeremy Denk

    BBC Symphony Orchestra

  • 19:00 26 Sep 2017 Opernhaus Zurich, ZURICH More info  

    MOZART Die Zauberflöte

    Cast:
    Tamino: Stanislas de Barbeyrac
    Sarastro: Wenwei Zhang
    Pamina: Ying Fang
    Königin der Nacht: Sen Guo
    Papageno: Ruben Drole
    Papagena: Florie Valiquette
    1. Dame: Hamida Kristoffersen
    2. Dame: Gemma Ni Bhriain
    3. Dame: Judith Schmid
    Monostatos: Michael Laurenz
    Sprecher / 2. Priester: Oliver Widmer
    1. Priester: Thobela Ntshanyana
    1. Geharnischter: Jamez McCorkle
    2. Geharnischter: Donald Thomson
    Drei Knaben: Zürcher Sängerknaben

    Philharmonia Zürich
    Chor der Oper Zürich

  • 19:00 29 Sep 2017 Opernhaus Zurich, ZURICH More info  

    MOZART Die Zauberflöte

    Cast:
    Tamino: Stanislas de Barbeyrac
    Sarastro: Wenwei Zhang
    Pamina: Ying Fang
    Königin der Nacht: Sen Guo
    Papageno: Ruben Drole
    Papagena: Florie Valiquette
    1. Dame: Hamida Kristoffersen
    2. Dame: Gemma Ni Bhriain
    3. Dame: Judith Schmid
    Monostatos: Michael Laurenz
    Sprecher / 2. Priester: Oliver Widmer
    1. Priester: Thobela Ntshanyana
    1. Geharnischter: Jamez McCorkle
    2. Geharnischter: Donald Thomson
    Drei Knaben: Zürcher Sängerknaben

    Philharmonia Zürich
    Chor der Oper Zürich

  • 19:30 05 Oct 2017 Opernhaus Zurich, ZURICH More info  

    MOZART Die Zauberflöte

    Cast:
    Tamino: Stanislas de Barbeyrac
    Sarastro: Wenwei Zhang
    Pamina: Ying Fang
    Königin der Nacht: Sen Guo
    Papageno: Ruben Drole
    Papagena: Florie Valiquette
    1. Dame: Hamida Kristoffersen
    2. Dame: Gemma Ni Bhriain
    3. Dame: Judith Schmid
    Monostatos: Michael Laurenz
    Sprecher / 2. Priester: Oliver Widmer
    1. Priester: Thobela Ntshanyana
    1. Geharnischter: Jamez McCorkle
    2. Geharnischter: Donald Thomson
    Drei Knaben: Zürcher Sängerknaben

    Philharmonia Zürich
    Chor der Oper Zürich

  • 19:00 10 Oct 2017 Opernhaus Zurich, ZURICH More info  

    MOZART Die Zauberflöte

    Cast:
    Tamino: Stanislas de Barbeyrac
    Sarastro: Wenwei Zhang
    Pamina: Elsa Dreisig
    Königin der Nacht: Sen Guo
    Papageno: Ruben Drole
    Papagena: Florie Valiquette
    1. Dame: Hamida Kristoffersen
    2. Dame: Gemma Ni Bhriain
    3. Dame: Judith Schmid
    Monostatos: Michael Laurenz
    Sprecher / 2. Priester: Oliver Widmer
    1. Priester: Thobela Ntshanyana
    1. Geharnischter: Jamez McCorkle
    2. Geharnischter: Donald Thomson
    Drei Knaben: Zürcher Sängerknaben

