Review: Conductor Karina Canellakis brings a refreshing energy to Minnesota Orchestra
Orchestra’s summer season concludes with engaging performances of Mozart, Tchaikovsky.
By Rob Hubbard
How important is energy? When you attend an orchestral concert, does it make a big impact on your experience to have a conductor on the podium who exudes it? A very physical, demonstrative leader who adds a visual element to the music? A graceful dancer with the baton who can leave you exhausted by evening’s end from just watching them?
If that’s your kind of conductor, you’d like Karina Canellakis. She’s an American conductor who leads an orchestra with a lot of physicality and a palpable passion for the music. This weekend, she helped the Minnesota Orchestra close its summer season, and Friday night’s concert was largely powered by her fiery energy.
If this weekend’s concerts are part of Canellakis’ audition to succeed Osmo Vänskä as the Minnesota Orchestra’s music director in 2022, you could say she passed with flying colors. She’s a very confident conductor, one who uses big, sweeping gestures and seems intensely attuned to the music.