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Karina Canellakis

About this Artist

Internationally acclaimed for her emotionally charged performances, technical command, and interpretive depth, Karina Canellakis has become one of the most in-demand conductors of her generation. She is the Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and the Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra.

In the 2023/24 season, Canellakis is the featured Artist-in-Residence at Vienna’s famed Musikverein, conducting four different orchestras: the Wiener Symphoniker, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, London Philharmonic, and the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic. The four programs present a range of iconic repertoire including Shostakovich’s powerful Eighth Symphony, Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass, and Beethoven’s “Eroica” Symphony.

Canellakis’s 2023/24 guest engagements include her debut with the New York Philharmonic as well as return engagements with the Boston Symphony and The Cleveland Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic, Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin, and NDR Elbphilharmonie.

April 2023 saw the start of a multi-album collaboration between Canellakis, the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic (RFO), and Pentatone with their debut release; Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra and Four Orchestral Pieces, which was nominated for a Grammy Award. Canellakis and the RFO were also featured artists for the launch of Apple Classical in a recording of Beethoven’s Piano Concerto No. 1 with soloist Alice Sara Ott.

Since winning the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award in 2016, Canellakis has become a guest conductor with leading orchestras around the world. She recently finished a four-year appointment as Principal Guest Conductor of the Rundfunk-Sinfonieorchester Berlin.

She became the first woman to conduct the First Night of the BBC Proms in London in 2019, with the BBC Symphony Orchestra, and returned to the Proms in 2022. She was also the first woman ever to conduct the Nobel Prize Concert with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic, in 2018.

Already known to many in the classical music world for her virtuoso violin playing, Canellakis was initially encouraged to pursue conducting by Simon Rattle while she was playing regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic for two years as a member of its Orchester-Akademie. She performed for many years as a soloist, guest leader, and chamber musician, spending her summers at the Marlboro Music Festival, until conducting eventually became her focus. Canellakis was born and raised in New York City.