    Philharmonia Zürich
    Chor der Oper Zürich

  • 14:00 15 Oct 2017 Opernhaus Zurich, ZURICH More info  

    MOZART Die Zauberflöte

    Cast:
    Tamino: Stanislas de Barbeyrac
    Sarastro: Wenwei Zhang
    Pamina: Mari Eriksmoen
    Königin der Nacht: Sen Guo
    Papageno: Ruben Drole
    Papagena: Florie Valiquette
    1. Dame: Hamida Kristoffersen
    2. Dame: Gemma Ni Bhriain
    3. Dame: Judith Schmid
    Monostatos: Michael Laurenz
    Sprecher / 2. Priester: Oliver Widmer
    1. Priester: Thobela Ntshanyana
    1. Geharnischter: Jamez McCorkle
    2. Geharnischter: Donald Thomson
    Drei Knaben: Zürcher Sängerknaben

    Philharmonia Zürich
    Chor der Oper Zürich

  • 19:30 20 Oct 2017 Auditorio Nacional de Musica Madrid, MADRID More info  

    DVORAK ‘Noon Witch’
    TCHAIKOVSKY ‘Variations on a Rococo Theme’
    RACHMANINOV ‘The Bells’

    Cello: Edgar Moreau
    Soprano: Olga Pudova
    Tenor: Alexey Dolgov
    Bass: Alexander Vinogradov

    Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España

  • 19:30 21 Oct 2017 Auditorio Nacional de Musica Madrid, MADRID More info  

    DVORAK ‘Noon Witch’
    TCHAIKOVSKY ‘Variations on a Rococo Theme’
    RACHMANINOV ‘The Bells’

    Cello: Edgar Moreau
    Soprano: Olga Pudova
    Tenor: Alexey Dolgov
    Bass: Alexander Vinogradov

    Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España

  • 11:30 22 Oct 2017 Auditorio Nacional de Musica Madrid, MADRID More info  

    DVORAK ‘Noon Witch’
    TCHAIKOVSKY ‘Variations on a Rococo Theme’
    RACHMANINOV ‘The Bells’

    Cello: Edgar Moreau
    Soprano: Olga Pudova
    Tenor: Alexey Dolgov
    Bass: Alexander Vinogradov

    Orquesta y Coro Nacionales de España

  • 19:30 26 Oct 2017 Harpa Concert Hall, REYKJAVIK More info  

    MENDELSSOHN Overture from ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’
    STAMITZ Clarinet Concerto in B-flat major
    AMY BEACH ‘Berceuse’
    BRAHMS ‘Hungarian Dance No. 7’
    BRAHMS Symphony No. 2 Op. 73

    Clarinet: ANDREAS OTTENSAMER

    Sinfóníuhljómsveit Íslands

  • 08 Aug 17 Mendelssohn Los Angeles Philharmonic Debut
    Hollywood Bowl
    More info  

    ”[Canellakis] has a graceful, flowing, confident baton technique and a repertoire of facial expressions that could be quizzical, mischievous, determined or forceful. She gives the impression that she savors the music, and what she communicates through her motions and expressions could be heard in the playing of the L.A. Phil.”
    Richard S. Ginell, Los Angeles Times, 9th August 2017

  • 10 Mar 17 Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
    Milwaukee
    More info  

    ”She closed the concert with Beethoven’s spritely, sneakily innovative, and beloved Eighth Symphony. Canellakis and the orchestra had no problem capturing the wit and brio of the piece, … and it earned conductor and orchestra an extended ovation.”
    Paul Kosidowski, Milwaukee Magazine, 14th March 2017

    ”Canellakis and the orchestra closed the Friday morning program with a sunny, somehow optimistic performance of the four-movement work that was filled with stylish, meaningful turns of musical phrase and fine ensemble playing…”
    Elaine Schmidt, Milwaukee Wisconsin Journel Sentinel, 10th March 2017

  • 03 Feb 17 Royal Northern Sinfonia Debut
    The Sage Gateshead
    More info  

    ”The dynamic young conductor Karina Canellakis made an indelible impression on a packed audience at Sage Gateshead when she directed Royal Northern Sinfonia …, her conducting style was elegant with every gesture carrying a meaning, as she negotiated nimble turns of phrase, thrilling bursts of acceleration and lilting dances.
    Gavin Engelbrecht, The Northern Echo, 6th February 2017

