Review: Karina Canellakis opens BBC Proms with Janáček, Di Castri, Dvořák

Posted on: July 22, 2019

“Karina Canellakis has made history, as the first woman to conduct the First Night of the BBC Proms,” writes Mark Savage in Friday’s (7/19) BBC News (U.K.). “The US musician led the BBC Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and BBC Singers in a stirring and dramatic program culminating in Leos Janáček’s utterly unique Glagolitic Mass…. The 38-year-old New Yorker started her career as a violinist…. The seeds of her conducting career were sown at the BBC Proms in 2008, as she performed Mahler’s emotional 6th Symphony as part of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. ‘I was playing second violin, and I played my heart out,’ [she said].… Simon Rattle … convinced her to swap the violin for the baton. ‘He told me: “You may not see many people that look like you up there, but I really think you could do this,” ’ she said…. Her opening night kicked off with a complex, layered new work by Canadian composer Zosha Di Castri … Long Is the Journey – Short Is the Memory.… The first half concluded with a lovingly shaped rendition of Dvořák’s The Golden Spinning Wheel, receiving its first-ever performance at the Proms.”

Posted July 22, 2019