ConverZations
Our FREE monthly lecture series dives into the world of music. This series of discussions brings you closer to the music with a different topic each month. Each topic and speaker is chosen to specifically enhance our MasterWorks concert series. The atmosphere is casual and engaging.

Bring your lunch, relax, and enjoy!

Running an Orchestra: What Does It Take?

September 14, 2020

2020 has been a year of flexibly, change and growth. In the first ConverZation of our season, CEO & President Michelle Charles will discuss what it takes to run a symphony and how the symphony has been adapting during this pandemic. Learn some of the ends and outs of management and come out understanding better the decisions that must be made in order to keep the music alive.

Bio

Michelle has been President & CEO since 2011. Previously serving in all capacities of the organization as chorus member and volunteer, board trustee and staff, she continues to be a driving force behind the increasing notoriety of the Canton Symphony. Michelle holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music History and Theory from Hiram College, where she graduated summa cum laude. Michelle is currently the Past President of the Rotary Club of Canton and District Governor Nominee Designate for Rotary District 6650 and is a Paul Harris Fellow. She is currently serving on the boards of The Friends of the Summit (91.3 FM) where she serves as Treasurer, and the Leadership Stark County Alumni Board. She was a member of the 27th Class of Leadership Stark County, and is currently a member of Woman’s Impact, Inc. In 2016, she was chosen to be a part of the Sisters of Charity Leadership Forum and is a member of Malone University’s President’s Advisory Council. In 2012, she was honored to be named one of the Twenty Under 40 and in 2018 was inducted to the YWCA of Stark County’s Women’s Hall of Fame.

Gerhardt Zimmermann – A Look Back

October 12, 2020

We are celebrating 40 years of Gerhardt here at the Canton Symphony. Join us for this special ConverZaton where Gerhardt share his favorite moments from his career. Learn about what being a conductor means to Gerhardt and get the chance to ask him your burning questions.

Bio

Maestro Zimmermann is Music Director and Conductor of the Canton Symphony Orchestra. 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; as well as several international orchestras and opera companies. In 2006, Zimmermann was named Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Texas, Austin. After serving 21 years as Music Director/Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony, he is also Conductor Laureate of that orchestra.

Women “In” Music: A Deeper Look at Women in Music History

November 9, 2020

What does it mean to be “in” music? While studying music history, we often give great focus to those who compose, conduct, and publicly perform music. Though some extraordinary women of the past overcame societal barriers to participate in such roles, many more women are left out of our conversations. By expanding our definition of music-makers to include all those who make music possible—from educators to patrons and more—the rich impact by women on classical music in America emerges. As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment, this lecture will allow listeners to explore a legacy of women in music that stretches far beyond our modern favorites.

Bio

Destinee N. Siebe is a student musicologist, set to complete the Historical Musicology M.A. program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in spring 2021. She is a graduate of the Baldwin Wallace Conservatory, where she majored in Music History & Literature and studied bassoon with Mr. Jonathan Sherwin. Her research interests are best described as “all things 20th and 21st century United States,” ranging from feminist archive strategies and understudied women composers, to the 21st century wind ensemble’s responses to tragedies and violence. Her lecture will incorporate research completed as a 2018 Baldwin Wallace Summer Scholars Program participant, as well as in her 2020 appointment as research assistant to prominent feminist musicologist Dr. Susan C. Cook.

Women “In” Music: A Deeper Look at Women in Music History

December 14, 2020

Celebrate holiday cheer with the McKinley Singers! Lead by Director Stephen Popa, the McKinley Singers is the top performing ensemble at McKinley High School. It is an auditioned group made up of sophomore through senior students. The ensemble also performs as a concert choir during the winter months. (Program TBA)
Photo coming soon.

Musician Profile - Alyson Rzesztarski

January 11, 2021

CSO Musician, Alyson Rzesztarski, will take listeners to the instrument family at the back of the orchestra; the percussion family. She will discuss what it is like to a percussionist in the orchestra and will share several of the many instruments found in the percussion section.

Bio

Coming soon.

