Praised by the Westdeutsche Zeitung for his “exceptional combination of passion, elegance and well‐timed pacing”, Darko Butorac has established himself as a conductor in demand with orchestras both in Europe and the Americas. He currently serves as the Music Director of the Asheville Symphony and the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra.
Following his debut with the Belgrade Philharmonic in January 2011, Butorac was reengaged to conduct both the season finale and the opening concert of the 2012 season. Other notable guest conducting engagements include performances with the Deutsche Kammerphilharmonie Neuss and the Georgische Kammerorchester Ingolstadt (Germany), the Rubinstein Philharmonic of Lodz (Poland), the Xiamen Symphony (China), the Tallinn Sinfonietta (Estonia), and the Slovenian Radio Symphony Orchestra. He has appeared at such prestigious venues as the Vienna Konzerthaus, the Gran Teatro Nacional of Lima, Belgrade's Kolarac Hall, the Teatro Magnani in Italy, and the Tartu, Aspen and St. Olav summer music festivals. From 2009 to 2013 he served as the principal conductor of the Fidenza Opera Festival.
Distinguished collaborations include soprano Renee Fleming, pianist Garrick Ohlsson, cellist Colin Carr, clarinetist Anthony McGill, and Oscar-winning actor J.K.Simmons among others. Highlights of the 2019-20 include performances with pianists Stephen Hough and Conrad Tao, cellist Zlatomir Fung, the Gold Medal winner of the Tchaikovsky Competition, and a season finale with Garrick Ohlsson. Mr. Butorac will also lead performances of La Traviata with the Northern Lights Festival Opera.
Butorac is also in demand as a public speaker on leadership. His TEDx Montana talk on the “Language of Conducting” has over a 100K views on YouTube. He has appeared as a speaker on behalf of Brighthouse, a division of BCG, and was the headline speaker at the Birla Carbon International Leadership Summit in Bangkok in 2018.
As the Grand Prix Laureate and Gold Medalist of the Fourth International Vakhtang Jordania Conducting Competition Butorac was invited to conduct orchestras across four continents. He was also selected to participate at the Bruno Walter National Conductor Preview hosted by the League of American Orchestras and the Jacksonville Symphony.
He is an avid traveler, having visited almost seventy countries, and is passionate about discovering the world and bringing people together through the beauty of music.
Renée Fleming on the Tallahassee Symphony; Tallahassee Democrat, Mark Hinson
“They were wonderful,” Fleming said of the TSO musicians. “It’s a beautiful sound in the hall. It’s a very warm hall. And I’m sure that’s also because of Darko, he’s a terrific musician. And he’s very young. I’d never met him before tonight. He’s a very nice person and extremely prepared. I appreciate it.”
TSO’s Season gets off to a ‘Heroic’ start; Tallahassee Democrat, Andy Lagrimas
“Butorac’s dynamic podium presence made a compelling case for this work to be heard more often, with sweeping arm gestures and kinetic baton work bringing a bit of drama to a symphony that can otherwise come across as relatively slight and anti-climactic.”
Guest Conductor succeeds with Prokofiev; AZ Daily Sun, Charles Spining
“Here, the conductor utilized his imposing presence, and his energetic yet graceful conducting style did not at all detract from the way he delineated each musical line and phrase, extracting the essence of the dramatic Beethoven work…”
An Unprecedented Evening with the CSO; CharlestonToday.Net, Lindsay Koob
“Guest conductor Butorac led a performance that made it sound like he had this music in his blood. He brought out everything from mournful Gypsy pathos to frantic “friskas,” realizing the exotic sound and spirit that has made the Hungarian idiom so popular. He drew smooth, burnished sounds from the strings, and kept brisk tempos.”