Monday 6 April 2020

The first woman to conduct the First Night of the Proms, Karina Canellakis, appointed principal guest conductor at the London Philharmonic Orchestra

Karina Canellakis (Photo Chris Christodoulou)
Karina Canellakis (Photo Chris Christodoulou)
In 2019, the young American conductor Karina Canellakis made history by becoming the first woman to conduct the First Night of the Proms [she conducted the BBC Symphony Orchestra in Janacek, Dvorak and Zosha di Castri, see my review], and now the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO) has announced that Canellakis will be its principal guest conductor from September 2020.

Canellakis made her debut with the LPO in October 2018, in Sibelius, Dvorak and Bartok. She won the Sir George Solti Conducting Award in 2016, and is currently chief conductor of the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic and principal guest conductor of the Rundfunk Sinfonieorchester Berlin. In fact, she began her career as a violinist, training at the Curtis Institute, then playing n the Berlin Philharmonic as a member of its Orchester-Akademie, playing regularly with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and appearing as guest leader with orchestras like the Bergen Philharmonic Orchestra. She studied conducting at the Juilliard, and made her professional conducting debut in 2013 with the International Contemporary Ensemble in New York.

Canellakis will conduct four concerts during the London Philharmonic Orchestra's 2020/21 season at the Royal Festival Hall, with repertoire including Beethoven's Symphony No. 8, John Adams' concerto for string quartet, Absolute Jest, Komanov's Fall by Brett Dean (the LPO's composer in residence), Brahms and Beethoven. She will also conduct one of the orchestra's FUNharmonics family concerts.

Full details from the London Philharmonic Orchestra's website.

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