The Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra Board of Directors and President & CEO, Peter H. Gistelinck, are pleased to announce that internationally renowned conductor Julian Kuerti has been appointed as its new Music Director. Mr. Kuerti will assume the title of Music Director beginning with the 2018-2019 season, succeeding Raymond Harvey, who ended his eighteen-year tenure with the orchestra in 2017, and has since then become the Orchestra’s first Music Director Emeritus.
Quickly establishing himself as a significant interpreter of orchestral and operatic music, Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti combines a confident style, artistic integrity and a passion for collaboration to position himself at the forefront of the international music scene. Having been Principal Guest Conductor of the Orchestre Métropolitain de Montreal and Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica Universidad de Concepción in Chile, he has made a reputation for himself both in the Americas and abroad.
Kuerti was chosen following a year-long search by a 12-member committee chaired by Steven Kreider, KSO Board of Directors Chair, and comprised of musicians, board, and staff.
Mr Kreider said: “I am excited to welcome Julian Kuerti as our new Music Director. He comes to Kalamazoo with outstanding credentials and extensive experience. I am confident that our audience will love the energy and artistic excellence that Julian will bring to the stage.”
Maestro Kuerti said: “From the first moment on stage with the Kalamazoo Symphony, I felt a strong connection with the musicians. I can’t wait to start working with the orchestra to bring exciting performances to the whole community. I’m sure we will have many musical adventures to look forward to together!”
“I am very excited about the appointment of Julian Kuerti as our new Music Director,” said Peter H. Gistelinck, President & CEO of the Kalamazoo Symphony Orchestra. “Maestro Kuerti’s unconditional commitment to our orchestra and its wonderful musicians, promises to be of a real added value in the long term as we’re moving toward our 100th anniversary in 2020-2021 and beyond.”
“I am thrilled to welcome Maestro Kuerti to our team. His depth of artistry and breadth of experience will bring the KSO to a whole new artistic level. I look forward to working with him in the years to come,” adds Maestro Daniel Brier, KSO Resident Conductor.
Julian Kuerti was born in Toronto to one of Canada’s most distinguished musical families, his father being famed pianist Anton Kuerti. He began his musical training on the violin. While completing an honors degree in engineering and physics at the University of Toronto, he continued performing as both a concertmaster and soloist with various Canadian orchestras.
In 2000, he returned to the University of Toronto to begin his conducting studies. He continued developing his craft at Maine’s renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors; with Maestro David
Zinman at the American Academy of Conductors in Aspen, CO; with Finnish conductor Jorma Panula at Ottawa, Canada’s NAC Conductor’s program, at Tanglewood in Massachusetts; and Lutz Köhler at the University of the Arts Berlin, with whom he had studied since 2001. In addition to his positions in Montreal and Chile, Kuerti has also served as assistant conductor at the Boston Symphony Orchestra and Budapest Festival Orchestra; and founding artistic director of Berlin’s Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop.
Highlights of his 2017-2018 season include an epic concert of Beethoven’s Triple concerto and Prokofiev 5th Symphony with Kalamazoo Symphony; performances of Vasteras Sinfonietta, in a program of Tally, Haydn and Mozart with cellist Jakob Koranyi; a new production of Rusalka with Teatro Colon; Hindemith, Barber and Beethoven with Deutsche Radio Symphony with Violinist Nemanja Raduloviç. He is about to embark on a tour to Australia for concerts with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra with pianist Stephen Hough.
Kuerti’s guest engagements around the world include numerous concerts with Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin and Frankfurt Radio Symphony in Germany and Norway’s Stavanger Symphony; North American concerts with the Dallas, Cincinnati, New Jersey, Quebec, Utah and Vancouver symphony orchestras; the Civic Orchestra of Chicago; and the St. Paul and Los Angeles chamber orchestras. A frequent conductor on European, Asian and Australasian stages, Kuerti’s appearances include concerts with The Netherlands’ Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Het Gelders Orchestra; Denmark’s Aarhus Symphony; Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg; Orquesta Clasica Santa Cecilia Madrid; Opera Toulon Provence Mediterranée in France; The UK’s Bournemouth Symphony; Ireland’s RTE National Orchestra of Dublin; The National Philharmonic Orchestra of Russia; Monte Carlo Philharmonic; Swedish Chamber Orchestra; the Malaysian Philharmonic Orchestra; and the New Zealand Symphony.
Julian Kuerti’s discography includes recordings on Sony Classical and The Boston Symphony Orchestra’s own label.