Karen Kamensek has been appointed Music Director of the Staatsoper Hannover for since the 2011/12 season.
After studying at the Indiana University she became conductor of the Houston Grand Opera and went on tour with the New York City Opera. She worked with the Orchesta Sinfónica Nacional de Honduras, the Louisville Orchestra und the Bochumer Symphoniker.
She cooperates closely with Philip Glass whose work Orphée she performed as the world premiere with the Brooklyn Philharmonic Orchestra in New York. The premiere of Orphée at the Festival in Weikersheim in Germany with the Jeunesses Musicales was her European debut. She also conducted Glass´ world premiere of Les Enfants Terribles at the Spoleto Festival in the USA (recorded), and his composition for Büchner´s play Wozzeck performed at the New York Shakespeare Festival.
After a successful debut at the Wiener Volksoper Karen Kamensek was the 1. Kapellmeister from 2000 to 2002 and conducted the following operas: Don Giovanni, Carmen, The Csardasprincess, Gypsy Baron, Merry Wives of Windson, The Merry Widdow, Boris Godunov, L’Elisir d'Amore and La Traviata.
From September 2003 to July 2006 the young American was Music Director at the Freiburg Theatre where she conducted a new production of Rusalka, Hoffmann´s Erzählungen, Wozzeck, Lady Macbeth of Mzensk, Il Nozze di Figaro, Maria Stuarda, Cosi fan tutte, Turandot and Tristan und Isolde (as a concert, with Deborah Polaski as Isolde and Thomas Moser as Tristan).
In the 2007/08 season Ms Kamensek held the interim position of the Chief Conductor at the Slovenian National Theatre in Maribor, where she worked as an orchestra conductor and prepared a new production of Carmen.
From 2008/09 till 2010/11 Ms Kamensek was the Deputy Music Director at the Hamburg State Opera. There she conducted new productions of The Merry Widdow, Otello, Falstaff, Rigoletto, Un Ballo in Maschera, Tosca, Lohengrin, Cosi fan tutte, Eugen Onegin und Carmen.
As a guest Karen Kamensek conducted at the Opera Australia in Melbourne (new production of Cavalleria Rusticana/I Pagliacci), the Deutsche Oper in Berlin (La Bohème), the Komische Oper Berlin (La Bohème, n.p. of Vogelhändler), the Opéra National de Bordeaux (n.p. of Idomeneo), the Dortmund Opera (La Bohème), the Frankfurt Opera (new productions of The Turn of the Screw, Roméo et Julliet, Death in Venice, and La Traviata), the Staatsoper Hannover (n.p. of the ballett The Firebird, Pictures of an Exhibiton, Carmen, Fille de Regiment), the Hamburg State Opera (L'Elisir d'Amore, Madame Butterfly, Un Ballo in Maschera, Othello), the Royal Danish Theatre in Copenhagen (n.p. of Pelléas et Mélisande), the Staatstheater Stuttgart (La Bohème), the Volksoper Wien (n.p. of Herzogin von Chicago), the State Opera in Prague (La Bohème), the Oldenburgisches Staatstheater (Il Trovatore) and at the Opéra National de Bordeaux (n.p. Jenufa) as well as at WDR Festival in Duisburg (Glass´Civil Wars).
Ms Kamensek has a very broad repertoire – from classic to modern music. She has conducted many world premieres, film music and participates in crossover projects (jazz and other kinds of music). She supports the musical education of young people which she considers very important. She works with youth orchestras, e.g. the Hochschulorchester of the Bruckner University Linz and the Innviertler Symphonie Orchester.
She regularly performs concerts with the Hamburger Philharmoniker, Staatsorchester Hannover, Basel Sinfonietta, Bruckner Orchestra Linz, Duisburger Philharmoniker, Philharmonisches Orchester Freiburg, Staatsorchester Braunschweig, Vlaams Radio Orchester Brussels, Philharmonisches Staatsorchester Halle, Klagenfurter Symphonieorchester, Slovenien Philharmonic Orchestra Ljubljana, Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra in Kuala Lumpur, Monterey Symphony Orchestra, Philharmonie Maribor, the Orchestra of the MDR, Radio Symphonie Orchester Wien as well as Odense Symphony Orchestra.
Upcoming engagements will be numerous productions at Staatsoper Hannover (n.p. Lady Macbeth von Mzensk, Cosi fan tutte, Meistersinger amongst others), as well as new productions of L’Elisier and Tannhäuser in San Diego.