Biography – Oliver Balaburski, Artistic Director & Conductor, HSO


Oliver Balaburski, a Macedonian-born Canadian, began his musical studies at the age of ten.  Attending an arts-focused high school, he was experienced a wide range of influences and became interested in composing and conducting.


Oliver was awarded a scholarship from the Macedonian government to specialize in conducting and in 1999 was awarded the Norman Del Mar Junior Fellowship in Conducting at the Royal College of Music in London, UK, where he specialized in symphonic repertoire.  Returning to Macedonia, he was appointed artistic manager of the Opera of Macedonia National Theatre and until 2004 was principal conductor of the opera company. That year, in search of greater opportunities, he immigrated with his family to Canada, where he completed his Master’s degree in 2008.  Since then, he has held the position of Conductor of the Hart House Chamber Strings. 


Oliver commenced as Artistic Director and Conductor of the Huronia Symphony Orchestra in November of 2010.  He continues as a guest conductor of the Orchestra of the Opera of Macedonian National Theatre.  Oliver moved with his family to the city of Barrie in 2013, and he and his wife, professional soprano Aleksandra Balaburska, have established the Maestro Music Centre in Barrie.


As Artistic Director, Oliver Balaburski, combines his impeccable training, considerable talent, and professional experience to provide the artistic vision that the HSO can rely upon to steer us into the future in Barrie and across Simcoe County.  He has increased the quality of the programs we present to the public by working with the musicians to build a better orchestra; he has the expertise, training and “ear” to find and fix aspects of the orchestra’s “ensemble” playing; and he has an artistic concept of the highest level to carry the finest musical expression to our audience.


Oliver also understands that the HSO as a “big symphony orchestra” is perfectly placed to present the works of the great symphonic composers – and so our audience is thrilling to live performances of the works of Brahms, Beethoven, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky, Bruch, and many more.  Though the process is demanding, the musicians are feeling a great sense of achievement and are excited to hear the very positive feedback from our audience members!


Future concert goals include revisiting communities across Simcoe County, and working on a summer concert on the waterfront in Barrie.


As well as Artistic Director, Oliver is also an educator, and he is one of the main originators of our new Youth Program.  He is keenly interested and supportive of the development of all aspects of youth music as he is aware of its power to build culture in the region, and is a source of ideas for the future evolution of the Youth Program.