"Kulenovic allowed for very spacious phrasing at the start, creating extra sonic poetry in the process, and he had the stormier portions of the work fired up nicely … the overall performance was decidedly classy."
Designated “Chicagoan of the Year (2015) in Classical Music” by the distinguished Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein, Vladimir Kulenovic began 2016 on a high note. Named the 2015 Solti Conducting Fellow, one of the most prestigious conducting honors in the United States, he has recently signed a four-year renewal contract with 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 was the assistant to Sir Andrew Davis for the premiere of Jimmy López’s opera Bel Canto with the Lyric Opera of Chicago. He has also served as 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, San Francisco, and Utah. Highlights of the 2016/2017 season include debuts with the Illinois Symphony, Louisville Orchestra, Oklahoma City Philharmonic, and the South Bend Symphony.
Worldwide, Vladimir Kulenovic 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. This season, he will make his debut with the Minas Gerais Philharmonic/Brazil, and conduct three tour programs in Spain with Orquesta Sinfónica de España.
Festival appearances include Aspen, Cabrillo, Finland’s Kuhmo Chamber Music Festival, Round Top/Texas, Salzburg Mozarteum, and Verbier. He has also collaborated with such celebrated soloists as Leon Fleisher, Augustin Hadelich, Mischa Maisky, Joaquín Achúcarro, Stefan Milenkovich, Philippe Quint, Joseph Silverstein, Akiko Suwanai, William Burden, and Sasha Cooke.
In 2012, Mr. 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.
Vladimir Kulenovic holds graduate diplomas in conducting from both The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute, where his principal 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.