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Conductor

Thierry Fischer

Symphony Music Director

“The Swiss conductor is the real thing - a musician of clear intelligence, technical skill, and podium personality, drawing performances that blended impeccable balancing, textural clarity and fizzing exhilaration” – (Chicago Classical Review, July 2013)

Thierry Fischer recently renewed his contract as Music Director of the Utah Symphony Orchestra, where he has revitalized the music-making, enthralling players and audiences by his vibrancy, commitment and energy. He has attracted leading young musicians to join the orchestra and top soloists to come to Utah, has refreshed the programming, drawn consistently full houses, and galvanized community support. “He conducts with both clarity and passion… Utah is lucky to have this conductor” (Chicago Sun Times, July 2013)

His hallmarks are a lightness of touch and transparency of texture, allowing room for vivid characterization. He has a keen stylistic sense, and where appropriate uses natural brass and baroque timpani. “Fischer’s conducting is concise and considered, with a thrilling knack for holding energy levels at brimming point without letting a drop spill over” (Guardian,January 2013)

Fischer also brings a real excitement to his performances of contemporary works by composers such as Holt, Jarrell, Andriessen, Boulez, Holliger, Rihm, Widmann and Simon Holt, his Composer in Residence during his tenure at the BBC. He has instigated a major commissioning program in Utah, which began in Spring 2012 with a cello concerto for Jean-Guihen Queyras composed by Michael Jarrell, which he will also conduct with the Orchestre de la Suisse Romande in 2014.

Fischer was Principal Conductor of the BBC National Orchestra of Wales from 2006-2012 and will return in 2013 and beyond. A busy guesting career has taken him to orchestras as diverse as the Philharmonia, Czech Philharmonic, Orchestre National de Lyon, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Cincinnati Symphony, Colorado Symphony, Grant Park Orchestra Chicago, Orchestra of the Age of Enlightenment, London Sinfonietta, Scottish Chamber, and Swedish Chamber. In 2013/14 he makes his debut with the Oslo Philharmonic for Honegger and Poulenc, returns to the Orchestre National de Bordeaux to conduct Shostakovich 10 in their new auditorium, and conducts the Oregon, Detroit and Pacific symphonies.

In 2012 Fischer’s recording for Hyperion of Frank Martin’s opera Der Sturm with the Netherlands Radio Philharmonic Orchestra and Chorus was awarded the International Classical Music Award (opera category). Other recent Hyperion releases have included Honegger, d’Indy and Florent Schmitt with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales – with whom he has also recorded the Stravinsky ballets for Signum and Stravinsky and Frank Martin concerti with Baiba Skride for Orfeo.

Fischer started out as Principal Flute in Hamburg and at the Zurich Opera. His conducting career began in his 30's when he replaced an ailing colleague, subsequently directing his first few concerts with the Chamber Orchestra of Europe where he was Principal Flute under Claudio Abbado. He spent his apprentice years in Holland, and became Principal Conductor and Artistic Advisor of the Ulster Orchestra 2001-6. He was Chief Conductor of the Nagoya Philharmonic 2008-2011, making his Suntory Hall debut in Tokyo in May 2010, and is now Honorary Guest Conductor.

Thierry Fischer is represented by Intermusica.

www.thierryfischer.com

 

Jerry Steichen

Principal Pops Conductor

The 2011–12 season marks Jerry Steichen’s third season as the Principal Pops Conductor of the Utah Symphony. He also serves as Music Director of the Ridgefield Symphony Orchestra, and recently completed sixteen seasons as Principal Pops Conductor of the New Haven Symphony Orchestra. Steichen most recently made debuts with Ballet West, conducting performances of Don Quichotte, and with Virginia Opera, leading a new production of Hansel and Gretel.  Steichen is a frequent guest conductor for the New Jersey Symphony, and has appeared with the Boston Pops, Cincinnati Pops, Indianapolis Symphony, the Florida Orchestra (Tampa/St. Petersburg), the Naples Philharmonic, the Oregon Symphony, and the symphonies of Hartford, Columbus, Princeton, Oklahoma City, Eastern Connecticut, Wheeling, and Memphis. International appearances include the Hong Kong Philharmonic Orchestra, Tokyo City Symphony, the NDR Philharmonie Hannover at the Braunschweig Festival, and the Norwegian Radio Symphony.

For the New York City Opera, Steichen debuted at the State Theatre conducting performances of La Bohème. During his ten year tenure with NYCO, he led productions including L’Elisir d’Amore, The Mikado, Rachel Portman’s The Little Prince, Cinderella, and Jake Heggie’s Dead Man Walking, as well as “Wall to Wall Opera— NYCO in Concert” at Symphony Space. Other opera company credits include New Jersey Opera Festival, Glimmerglass Opera, Utah Opera, Opera East Texas, Utah Festival Opera and Anchorage Opera. Pursuing his passion for education, Steichen spent eighteen years with the “Meet the Artist” series at Lincoln Center as conductor, clinician and pianist. Onstage, Steichen has performed as a  pianist for the New York City Opera’s acclaimed productions of Porgy and Bess and Carmina Burana. He has also appeared on Broadway, portraying Manny, the Accompanist, in the Tony Award-winning Master Class. He toured nationally as the associate conductor with The Phantom of the Opera, The Secret Garden, played keyboards for Cathy Rigby in Peter Pan and conducted CATS in New York for two years, leading the final public performance. Jerry is a native of Tonkawa, Oklahoma; and holds degrees from Northern Oklahoma College, Oklahoma City University, and the University of Southern California.