All About Baroque

February 8, 2021

Today, we take the value of instrumental music for granted. Orchestras across the world regularly delight audiences with complete concerts of instrument-only works, like those featured on the “Baroque Bash” program. The high status of instruments and instrumental genres in Western music, however, was a unique product of the Baroque era, which saw the significant cultivation of instrumental art music separate from vocal music for the first time in Western music history. This lecture will examine the meteoric rise of instrumental music in Western Europe during the Baroque era, focusing on the ways that instruments, in particular, help to reveal the diverse foundations of eighteenth-century European music and highlight the complex socio-economic factors that influenced musical performance—factors that continue to resonate in Western music today.

Bio

Danielle M. Kuntz is assistant professor of music history and Riemenschneider Bach Institute (RBI) Scholar-in-Residence at Baldwin Wallace University Conservatory of Music. She holds a Ph.D. and M.M. in historical musicology from the University of Minnesota, with research specializations in eighteenth-century music at European courts, especially that in Lisbon, Portugal, and the music of the Luso-Hispanic world. Her research has received the support of numerous competitive fellowships and awards, including a Fulbright Dissertation Research Fellowship, Foreign Language and Area Studies Grant (Advanced Portuguese Language Study, Universidade de Lisboa, Portugal, 2012), the University of Minnesota Doctoral Dissertation Fellowship, and the University of Minnesota Best Dissertation Award (Fine Arts, 2014). She has presented her research nationally and internationally, including the Annual Conference of the American Musicological Society and the Biennial International Conference on Baroque Music. Prior to her graduate work, she received a B.S. in music education from Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP), where she studied clarinet (primary) and organ (secondary). She was the recipient of a IUP’s Young Alumni Achievement Award in 2019. At home in Cleveland, she enjoys playing accordion and and spending time with her bassoonist husband, Dr. Andrew Machamer, their music-loving toddler Louis, and two especially beautiful cats, Kitty and Barbara.

Music Education: Why We Need It

March 8, 2021

What are the benefits of music education in the schools of America beyond developing performers, educators, and improving test scores in other areas? As we prepare for Music In Our Schools month in March, Michelle Monigold will give us her perspective on music education as a career educator. Join us to discuss the many aspects and benefits of music education in the public schools and learn how you can support your local music programs.

Bio

Currently a professor of music at the University of Mount Union, pianist Dr. Maira Liliestedt has piano degrees from Bowling Green State University and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. An active performer and teacher, and twice the recipient of the prestigious Presser Music Award, she is a regular solo and chamber pianist and concerto soloist. Her Appassionata Piano Duo with Janelle Phinney has garnered praise for “flawless, often fiery technique,” and “terrific collaboration full of grace and passion.” Liliestedt has presented solo and chamber recitals at many universities in the Midwest and abroad, as well as duo and solo concerto performances. Her most recent engagements include orchestral collaboration on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Appassionata Piano Duo work on Brahms’s complete Hungarian Dances, and upcoming solo recitals featuring chamber-versions of Chopin’s E Minor Concerto.

Art of the Soloist: Friends or Foes? The Musical Synergy between Orchestra and Soloist

April 12, 2021

What does it mean to be a soloist? This is a question that has a more convoluted answer than one may think. In this ConverZation, we will learn the good and the bad of soloist playing while learning the history of the concerto and other types of soloistic playing. What is different when playing a concerto than other types of classical playing and how can a soloist and orchestra come together to create their art?

Bio

Currently a professor of music at the University of Mount Union, pianist Dr. Maira Liliestedt has piano degrees from Bowling Green State University and the University of Cincinnati’s College-Conservatory of Music. An active performer and teacher, and twice the recipient of the prestigious Presser Music Award, she is a regular solo and chamber pianist and concerto soloist. Her Appassionata Piano Duo with Janelle Phinney has garnered praise for “flawless, often fiery technique,” and “terrific collaboration full of grace and passion.” Liliestedt has presented solo and chamber recitals at many universities in the Midwest and abroad, as well as duo and solo concerto performances. Her most recent engagements include orchestral collaboration on Gershwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, Appassionata Piano Duo work on Brahms’s complete Hungarian Dances, and upcoming solo recitals featuring chamber-versions of Chopin’s E Minor Concerto.

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