Designated “Chicagoan of the Year (2015) in Classical Music” by the distinguished Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein, and winner of the prestigious 2015 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Vladimir Kulenovic has just signed a four-year renewal contract as Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony on Chicago’s North Shore. Having concluded four seasons as Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, where he conducted an average of one hundred performances annually, Mr. Kulenovic also served as assistant conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, and held posts as the Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic in Serbia, as well as the Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan.
Mr. Kulenovic’s U.S. guest conducting engagements include the symphonies of Alabama, Chicago, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Utah and San Francisco. Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include debuts with the Illinois Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the South Bend Symphony.
Worldwide, Mr. Kulenovic has appeared with the Beethoven-Orchester/Bonn, Bilkent Symphony/Ankara Turkey, Deutsche Kammerakademie/Neuss am Rhein, Leipziger Symphonie Orchester, Malaysia Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra/Ottawa Canada, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco/Mexico, Slovenia Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, Macedonian Philharmonic, and the Macedonian National Opera. This season, he will debut with the Minas Gerais Philharmonic/Brasil, and conduct three tour programs in Spain with Orchestra Sinfonica de Espana.
Festival appearances include Aspen, Cabrillo, Finland’s Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Round Top/Texas, Salzburg Mozarteum, and Verbier, and critically acclaimed collaborations with such celebrated soloists as Leon Fleisher, Augustin Hadelich, Mischa Maisky, Joaquín Achúcarro, Barry Douglas, Philippe Quint, Joseph Silverstein, Akiko Suwanai, Stefan Milenkovich, William Burden and Sasha Cooke.
In 2012, Vladimir Kulenovic was awarded the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship and the position of conducting assistant with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, which enabled him to work closely with the late Kurt Masur. He has also assisted Bernard Haitink with the Boston Symphony, prepared orchestras for Zubin Mehta, and served as cover conductor with the Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Opera, and Florentine Opera/Milwaukee.
Mr. Kulenovic holds graduate diplomas in conducting from both The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute where his teachers were James DePreist and Gustav Meier. He earned a bachelor’s degree in piano performance and a master’s degree in conducting from the Boston Conservatory, where he graduated summa cum laude. Among his numerous awards are the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award and the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize for Excellence. He was one of six top young conductors chosen by the League of American Orchestras for the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview.