"[Kulenovic] cuts a fine figure on the podium, trim and confident, precise, even elegant in his style. But his precision gave way to passion in this multi-layered music [Stravinsky: Firebird], with its delicate opening, tempestuous flourishes and its powerful central theme ..."
Lake Forest Symphony
Named “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” (2015) by the distinguished Chicago Tribune critic John von Rhein, and winner of the highest prize awarded by the Sir Georg Solti Foundation, Vladimir Kulenovic, is among the finest and most creative conductors of his generation. Recently completing his fifth season as Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony on Chicago’s North Shore, he has overseen growth unprecedented in the orchestra’s sixty-year history, as well as earning a Grammy nomination for its first-ever commercial CD recording, “Liquid Melancholy” (Cedille Records/2018).
Recent and upcoming highlights include engagements with the Omaha, Stamford, Arkansas, and Winston-Salem symphonies, the Savannah Philharmonic, the Florida Orchestra, and a return to the Round Top Festival in Texas. Other U.S. guest conducting engagements include the symphonies of Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Utah, Alabama, Indianapolis, Jacksonville, Columbus, Grand Rapids, Illinois, Knoxville, and South Bend, as well as the Louisville Orchestra, the philharmonic orchestras of Naples (Florida) and Oklahoma City, and the Aspen and Cabrillo music festivals. Upcoming engagements in Europe include performances with the Camera Musicae Symphony Orchestra at the Palau de Musica in Barcelona and at the Auditorio Nacional in Tarragona. Additionally, Mr. Kulenovic will assist Vladimir Jurowski with three London Philharmonic programs.
Among Mr. Kulenovic’s worldwide appearances are the Basque National Orchestra/Spain, Leipziger Symphonie Orchester, Orquesta Sinfónica de España, Zagreb Philharmonic, Macedonian Philharmonic, Malaysia Philharmonic, Taipei Symphony, Minas Gerais Philharmonic/Brazil, National Arts Centre Orchestra/Ottawa, Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco/Mexico, and the renowned festivals in Kuhmo/Finland, Salzburg, and Verbier. He has also collaborated with such celebrated soloists as Leon Fleisher, Augustin Hadelich, Mischa Maisky, Joaquín Achúcarro, Barry Douglas, Stefan Milenkovich, Philippe Quint, Joseph Silverstein, Akiko Suwanai, Jean-Frédéric Neuburger, William Burden, and Sasha Cooke.
Mr. Kulenovic’s growing discography includes “Sisters in Song” (Cedille Records/2018), “Dreams of a Sleeping World” (Toro Records/2019), and the 2019 release of Beethoven and Bruch concertos with violinist Stefan Milenkovich and the Slovenia RTV Symphony.
In 2012, Mr. Kulenovic was awarded the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship and the position of conducting assistant with the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, where he worked closely with his long-time mentor, the late Kurt Masur. Former positions include Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony, Assistant Conductor with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic, and Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Festival in Japan. He has also served as a cover conductor with the Boston Symphony, New York Philharmonic, and the Baltimore Symphony, where he has assisted many illustrious conductors, including Bernard Haitink, Zubin Mehta, Alan Gilbert, Sir Andrew Davis, and Marin Alsop.
Vladimir Kulenovic holds graduate diplomas in conducting from both The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute and was one of six top young conductors chosen by the League of American Orchestras for the 2013 Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview.