Karina Canellakis appointed Principal Guest Conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra



The London Philharmonic Orchestra has today announced the appointment of Karina Canellakis as its new Principal Guest Conductor from September 2020. Currently Chief Conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and Principal Guest Conductor of the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin, Karina has firmly established herself as one of the most dynamic and exciting conductors around.

The American conductor made an immediate impact on the LPO players when she first conducted them in October 2018 in a concert of Sibelius, Dvořák and Bartók at London’s Royal Festival Hall. Timothy Walker, Chief Executive & Artistic Director of the LPO, says:

“There are very few conductors who instantly impress players by their command of a score, their insights and their intellectual rigour. Karina is one of those few, and everyone at the London Philharmonic Orchestra is thrilled that she will join us as our next Principal Guest Conductor. We look forward to many years of music-making with Karina.”

Karina is due to conduct four Royal Festival Hall concerts with the LPO in the 2020/21 season. Her first concert as Principal Guest Conductor is part of the LPO’s year-long 2020 Vision series, pairing Beethoven’s Symphony No. 8 with John Adams’ concerto for string quartet, Absolute Jest [3 Oct 2020]. The following day she conducts the orchestra in one of its FUNharmonics concerts. She returns to the RFH in April 2021 to conduct Komarov’s Fall by the LPO’s Composer in Residence, Brett Dean [14 April 2021], and a programme of Brahms and Beethoven with Stephen Hough [16 April 2021], which she will also take to Brighton the following day as part of the LPO’s residency at Brighton Dome.

She says of the appointment:

“I am honoured and excited to become the new Principal Guest Conductor of the LPO, an orchestra which both impressed me and captured my heart during our first rehearsals together. Together we are going to explore all kinds of different repertoire, looking through a fresh lens at the most beloved works of Beethoven and Brahms, plunging into the intense world of Shostakovich, as well as venturing into lesser known territory with works such as Brett Dean’s Komarov’s Fall. I cannot wait to see the members of the Orchestra again, to hear their virtuosic and soulful playing, and to make thrilling music together.”

Karina began her career as a violinist, graduating from the Curtis Institute of Music, performing frequently as soloist and chamber musician, and playing for two years in the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of their Orchester-Akademie. She then spent a number of years playing regularly in the Chicago Symphony and appearing as Guest Leader of various orchestras including the Bergen Philharmonic, before beginning to conduct professionally in 2013. She made her European conducting debut in 2015 and over the last few seasons has made hugely successful debuts with leading orchestras around the world that have resulted in instant re-invitations and lasting relationships.

See the LPO announcement on its website. 

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