Conductor Karen Kamensek is equally at home in the opera house as she is on the concert stage. Her impressive repertoire spans from iconic staples of the classical canon to compositions by the masters of today.
Ms. Kamensek has frequently collaborated with American composer Philip Glass and has led performances of his Orphée in New York and Germany and conducted the world premiere of Glass’ Les Enfants Terribles at the Spoleto Festival (USA).
Having recently celebrated a highly successful 2015-16 season, which saw her debut with the English National Opera in a new production of Glass' Akhnaten, as well as new productions of Bernstein's Candide and von Weber's Der Freischütz at the Staatsoper Hannover, highlights of Ms. Kamensek’s 2016-17 season include her debut with the Gothenburg Opera and concerts with the Norwegian Radio Orchestra, Gothenborg Symphony, Orchestre National de Lille, Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire and Orquesta Sinfonica de Bilbao. Future engagements include new productions at the Royal Swedish Opera and Malmö Opera.
On the concert stage she has appeared as guest conductor with the Dortmund Philharmoniker, Orchestre National Bordeaux Aquitaine, and Orchestre Philharmonique de Marseille, the Bruckner Orchester Linz, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Klagenfurter Symphonieorchester, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Monterey Symphony, Odense Symphony Orchestra, Orchestre de Chambre de Lausanne, Orchestre National de Montpellier, Orchestra of the MDR, Sinfonieorchester Leipzig, ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien, Hamburger Philharmoniker, Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle, San Antonio Symphony, Sinfonieorchester Basel, Slovenian Philharmonic Orchestra Ljubljana and the Symphony Silicon Valley.
Frequently in demand as a guest conductor with many of today’s most prominent opera companies she has led productions at the Deutsche Oper Berlin, Frankfurt Opera, New York City Opera (touring company), Opera Australia (Melbourne), Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen, San Diego Opera, San Francisco Opera, and Volksoper Wien, among many others. Major highlights include performances of Britten’s Death in Venice, Debussy’s Pelléas et Mélisande, Floyd's Susannah, Lehár’s The Merry Widow, Leoncavallo's I Pagliacci, Mascagni's Cavalleria rusticana, Mussorgsky’s Boris Godunov, Puccini’s Tosca, Verdi’s Otello, and Wagner’s Lohengrin, among others.
In addition to her current position as Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover, she has also served as the 1st Kapellmeister at the Volksoper Wien (2000 to 2002), Music Director of the Theater Freiburg (2003 to 2006), Interim Music Director at the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor (2007 to 2008), Associate Music Director at Staatsoper Hamburg (2008 to 2011) and Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Staatsoper Hannover (2011-2016).
Holding a strong belief in contributing to the growth of the next generation of musicians, Ms. Kamensek has led such youth orchestras as the Hochschulorchester of the Bruckner University Linz, Hochschulorchester Köln, the Innviertler Symphonie Orchester, and Orchesterzentrum NRW Dortmund. Last summer she led a program at the American Institute of Musical Studies (AIMS) in Graz, Austria.