Critical Acclaim

“The conductor Karen Kamensek allows The Göteborg Opera Orchestra to bloom in Bizet’s colourful, passionate and moving overture and interlude, but holds back in favor of the singers.”
Svenska Dagbladet, Karin Helander, 2016

“Mia Karlsson’s Frasquita and Ann-Kristin Jones Mercédès shone through such witty light in the ensemble scenes. Julia Sporsén (Micaëla), typically a very fine singer, unfortunately became vocally indisposed in the second act and could not continue singing. However, Karen Kamensek—the evening’s excellent conductor (thank you!)—elevated her triumphant company [sic] debut by singing Micaëla’s part in act three from the orchestra pit.”
Dagens Nyheter, Martin Nystrom, 2016

“Conductor Karen Kamensek finds just enough space for poetry within the rigid architecture of Glass’s music, shaping a reading that never insists upon its own loveliness, and is all the more beautiful for that.”
The Arts Desk, Alexandra Coghlan, 2016

“...conductor Karen Kamensek weaves everything into a wonderful, ever shifting tapestry of sound.”
Bachtrack, David Karlin, 2016

“Keeping it all under a tight rein was conductor Karen Kamensek, making a most laudable ENO debut. The orchestra clearly found her direction stimulating, as they were on top form throughout.”
Seen and Heard International, Colin Clarke, 2016

 “… then there is the orchestral playing, conducted with astonishing precision by Glass specialist Karen Kamensek, who showed an impressive ability to conduct with both hands following different rhythms. For such repetitive music to have the desired hypnotic effect, there is no room for any slippage in the rhythm and Kamensek kept the various parts of the orchestra and the singers perfectly together.”
The Daily Express, William Hartson, 2016

“With Karen Kamensek propelling events from the pit, the singing is superb…”
Independent, Michael Church, 2016

“The ENO orchestra and chorus both had an exceptional evening under the baton of Karen Kamensek, who articulated with a steady hand a score characteristically made up of multiple repetitions of simple, tiny ideas.”
Opera News, George Hall, 2016

“Under the very capable hands of Karen Kamensek, Glass’s music washes over you in a wave, this pulsing form which morphs so organically into defiant climaxes and sections of subtle grace.”
British Theatre Guide, Louise Lewis, 2016

“Conductor Karen Kamensek sustained the orchestra’s momentum, never flagging, even in the longest passages. She and her players also found moments of individual beauty in Glass’ tightly controlled score.”
Music OMH, John-Pierre Joyce, 2016

“Conducting the orchestra was Karen Kamensek, applauded at the finale together with the entire ensemble. Glass's music is pure and resounding, precise and charming, taking the audience into a whirlwind of history and magic…” [translated]
Alibi Online, Saul Stucchi, 2016

“For an orchestra playing this type of score, the technical demands are considerable, and musically somewhat contradictory. Navigated and driven flawlessly by Karen Kamensek (currently MD of Hannover Staatstheater, and in her ENO debut), the musicians managed laser-cut robotic precision, yet with the necessary human warmth injected via timbre and sensitivity of dynamic phrasing.”
Opera Britannia, Carla Finesilver, 2016

“In a memorable evening for the company, Karen Kamensek conducts a taut, urgent account of Glass's score and the ENO Orchestra responds with disciplined brilliance.”
What’s On Stage, Mark Valencia, 2016

“Karen Kamensek conducts ENO’s expert orchestra in a secure performance of the mesmerising score.”
The Stage, George Hall, 2016

“As for stagecraft, George Balanchine urged the public to “see the music and hear the dancing.” Amazingly, this production’s director, Phelim McDermott, the conductor Karen Kamensek, the skilled ensemble choreographer Sean Gandini, and the exceptional cast enable us to do precisely that.”
Country Life, Barbara Newman, 2016

“Karen Kamensek conducts superbly, while the singing is of an exceptionally high standard.”
Londonist, Sam Smith, 2016

“However, special mentions must go to the ENO chorus, who give an outstanding performance with some rather powerful moments of sheer intensity; and to the ENO orchestra, conducted by Karen Kamensek. Hers is an example of committed conducting and absolute understanding of the complexity of Glass’s work, while being personal and expressive in her approach.”
A Younger Theatre, Manuel Muñoz, 2016

“Conductor Karen Kamensek made a first-rate company debut, charting a seamless course through the rustic folk songs, hymns and dance tunes offsetting the soaring lyrical flights and dark evocations of evil in Floyd’s broad harmonic palette.”
Opera News, Georgia Rowe, 2014

