Edward Gardner and Karina Canellakis

Principal Conductor and Principal Guest Conductor

It feels like no time at all since our Principal Guest Conductor Karina Canellakis made her debut with the LPO back in 2018 – and even less since Edward Gardner succeeded Vladimir Jurowski as our Principal Conductor in September last year. Still, as a genius once put it (well, almost), to do great things all you need is a plan and not much time. ‘An inspired choice’, declared The Daily Telegraph after Edward Gardner’s inaugural concert in 2021, while Karina Canellakis’s performances in the 2021/22 season had critics talking about an ‘explosive chemistry between this conductor and orchestra’.

Both conductors are front and centre in our 2022/23 season. Following last year’s headline-making opening performance of Tippett’s The Midsummer Marriage, Gardner raises the roof once again with Schoenberg’s colossal, multicoloured choral spectacular Gurrelieder. The whole season is defined by his musical passions: Mendelssohn’s ‘Reformation’ Symphony, Lutosławski’s iridescent Fourth Symphony, Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring, Mahler’s Fifth, an Elgar symphony cycle and two more choral blockbusters with the London Philharmonic Choir – Janáček’s Glagolitic Mass and Berlioz’s extraordinary Damnation of Faust. Gardner caused a sensation when he conducted Terry Gilliam’s staging of Faust at English National Opera in 2011; expect some serious drama when he brings it home to the Royal Festival Hall.

Canellakis, meanwhile, teams up with some of the LPO’s most inspiring musical friends. Emanuel Ax is the soloist in Brahms’s tempestuous First Piano Concerto, and the same concert features the powerful Three Memorials by LPO Composer-in-Residence Brett Dean. Pianist Daniil Trifonov and violinist Augustin Hadelich join her in concertos by Prokofiev and Sibelius. But she’ll also be pouring all her energy and insight into Beethoven’s ‘Eroica’ Symphony and Tchaikovsky’s Fifth – music that positively demands an outsize artistic personality, and the perfect showcase for what one critic called ‘a musical partnership that looks set to be one of the most exciting and rewarding in London’.