  • 19 Jan 17 Rachmaninov & Messiaen Malmo Symphony Debut
    Malmo
    More info  

    [On Rachmaninov Symphonic Dances] ‘’Elegant orchestration, vivid dynamics and also several harmonically interesting passages, values are not reflected in more perfunctory interpretations. Karina Canellakis apostrophised these values and gave the work a freshness and energy that you never thought possible…

    The evening began with “Hymne au Saint Sacrement” by Olivier Messiaen in an excellent interpretation that highlighted both the intricate musical architecture and the underlying religious sincerity.’’ [Translation]

     

    ”Elegant orkestrering, målande dynamik och även åtskilliga harmoniskt intressanta passager, värden som inte kommer fram i mer slentrianmässiga tolkningar.
    Karina Canellakis apostroferade dessa värden och gav verket en friskhet och energi som man inte trodde var möjlig…
    Aftonen inleddes med ”Hymne au Saint Sacrement” av Olivier Messiaen i en utomordentlig tolkning som framhävde både den intrikata musikaliska arkitekturen och den bakomliggande religiösa innerligheten.”
    Lars-Erik Larsson, Skånska Dagbladet, 22nd January 2017

  • 15 Oct 16 Berg & Rachmaninov Vancouver Symphony Debut
    Orpheum Theatre
    More info  

    “…Rachmaninov’s sprawling Second Symphony … proved a good measure of Canellakis’s technique and taste. Though expressive and engaged, she is disinclined to play to the gallery. Intentions are clear, with no histrionics or fuss. And the results speak for themselves. As for taste, it was apparent from the first notes of the introductory Largo that Canellakis’s Rachmaninov idiom is anchored in a strong, even sumptuous string sound … her reading was assured and purposeful. While her sterling musical values were better demonstrated in her fastidious work in the [Berg] Concerto, the Rachmaninov symphony revealed an impressive conductor on what may be the brink of a major career.”
    David Gordon Duke, Vancouver Sun, 16th October 2016

  • 25 Jun 16 Beethoven Concentus Musicus Wien
    Styriarte Festival, Graz
    More info  

    ‘’Her interpretation succeeded admirably in bringing out the manic energy of Beethoven with a raging 3rd and 4th movement of the symphony, a tour de force, which elicited calls of Bravo and – once again – a standing ovation.’’ [Translation]

    ‘’Ihr Anliege, die ‘verrückte Energie Beethovens’’ zu zeigen, gelang vortrefflich im rasenden3. Und 4. Satz der sinfonia, einem Kraftakt, der Bravorufe und – erneut – Standing Ovations hervorrief.’’
    Eva Schulz, Kleine Zeitung 28th June 2016

    ‘’Karina Canellakis was well received, she persevered with spirit breaking into a new artistic milieu and garnering a standing ovation at the end of the concert.’’ [Translation]

    ‘’Gut angekommen ist auch Karina Canellakis, die sich mit Verve bemühte, ein neues künstlerisches Milieu zu betreten und die am Ende des Eröffnungskonzert stehende Ovationen erntete.’’
    Derek Weber, Salzburger Nachrichten 27th June 2016

    ‘’…the young conductor demonstrated emphatically that she has an enormous talent for conveying the power and brilliance of music.’’ [Translation]

    ‘’…die junge Dirigentin demonstrierte mit Nachdruck, dass sie über ein enormes Talent verfügt, die Energie und die Brillanz von Music zu Vermitteln.’’
    Martin Gasser, Krone Zeitung 27th June 2016

    ‘’…the young conductor Karina Canellakis stood at the podium of the period instrument orchestra and really achieved what she set out to do with Beethoven’s 1st and 8th Symphonies with precision and an emphasis of the details.’’ [Translation]

