Conductor Kirill Karabits has had a varied career that has included leadership of large symphony orchestras and smaller groups. He became the first Ukrainian named principal conductor of a major orchestra in the U.K. when he assumed that position with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 2009.
Karabits was born in Kiev, Ukraine, on December 26, 1976. His father, Ivan Karabits, was a composer and conductor. Young Kirill studied piano, composition, and musicology, but when he was 13, he became interested in the idea of becoming a conductor. He studied at Kiev's Lysenko Music School and then moved on to the city's Petro Tchaikovsky National Music Academy of Ukraine, also known as the Kiev Conservatory. In 1995, he moved to Austria for studies at the Musikhochschule Wien, where he earned a diploma in 2000. He also studied at the International Bach Academy in Stuttgart, Germany, working with famed Bach conductor Helmuth Rilling, as well as Peter Gülke. By the time he completed his studies, Karabits had already launched his professional career as associate conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra. He held the same position with the Radio France Philharmonic Orchestra from 2002 to 2005, and then led France's Strasbourg Philharmonic from 2005 to 2007. After several guest conducting appearances with the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in the U.K., he was unanimously approved by the orchestra's musicians as its principal conductor; he ascended the podium in 2009 and remained in that position as of 2020 after several contract extensions. Karabits also served as artistic director of the I, CULTURE youth orchestra in Poland in the mid-2010s, and as the general music director of the Deutsches Nationaltheater and the Staatskapelle Weimar from 2016 to 2018.
Karabits has amassed a substantial recording catalog, issuing albums with several of the aforementioned ensembles on the Onyx, Decca, and Audite labels, among several others. He has conducted Russian and Western music with equal enthusiasm, recording a complete cycle of Prokofiev's symphonies for Onyx with the Bournemouth Symphony. In 2020, he released a recording Liszt's Dante Symphony and the rarer Tasso: Lamento e Trionfo symphonic poem with the Staatskapelle Weimar for Audite.