Edmonton Symphony Orchestra

As the professional orchestra of Alberta’s creative capital city, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra presents over 80 concerts a year of symphonic music in all genres, from classical to country. The ESO is comprised of 56 full-time professional musicians who perform 42 weeks per season, and play an active role in the musical life of Edmonton and elsewhere as performers, teachers and recording artists. Currently in its 56th season, the ESO also performs as the orchestra for Edmonton Opera and Alberta Ballet productions, and its concerts and recordings are regularly heard across Canada on CBC Radio Two.
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The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra at the Winspear Centre


The Edmonton Symphony Orchestra was initially formed as Edmonton’s community orchestra and gave its first concert on November 14, 1920. The orchestra suspended operations in 1932, but was revived in 1952, when it was incorporated as a registered not-for-profit organization (the Edmonton Symphony Society), and gave its first performance on November 30, 1952. It made the transition to a fully professional orchestra during the early 1970s. Today the ESO’s budget is fast approaching $8 million. It is deficit-free, and its players are the highest paid Canadian orchestral musicians west of Toronto.

Music Directors and Current Artistic Leadership

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William Eddins
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Martin Riseley
Music Directors and Conductors Current Artistic Leadership
  • William Eddins (upper right) was appointed Music Director in January 2005 and made his debut as Music Director in June of that year. Prior to his appointment in Edmonton he spent ten years working with Daniel Barenboim, most recently as Resident Conductor of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
  • Martin Riseley (lower right) has been the orchestra's concertmaster since August 1994.
  • Petar Dundjerski was appointed Assistant Conductor in Residence in September 2006.

Performing Venue

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The Francis Winspear Centre for Music
In September 1997, the ESO and the Edmonton Concert Hall Foundation successfully completed a two-decade, $45 million capital campaign and moved from the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium (the orchestra’s principal performing venue since 1957) into its new concert hall, the acoustically superb, 1716 seat Francis Winspear Centre for Music. The inaugural gala, at which the ESO performed Mahler's Symphony of a Thousand with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, took place on September 13, 1997.

Community Commitment, Programming & Tours, Special Concerts

Community Commitment The ESO is committed to serving its entire community, through eclectic programming choices and innovative education and outreach activities. Each season, almost 30,000 students experience the orchestra’s music at the Winspear Centre. The Young Composers Project, with local composers as mentors, allows select high school students to compose orchestral works and hear them in performance. The orchestra's annual outdoor Symphony Under the Sky Festival is a popular destination for Edmontonians on Labour Day weekend.
Programming & Tours

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"Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra"
The ESO’s history and the varied nature of its programming reflect its imaginative commitment to its community.
Special Concerts

Special concerts drawing sold-out houses have featured, among others, k.d. lang in 1985, Tom Cochrane and Red Rider in 1989, The Arrogant Worms in 2002, Corb Lund in 2005, Paul Brandt in 2006, Video Games Live in 2007, and Ian Tyson on the 100th anniversary of the Province of Alberta on September 1, 2005. In December 2005, the orchestra returned to the Northern Alberta Jubilee Auditorium to present two sold-out Christmas concerts with Christian singer/pianist Michael W. Smith. The orchestra continues this tradition of working with musicians from a variety of musical genres.

Composers in Residence

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John Estacio
John Estacio was the ESO's first Composer in Residence (1992-1999). He produced nine major works for the orchestra during his residency:
  • The Twins and the Monster (2001)
  • The Brass Ring (1999)
  • Frenergy (1998)
  • Concerto for Piano, Violin and Cello (1997)
  • Wondrous Light (1997)
  • Borealis (1997)
  • Victims of Us All (1996)
  • A Farmer’s Symphony (1994)
  • Alegria (1994)
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Allan Gilliland
Allan Gilliland, the ESO’s second Composer in Residence (2000-2004) also composed nine major works for the orchestra, as well as a colorful new orchestration of Canada’s national anthem. Prior to his residency, Gilliland had been commissioned to write two works for the ESO:
  • Above the Fold (2004)
  • Calixa Lavallée O Canada (new orchestration) (2004)
  • Dreaming of the Masters I (2003)
  • Gaol’s Ruadh Ròs – A Celtic Concerto for Two Harps (2003)
  • Always Be True (2002)
  • Violin Concerto (2002)
  • A Wild Symphonic Ride (2002)
  • Loch na Beiste (2001)
  • On the Shoulders of Giants (2001)
  • Shadows and Light (2000)
  • Winspear Fanfare (1997)
  • Trumpet Concerto (1994)

Canadian Commissions

The ESO has a long tradition of commissioning and performing works by Canadian – and particularly Albertan – composers. In April 2005 the ESO presented a highly acclaimed concert of music by five contemporary Alberta composers – Alan Gordon Bell, John Estacio, Malcolm Forsyth, Allan Gilliland and Jeffrey McCune – in Southam Hall at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre as part of the Alberta Scene festival.

Other works recently commissioned by the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra include:
  • Louis Applebaum Concertante / Prelude / Incantation / Sinfonia / Evocations for Two Pianos and Orchestra
  • Alan Gordon Bell Symphonies of Hidden Fire
  • Patrick Cardy Trobadores
  • George Fiala Overtura Buffa
  • Malcolm Forsyth Symphony No. 2 '... A Host of Nomads...' / Requiem for the Victims in a Wartorn World / Siyajabula! We Rejoice!
  • Allan Gilliland ''Dreaming of the Masters II" (world premiere in February 2008)
  • Stewart Grant Symphony (“Et in Terra…”)
  • Jacques Hétu Concerto for Organ
  • Gary Kulesha Dreams
  • Yuri Laniuk Palimpsesty
  • Raymond Luedeke Tales of the Netsilik (joint commission jointly with 5 other Canadian orchestras)
  • Rod McKuen Ballad of Distances / A Suite for Orchestra
  • François Morel Neumes d'espace et reliefs
  • Jeffrey McCune Aquamarine / Dance Suite / Overture Sauvage
  • John McPherson Walk in Beauty
  • Cha Ka Nin Memento Mori
  • Laurie Radford a tangle in the throat
  • Manus Sasonkin Musica post prandia
  • Robert Turner Shades of Autumn


Procol Harum Live with the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (Procol Harum, Da Camera Singers, Lawrence Leonard conductor, 1972)
  • Conquistador / Whaling Stories / A Salty Dog / All This and More / In Held 'Twas In I / Luskus Delph
Music by Haydn, Debussy, Wirén (Boris Brott and John Avison conductors, 1973)

McKuen Opus 40 The Ballad of Distances (Tommy Banks conductor, 1973)

Scarlet and Gold (Tommy Banks conductor, 1974)
  • Dere Overture / Rebellion / Tribute to the R.C.M.P.
Music by Wolf, Purcell, Adaskin, Warlock (Pierre Hétu conductor, 1975) Music by Ibert, Françaix, Rameau (Pierre Hétu conductor, 1976)

Orchestral Suites of the British Isles (Uri Mayer conductor, 1983) Great Tenor Arias (Ermanno Mauro tenor, Uri Mayer conductor, 1984) Great Verdi Arias (Louis Quilico baritone, Uri Mayer conductor, 1984)
  • Falstaff: “E sogno o realtà?” / La forza del destino: “Morir! tremenda cosa – Urna fatale de mio destino” / Rigoletto: “Cortigiani, vil razza dannata” / Otello: “Vanne! la tua meta già vedo – Credo in un Dio crude!” / Macbeth: “Perfidi! – Pietà, rispetto, amore” / Il trovatore: “Tutto è deserto – Il Balen del suo soriso” / La traviata: “Di Provenza” / Un ballo in maschera: “Alzati! là tuo figlio – Eri tu che macchiavi quell’anima”
Music by Forsyth and Freedman (Uri Mayer conductor, 1985) Canadian and Russian Overtures (Uri Mayer conductor, 1986) Harp Concertos (Gianetta Baril harp, Uri Mayer conductor, 1987)
  • Ginastera Harp Concerto, Opus 25 / Oskar Morawetz Concerto for Harp and Chamber Orchestra (JUNO Award: Best Classical Composition)
George Fiala: The Kurelek Suite (Uri Mayer conductor, 1987)

