Karabits was born in Kiev In his youth, Karabits studied piano, musicology and composition developing an interest in conducting at age 13. His early teachers included Tatiana Kozlova. 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. 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. From 2005 to 2007, Karabits was principal guest conductor of the Orchestre Philharmonique de Strasbourg.
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. The BSO appointment marks Karabits’ first chief conductorship. 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.
Karabits made his North American conducting debut with the Houston Symphony Orchestra in March 2009.Іn 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.