Kitaenko in Berlin: "a master in the Russian repertoire"
Dmitri Kitaenko and Berlin – the German capital is not just any old workplace for the Russian conductor, it is the city of many significant moments in his career and has been for decades. In taking up the position of principal guest conductor with the Berlin Konzerthaus Orchestra for the 2012-13 season, he is decisively and successfully extending this long-standing relationship with the city.
It was in Berlin in 1969 when Dmitri Kitaenko’s international career really took off when he was awarded a prize in the first Herbert von Karajan international conducting competition. A few years later he had further artistic success at the Komische Oper: a legendary collaboration with the opera director Walter Felsenstein in a production of Bizet's Carmen, a milestone in the history of opera. And not just as an opera conductor – Dmitri Kitaenko has also stood at the podium of many a Berlin ensemble, from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and the Radio Symphony Orchestra all the way through to the Konzerthaus Orchestra. In addition to the Komische Oper he also conducted at the Deutsche Oper.
Most recently Dmitri Kitaenko performed as guest conductor of the Konzerthaus Orchestra to great approval of concert-goers and critics alike at the Gendarmenmarkt. “He has proved himself to be a master in the Russian repertoire”, was the opinion of Sybill Mahlke in the Tagesspiegel on 16 December. “After his last concert it is obvious why Fischer chose the Russian conductor Dmitri Kitaenko to serve as principal guest conductor for his Berlin orchestra. (…) He performed Tchaikovsky's First Symphony “Winter Daydreams” with a full orchestra. The sound however was that of a chamber orchestra: mostly quiet, carefully focussed throughout, with a strict linear progression”, in the judgement of Jan Brachmann in the Berliner Zeitung.