    ‘’…die junge Dirigentin Karina Canellakis am Pult des
    Originalklang-Ensembles gestanden und hat ihre Sache bei Beethovens erster und achter Symphonie mit Präzision und Hervorhebung von Details gut gemacht.’’
    Tiroler Tageszeitung 26th June 2016

    ‘’Taking it to its limits, it was a tour de force between forte and fortissimo, in which the conductor spanned the required dynamics, differentiating between soft and beautifully soft.’’ [Translation]

    ‘’Das Werk ist bei ihr Exzess, ein Parforceritt zwischen Forte und Fortissimo, wobei die Dirigentin im Bedarfsfall die Dynamik weit spannt, auch zwischen leise und sehr leise wunderbar ausdifferenziert.’’
    Martin Gasser, Krone Zeitung 28th June 2016

    ”The New Yorker ventured into the realm of a period instrument orchestras for the first time and won. Not only the listeners who she impressed last year with the Dvorak project; the 34year-old was rewarded with a standing ovation – a lovely gesture: ‘Come again!”’
    [Translation]

    ”Die New Yorkerin wagte sich erstmals an das Pult eines Originalklangor-orchesters – und gewann. Nicht nur die Zuhörer, die sich schon im Vorjahr an einem Dvorak-Projekt der 34- Jährigen begeistert hatten und sie nun mit Standing Ovations belohnten – wohl auch als schöne Geste: ‘Come again!”’
    Michael Tschida, Kleine Zeitung 27th June 2016

  • 04 Feb 16 Mozart & Shostakovich Last Minute Dallas Symphony Orchestra Step-in
    Dallas
    More info  

    “Not until 20 minutes before Thursday night’s Dallas Symphony Orchestra concert did Karina Canellakis learn that she’d be conducting it … It was Canellakis’ second late substitution for van Zweden in a Mozart-and-Shostakovich program. The last time, in October 2014, she took over halfway through a four-performance run including the formidable Shostakovich Eighth Symphony. This time she’s conducting all four performances of a program including the Shostakovich Leningrad Symphony and Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 24 in C minor (K. 491).

    Those of us who witnessed one of those 2014 performances, and some subsequent ones in the DSO’s ReMix series, weren’t surprised at the results this time at the Meyerson Symphony Center. Once again, in a fiercely challenging program, admittedly benefitting from van Zweden’s rehearsals, Canellakis took over with absolute authority … With gestures clear yet expressive, Canellakis realized every emotional import, managing every transition with assurance, building climaxes with inevitability. She knew what the music was about, where it was going and why…”
    Scott Cantrell, The Dallas Morning News, 4th February 2016

    “An orchestral program of Mozart’s darkest piano concerto and Shostakovich’s most complex symphony would challenge a conductor under any circumstances. Thursday night at Meyerson Symphony Center, the Dallas Symphony’s assistant conductor Karina Canellakis stepped in for music director Jaap van Zweden (who was called away on a family emergency), with less than 24 hours’ notice to take on this task, with impressive success.

    That Canellakis was up to the assignment was evident from the first moment in her confident and precise delivery of the multi-layered lines in the somber orchestral introduction of Mozart’s Concerto No. 24 in C minor, which nicely set up the stark entry of piano soloist David Fray … With a much larger orchestra on stage after intermission (including percussion stationed in the midst of the violin section), Canellakis took on Shostakovich’s mammoth, 80-minute Symphony No. 7 … While Canellakis had demonstrated admirable command of both emotional and technical detail in the Mozart, she admirably expanded those same qualities into Shostakovich’s epic score, knowing exactly when and how to produce the bombast of battle, and, even more impressively, how to communicate the sorrow and anguish presented in the later movements. This listener entered the concert hall confident that van Zweden would pull this off with style, and left even more impressed with the young conductor who achieved the same accomplishment on short notice.”
    Wayne Lee Gay, Dallas Observer, 5th February 2016