Great Orchestral Marches (Uri Mayer conductor, 1988) Works for Cello and Orchestra (Shauna Rolston cello, Uri Mayer conductor, 1989)
  • Oskar Morawetz Memorial to Martin Luther King / Bruch Kol Nidrei, Opus 47 / Fauré Élégie for Cello and Orchestra, Opus 24 / Dvořák Silent Woods, Opus 68 No. 5 / Bliss Concerto for Cello and Orchestra
The Symphony Sessions (Tom Cochrane, Red Rider, George Blondheim conductor, 1989)
  • Light in the Tunnel / Human Race / Can’t Turn Back / Napoleon Sheds His Skin / White Hot / Big League / Calling America / Avenue “A” / Bird on a Wire / Boy Inside the Man / Lunatic Fringe / Good Times / The Next Life
Music by Britten and Willan (Uri Mayer conductor, 1993) Russian Sketches (Uri Mayer conductor, 1997) Electra Rising: Music of Malcolm Forsyth (William Street saxophone, Amanda Forsyth cello, Grzegorz Nowak conductor, 1998)
  • Valley of a Thousand Hills / Tre Vie / Electra Rising (JUNO Award: Best Classical Composition)
Music by Smetana and Janáček (Grzegorz Nowak conductor, 1999)
  • Smetana Má vlast (original 1875 version) / Janáček Moravian Dances
PJ Perry and the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra (P.J. Perry, saxophone, David Hoyt conductor, 1999)
  • Django / Charlie Parker Medley / Bossa Nova Medley / They Kept Bach's Head Alive / Ballad Medley / Hand In Hand / Harlem Nocturne / The Old Castle / Strike Up The Band
Semi-Conducted (CD) / Three Worms and an Orchestra (DVD) (The Arrogant Worms, David Hoyt conductor, 2003)
  • Overture / Big Fat Road Manager / Canada's Really Big / Rocks and Trees / Log In to You / I am Cow / Last Saskatchewan Pirate / Gaelic Song / Me Like Hockey / Carrot Juice is Murder / Dangerous / Billy the Theme Park Shark / Celine Dion / We are the Beaver
Frenergy: The Music of John Estacio (Mario Bernardi conductor, 2004)
  • Frenergy / A Farmer’s Symphony / Bootlegger’s Tarantella / Such Sweet Sorrow / Solaris / Borealis / Wondrous Light


  • Henighan, Tom (2000). The Maclean's Companion to Canadian Arts and Culture. Raincoast Books. ISBN 1-55192-298-3. 

External links

See also


Flag Coat of arms
Motto: "Fortis et liber"   (Latin)
"Strong and free"

Capital Edmonton
Largest city Calgary
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A symphony is an extended composition usually for orchestra and usually comprising four movements.


The main characteristics of the classical symphony, as it existed by the end of the 18th century in the German-speaking world were:

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City of Edmonton
Edmonton's City Hall

Coat of arms
Nickname: City of Champions, Festival City, Gateway to the North, E-Town, River City
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The Alberta Ballet Company, in Edmonton, Alberta, was founded by Ruth Carse in the late 1950s and became a professional company in 1966.

In 1990 the company merged with the Calgary City Ballet and moved into the Nat Christie Centre in Calgary.
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concert is a live performance, usually of music, before an audience. The music may be performed by a single musician, sometimes then called a recital, or by a musical ensemble, such as an orchestra, a choir, or a musical band. Informal names for a concert include "show" and "gig".
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Recording is a process of capturing data or translating information to a format stored on a storage medium often referred to as a record.

