Dive into the world of music with ConverZations!  This series of FREE discussions brings you closer to the music with a different topic and speaker each month.  The atmosphere is casual and engaging.  So bring your lunch, relax and enjoy!  Coffee and light desserts provided.

September – April
Second Monday of each month
12:00 noon

Foundation Hall
Zimmermann Symphony Center

This program is made possible, in part, by Ohio Humanities, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressing in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities.

September 20, 2018  CHANGE OF DATE

Flavio Chamis, Conductor, Composer, Educator

The Jewish Music of Leonard Bernstein

Mr. Chamis is a former conducting assistant and personal friend of Leonard Bernstein. Throughout his entire composing career, Leonard Bernstein steadily produced a number of Jewish inspired works. Judaism always permeated his life and work, and he even wrote music for the Shabbat service. At the same time, his connection with Israel started before the foundation of the State, as the first concert he conducted with the Israel Philharmonic happened in 1947, when the orchestra was still called “Palestine Philharmonic Orchestra.” From that time on, he conducted the orchestra yearly until his death in 1990.



October 8, 2018

Mark Kosower, Principal Cello, The Cleveland Orchestra

Dvořák and Herbert: The American Experience

Discover how the two composers had a profound impact on America (and the cello) as did America on them.



November 12, 2018

Theron Brown, jazz pianist, classical pianist, actor, professor

The Art of Improvising: What a Wonderful World

In our everyday lives, we try to stick to a very strict schedule.  We plan our days from start to finish hoping that we can get ahead in our lives.  Although, some can relate to having little bumps in the road and have to take a slight detour in the plots. Today we will not only talk and share ideas about improvising in music, but how it relates to people and life general.  As we talk and give live musical examples, we hope to come away from this session with a unique, and imaginative perspective about jazz and the art of improvising as a human trait.

December 10, 2018

Nancy Paterson, Principal Harp, Canton Symphony Orchestra

Harp 101

A member of the CSO for 40 years, Nancy Paterson shares insights on the history, mystique and sounds of this gorgeous instrument.



January 14, 2019

M. J. Albacete, Adjunct Professor, Kent State University Stark Campus & Executive Director Emeritus, The Canton Museum of Art

Beethoven and the Art of “Recycling” Music

When a composer comes up with a really good musical motif, can he use it more than once?   Beethoven, it seems, “recycled” the same tune in a number of works, as we’ll hear in this detailed analysis with recorded selections.



February 11, 2019

Charles McGuire, Professor of Musicology, Oberlin College Conservatory

Learning from the Past: Music and Memory in the Music of Shostokovich

We will have great fun with Dr. McGuire as he speaks about Shostakovich and how both Haydn and Saint-Saëns influenced his work.

March 11, 2019

Britt Cooper, Chair, Division of Fine & Performing Arts; Professor of Music, Walsh University

Balancing Artistry and Worship – The Classical Mass

Dr. Cooper briefly examines how the great Classical composers danced the delicate balance between the artistry (and artifice) of 18th-century music and the church’s requirements for worship.


April 8, 2019

Keith Fitch, Head, Composition Department, The Cleveland Institute of Music

With A Little Help From Our Friends

Composer Keith Fitch discusses the special – and necessary – relationships between composers, performers, and patrons.

All programs and guest speakers subject to change.