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.
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.
Associate Conductor of Utah Symphony, Vladimir Kulenovic maintains a guest conducting schedule that includes collaborations with acclaimed soloists Leon Fleisher, Mischa Maisky, Akiko Suwanai and Augustin Hadelich, and orchestras worldwide. In Europe, Kulenovic will soon lead Leipzig Symphony, Belgrade Philharmonic, Slovenian Philharmonic, Zagreb Philharmonic and Macedonian Philharmonic. In Asia he served as the Principal Conductor of the Kyoto Music Festival, and led two critically acclaimed performances with Evergreen Symphony at the National Concert Hall in Taipei.
Recent engagements include performances with the Beethoven- Orchester Bonn at Beethovenhalle, National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa, Juilliard Orchestra at Lincoln Center, Deutsche Kammerakademie Neuss am Rhein, Verbier, Aspen, Salzburg
Mozarteum and Cabrillo festival orchestras, and a benefit performance of Mozart’s Requiem with members of New York Choral Society and Juilliard Orchestra for Japan’s Disaster Relief Fund.
Since 2008, Vladimir has been mentored by Kurt Masur during his annual masterclasses in New York, Bonn, Leipzig and Verbier where he assisted maestro as the Verbier, Festival Conducting Fellow, leading two internationally televised performances on Medici TV. Vladimir also served as Maestro Masur’s assistant at the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, and prepared the orchestra at the Dubrovnik Festival for Maestro Zubin Mehta.
Recipient of the Sir Georg Solti Award, Mendelssohn-Bartholdy Scholarship, Bruno Walter Memorial Scholarship, Vladimir was awarded the Charles Schiff Conducting Prize for Excellence at the Juilliard School, where he completed his postgraduate studies under the mentorship of James DePreist and Alan Gilbert. Prior to his studies at Juilliard, he served as cover conductor of the Baltimore Symphony and Baltimore Opera and graduated from the Peabody Institute under the tutelage of Gustav Meier. He also served as a conducting fellow at the Aspen Music Festival, Salzburg Mozarteum and the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.
Mr. Kulenovic was awarded the prestigious Alfred B. Whitney Prize for the highest scholastic achievement at the Boston Conservatory where he earned degrees in Conducting and Piano Performance. As a pianist, Mr. Kulenovic won the 2nd Prize at the Rubinstein International Piano Competition in Paris.