Historical records of events have been made for thousands of years in one form or another.
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This page is currently protected from editing until disputes have been resolved.
Protection is not an endorsement of the current [ version] ([ protection log]).
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CBC Radio 2

Broadcast area across Canada
Slogan "Canada's National Music Network", "Everywhere Music Takes You"
First air date 1960
Frequency varies by location
Format classical, jazz
Owner Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Website Radio 2

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November 14 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


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19th century - 20th century - 21st century
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Year 1920 (MCMXX
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Year 1952 (MCMLII
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November 30 is the 1st day of the year (2nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 0 days remaining.


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City of Toronto

Coat of arms
Nickname: T.O., Hogtown, The Big Smoke, T-Dot, Toronto the Good
Motto: Diversity Our Strength
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William Eddins (born December 9, 1964 in Buffalo, New York) is an American pianist and conductor. He is the Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Eddins started playing piano at age 5 after his parents purchased a piano at a garage sale.
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Kazuyoshi Akiyama (秋山 和慶 Akiyama Kazuyoshi
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Franz-Paul Decker (June 22, 1923) is a German-Canadian conductor.

Decker was born in Cologne Germany where he studied at the Hochschule für Musik with Philip Jarnach and Eugen Papst.
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Uri Mayer Music Directors, Edmonton Symphony Orchestra
1994–2002 Succeeded by
William Eddins


Baker, D.T. Edmonton Symphony Music Directors . Edmonton Symphony Orchestra website.
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David Hoyt is a Canadian horn player and conductor.

He studied piano (with Boris Roubakine, Karl Engel, and Alexandra Munn), French horn (with Philip Farkas, Pierre del Vescovo, and Eugene Rittich), and conducting (with Franco Mannino, Kurt Sanderling, and Pierre Boulez).
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Uri Mayer (born August 4, 1946 in Târgu-Mureş, Romania) is a Canadian violist and conductor.

Mayer moved to Israel at a young age, and studied at the Conservatory of Music of Tel-Aviv and the University of Tel-Aviv.
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Yuval Zaliouk is an Israeli-American conductor.

Born into a musical family, he was educated at the Haifa Academy of Music where he studied piano, trombone and percussion. He subsequently received a law degree from the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.
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Peter McCoppin (born May 2, 1948 in Toronto) is a Canadian conductor and organist.

He studied conducting with Erich Leinsdorf, Lovro von Matičič, and Hans Swarowsky, and taught conducting at the Cleveland Institute of Music (1975-1978).
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Pierre Hétu (born April 22, 1936 in Montreal, Quebec, died December 3, 1998 in Montreal), Canadian conductor and pianist.

He studied in Paris with Marcel Ciampi (piano) and Edouard Lindenberg (conducting), and in 1961, following studies with Sergiu Celibidache, he won the
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Lawrence Leonard (born August 23, 1923, died January 4, 2001) was a British conductor, cellist, composer, teacher and writer.

Leonard received his musical education at the Royal Academy of Music and the École Normale de Musique de Paris.
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Brian Priestman (born February 10, 1927 in Birmingham, England) is a British conductor and music educator.

Priestman studied at the University of Birmingham and the Conservatoire Royal de Bruxelles, Belgium.
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Tom Rolston (born October 31, 1932 in Vancouver, British Columbia) is a Canadian violinist and conductor.

After early studies with Douglas Stewart, Roman Totenberg and David Martin, Rolston was a member of the Philharmonia Orchestra (1951-1958).
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Lee Hepner (born November 24, 1920 in Edmonton, Alberta, died July 24, 1986 in Vancouver, British Columbia) was a teacher and orchestral conductor.

After organizing the Edmonton Pops Orchestra in 1947, he was principal conductor of the University of Toronto Symphony
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William Eddins (born December 9, 1964 in Buffalo, New York) is an American pianist and conductor. He is the Music Director of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra.

Eddins started playing piano at age 5 after his parents purchased a piano at a garage sale.
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2005 by topic:
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Daniel Barenboim (born November 15, 1942) is a pianist and conductor. He lives in Berlin and holds citizenship in Argentina, Israel, and Spain. He was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina; his parents were Russian Ashkenazi Jews.
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