Chicago Tribune 01/2004 (John von Rhein)

I found these performances superior to those by the Vienna Symphony, no less, last fall. Much of this owes to the orchestra’s (to all intents and purposes the Lyric Opera Orchestra) remarkable ability to absorb unfamiliar music in a bare minimum of rehearsal time. But the major credit must go to Karl Sollak, the Vienna-born conductor who taught these players to speak musical Viennese with an accent almost as authentic as his own. Why this superbly gifted young maestro has yet to achieve a podium career in America comparable to what he has achieved in Vienna and other European cities is a mystery. His conducting had both elegance and grace, with a light touch that complemented the relaxed, genial remarks he offered from the podium.Sollak is a master of those subtle inflections of phrasing and rhythm that together produce what is generally considered to be Viennese style; he conducts them like the miniature masterpieces of Viennese dance music that they are.

Neue Kronen Zeitung 03/2000

…begleitet wurde der Abend (Konzert Franco Bonisolli) unter dem jungen Karl Sollak, der sich in Wien immer wieder mit Erfolg präsentiert. Ein Vergnügen für Belcanto Fans.

Orpheus 07/2000

In Karl Sollak (Konzert mit Placido Domingo) hatten die Solisten einen hervorragenden Partner. Unter seiner feinfühligen, temperamentvollen Leitung erwies sich das Orchester nicht nur als sensibler Begleiter der Sänger. Es brillierte nicht minder mit Tschaikowsky und vor allem mit einer hinreißend schwungvollen Ouvertüre zu Offenbachs: Orpheus in der Unterwelt. Es war ein Konzert der Superlative

Chicago Tribune 01/2005 (John von Rhein)

Assuring idiomatic authenticity on the podium was the Vienna-born maestro Karl Sollak. He had chosen the all-new program with the same sort of loving attention to detail that marked his conducting. His spoken introductions were in much the same spirit, classy and informative without patronizing the crowd. That’s important in concerts of this type, which must work harder to charm listeners who cannot claim the waltzes and polkas of Johann Strauss Jr. with anything like the proprietary affection of the ineluctably nostalgic Viennese.
Of course, it helped enormously that the orchestra—most of whose players are members of the Lyric Opera Orchestra—could absorb so much unfamiliar music in only two rehearsals. These highly adaptable musicians took well to the easy elegance, fluidity and sensitivity of Sollak’s conducting. He, in turn, had them speaking the distinctive Viennese musical dialect fluently enough to fool a native.)

The Daily Star 14.02.2008 (Jim Quilty)

Viennese conductor led the Lebanese National Symphony Orchestra (LNSO) through a concert of light classics and show tunes ranging from Mozart to Rogers and Hammerstein. Periodically swapping his baton for a microphone, Sollak proved as genial a master of ceremonies as he is an energetic conductor and he introduced his peripetic program as an appropriate one for a festival whose 2008 motto is „Music Beyond Borders“. The orchestras reditions were spirited.

The Washington Post 03/1997

„La Traviata“ Washington Opera:Sollak’s baton was a key to the success. From the opening notes of the prelude, and particularly from its deftly handled transistion to waltz tempo, his mastery was evident and it remained so in all the opera’s moods from the frantic party music of Act 1 through the sentimentality of Act 2, the divertissements of Act 3 and the stark sounds of the death scene. (La Traviata, Washington Opera 97)

The London Times (Rodney Milnes) 04/1994

What saved the evening (Fidelio) was the brilliant young Viennese conductor, Karl Sollak. He emphasised the pungent colors of the instrumentation, coaxed attentive playing from the RTE Concert Orchestra and together with the energetic chorus built up to a finale bursting with authentic Beethovenian ecstasy“

Chicago Tribune (John von Rhein) 04/1996

Opera Concert Chicago Orchestra Hall: „…and it reminded us what a gifted and sensitive conductor Sollak is“.

El Nuevo Dia San Juan

Karl Sollak promises to be one of the great conductors of the future. We heard Bruckner´s 8th Symphony in a very intense interpretation, rich in diversities of dynamism and dramatism united to lyricism.

