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Canadian JULIAN KUERTI has been assistant conductor to James Levine at the Boston Symphony Orchestra since February 2007. He made his BSO debut with concerts in March 2008, leading Knussen’s Flourish with Fireworks, Dvorak Symphony No. 7, and Beethoven Emperor Concerto, with legendary pianist Leon Fleischer. In July 2008, he stepped in for anailing Levine to conduct a program of Haydn, Schubert and J.S. Bach's Piano Concerto No. 1 with Peter Serkin as soloist. The Boston Globe had this to say about Kuerti’s debut at Symphony Hall: “Kuerti drew sumptuous sounds from the orchestra…with a vibrant and dashing account of Oliver Knussen's "The Way to Castle Yonder" and a dark, robust reading of Dvorak's Seventh Symphony.”
Kuerti also served as assistant conductor to Ivan Fischer and the Budapest Festival Orchestra, which he led in performances of Viktor Ullmann’s opera “Der Kaiser von Atlantis” in the 2007/08 season. He has conducted extensively in Europe, North and South America, performing with orchestras such as the Toronto Symphony, National Symphony Orchestra in Washington DC, Houston Symphony, Berliner Symphoniker, and the Budapest Festival Orchestra.
Kuerti’s 2008/2009 season includes engagements with the Victoria Symphony, the Princeton Symphony, the Calgary Symphony, the Hartford Symphony, and the Los Angeles Philharmonic in education concerts.
Mr. 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 & physics at the University of Toronto, Julian 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, Mr. 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.
Mr. 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, Julian 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.
From 2005-2008, Kuerti served as founding artistic director and principal conductor of Berlin’s Solistenensemble Kaleidoskop, with whom he recorded a recently released CD “When we were Trees” of Italian Cellist / Composer Giovanni Sollima for Sony/BMG.