“Debuting conductor Karen Kamensek led a sinewy account, drawing richly colored playing from the Opera Orchestra - especially during the work's foreboding prologue - and letting the speech-like rhythms of the score register lightly but firmly.”
SF Gate, Joshua Kosman, 2014

“Conductor Karen Kamensek also makes her SFO debut, and the presence of a woman on the podium for this opera seemed wonderfully apt. Of course, her control and shaping of Floyd's gorgeously melodic and potently dramatic score got her the job in the first place, and she managed to savor the lyrical pages without ever slowing the theatrical drive.”
Bay Area Reporter, Phillip Campbell, 2014

“Conductor Karen Kamensek made a mostly worthy SFO debut…Kamensek pointed the dramatic moments with sumptuous impact and consistently underlined the folk-like lyric beauty of Carlisle Floyd’s score.”
The Classical Review, Lawrence A. Johnson, 2014

“With this "Susannah" -- a new production directed by Michael Cavanagh, with superb musical direction by conductor Karen Kamensek -- Racette adds another impressive role to the list… Kamensek, making her San Francisco Opera debut, conducted a dynamic orchestral performance.”
San Jose Mercury News, Georgia Rowe, 2014

“..conductor Karen Kamensek, in her San Francisco Opera debut, elicited a range of bright and richly shaded orchestral color.”
San Francisco Classical Voice, Steven Winn, 2014

 “Karen Kamensek conducted the varied score, which ranges from intimate to village fest to booming brass that wouldn't be out of place in Star Wars, without a hitch.”
SFist, Cedric Westphal, 2014

“Guest conductor Karen Kamensek was the impelling guide for "Harold”… While leading a stately tempo for the "Marche des pélerins" ("March of the Pilgrims"), she incited the strings to a strikingly rich and earthy performance… The remote French countryside where Berlioz spent his childhood -- within sight of the Alps -- somehow always lives on inside his music; Kamensek made this clear in the hearty dance that opens the "Serenade." The "Orgie de brigands" kept acquiring momentum, climaxing with a clattering yet controlled tumult… Kamensek understands the value of a strong ending.”
San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin, 2014

“Conductor Karen Kamensek, making her debut this weekend with the orchestra, showed herself to be a dynamic and exacting leader: The countless delicate and fleeting utterances in the violins or double basses, horns or winds were tailored to surround, echo and underscore Nakamatsu's own streaming statements.

One could see the very shape of the music in Kamensek's gestures…especially in the two inner movements, where the sectional interplay grew gnarly”
San Jose Mercury News, Richard Scheinin, 2014

“Conductor Karen Kamensek also makes her SFO debut, and the presence of a woman on the podium for this opera seemed wonderfully apt. Of course, her control and shaping of Floyd's gorgeously melodic and potently dramatic score got her the job in the first place, and she managed to savor the lyrical pages without ever slowing the theatrical drive.”
Bay Area Reporter, Phillip Campbell, 2014

“With this "Susannah" -- a new production directed by Michael Cavanagh, with superb musical direction by conductor Karen Kamensek -- Racette adds another impressive role to the list… Kamensek, making her San Francisco Opera debut, conducted a dynamic orchestral performance.”
San Jose Mercury News, Georgia Rowe, 2014

“..conductor Karen Kamensek, in her San Francisco Opera debut, elicited a range of bright and richly shaded orchestral color.”
San Francisco Classical Voice, Steven Winn, 2014

“Guest conductor Karen Kamensek was the impelling guide for "Harold”… While leading a stately tempo for the "Marche des pélerins" ("March of the Pilgrims"), she incited the strings to a strikingly rich and earthy performance… The remote French countryside where Berlioz spent his childhood -- within sight of the Alps -- somehow always lives on inside his music; Kamensek made this clear in the hearty dance that opens the "Serenade." The "Orgie de brigands" kept acquiring momentum, climaxing with a clattering yet controlled tumult… Kamensek understands the value of a strong ending.”
The Mercury News, Richard Scheinin, 2014

“Guest conductor Karen Kamensek, an American working almost entirely in Europe the past dozen years, led the orchestra well in its large role in the Lalo, balancing the symphonic forces perfectly with the soloist.“
San Antonio Express-News, David Hendricks, 2013

For booking information, please contact Gabriele Trombitas at gtrombitas@arsis-artists.com at Arsis Artist Management in collaboration with Michael Lewin International Artists' Management.