Karen Kamensek’s remarkable versatility and expansive artistry, coupled with her deep commitment to championing composers of the 20th and 21st century, is reflected in her work in both the opera house and on the concert stage. Recently, she made her long-awaited Metropolitan Opera debut with the Olivier award-winning Phelim McDermott production of Glass’ Akhnaten, as well as debuts with the Malmö Symphony Orchestra and the Hungarian National Philharmonic Orchestra conducting works by Camille Pépin and Tōru Takemitsu, respectively.
Ms. Kamensek served as the Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover from 2011-2016. She has also served as the 1st Kapellmeister at the Volksoper Wien (2000-2002), Music Director of the Theater Freiburg (2003-2006), Interim Music Director at the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor (2007-2008), and Associate Music Director at the Staatsoper Hamburg (2008-2011).
Frequently in demand as a guest conductor with many of today’s most prominent opera companies and orchestras, Ms. Kamensek’s recent opera highlights include her debut and return performances with the English National Opera in Glass’ Akhnaten and Satyagraha; her debut with the San Francisco Opera conducting a new production of Floyd’s Susannah; and the Royal Swedish Opera’s production of Victoria Borisova-Ollas’ Dracula.
Recent orchestral highlights include a focus on living-composer Thea Musgrave for Ms. Kamensek’s debut with the Royal Stockholm Philharmonic as part of their highly-lauded Composer Festival; a live-to-film performance of Miloš Forman's iconic Oscar-winning film, Amadeus, marked her debut with the Oslo Philharmonic; and performances of Philip Glass’/Ravi Shankar’s collaboration “Passages” with master sitar player, Anoushka Shankar, outlined her first performances leading the Britten Symphonia in the Royal Albert Hall as part of the BBC Proms, as well as with the Orchestre Chambre de Paris in the Paris Philharmonie.
Ms. Kamensek regularly collaborates with singers, directors, and instrumentalists from across the globe. She has worked with many renowned singers, including Joseph Calleja, J’Nai Bridges, Anthony Roth Costanzo, Andrzej Dobber, Stuart Skelton and Klaus Florian Vogt. She has partnered with such groundbreaking directors as Guy Joosten, Harry Kupfer and Olivier Tambosi. She has led performances featuring critically-acclaimed instrumentalists such as Michael Barenboim, Gautier Capuçon, Benjamin Schmid, and the “Jimi Hendrix of the bagpipes”, Carlos Nuñez.