    “With less than 20 minutes notice, the Dallas Symphony’s assistant conductor, Karina Canellakis, stepped in to conduct a difficult program … Bottom line? She did a terrific job … The assistant conductor lot in life is to sit and wait. They are usually young without the repertoire that more experienced conductors have at their fingertips. Also, conductors pick the season with three kinds of pieces: those they know cold (and don’t require much study time,) those they want to learn and those they already know but want to brush up on. This list, naturally, almost never coincides with the assistant’s list so they have to absorb a huge amount of music. So, the assistant sits through all of the rehearsals, making notes on how the conductor has conceived the major parameters, such as tempo and balance. That is not the same as pondering the architecture of the work and determining the tier of the dynamics. Putting their own stamp on it, as it were. With this in mind, it would be patently ridiculous, as well as insulting, to parse over the little details of her performance. What she deserves is unqualified praise. But make no mistake; her performance, under very difficult circumstances, was not some stroke of luck. It was the earned reward for a lot of hard work. As the saying goes, fate favors the prepared”
    Gregory Sullivan Isaacs, Theater Jones Reviews, 6th February 2016

  • 10 Jan 16 San Diego Symphony Guest Week
    San Diego
    More info  

    “…Respighi’s orchestration of five Rachmaninoff piano “Études-tableaux” was the weekend’s one real rarity. Russian somberness and Italian orchestral fountains find each other here with brilliant results. At least the results were brilliant under Canellakis. I have never heard this orchestra sound more alive. Both LACO and San Diego will soon have openings for a new music director. Canellakis is worth fighting over…”
    Mark Swed, LA Times, 13th January 2016

    “…Canellakis is as slightly built, and probably as hard to break, as a rapier blade. That she knows every detail of the music she leads was evident. There is no excess in her work; everything superfluous has been eliminated, and her baton technique is an exemplar of economy and clarity…”
    Marcus Overton, San Diego Union-Tribune, 10th January 2016

    “…In her Friday appearance with the San Diego Symphony, Canellakis demonstrated both her authority on the podium and her easy rapport with the players while conducting a pair of concertos with Hamelin as soloist. She paced “Pictures” well, keeping a sweeping sense of movement from one scene to another while bringing the details of each scene into sharp relief…”
    Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 10th January 2016

    “…Guest conductor Karina Canellakis, the Dallas Symphony’s Assistant Conductor, served as Hamelin’s amiable partner in crime, judiciously attuning the orchestra to his meticulous inflections and tempos. … Canellakis’ long arms arced wildly over her charges, pressing them forward to realize her heady visions…”
    Ken Herman, San Diego Story, 9th January 2016

  • 08 Dec 15 Cincinnati Symphony Step-in
    Cincinnati
    More info  

    “…Canellakis, a New York native and protégé of Sir Simon Rattle, is a major conducting talent whose star is rapidly rising. She impressed local audiences last summer, when she made her debut with the Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra. She is currently assistant conductor of the Dallas Symphony.

    So clear and confident was her direction, it was mesmerizing to watch her lead Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, in the evening’s second half. Even though this symphony was a wartime piece, it is one of Prokofiev’s sunniest works, and he called it “a hymn to the freedom of the human spirit.”

    Under Canellakis’ baton, the performance had an irresistible freshness of spirit. her view was romantic and lyrical in the first movement. The lightness of the string sound was striking, but she knew just how to balance that with an exciting drive to the finish. The scherzo movement, offering a marked contrast, featured terrific staccato passages in the brass and energized playing from wind soloists.

