About Our Musicians

Alison Zdunich received her Bachelor and Master of Music degrees in violin performance as well as her Performer Diploma from Indiana University, where she studied with Mauricio Fuks and Kevork Mardirossian. There she also studied violin and viola pedagogy with renowned pedagogue Mimi Zweig. 

Alison has played with numerous orchestras throughout North America; she has served as guest Principal Second Violin with the Regina Symphony, acting Associate-Concertmaster with Tulsa Opera, and Assistant Principal Second with Tulsa Symphony and the Symphony of Northwest Arkansas. She has played at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago and the Berlin Philharmonie Hall as a member of festival orchestras. She is currently a member of the Alberta Baroque Ensemble, the Red Deer Symphony, and a regular player with the Edmonton Symphony.

As well as her private teaching studio, Alison has taught for many programs catering to underserved communities, including Edmonton Symphony’s YONA Sistema program, Tulsa Symphony’s String program, Tulsa Symphony’s Fiddle Camp, and Porterville Summer Strings.

Besides "classical" violin playing, Alison is an adept Irish fiddler and was a frequent guest violinist with the Tulsa Rock Quartet. She has been broadcast as a member of ensembles on CBC in Canada and on A Prairie Home Companion with Garrison Keillor in the USA.

Alison Zdunich

Violin

Cellist Janet Kuschak, an accomplished orchestral and chamber musician, has been a tenured member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and was a founding member of Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra. She has performed in the cello sections of some of Canada’s most distinguished orchestras including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Hamilton Philharmonic, Te Deum in Hamilton, Kensington Sinfonia, and was invited as guest principal with the Saskatoon Symphony. Ms. Kuschak also frequently performs on baroque cello, an added skill that has led her to collaborate with various early music groups such as Spiritus Chamber Choir, Early Music Voices, Rosa Barocca and Early Music Alberta. She currently holds the position of principal cellist of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

 

Ms. Kuschak has in the past taught at the Toronto Waldorf School and, with Suzuki certification, the Calgary Talent Education Society. Ms. Kuschak has her own teaching studio in Red Deer. Her students enjoy performing solo recitals and cello ensembles. She is a sought-after adjudicator and clinician, having been invited to adjudicate at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival on three occasions and nationally with her last posts in Ottawa and Calgary. 

Born in Toronto, Ms. Kuschak began cello studies at the age of 11. She is the recipient of a Bachelor of Music in Performance from the University of Toronto, where she studied with Vladimir Orloff (former principal of the Vienna Philharmonic) and Daniel Domb (former principal of the Toronto Symphony), and at the Banff School of Fine Arts with Janos Starker, Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi and Aldo Parisot.

Cellist Janet Kuschak, an accomplished orchestral and chamber musician, has been a tenured member of the Canadian Opera Company Orchestra, the National Ballet of Canada Orchestra and was a founding member of Toronto’s Esprit Orchestra. She has performed in the cello sections of some of Canada’s most distinguished orchestras, including the National Arts Centre Orchestra, the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, Symphony Nova Scotia, Hamilton Philharmonic, Te Deum in Hamilton, Kensington Sinfonia, and was invited as guest principal with the Saskatoon Symphony. Ms. Kuschak also frequently performs on baroque cello, an added skill that has led her to collaborate with various early music groups such as Spiritus Chamber Choir, Early Music Voices, Rosa Barocca and Early Music Alberta. She currently holds the position of principal cellist of the Red Deer Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Kuschak has in the past taught at the Toronto Waldorf School and, with Suzuki certification, the Calgary Talent Education Society. Ms. Kuschak has her own teaching studio in Red Deer. Her students enjoy performing solo recitals and cello ensembles. She is a sought-after adjudicator and clinician, having been invited to adjudicate at the Hong Kong Schools Music Festival on three occasions and nationally with her last posts in Ottawa and Calgary. 

Janet Kuschak

Cello

Dean O’Brien earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from Eastman School of Music. Before moving to Calgary, he served as principal viola of the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, the Victoria Bach Festival and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and has played with the Austin, San Antonio, Albany, NY and Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestras. He also spent seven summers in Boulder as a member of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.

 

An active chamber musician, Dean is the violist of the UCalgary String Quartet and has performed with many leading chamber musicians, including Anton Kuerti, Andrew Dawes, David Harding, Kai Gleusteen, Ian Swensen, and Giles Apap. His performances have been recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio 2 and for NPR’s Performance Today.

 

Dean currently teaches at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University Conservatory and is Principal Viola of the Red Deer Symphony and Artistic Director of the Calgary Pro Musica Society.

Dean O’Brien earned a Doctorate of Musical Arts from the University of Texas at Austin and Bachelors and Masters of Music degrees from Eastman School of Music.

 

Before moving to Calgary, he served as principal viola of the Montreal Chamber Orchestra, the Victoria Bach Festival and the Santa Barbara Chamber Orchestra, and has played with the Austin, San Antonio, Albany, NY and Santa Barbara Symphony Orchestras. He also spent seven summers in Boulder as a member of the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra.

 

An active chamber musician, Dean is the violist of the UCalgary String Quartet and has performed with many leading chamber musicians, including Anton Kuerti, Andrew Dawes, David Harding, Kai Gleusteen, Ian Swensen, and Giles Apap. His performances have been recorded for broadcast on CBC Radio 2 and for NPR’s Performance Today. Dean currently teaches at the University of Calgary and Mount Royal University Conservatory and is Principal Viola of the Red Deer Symphony and Artistic Director of the Calgary Pro Musica Society.

Dean O'Brien

Viola

Graeme was born in Dundee, Scotland but has lived in Canada for 48 years, now residing in Calgary. 

 

Although his father was a professional jazz bassist in England, Graeme began playing double bass by accident in grade six. He was given the task of carrying it to the music room and as a result, was assigned to play it in class. 

 

Graeme spent two years studying at the University of Toronto under Tom Monohan, Toronto Symphony's principal bass, before attending Banff Centre of the Arts, where he studied under Stuart Knussen, formerly principal bass with the London Symphony Orchestra. 

Graeme recently retired as bassist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra after 30 years! 

Graeme was born in Dundee, Scotland but has lived in Canada for 48 years, now residing in Calgary. 

Although his father was a professional jazz bassist in England, Graeme began playing double bass by accident in grade six. He was given the task of carrying it to the music room, and as a result, was also assigned to play it in class. 

Graeme spent two years studying at the University of Toronto under Tom Monohan, Toronto Symphony's principal bass, before attending Banff Centre of the Arts, where he studied under Stuart Knussen, formerly principal bass with the London Symphony Orchestra. 

 

Also a bassist with the Calgary Philharmonic Orchestra, Graeme recently retired after 30 years!

Graeme Mudd

Double Bass