Vladimir Kulenovic

Associate Conductor

Following the completion of his post-graduate conducting studies at the Juilliard School, Vladimir Kulenovic was named Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony | Utah Opera in the U.S., Principal Conductor of the Kyoto International Music Festival in Japan and Resident Conductor of the Belgrade Philharmonic Orchestra in Serbia.

Upcoming engagements include debuts with Chicago Symphony, Houston Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Malaysian Philharmonic, Knoxville Symphony, Lubbock Symphony, Macedonian National Opera (Aida) and returns to Belgrade, Macedonian Philharmonic , and Jacksonville Symphony, where Mr. Kulenovic was a featured conductor at the biennial League of American Orchestras Bruno Walter National Conducting Preview in March of 2013. Mr. Kulenovic will also return to the National Concert Hall in Taiwan, with the Taipei Symphony, following critically acclaimed performances there for the past two seasons.

Recent engagements include performances with the Beethoven--‐Orchester Bonn at the Beethovenhalle, Deutsche Kammerakademie/Neuss am Rhein, Belgrade, Slovenian, Zagreb and Macedonian Philharmonic orchestras, Lake Forest, Grand Rapids, and Evergreen Symphony orchestras, the Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center's Alice Tully Hall, and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa. Festival appearances include Aspen, Cabrillo, Salzburg Mozarteum and Verbier. As the conducting fellow at the Verbier Festival in 2009, Mr. Kulenovic conducted two internationally televised performances and was subsequently invited to serve as the conducting assistant to Kurt Masur at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra. He also had the honor of preparing the Belgrade Philharmonic at the Dubrovnik Festival for Zubin Mehta. He has collaborated with celebrated soloists such as Leon Fleisher, Augustin Hadelich, Mischa Maisky, Akiko Suwanai, Philippe Quint, Joseph Silverstein and Ralph Votapek, and will perform with Emmanuel Pahud, José Feghali, Elena Bashkirova, Torleif Thedéen and the Wanderer Trio in 2014/15.

In addition to studying with Kurt Masur from 2008--‐2012, Vladimir Kulenovic is an alumnus of the Juilliard School and was awarded the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize for Excellence upon the completion of his post--‐graduate studies with James DePreist. He also earned graduate degrees from the Peabody Institute, where he studied with Gustav Meier, and the Boston Conservatory where he graduated summa cum laude, as valedictorian, and was awarded the Alfred B. Whitney Award for the highest scholastic achievement. Mr. Kulenovic is also the proud recipient of the 2012 and 2013 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Development Awards, the Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, and the 2012 Mendelssohn--‐Bartholdy Fellowship.

As a pianist, Vladimir Kulenovic has been a Second Prize winner of the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris.

 

Thomas Hong

Hailed by Kurt Masur as “One of the most talented young conductors of his generations,” THOMAS HONG enjoys the distinction of being one of the most successfully appointed conductors today. Having won titled positions with the Dallas, Pittsburgh and Seattle Symphony Orchestras as well as Orchestre National de France, Hong has conducted countless concerts with those orchestras, ranging from classical, community, education and pops concerts. Currently, he is the newly appointed Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra in Ohio and also a full-time faculty member of Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music in Houston. Most recently, he was the principal conductor for the inaugural season of the DSO on the GO series with the Dallas Symphony, traveling to numerous neighboring venues in the North Texas area. Previously, he concluded three seasons as assistant conductor of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra and was also associate conductor with the Seattle Symphony during that time.

Orchestras that Hong has guest conducted include the Utah, Fort Worth, Richmond, Winnepeg and Spokane Symphonies as well as the Seoul, Buffalo and Lutosławski Philharmonics. Among his operatic and vocal performances are Copland’s The Tenderland, Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde, Stravinsky’s The Rake’s Progress and Donizetti’s L’exisir d’Amore at the Wortham Opera Theatre in Houston. Awards that Hong has received include the Leopold Stokowski Fellowship, the Whitaker Fund for Opera and a fellowship by the Brahms society of Baden-Baden. His latest recording was on “From the Top” with pianist/host Christopher O’Riley and the Dallas Symphony Orchestra at the Meyerson Symphony Center.

As an educator, Hong was on the faculty of The Shepherd School Pre-College at Rice University, teaching piano to young students. He was also a part of the Just for U Music Program (JUMP!) at the university, dialoging and interacting with children as well as performing for them. In 2006, he was an integral part of forming a new musical organization, working closely with the executive and artistic directors as the founding conductor. Based in Greenwich, Connecticut, Youth Symphony for United Nations or YSUN’s guiding principle continues to be ‘a gathering of sound for world peace.’

Thomas was born in Incheon, Korea and immigrated to the United States with his family. He began his musical training as pianist and continued his studies with Samuel Hsu at Philadelphia Biblical University. Later, he went on to earn an artist diploma in orchestral conducting from The Curtis Institute of Music, studying with Otto Werner Mueller. He concluded his artistic training