Victor Vener is a music director with vision and energy who also possesses the knowledge and experience necessary to create inspired concerts. Dr. Vener deftly entertains and informs the neophyte listener while still engaging and delighting the avid classical music lover. With a people oriented and approachable style, he encourages individuals of all cultures, personalities, ages and walks of life to feel comfortable enjoying classical music. Throughout his professional career, Maestro Vener has garnered a well-deserved reputation as a masterful music director who exudes infectious enthusiasm and wit on the podium, effectively merging entertainment with musical enlightenment. This has never been more evident than it is now as Maestro Vener begins his fifteenth season as Music Director of the California Philharmonic.
The California Philharmonic’s dynamic array of concert series—Cal Phil at Walt Disney Concert Hall and Cal Phil Festival on the Green—continually attract large audiences and these captivating concerts have established the California Philharmonic as a major player on the cultural scene. The extraordinary achievement of the California Philharmonic can be attributed to Vener’s ability to balance superior artistic demands with highly accessible programming.
After earning a Doctor of Musical Arts degree from the University of Southern California, Dr. Vener went on to conduct respected orchestras across this continent and abroad, notably the Mozarteum Orchestra at the Salzburg Festival. He has been honored with a host of awards for outstanding musical direction and received the distinguished Fromm Fellowship to Tanglewood with the Boston Symphony. He was awarded the Artist in Residence Grant from the California Arts Council three times and has been the recipient of the Gold Crown Award from the Pasadena Arts Council and the SAI International Award for outstanding musical leadership in Southern California.
Dr. Vener’s professional experiences have allowed him to develop an expansive repertoire. He is recognized as both a musicologist and an expert on 18th and 19th Century instrumental performance practices, which he showcased with the California Philharmonic Winds on its CD of music by Mozart and Richard Strauss. His career has also included playing Solo French Horn in many European orchestras, for all of Hollywood’s major recording studios and with Stan Kenton’s Neophonic Jazz Orchestra.
Maestro Vener has received official commendations from the United States Congress, California State Senate and Assembly and also the County of Los Angeles. He is a Rotary International Paul Harris Fellow, and in April of 2002, Maestro Vener Received the Gold Medal for Special Merit in the promotion of economic relations through music from the Austrian Federal Capitol of Vienna, as well as a special Charter of Gratitude and Recognition from that government.