Designated “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” (Chicago Tribune), “Conductor of the Year” (Illinois Council of Orchestras) and winner of the Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Vladimir Kulenovic is among the finest and most imaginative conductors of his generation. In his 5th season as the Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony, Kulenovic energized unprecedented growth in LFS’s 60-year history, earning the orchestra a GRAMMY Nomination for their first-ever commercial CD recording “Liquid Melancholy” (2018 Cedille Records). Kulenovic’s growing discography continues with the releases of “Sisters in Song” (2018, Cedille Records), “Dreams of a Sleeping World” (2019, Tōrō Records), and the upcoming release of Beethoven and Bruch Concertos with violinist Stefan Milenkovich and Slovenia RTV Symphony.
Following the success of his Chicago Symphony debut, his U.S. guest conducting engagements include symphonies of Alabama, Arkansas, Columbus, Florida, Grand Rapids, Houston, Illinois, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Knoxville, Omaha, San Francisco, South Bend, Stamford, Utah, Winston-Salem, philharmonic orchestras of Naples, Oklahoma City and Savannah, and with the Louisville Orchestra, Aspen, Cabrillo and Round Top music festivals.
Worldwide, Kulenovic lead the Basque National Orchestra of Spain, Beethoven-Orchester Bonn, Bilkent Symphony, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss, Leipziger Symphonieorchester, Malaysia Philharmonic, Minas Gerais Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco, Orchestra Sinfonica de Espana, Orchestra Classica de Santa Cecilia, Romanian State Philharmonic, Slovenia Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, Macedonian Philharmonic, Macedonian Opera and Ballet, as well as Kuhmo, Salzburg Mozarteum, and Verbier music festivals.
“Conductor with an uncommon talent”
John von Rhein, Chicago Tribune
Having concluded four seasons as Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony | Utah Opera, Kulenovic has served as the assistant conductor with the Chicago Lyric Opera, Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Festival and Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic. Kulenovic was the 2012 Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellow at the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester, working closely with his long-time mentor, the late maestro Kurt Masur, and sever as a cover conductor for the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and the Baltimore Symphony.
Vladimir Kulenovic earned 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 completed his bachelor’s degree in piano and a master’s degree in conducting from the Boston Conservatory, summa cum laude. Among his numerous awards are the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Grants, Bruno Walter Memorial Award, the Charles Schiff Prize for Excellence at Juilliard and the 2nd Grand Prix at the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris. 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.