Karina Canellakis Rides a Wave of Success at the Dallas Symphony Orchestra

06.24.15
Karina Canellakis
Dallas Observer

What does it feel like when dreams start to become reality and the big career you’ve been working toward for years takes off and gains momentum? Karina Canellakis, the Dallas Symphony Orchestra’s talented young assistant conductor, says it’s an exciting, challenging thrill-ride. “I feel like I’m on a surfboard riding these giant waves and I’m sort of looking around like, ‘Why have I not fallen off yet?’ It’s exhilarating,” she says. “It’s also very difficult and stressful.” 

Canellakis had a successful career as a violinist before she decided to pursue conducting. It was a gut-level decision based on a desire to study the music she loves more deeply. “I had always been a score person,” she explains. “I was very studious and dorky. I decided that even if I didn’t become a conductor full-time, I at least wanted to be good at it.” 

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The Knights Are Spirited in Central Park, Despite Soggy Weather

06.24.15
The Knights
The New York Times

Write-ups of summer concerts in New York parks are often as much weather reports as reviews. So be it.

The Knights, an orchestral collective, opened the 110th season of the free Naumburg Orchestral Concerts in Central Park on Tuesday evening in the 92-year-old Naumburg Bandshell and thereabouts. 

With rain falling lightly and heavier weather predicted at concert time, five string players led the members of the sizable audience to shelter inside the lower level of the nearby Bethesda Terrace and performed Zhou Long’s attractive and entertaining “Chinese Folk Songs” (“Driving the Mule Team” and the like), which had been scheduled for the second half of the program. It was the “most portable” of the pieces, Colin Jacobsen, the Knights’ concertmaster, said in introductory remarks, expressing the hope that blue skies would follow by its end.

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Percussion and Pierre Boulez: Ojai at Berkeley Festival

06.23.15
John Luther Adams, Wu Man
San Francisco Classical Voice

As I walked quietly the perimeter of UC Berkeley’s Faculty Glade last Thursday, soft strands of John Luther Adams’ Sila unravelling all around me, the crunching of dead leaves under my feet providing a gentle counterpoint, I realized: This is what it feels like for your life to have its own soundtrack.

Eventually I found a spot where I thought a cluster of singers would be able to balance their tenuous lines with the more blaring brass and woodwinds, situated a hundred feet across the glade; I sat down and listened to the rest of Sila, closing my eyes to the warm glow of the late spring sun. Sila may not be the first work to be written for an outdoor orchestra, but to judge it solely on those terms would be akin of disparaging any conventional orchestral piece for not being the first one written for indoor performances.

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