April 5, 2019 at 7:30 PM
Winspear Centre

The University Symphony Orchestra (conducted by Petar Dundjerski) closes the MainStage concert season with an evening of light favourites, including Le carnaval des animaux by Saint-Saëns. Beloved by families, this fun and witty piece features special guest pianists Jacques Després and Viktoria Reiswich-Dapp, performing with the orchestra on two pianos.

  • 1. Program

    University Symphony Orchestra

    Petar Dundjerski, conductor


    Carnaval of the Animals (1886)
    Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
    1. Introduction and Royal March of the Lion
    2. Roosters and Hens
      uses the theme of Jean-Philippe Rameau's harpsichord piece (The Hen) from his Suite in G major, but in a slightly less elegant mood.
    3. Wild Asses
    4. Tortoises
      Tortoises makes good use of the well-known Galop Infernal from Jacques Offenbach's operetta Orpheus in the Underworld, playing the usually breakneck-speed melody at a slow, drooping pace.
    5. The Elephant
      uses a theme from Hector Berlioz's Danse des Sylphes (from his work The Damnation of Faust) played in a much lower register than usual as a double bass solo. The piece also quotes the scherzo from Felix Mendelssohn's A Midsummer Night's Dream. It is heard at the end of the bridge section.
    6. Kangaroos
    7. Aquarium
    8. People with Long Ears
      This section is thought to be directed at music critics: they are also supposedly the last animals heard during the finale, braying.
    9. Cuckoo in the Heart of the Woods
    10. Aviary
    11. Pianists
      depicts piano students practicing scales.
    12. Fossils
    13. The swan
    14. Finale

    Jacques Després, and Viktoria Reiswich-Dapp, pianos

    Clarinet Concerto No. 2 in E-flat Major, Op. 74 (1813)
    Carl Maria von Weber (1786-1826)

    1. Allegro
    2. Romanze: Andante con moto
    3. Alla Polacca
    Cristian Kasinski, clarinet, winner of the University of Alberta Music Department's Concerto Competition


    The Firebird Suite (1919)
    Igor Fedorovich Stravinsky (1882-1971)

    1. Introduction: the ominous soundscape of Kashchei's fiefdom is introduced - The Firebird and its dance: a 20-second action filled sound bite depicts Firebird's frenetic flight- The Firebird's variation: fantastical sounds, set as a waltz, feature the magical bird

    2. Khorovode: Ivan Tsarevich is captivated by the dance of 13 princesses

    3. Infernal dance of King Kashchei: Ivan Tsarevich is captured by the evil wizard

    4. Berceuse (Lullaby): Firebird puts Kashchei to sleep

    5. Finale: Kashchei has been defeated and princess and the prince are married


    This adaptation of the fairy tale pits the Firebird, a good fairy, against the ogre Kashchei, whose soul is preserved as an egg in a casket. A young prince, Ivan Tsarevich, wanders into Kashchei's magic garden in pursuit of the Firebird. When he captures her, she pleads for her release and gives him one of her feathers, whose magic will protect him from harm. He then meets thirteen princesses, all under Kashchei's spell, and falls in love with one of them. When he tries to follow them into the magic garden, a great carillon sounds an alarm and he is captured. Kashchei is about to turn Ivan to stone when the prince waves the feather; the Firebird appears. Her lullaby puts Kashchei to sleep, and she then reveals the secret of his immortality. Ivan opens the casket and smashes the egg. killing Kashchei. The captive princesses are freed, and Ivan and his beloved princess are betrothed.


    Synopsis by Phillip Huscher

  • 2. Biographies

    The University Symphony Orchestra is currently directed by Petar Dundjerski, a fierce advocate for music education. Petar was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia and has lived in Canada since 1994. He received his Master's degree in Orchestral Conducting from the University of Toronto and continued his studies at the American Academy of Conducting in Aspen, Colorado and the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. His principal teachers were Mark Gibson, Raffi Armenian and Earl Davey. Mr. Dundjerski has also studied with David Zinman, Jorma Panula, Boris Brott and Gary Kulesha.

    In 2002, he was the Assistant Conductor with the National Academy Orchestra of Canada and in the summer of 2004, served as a Resident Conductor at the Banff Centre for the Arts.
    Mr. Dundjerski has received various awards including a 2003, 2006/08 Canada Council for the Arts Grants. He has worked with several distinguished instrumentalists including Shauna Rolston, Scott St. John and Jens Lindemann.

    Petar also teaches within the Edmonton Public School Board Music Enrichment Program. Mr Dundjerski was the Assistant Conductor-in-Residence of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra 2006/08, under the mentorship of Music Director William Eddins. This was a two-year appointment, funded in part by the Canada Council for the Arts.

    The University of Alberta Symphony Orchestra (USO) was established in 1945 as a student orchestra which presented at least two major concerts a year.

    Decades of stellar performances, memorable collaborations, and fearless directors have seen the ensemble grow into Edmonton's premier community orchestra. Although membership is based around the music department at the University of Alberta, students from other faculties in the University and members of Edmonton's musical community also perform in the USO.

    The University Symphony Orchestra regularly gives up to six concerts a year and often participates in choral and operatic presentations. The repertoire performed ranges from the Classical period to present day. Although most concerts are held in the University's Convocation Hall, the USO also performs in Edmonton's renowned Winspear Centre for Music.

    The USO's mandate is to prepare the music students thoroughly for professional symphony orchestra life, by providing study and performance of the main symphony repertoire and preparation for the professional audition process through judicious choice of repertoire and individual and sectional excerpt coaching. Members also receive training in orchestral etiquette.

    Past conductors of the orchestra include G.T. Lindskoog, Arthur Crighton, Normal Nelson, Malcolm Forsyth and Tanya Prochazka.

    Pianist Jacques C. Després has concertized for four decades on three continents through his recordings, performances as a soloist with orchestras, solo recitals and collaborative work. An intelligent, refined, highly sensitive and disciplined artist, Després' performances and recordings are praised by critics who cite his "crystal-clear pianism," and his abilities "to bring humanity, integrity and an enormous expressive range to the pieces." His "pianistic control is flawless, the sonority magnificent, and the playing is utterly and consistently clear." Since his 1978 debut with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Després appeared as a soloist with many orchestras under the baton of conductors including Otto-Werner Muller, Franz-Paul Decker, Jens Nygaard and Simon Streatfield. Després' tours have included performances aired on CBC radio and at summer festivals in North America and Asia.

    Notable recordings include world premiere of the complete piano works of Joseph Martin Kraus and the Kraus' complete chamber music works on the Naxos label, which received widespread critical acclaim and exposure. Després has been invited to numerous schools for lectures and performances in North America and Asia, including the Juilliard School, Northwestern University, Vanderbilt University and the Central Conservatory of China (Beijing). Després completed his doctorate in performance at the University of Stony Brook. He holds a Masters degree from the Juilliard School of Music, a unanimous First Prize from the Quebec Conservatory, and the Artist Diploma with High Distinction from Indiana University as a student of György Sebök. Other teachers include Adele Marcus, Gilbert Kalish, William Masselos and Christiane Sénart. He has been a Professor of Music at the University of Alberta since 2005.

    Viktoria Reiswich-Dapp was born in Uzbekistan and grew up in Germany. Viktoria has been lauded for her "high-profile skills" (Frankfurter Neue Presse), her "enormous pianistic culture and exuberant expressive possession" (Badische Neueste Nachrichten), "…breathtaking suppleness…" (Pforzheimer Zeitung) and for being "... an impeccable soloist ..." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung).

    Her artistry across a wide range of genres and styles has earned her recognition around the world. Viktoria has performed as soloist, with orchestras and in various chamber music formations in Canada, the U.S., Austria, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Türkiye, Croatia and Uzbekistan, and has recorded CDs in Germany, Canada and Poland.

    Besides winning numerous national and international prizes and scholarships, Viktoria is the first and only performer who has won the highest Canadian graduate scholarship, the prestigious Vanier Canada Graduate Scholarship. Viktoria honed her skills at the University of Music in Karlsruhe, the University of Music Frankfurt/Main and the University of Alberta from where she holds a Doctor of Music degree in piano performance. Viktoria has extensive teaching and vocal coaching experience in three languages.

    She currently teaches piano, vocal and instrumental chamber music, and piano literature at the University of Alberta.

    Cristian Kasinski began his clarinet and musical experience at the age of 10 in school. His natural ability quickly led to private instruction at the Manitoba Conservatory of Music with instructor, Christopher Wolfe, where he developed his love for music.

    While in high school, Cristian became a regular award winner at the Saskatchewan Music Festival, and he enjoyed playing with the South Saskatchewan Youth Orchestra where he became passionate about classical music. Cristian has studied with renowned clarinetists such as Nauom Gomon, James Campbell and Juaquin Valdpenas. In 2017, he competed in the International Clarinet Competition of Ghent in Belgium where he had the opportunity to study with world class artists such as Romain Guyot, Eddy Vanoosthuyse, Valdemar Rodriguez, Yuan Yuan and many others. Cristian was the winner of the University of Alberta Department of Music Concerto Competition in 2018 and the Northern Alberta Concerto Competition in 2019.

    He will be graduating with his Bachelor of Music performance degree at the U of A this spring, concluding his studies with the principal clarinetist of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Julianne Scott. He plays in the University of Alberta Symphony Orchestra, and is section leader of the Symphonic Wind Ensemble.

    Chamber music is just as important to Cristian as solo performance. In summer 2018, Cristian and his chamber ensemble, the Adventure Trio, placed third at the National Music Festival in New Brunswick. Future studies will include a Master of Music degree in performance starting this fall with possible doctoral studies later on.

  • 3. University Symphony Orchestra
    Rafael Piesiur, concertmasterCW
    Viktoria Grynenko, concertmasterS
    Raphaelle Erdman
    Ivy Poon
    Theodore Chow
    Michelle Makila
    Sophie Taylor
    Isaiah Roemmele
    Ken Heise

    Lara Hyrak, principalS
    Julia Zalkovic, principalCW
    Jocelyn Joe, assistant principal
    Jinee Chong
    Kathleen Pickford
    Allison Lee
    Ruixin Zhang
    Keilin Morrison
    Cynthia Johnston
    Beatrice Lim
    Abigail Froese

    Jenna Sabolsky, principalS
    Michele Moroz, principalCW
    Mark Jackson
    Anna Schulz
    Christopher Aitken

    Conrad Sobieraj, principalS
    Joshua Ching, principalCW
    Gordon Giang
    Laura Wakeman
    Alfred Lam
    Joel Park
    Robert Szabo
    Zoe Kruschke

    Evan Schollie, principal
    Mitch Rees, assistant principal
    Jan Urke
    Maximilian Mauricio-Cardilli

    Julian Duarte
    Kendall LeightonC, also piccoloS
    Emily SamsonS
    Alex ValleW

    Kara LoewerS
    Zofia StefanickiCW, also English horn

    Meijun ChenS
    Justine Dennis
    Cristian Kasinski
    Elizabeth SmithC


    Pablo Montes, principal
    Daryl Price, assistant principal

    Juanita HohmW
    Kendra Montes
    Alex McNaughtonS
    Mitchell SempleC

    Kevin YueS
    Abram MeagherW

    Thomas LaGrange, principal
    Michael Buckler, assistant principal
    Isabella Morland, Bass Trombone

    Hailey Borys

    Martin BuiW
    Jacob CrygerS

    Benjamin VanderkrukC
    Simon NahachewskyS
    Ben DuboisS

    Andrea Pedro

    Samantha Spurrier

    Petar Dundjerski

    CPrincipal in Saint-Saëns' Carnaval of the Animals
    WPrincipal in Weber's Clarinet Concerto No.2
    SPrincipal in Stravinsky's The Firebird Suite

University Symphony Orchestra conductor, Petar Dundjerski, on the magic of "Carnaval"

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