The USO was founded in 1962 by Pieter de Somer, who was vice chancellor of the University of Leuven at that time. During the first years of its existence, the orchestra mainly consisted of professors. The following decades, the orchestra was led by conductors such as Maurits Goossens, Piet Swerts and Etienne Siebens. Since 1997, we have been able to count on Edmond Saveniers as our conductor and tower of strength. In the course of time, professors were replaced by students and since the late 1990s the orchestra has been completely composed of students of the University.
In 2012, the USO celebrated its 50th anniversary. This event hasn’t passed by unnoticed. The USO staged Gustav Mahler’s beautiful first Symphony, violinist Yossiv Ivanov played a gala concert in Leuven, we launched our own USO beer… In addition, a new project was brought to life: the European Student Orchestra Festival, an international festival where student orchestras from around Europe can meet. In November 2012, the Akademisches Orchester der Universität Stuttgart and the Orchestre Symphonique des Etudiants de Louvain-la-Neuve came to Leuven to participate in an international concert series.