Designated by the Chicago Tribune as its 2015 “Chicagoan of the Year in Classical Music” and hailed by the distinguished critic John von Rhein as a “conductor with an uncommon passion,” Vladimir Kulenovic is the winner of the 2015 Sir Georg Solti Award and is currently in his fourth season as Music Director of the Lake Forest Symphony on Chicago’s North Shore. Under his leadership, the Lake Forest Symphony has earned continuous critical acclaim and expanded its audience base, and is making its first-ever commercially released CD recordings — on the prestigious Cedille Records label — in its 60-year history. 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 also served as assistant conductor with Lyric Opera of Chicago, Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic in Serbia, and Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan.
Mr. Kulenovic holds graduate diplomas in conducting from both The Juilliard School and the Peabody Institute, 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 awards are the 2012, 2013, and 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Award 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.