Kirill Karabits (born 26 December 1976, in Kiev [then in the Ukrainian SSR of the Soviet Union]) is a Ukrainian conductor. His father was the conductor and composer Ivan Karabyts.
In his youth, Karabits studied piano, and developed an interest in conducting at age 13. His early teachers included Tatiana Kozlov. In Kiev, he studied at the Lysenko Music School, and later at the National Tchaikovsky Music Academy. In 1995, he began studies at the Vienna Musikhochschule and earned a diploma in orchestral conducting after five years of study. He also attended the Internationale Bachakademie Stuttgart, where he was a pupil of Helmuth Rilling and Peter Gulke. He has done scholarly work on the musical archive of the Berliner Singakademie, such as transcribing the 1784 Johannes Passion of Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach, which was thought to be lost.
Karabits made his first public conducting appearance at age 19. He was assistant conductor of the Budapest Festival Orchestra from 1998 to 2000. He 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 (BSO), and returned in October 2007, where both concerts received acclaim. In November 2007, the BSO announced the appointment of Karabits as their 13th Principal Conductor, after a unanimous vote from the orchestra musicians, effective with the 2009–2010 season. Karabits held the title of Principal Conductor-Designate for the 2008–2009 season, with three concert appearances. He made his first conducting appearance at The Proms with the BSO in August 2009, and formally took up the BSO principal conductorship in October 2009. He is the first Ukrainian conductor to be named principal conductor of a UK orchestra. His initial contract was for 4 years. With the BSO, Karabits has recorded music of Rodion Shchedrin for the Naxos label, and music of Aram Khachaturian for the Onyx Classics label. In August 2011, Karabits and the BSO agreed on a three-year extension of his contract as principal conductor through the 2015–2016 season. In April 2015, the BSO announced that Karabits had signed a rolling contract as principal conductor, to extend his tenure to a minimum date of 2018.
Karabits first conducted the I,CULTURE Orchestra of Poland in 2013. In September 2014, the orchestra announced the appointment of Karabits as its new artistic director. In November 2014, he made his first guest-conducting appearances with the Staatskapelle Weimar. He first conducted a production at the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar in March 2015. Based on these appearances, in July 2015, the Deutsches Nationaltheater and Staatskapelle Weimar named Karabits their next Generalmusikdirector (GMD) and chief conductor, effective with the 2016-2017 season, with an initial contract of 3 years.