Gerhardt Zimmermann has renewed his contract for another five years as Music Director with the Canton Symphony Orchestra

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Maestro Zimmermann Renews Contract for Another 5 Years

Gerhardt Zimmermann has renewed his contract for another five years as Music Director with the Canton Symphony Orchestra.  Next season will mark his 38th year as Music Director and the Canton Symphony Orchestra’s 81st season.  Maestro Zimmermann’s contract renewal means he will be at the helm of the orchestra to celebrate its 85th season, and for the major milestone of Zimmermann’s 40 years as Music Director for the Canton Symphony Orchestra.

Maestro Zimmermann came to the CSO in 1980, after the Orchestra’s first nationwide search for a new conductor.  The committee decided upon Gerhardt Zimmermann, then Associate Conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra.  Zimmermann’s first concert with the orchestra was an all-Brahms program with pianist André Watts as soloist.  Under Zimmermann, the Canton Symphony has gained in national reputation with both guest artists and musicians eager to share the stage with him.  The orchestra has reached several milestones during Zimmermann’s tenure, including the formation of the Canton Symphony Chorus in 1983, the celebration of Zimmermann’s 30th season with the orchestra in the 2010-2011 season, and now celebrating 80 years of the Canton Symphony Orchestra.  Due to his leadership and dedication to the Canton Symphony Orchestra, it is his name that graces the façade of the Zimmermann Symphony Center which opened in 2014.

Zimmermann’s energetic and vibrant performances have drawn invitations to appear on the podium with the Cleveland, Chicago, National, Pittsburgh, Atlanta, New Jersey, Syracuse, Rochester and San Antonio Orchestras.  Other guest appearances include the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, Tulsa Symphony, Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra, Chicago’s Grant Park and the Colorado Philharmonic.  As comfortable with opera as on the concert stage, the Maestro has conducted staged works of Mozart, Verdi, Strauss Jr., Puccini and Gershwin.

Since 2006, Zimmermann has been Director of Orchestral Activities at The University of Texas, Austin. Zimmermann served as the Music Director and Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony for 20 seasons from 1982-2002, and Conductor Laureate from 2002-2007. For 21 years, from 1993 to 2014, he was Music Director and Principal Conductor of the Breckenridge (CO) Music Festival.

In recent years, with the help of Zimmermann, the CSO has collaborated with a variety of organizations within Stark County and beyond.  In 2015 and 2018, the orchestra was selected by the Cleveland International Piano Competition to be the orchestra for the final round of its Young Artists competition.  The CSO looks forward to another 5 years with Gerhardt Zimmermann at the podium, and to bringing the highest quality of live classical music to Canton and the region.

Founded in 1937, the Canton Symphony Orchestra is celebrating its 80th anniversary and is a fully professional ensemble and organization dedicated to performing concerts that enrich, educate and entertain residents of Stark County and beyond. The orchestra performs classical, holiday, and a variety of educational programs in Umstattd Performing Arts Hall, 2323 17th Street NW, Canton, Ohio, as well as other venues in Stark County. For more information, please visit or call (330)452-2094. Administrative offices are located at the Zimmermann Symphony Center 2331 17th Street NW, Canton OH 44708.

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