Guest ArtistsKarina Canellakis, conductor

Currently entering her second season as Assistant Conductor of the Dallas Symphony, Karina Canellakis has rapidly gained international recognition as one of the most dynamic and exciting young American conductors. She recently made her European conducting debut with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe at the Styriarte Festival in Graz, Austria, filling in for Nikolaus Harnoncourt. Earlier in the season, she also made headlines filling in last minute for Jaap Van Zweden in two subscription concerts with the Dallas Symphony, conducting Shostakovich’s 8th Symphony and Mozart Piano Concerto No. 14 (K. 449) with soloist Emanuel Ax, earning rave reviews.

In the 2015-16 season, Ms. Canellakis makes her debuts with the Hong Kong Philharmonic, San Diego Symphony, Detroit Symphony, Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra and at the renowned Grand Tetons Music Festival in summer 2016. As the Assistant Conductor in Dallas, she conducts more than 30 concerts per season with the Dallas Symphony, including innovative programs on the Remix Series, standard repertoire on the "DSO On the Go" series, Youth and Family concerts as well as various other concerts geared towards specific audiences in the community.

In 2015 she made her debuts with the Houston Symphony at Miller Outdoor Theatre, the North Carolina Symphony in two all-Russian programs at Booth Amphitheatre, the Grant Park Festival at Millennium Park in Chicago, Chautauqua Music Festival in New York, Music in the Mountains Festival in Durango, Colorado, as well as her Los Angeles debut as guest soloist/conductor with the Los Angeles Chamber Orchestra, which received glowing praise from the L.A. Times. Other engagements included the Colorado Symphony, Toledo Symphony and the Orchestra of St. Luke's. In the summer of 2014, Ms. Canellakis was one of only two Conducting Fellows at the Boston Symphony’s Tanglewood Music Center.

She made her Carnegie Hall conducting debut in Zankel Hall in 2013, leading works of John Adams and Steven Mackey, and frequently appears as guest conductor of New York’s groundbreaking International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE).

Ms. Canellakis is a recipient of a 2015 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award. She was also the winner of the 2013 Taki Concordia Conducting Fellowship, founded by Marin Alsop. In 2014 she was the featured guest conductor for the annual commencement concert with the Juilliard Orchestra in Alice Tully Hall, Lincoln Center. She was a selected conductor in the 2013 Lucerne Festival master class with Bernard Haitink, and conducted the Pacific Music Festival Orchestra in Japan as well as the Tonhalle Orchester in Switzerland as part of international master classes.

Already known to many in the classical music world for her virtuoso violin playing, Ms. Canellakis was initially encouraged to pursue conducting by her mentor Sir Simon Rattle while she was playing regularly in the Berlin Philharmonic for two years as a member of their Orchester-Akademie. In addition to appearing frequently as soloist with various North American orchestras, she subsequently played regularly in the Chicago Symphony for over three years, and she appeared on several occasions as Guest Concertmaster of the Bergen Philharmonic in Norway. She spent many summers performing at the Marlboro Music Festival; her approach to conducting is firmly rooted in her detailed and dedicated experience as a chamber musician. She plays a 1782 Mantegazza violin on generous loan to her from a private patron.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in violin from the Curtis Institute of Music and a Master’s degree in orchestral conducting from The Juilliard School, where she was the recipient of the Charles Schiff Award for Excellence in Orchestral Conducting, the American Conductors Award and the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship. In addition to Rattle and Zweden, her most prominent mentors are Alan Gilbert and Fabio Luisi.

Karina Canellakis was born and raised in New York City. She speaks French, German and Italian, and is equally at home performing all genres of the repertoire.