    The impression that lingered, though, was how naturally the conductor allowed the music to unfold, no matter what the tempo. She took her time in the arching themes of the slow movement. The finale was both atmospheric and lyrical, yet momentum never sagged in the drive to its extraordinary finish…”
    Janelle Gelfand, cincinnati.com, 5th December 2015

  • 11 Nov 15 An Arabian feast: Karina Canellakis and the Hong Kong Phil
    Asian debut
    More info  

    “…Although it might not have been conductor Karina Canellakis’ intention to focus on tunes and rhythms borrowed from the East in the works, her meticulous attention to the score brought out the best individual characteristics of each, and created a mood for an evening worthy of an Arabian feast. he overture to The Abduction from the Seraglio by Mozart, with its boisterous rhythm and tingling accoutrements from the percussion, threw the party open in high spirits. The pensive interlude that follows was soon overtaken by the romp of the opening theme to a rousing close. Lunging and stooping in clear gestures to get the most out of the orchestra, Canellakis infused Mozart’s overture not only with energy, but poise and majesty …  Conductor Karina Canellakis’ broad vision captured the variety of mood swings perfectly and fully exploited all the lyrical and grand-standing opportunities. … With boundless energy and consummate skill, Karina Canellakis tamed a programme of disparate works into a whole that excited and pleased at the same time.”
    Alan Yu, Bachtrack, 8th November 2015

  • 28 Aug 15 Chamber Orchestra of Europe Debut
    Styriarte Festival, Graz
    More info  

    “Wie ersetzt man kurzfristig einen Mann, der eigentlich unersetzlich ist? Diese Frage musste sich Intendant Mathis Huber stellen, nachdem klar wurde, dass Altmeister Nikolaus Harnoncourt aufgrund einer Erkrankung das Konzert im Rahmen des Festivals Styriarte nicht wie geplant dirigieren können würde. Die Wahl fiel schließlich auf die junge amerikanische Dirigentin Karina Canellakis, die „Option Zukunft“, wie Huber dem Publikum mitteilte. Bevor es losging gab es dann aber doch noch einen Auftritt von Harnoncourt – wenn auch nur per Videoeinspielung – bei dem er Canellakis auch seine Partitur mit etlichen Anmerkungen überließ. Der erste Teil des Konzerts, Dvořáks Goldenes Spinnrad, war nämlich als Gesprächskonzert angekündigt, und da Karina Canellakis auch hervorragend Deutsch spricht, führte sie das Publikum in die Geschichte sowie in die Themen und Motive der Symphonischen Dichtung ein. … Dadurch, dass Canellakis zunächst jedes Thema kurz anspielen ließ und erklärte, welches Instrument bzw. welche Instrumentengruppen eine Figur oder Stimmung charakterisieren, wurde das Märchen wirklich als solches erlebbar; vor meinem geistigen Auge spielte sich danach die Handlung in tatsächlichen Bildern ab. Das Chamber Orchestra of Europe erzählte die blutrünstige Geschichte mit einer breiten Palette an Farben, wobei die dunklen Momente, zum Beispiel der Mord in kraftvollem Fortissimo, besonders packend gerieten.

    Lieblich zart hingegen trat die Solovioline auf als Verkörperung der naiven Dornička, mit romantisch sehnsuchtsvollen Bögen und verletzlich wirkenden Phrasierungen. Als Gegenpart zu ihrem melancholischen Thema fungierte der vom Zauberer geschickte Knabe, der in der Flöte mit jugendlicher Leichtigkeit beschwingt zum Ausdruck kam. Richtiggehend zu schwelgen schien das Orchester in Walzer und Polka am Hochzeitsfest des Königs, in denen Canellakis die Musiker zu flotten Tempi animierte, ebenso wie im strahlenden Schluss, in dem die Fröhlichkeit und Lebensfreude überbordeten. … Der anfänglichen Bitte des Intendanten, der jungen Dirigentin und dem „Abenteuer Zukunft“ eine Chance zu geben, hätte es eigentlich gar nicht bedurft. Karina Canellakis’ spannungsgeladene und düstere Interpretation der Werke Dvořáks und ihr großer Enthusiasmus am Pult des Chamber Orchestra of Europe sprachen ohnehin für sich.”
    Isabella Steppan, 30th June 2015