Pittsburgh Tribune (Mark Kanny) 01/2002

His pacing was superbly varied according to the mood of the waltzes, with impressively handled transitions. Polkas were sprightly without being rushed. In fact, Sollak’s interpretations were superior to those of Seiji Ozawa, who led the Vienna Philharmonic on this year’s televised concert.

Wiener Zeitung 1987

Karl Sollak was for this extremely difficult score an excellent and animated conductor who understood how to bring the orchestra to a brilliant performance.

Woodstock Independent

The performance of Mozart´s „Jupiter“ Symphony was one that this critic was pleased not to miss. Hypnotic and passionate, this performance is probably the best the Woodstock Festival has offered yet.

San Juan Star 05/1993

Tschaikowsky´s 5th was literally stunning, not only in its tonal beauty and brillant execution but in its musical rightness.

Opera News 03/1997

Sollak’s lyrical approach resulted in a lush, admirably paced reading. (La Traviata, Washington Opera 97)

Dziennik Polski 11/1997 

Magic baton: Sibelius Swan of Tuonela sounded fabulous under the baton of Karl Sollak and an even greater mastery was evident with Brahms 2nd Symphony.

L´Orient Le Jour 14.02.2008 (Edgar Davidian)

…Karl Sollak qui dirige l`Orchestre symphonique national libanais, au meilleur de sa forme sous sa vigilante haulette, a offert un programme tout en teintes gaies et pastel parlant d´amour, de reves heureux de liberte, de volonte de vivre…

Editorial Prensa Asturiana, Oviedo 12/2005

La segunda parte, con la «Pastoral» de Beethoven, despertó interés también por el enfoque interpretativo propuesto para una obra tan emblemática. Composiciones como la «Sexta» sinfonía en Fa mayor de Beethoven no son precisamente fáciles de abordar, ya que casi todo el mundo tiene en mente alguna de las versiones de referencia que existen en el mercado por las mejores orquestas y directores.
Las intenciones de Karl Sollak tuvieron en un contenido lirismo nada estridente su mejor baza, fue un Beethoven amable, dulcificado en lo melódico y nada pretencioso, un Beethoven equilibrado en sus partes y llevado con bastante rigor, ….

Ramon Avello 01.12.08 Madrid

Karl Sollak es un director con una concepción de la agógica -leves oscilaciones o variaciones del tiempo en el interior de cada movimiento – muy acusada. Retiene, acelera, retrasa el tiempo continuamente, lo que otorga a la música un carácter fluido y, cuando no exagera mucho, como en el inicio del trío del ‚Minueto‘, en la Sinfonía de Mozart, natural.
Sollak hizo una recreación de la Sinfonía de Mozart muy personal…..Lo mejor del concierto fue la ‚Misa de la Coronación‘, pese a la discretísima actuación de los solistas. El coro no solamente se acomodó, sino que realzó y dio sentido a la compleja agógica de Sollak, en una versión animada, muy cohesionada en las cuerdas, rica en matices y variada en la expresión.
Entre los tiempos memorables, la versión del ‚Credo‘, viva y fluida, fue una fiesta y la manera de abordar el inicio del ‚Sanctus‘, compacta, expresiva, con tensión expresiva sobre todo en la cuerda de los tenores, puede figurar en la mejor antología del buen hacer coral. Fue un ‚Sanctus‘ para el recuerdo, y que, por fortuna, grabó TVE, para la posteridad.


„His stylistic expression is extraordinary and his musicality and strong rapport with the orchestra generates an unusually effective and refined result. He has natural instincts for the needs of singers which makes working with him very comfortable. I highly recommend him for operatic and symphonic conducting and personally look forward to many more successful collaborations.“

„I have known Karl Sollak for five years at the Vienna State Opera where he was musical assistant. Mr. Sollak is a competent, reliable musician with thorough technical training and an imaginative approach.“

„I find him to be a very persuasive and ambitious musician with great musical potential. I can recommend his talent without reservations.“