One of the most significant conducting talents to emerge in recent years, Canadian conductor Julian Kuerti has quickly made a name for himself with his confident style, artistic integrity and passion for musical collaboration. Recently appointed Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile, Kuerti has led numerous orchestras across North America including the Boston, Houston, Cincinnati, Atlanta, Seattle, Montreal and Toronto symphony orchestras; Los Angeles Philharmonic; and the National Arts Centre Orchestra at the 2010 Vancouver Cultural Olympiad. He made his New York City Opera debut at Lincoln Center in 2011 leading Oliver Knussen’s “Where the Wild Things Are.” In 2010, he completed his three-year post as assistant conductor to James Levine at the Boston Symphony.
The 2012-13 season marks Kuerti’s inaugural year as Principal Conductor of the Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile, where he will lead five programs. His guest conducting appearances see him returning to the Montreal Symphony in his own version of Prokofiev’s Suites from Romeo and Juliet and to the Deutsches Symphonie-Orchester Berlin in a subscription program featuring Strauss’ Four Last Songs with Christine Brewer. He makes debuts with the Dallas Symphony, Frankfurt Radio Symphony, Het Gelders Orchestra, Swedish Chamber Orchestra and Aarhus Symphony. The season commenced with summer appearances at the Brevard Music Festival and Banff Centre and a return to Tanglewood in a program with the principle players of the Boston Symphony.
Highlights of Kuerti’s 2011-12 season included appearances with the Cincinnati Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, Monte Carlo Philharmonic at the Dvorak Prague Festival, RTE National Orchestra in Ireland, Bochum Symphony in Germany and Orquesta Sinfónica de Concepción in Chile. In Canada, he conducted the Orchestre Metropolitain de Montreal, Edmonton Symphony, Kitchener-Waterloo Symphony, Symphony Nova Scotia and the Royal Conservatory Orchestra in Toronto. Additional highlights from previous seasons include the New Jersey, Rochester, Quebec, Utah and Vancouver symphonies, Orchestra of St. Luke’s, Los Angeles and St. Paul chamber orchestras, Malaysian Philharmonic and Orchestre Philharmonique du Luxembourg.
Kuerti was born in Toronto into one of Canada’s most distinguished musical families; his father is famed pianist Anton Kuerti. He began his instrumental training on the violin, studying with some of Canada’s finest teachers. While completing an honors degree in engineering and physics at the University of Toronto, Kuerti kept up the violin, performing as concertmaster and soloist with various Canadian orchestras. After taking a year off and touring Brazil with Kahana, a Toronto-based world-music band, Kuerti began his conducting studies in the year 2000 at the University of Toronto. That summer he was accepted as a student at the renowned Pierre Monteux School for Conductors in Maine, where he studied for two years with Michael Jinbo and Claude Monteux.
Kuerti studied with David Zinman at the American Academy of Conducting at Aspen in 2004, and with acclaimed Finnish Maestro Jorma Panula at the NAC Conductors Programme in Ottawa. In 2005, he was one of two conducting fellows at Tanglewood, where he had the opportunity to learn in masterclasses from James Levine, Kurt Masur, Stefan Asbury and Rafael Frühbeck de Burgos, performing with the TMC orchestra and fellows throughout the summer. That same year, Kuerti also finished his work with Lutz Köhler at the University of the Arts Berlin, whom he had studied with since 2001.
Kuerti served as assistant conductor to Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra during the 2006/07 season, which he led in performances of Viktor Ullmann’s opera “Der Kaiser von Atlantis” the following season. From 2005 to 2008, he was founding artistic director and principal conductor of Berlin’s Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, with whom he recorded the album “When We Were Trees” by Italian cellist and composer Giovanni Sollima for Sony/BMG. Kuerti conducted the Boston Symphony Chamber Players in music by Golijov and Foss on “Plain Song, Fantastic Dances,” released in 2011 on the BSO’s own label.