    “Im 30. Jahr seines Wirkens beim steirischen Klassik-Festival war Harnoncourt erstmals gezwungen, krankheitshalber ein Konzert abzusagen. Wenige Tage vor der Aufführung fand man die amerikanische Dirigentin Canellakis als Ersatz, und die junge Musikerin warf sich mit Leidenschaft und Können in die heikle Aufgabe. … Dvoraks achte Symphonie, ein Stück zwischen Heiterkeit, Leidenschaft und leichter Schwermut, durchsetzt von Anklängen an Volkslieder. Die Natur ist bei Karina Canellakis nicht unbedingt lieblich, sie hat etwas Starkes, fast Unbarmherziges. Trotzdem ertönten auch schmerzlich-schöne Bögen, bevor das Stück in einem glanzvollen Aufrauschen des auch in der Lautstärke präzisen Orchesters ausklang.”
    Salzburg24, June 28th 2015

    “Graz (APA) – Die US-Dirigentin Karina Canellakis hat ihre undankbare Aufgabe, just bei der „styriarte“ für Nikolaus Harnoncourt einzuspringen, Samstagabend gut gemeistert. Sie leitete das Konzert „Dvorak pur“ im Grazer Stephaniensaal und führte das Chamber Orchestra of Europe sicher durch die gefühlvolle achte Symphonie. Zuvor erläuterte und dirigierte sie die symphonische Dichtung „Das goldene Spinnrad“. Im 30. Jahr seines Wirkens beim steirischen Klassik-Festival war Nikolaus Harnoncourt erstmals gezwungen, krankheitshalber ein Konzert abzusagen. Wenige Tage vor der Aufführung fand man die amerikanische Dirigentin Karina Canellakis als Ersatz, und die junge Musikerin warf sich mit Leidenschaft und Können in die heikle Aufgabe.”
    Tiroler Tageszeitung, 28th June 2015

  • 20 Mar 15 Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra
    Los Angeles
    More info  

    “Canellakis is an astonishing musician … she is also the model of a modern musician … She has a contagious command of rhythm, which she signals through her whole body … Adams Shaker Loops  – The details, shaking strings, swooping inner lines, chugging Minimalist beats all had extraordinary vitality. There was no instant, no detail that didn’t come to life … Schubert Symphony No. 5 Canellakis’ performance was brisk, propulsive and exquisitely detailed. She shaped Schubertian melody lovingly … When she gestured the orchestra to rise after the Schubert, the players remained seated in a rare tribute to a young conductor making her debut. Remember her name. If LACO doesn’t grab her, some other orchestra eager to embrace the future will. And likely soon.”
    Mark Swed, LA Times, 26th January 2015

  • 20 Mar 15 Dallas Symphony Orchestra - Step-in for Jaap van Zweden
    Dallas
    More info  

    CANELLAKIS TRIUMPHS ON PODIUM WITH DSO

    “…In a program including the long and fearsomely challenging Eighth Symphony of Dmitri Shostakovich, she rose spectacularly to the challenge Saturday night (as last minute replacement for Jaap van Zweden), leading with great clarity and expressivity. Even in the shifting time signatures of the Shostakovich, one always knew what meter was in play, and where each downbeat was. In the opening Mozart E-flat major Piano Concerto (No. 14, K. 449) [soloist Emanuel Ax] the motions of her body even conveyed how notes were to be sounded and phrases tapered. Yes, the orchestra had been fastidiously prepared by van Zweden, but Canellakis still beautifully conveyed shape, direction and breath. She certainly displayed excellent technique and sophisticated musicianship. There was a roaring and well-deserved ovation at the end, the musicians even signaling their approval by waving bows and stomping feet…”
    Scott Cantrell, Dallas Morning News, 5th October 2014

Interviews

Karina was interviewed by Classical Music Magazine for their February edition, click here to read more.

Click here to read Karina’s interview in German with Crescendo Magazine.

Click here to read Karina’s first ever interview in German for SRF (Schweizer Radio und Fernsehen).