Music Director

Vladimir Kulenovic, Music Director

Winner of the 2015/16 Sir Georg Solti Conducting Award, Vladimir Kulenovic is rapidly emerging as one of most exciting young conducting talents on the international scene today.  Kulenovic was appointed Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony in 2014, and has since been named the 2015 “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” by John von Rhein and the Chicago Tribune. In addition to serving as the Music Director of Lake Forest Symphony and Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic, Mr. Kulenovic recently concluded a highly successful tenure as the Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera.  His innovative programming and over 300 performances at the USUO continuously succeeded in earning critical acclaim and adoration of the audiences across the state, while garnering national attention through groundbreaking education initiatives and performances for young audiences.

Mr. Kulenovic’s U.S. guest conducting engagements include the symphonies of Alabama, Chicago, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Houston, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Knoxville, and San Francisco.  Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include debuts with the Illinois Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Orquestra Filarmonica de Minas Gerais (Brasil), Oklahoma City Philharmonic, South Bend Symphony and Santa Cecillia Orchestra in Madrid.

Worldwide, Vladimir has appeared with the Beethoven-Orchester/Bonn, Bilkent Symphony/Turkey; Deutsche Kammerakademie/Neuss am Rhein, Leipziger Symphonie Orchester, Malaysia Philharmonic, National Arts Centre Orchestra/Ottawa, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco/Mexico, Slovenia Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, Zagreb Philharmonic, Macedonian Philharmonic, and the Macedonian National Opera. 

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, Philippe Quint, Joseph Silverstein, Akiko Suwanai and Sasha Cooke.  Formerly, Mr. Kulenovic served as Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan.

In 2012, Vladimir 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 Lyric Opera of Chicago, Baltimore Symphony, Baltimore Opera, and Florentine Opera/Milwaukee. 

Mr. Kulenovic holds graduate diplomas in conducting from both The Juilliard School and the Peabody Conservatory 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 honors are the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Awards 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.

The Lake Forest Symphony is thrilled to have Maestro Vladimir Kulenovic as our Music Director!

“Kulenovic is personable, charming, dedicated, and talented. His passion and infectious enthusiasm made the concert an incredibly moving experience.” – Lake Forest Symphony Subscriber