Courtesy of the Metropolitan Opera
“Kamensek is experienced in Glass’s operas, and under her the orchestra sounded right at home. There was an excellent balance of instrumental colors—and with the singers—and the playing had focus and equipoise, the kind of warmth one can feel, and it flowed and built a profoundly affecting momentum while always held with a light and certain grip.” – New York Classical Review, 2019
Karen Kamensek’s remarkable versatility and expansive artistry, coupled with her deep commitment to championing many of the leading compositional voices of the 20th and 21st century, is reflected in her work in both the opera house and on the concert stage. Last season alone, she made her long-awaited Metropolitan Opera debut with Glass’ Akhnaten—a production, under her direction, that recently won the coveted Olivier Award in London—as well as debuts with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducting works by Pépin and Takemitsu, respectively.
While the ongoing pandemic continues to impact Ms. Kamensek’s 2020/21 season, she is currently scheduled to lead performances in Sweden, Austria, France and the US. In the fall, she will be making her debut with the Helsingborg Symphony Orchestra leading a program that features Osvaldo Golijov’s Three Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, with Sanna Gibbs as soloist; Aaron Jay Kernis’ Musica Celestis for Strings; and Joseph Canteloube’s Selection from Songs of the Auvergne. In Austria, with the Tyrolean Symphony Orchestra, she will conduct three concerts that include Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano and Orchestra No. 5 in E flat major Op.73, with Lise de la Salle as soloist, and the Austrian premiere of Fazil Say’s Symphonic Dances. Camille Pépin’s Laniakea; R. Strauss’ Intermezzo – Quatre Interludes symphoniques; and Wagner’s Wesendonck Lieder, with soprano Elza van den Heever as soloist, and his Prélude and Liebestod are on the program for her performance with Orchestre National Montpellier Occitanie. In winter 2021, she will travel to the United States to lead a powerful program that features two of today’s leading female voices in contemporary music, Joan Tower (Fanfare for the Uncommon Woman) and Jennifer Higdon (Concerto for Orchestra) when she makes her debut with the Charlotte Symphony. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3, with pianist Joyce Yang, is also on the program.
Due to the impact of the global pandemic, Ms. Kamensek's upcoming performances are subject to change. Please continue to check her schedule for the most up to date information.
“...Karen Kamensek’s authoritative conducting of the Met orchestra...From the start of the overture, the score bathed the ear in textured sound that conveyed, in its gently shifting luminosity, something of the distance of the archaic.”
The Washington Post, 2019
"Kamensek…deservedly earning the biggest applause of the night during the final curtain.”
Opera Wire, 2019
“...conductor Karen Kamensek weaves everything into a wonderful, ever shifting tapestry of sound.”
“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, 2016
Ms. Kamensek talks with Operabiz Podcast host Daniel Welch about making her Metropolitan Opera conducting debut this season, her road to conducting, her collaboration with Philip Glass, and a largely European career. She shares her insights on Glass' music as well as a fresh perspective on life on the podium.
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