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A winner at the 2013 Royal Philharmonic Society awards, Kirill Karabits is Principal Conductor of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, Classic FM's Orchestra in the South of England.
Kirill Karabits was born into a musical family on 26 December 1976 in Kiev, Ukraine. In his youth, he studied piano, and developed an interest in conducting at age 13. He went to the Lysenko Music School in Kiev.
Kyrill's father was the conductor and composer Ivan Karabyts. He conducted the Kiev Camerata and also taught at the Kiev Conservatory. His works have been performed throughout the former Soviet Union states, and in many European countries and the U.S. He died at the age of 57 in 2002.
Karabits has carried out scholarly work at the musical archive of the Berliner Singakademie. This included transcribing the 1784 Johannes Passion of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach - pictured - which was thought to be lost. Karabits' research has also led to the discovery, modern premiere and live recording of Telemann's unknown - and probably earliest existing - opera Pastorelle en Musique.
Karabits made his first public conducting appearance at age 19. He was assistant conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra from 1998 to 2000, and also served as associate conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Radio France from 2002 to 2005.
In October 2006, Karabits made his first conducting appearance with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, and returned in October 2007, where both concerts received acclaim. In November 2007, the BSO announced his appointment as their 13th Principal Conductor, after a unanimous vote from the orchestra musicians, effective with the 2009-2010 season.
Karabits is the first ever Ukrainian conductor to be named principal conductor of a UK orchestra. In August 2011, he and the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra agreed on a three-season extension of his contract as principal conductor through the 2015-2016 season.
Karabits ended the 2012/13 season with performances of Prokofiev’s Symphony No.5 with The Cleveland Orchestra and Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring with The Philadelphia Orchestra. Elsewhere in North America, he has worked with the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Minnesota Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra Washington and NAC Orchestra in Ottawa.
Alongside his guest conducting dates, Karabits works frequently with young musicians and orchestras, including at Aspen Music Festival and School and with the Beethoven Academy Orchestra at the Ludwig van Beethoven Easter Festival.
In May 2013, Karabits received the Conductor award at the prestigious Royal Philharmonic Society (RPS) Music Awards – the highest recognition for live classical music in the United Kingdom.
A French critic recently described Karabits as "part of this young generation of Russian conductors who shine everywhere right now. Still not even 40, his technique, using minimal gestures, demonstrates exemplary precision and clarity. He makes most of the nuances of every instrument...”