René Gulikers studied orchestral conducting at the Music Conservatoire in Maastricht (The Netherlands). He attended several conducting courses in Holland and abroad, e.g. in Salzburg (Austria) in 1985, where he studied with Ferdinand Leitner and won the first prize for young conductors. In 1992, he won one of the Telecom-prizes in Besançon (France).
Many invitations followed: in Russia, he conducted among others the Moscow Philharmonic Orchestra, the Ural State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Philharmonic Orchestra from Nizhny Novgorod and Svetlanovs State Academic Symphony Orchestra. Furthermore, Gulikers conducted orchestras in Lithuania, China (Nanjing, Hongkong), South Korea, Japan, Germany (a.o. the Hamburg Symphonic Orchestra) and of course in his own country (e.g. Netherlands Philharmonic, Dutch Chamber Orchestra) where he also conducted several operas. With various orchestras, Gulikers took part in famous festivals like the “World Music Days” (Slovene Philharmonic Orchestra) and the “Warsaw Autumn”. Further, he led the national radio orchestras of Poland, Romania and Slovenia. During his career, Gulikers worked with many world famous soloists, like Alexei Lubimov, Anna Kravchenko and Lauma Skride as well as with almost all major instrumentalists and singers from The Netherlands.
In the past, Gulikers was a principal guest conductor with the National Symphony Orchestra of Chile, the Slovenian Radio and Television Orchestra and the Kosovo Philharmonic Orchestra.
From 1988 to 2004, he was Music Director of the Dutch chamber orchestra “Ensemble ’88”. Since its foundation, it has given innumerable concerts and radio recordings, both at home and abroad. Besides his own ensembles “Wire Works” and “Ensemble 21”, René Gulikers conducted many other ensembles for contemporary music, including the Ensemble New Babylon from Bremen.
Gulikers taught orchestral conducting at the music academies of Maastricht and Enschede. From 1994 until 2010, he taught at the music academy in Münster (Germany) and from 2005 until 2012, he was professor at the music academy in Hamburg (Germany). In this city, for two years, he also was Director of Music at the University. From 2018 until 2020, René Gulikers was professor for Orchestra Conducting at the Royal Conservatoire in the Hague (Netherlands). Since 2012, he teaches at the University of Arts in Bremen (Germany).
In recent years, giving privat conducting lessons (online or face-to-face) has become an increasingly important part of his work. His passion for this part of the profession is also evident in the annual International Masterclass Conducting Technique which he has been organising and leading for several years now.