Karina Canellakis appointed Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra

36-year-old American conductor Karina Canellakis has today been announced as the new Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra, from 1 September 2019. She will lead the orchestra for four years, succeeding current Chief Conductor Markus Stenz.

Eight weeks ago Karina Canellakis made a stunning debut with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra in Utrecht and at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, conducting Britten, Shostakovich and Beethoven. Following these performances, many members of the orchestra expressed overwhelming enthusiasm in favour of inviting her to become their new Chief Conductor.

Roland Kieft, General Director of the Stichting Omroep Muziek, says:

“I am very happy with the appointment of Karina Canellakis as Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra. Musicians, staff and audience were impressed by her deep musical conviction, professionalism, and her human, respectful attitude. The concerts in March are among the best I have heard in recent years. Her broad orientation: symphonic, vocal, opera and contemporary music fits the Radio Philharmonic Orchestra perfectly. After a two-year search, we feel that we have finally found the ideal fit and profile we were seeking in Karina. With her appointment we open a new chapter in which top quality and innovation will go hand in hand.”

Karina comments:

“I fell in love with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra during our first rehearsal. I was so impressed with their commitment to beauty and refinement, their curiosity, attention to detail, virtuosity, intense concentration, willingness and desire to dig deeper in different repertoire, all the while maintaining a sense of humour, openness and warmth. This natural communication as well as a relaxed working environment was all enhanced by the wonderful conversations I had with many players in between rehearsals and concerts. For all these reasons, I am beyond thrilled and honoured to have been asked to take up the position of Chief Conductor of this phenomenal orchestra, and feel that in our musical future together the sky is the limit.”

Karina will be responsible for five productions in the 2019/20 season, and in the subsequent three seasons she will conduct ten productions per year. She will work alongside Permanent Guest Conductor James Gaffigan, who will stay with the orchestra at least until 2022/23. Markus Stenz will regularly return to the orchestra, in particular for large-scale, newly-composed music, and the orchestra will continue to welcome back their former Chief Conductors: Bernard Haitink, Edo de Waart and Jaap van Zweden.

Read the full press release here.


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