"[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
Recognized as “a conductor with uncommon talent” and honored as “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” by the Chicago Tribune, Vladimir Kulenovic has emerged as one of the finest conductors of his generation. Recent winner of the Sir Georg Solti Foundation's highest conducting award, in addition to the 2019 "Conductor of the Year in Illinois," Mr. Kulenovic continues to attract attention from prominent orchestras around the world.
Engagements in the U.S. include the symphony orchestras of Chicago, San Francisco, Houston, Indianapolis, Utah, Omaha, Florida, Alabama, Illinois, Jacksonville, Columbus, Grand Rapids, and the Louisville Orchestra, as well as the philharmonic orchestras of Naples and Oklahoma City. Festival appearances include Aspen, Cabrillo and Round Top.
Internationally, Mr. Kulenovic will make his debut with L'Orchestre National d’Îlle de France this coming season at the much-acclaimed Philharmonie de Paris. Among other orchestras that he has conducted worldwide are the National Arts Centre Orchestra/Ottawa, Beethoven-Orchester/Bonn, Deutsche Kammerakademie/Neuss am Rhein, Kammerorchester Heilbronn, Leipziger Symphonieorchester, Württembergische Philharmonie, Basque National Orchestra of Spain, Orquesta Sinfónica de España, Orquesta Sinfónica Camera Musicae/Barcelona, Orquesta Classica de Santa Cecilia/Madrid, Taipei Symphony, and the Slovenian RTV Symphony. Philharmonic orchestras include Malaysia, Minas Gerais/Brazil, Jalisco, Romania, Belgrade, Zagreb, Macedonia and the Macedonia National Opera, as well as the renowned festivals of Kuhmo, Salzburg, and Verbier.
Mr. Kulenovic has held permanent positions as Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony in the greater Chicago metropolitan area, where his leadership achieved unprecedented growth. This was reflected in the increased level of artistic excellence, new concert formats, budget expansion, increased audience participation, and critical acclaim that included "Orchestra of the Year" and "Conductor of the Year" awards by the Illinois Arts Council. Under the leadership of Mr. Kulenovic, the LFS made their first commercial CD recordings and received a GRAMMY nomination in 2018. As Associate Conductor of the Utah Symphony and Utah Opera, he conducted over 500 performances, including Masterworks, Pops, Family, Holiday, Education, operatic, and Deer Valley Festival summer performances. Other previous positions include Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic and Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Summer Festival in Japan.
Mr. Kulenovic’s discography includes Liquid Melancholy (Cedille Records/2018), Sisters in Song (Cedille Records/2019), Dreams of a Sleeping World (Toro Records/2019), and the Beethoven and Bruch Violin Concertos with violinist Stefan Milenkovich and the Slovenia RTV Symphony, to be released in 2020.
In 2013, Mr. Kulenovic was one of six young conductors chosen by the League of American Orchestras for the Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview. Other prizes and awards include the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Fellowship at the Leipzig Gewandhausorchester (where he assisted the late Kurt Masur), Solti Foundation Career Assistance Grants (from 2011-2014), the Bruno Walter Memorial Award (2011), the Charles Schiff Award for Excellence (Juilliard, 2011), and the Second Grand Prix at the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris.
Vladimir Kulenovic holds graduate degrees in conducting from The Juilliard School, where he studied with James DePriest, and the Peabody Institute of Johns Hopkins University, where he studied with Gustav Meier.