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Major awards for ex-BYU soprano, Utah Symphony associate conductor

Published April 28, 2014 7:53 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

Soprano Rachel Willis-Sørensen, a graduate of Brigham Young University, is one of three winners of a $10,000 Richard Tucker Career Grant.

Willis-Sørensen, winner of the 2010 Metropolitan Opera National Council Auditions, earned a bachelor's degree from BYU in 2008 and a master's in 2009. Since then, she has sung leading roles at London's Royal Opera House, Houston Grand Opera and Semperoper Dresden, according to a Tucker Foundation news release. Future engagements include roles with the Royal Opera House, San Francisco Opera, Vienna State Opera and Metropolitan Opera.

Conducting kudos • Utah Symphony associate conductor Vladimir Kulenovic is among seven winners of the 2014 Solti Foundation U.S. Career Assistance Award, given "to encourage and provide critical assistance to talented young conductors at the start of their professional careers," according to a Solti Foundation news release.

Kulenovic, who joined the Utah Symphony in 2011, is also resident conductor of Belgrade Philharmonic in the Serbian city where he was born and raised.

His upcoming engagements include debuts with Chicago Symphony, Columbus Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Lubbock Symphony and Macedonian National Opera.