Designated by the Chicago Tribune as the “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” and hailed by the distinguished critic John von Rhein as “conductor with an uncommon passion”, Vladimir Kulenovic is currently emerging as one of the most stimulating and inspirational conductors of his generation. Recent winner of the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Mr. Kulenovic is currently in his fourth season as Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony on Chicago’s North Shore. Under his leadership, Lake Forest Symphony has earned continuous critical acclaim, expanded its audience base and budget, and is currently producing its first ever commercially released CD recordings under the prestigious Cedille Records label in its 60 year history.
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, Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic in Serbia, and 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, Illinois, Omaha, San Francisco, South Bend, Utah, and Winston-Salem, as well as the Oklahoma City and Naples (FL) Philharmonic orchestras and the Louisville Orchestra.
Worldwide, Mr. Kulenovic has appeared with the Basque National Orchestra of Spain, Beethoven-Orchester/Bonn, Bilkent Symphony/Ankara Turkey, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Leipziger Symphonie Orchester, Malaysia Philharmonic, Minas Gerais Philharmonic/Brasil, National Arts Centre Orchestra/Ottawa Canada, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco/Mexico, Orchestra Sinfonica de Espana, Orchestra Classica de Santa Cecilia, Romanian State Philharmonic, Slovenia Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, Macedonian Philharmonic, and the Macedonian National Opera.
Festival appearances include Aspen, Cabrillo, Finland’s Kuhmo 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, Jean-Frederic Neuburger, 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 served as assistant to Bernard Haitink with the Boston Symphony, prepared orchestras for Zubin Mehta, and served as cover conductor with the Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Opera, Florentine Opera/Milwaukee, and the New York Philharmonic.
Vladimir holds graduate diplomas in conducting from both The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute where his teachers were Alan Gilbert, 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 Grants, Bruno Walter Memorial Award and the Charles Schiff Prize for Excellence at Juilliard. He was one of six top U.S. young conductors chosen by the League of American Orchestras for the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview.