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.
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 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.
UNIVERSITY SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA 2016-2017
Mingmei Xu, concert master
Holly Christiani, principal
Jenna Sabolsky, principal
Katherine Pernal, principal
Mitchel Rees, principal
Pablo Montes, principal
Michael Buckler, principal
Ben Dubois (in Cello Concerto)
+principal in Symphony No. 3 in F, Op. 90
*principal in Danzón No. 2
^principal in Cello Concerto in A minor, Op. 129