“Canellakis made the Beethoven sound as fresh as a brand-new piece. It wasn’t that she imposed any eccentricities, but that she brought out the inherent drama — the contrasts of volume and texture, the surprising accents, the slow movement’s heartfelt lyricism (with exquisite clarinet solos from Gregory Raden). The orchestra supplied every asked-for nuance in a performance compelling start to finish.”
Dallas Morning News
“Canellakis’ high-wire act was a dare. The players were kept on the edge of their seats. Something could have derailed it at any moment. Nothing did. It was great.”
Los Angeles Times
“Canellakis did a remarkable job of finding the lyrical radiance and ebb-and-flow of the opening movement (Brahms 3rd symphony with the Vancouver Symphony), putting it together with coherence, beautifully shaped string lines and the needed dramatic force. This was all about beauty and poetry. It is inspiring to see a young conductor exhibiting so much craft and thought – and so much love of the music”
Seen and Heard International
“Karina Canellakis led the orchestra in a fierce and full-blooded reading of one of the canon’s great Romantic symphonies…”
“Those big moments were insistent and regal, standing in thrilling contrast to the symphony’s most touching, tender melodies.”
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
“The dynamic young conductor Karina Canellakis made an indelible impression on a packed audience at Sage Gateshead”
The Northern Echo
“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.”
“With gestures clear yet expressive, Canellakis realized every emotional import, managing every transition with assurance, building climaxes with inevitability.”
The Dallas Morning News
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.