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Karina Canellakis

Headshot of Karina Canellakis wearing a black collared shirt.


Internationally acclaimed for her emotionally charged performances, technical command and interpretive depth, Karina Canellakis regularly appears with the top orchestras of North America, Europe, the UK and Australia. She is the Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, and concurrently holds the title of Principal Guest Conductor with both the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.

In North America, Ms. Canellakis’ upcoming summer 2021 engagements include debuts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Tanglewood, Cleveland Orchestra at Blossom Festival, and a return to the Minnesota Orchestra. Her 2021/22 subscription season includes significant debuts with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, National Symphony Orchestra, and San Francisco Symphony, as well as return engagements with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, and Minnesota Orchestra. In Europe, she debuts with the Orchestre National de France for an appearance at Festival de Saint-Denis and a fully staged production of Onegin at Théâtre des Champs-Elysées. Other European highlights include debuts with Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra and hr-Sinfonieorchester. Karina returns to Münchner Philharmoniker, Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks, Orchestre de Paris and Stockholm Philharmonic, as well as to the Bregenzer Festspiele with Wiener Symphoniker for a program featuring the third act of Wagner’s Siegfried.

Since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016, Canellakis has gone on to work with leading orchestras around the world, including the Philadelphia Orchestra, Detroit Symphony, Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, Toronto Symphony, London Symphony Orchestra, BBC Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre Philharmonique du Radio France, NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin, Oslo Philharmonic, as well as the symphony orchestras of Melbourne and Sydney.

On the operatic stage, Karina has conducted critically acclaimed performances of Don Giovanni with the Curtis Opera Theater at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia. She has also conducted Die Zauberflöte and a fully staged production of Verdi Requiem with Opernhaus Zurich, 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. In 2017 Karina led Peter Maxwell Davies’ final opera The Hogboon with the Luxembourg Philharmonic.

Already known to many in the classical music world for her virtuoso violin playing, Canellakis 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 its Orchester-Akademie. In addition to appearing frequently as 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.

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