Gerhardt Zimmermann

Music Director

Maestro Zimmermann is in his 35th year as 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. Other guest appearances include the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Orchestre Symphonique de Paris, the Toronto Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, 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 and made his debut with the Cleveland Opera in February 2006.  During the 2011-2012 season, he returned as guest conductor of the Tulsa Symphony Orchestra and the Louisiana Philharmonic Orchestra.

In 2006, Zimmermann was named Director of Orchestral Activities at the University of Texas, Austin. This past summer, he returned to the Breckenridge Music Festival for his 21st season as Music Director and Principal Conductor. Zimmermann also was the Music Director and Conductor of the North Carolina Symphony for 21 seasons from 1982-2002.

With headlines such as: “Zimmermann the Spark that ignites Grant Park Symphony,”  “Canton Symphony steams up night,”  “LPO (Louisiana Philharmonic) delivers drama with flair…,” and “Orchestra (Canton Symphony) gives impassioned Ninth Symphony (Mahler),”  Zimmermann consistently receives accolades from critics and audiences alike. He has recorded with the Warsaw Philharmonic, the Louisville Orchestra and the North Carolina Symphony on the MMA, Louisville, and Koch labels. Zimmermann has also appeared as a guest on Breakfast with the Arts, a weekly program on the Arts and Entertainment TV Network.

Tom Wachunas, writing for the MusicWeb International’s Worldwide Concert and Opera Reviews, wrote in April of 2009:  “What this orchestra did with the work (sic..Tchaikovsky Romeo and Juliet) should not be called a great performance.  That would be too easy an assessment.  This was an orchestral phenomenon of the highest order.  In the past I have often marveled at the ephemeral chemistry between Maestro Zimmermann and his accomplished musicians.  He doesn’t merely conduct the music, and they don’t merely play it.  They breathe it as an organic unit.  It is chemistry that generally evades adequate definition or description.  You simply know it when you see and feel it.”

Born in Ohio, Mr. Zimmermann and his wife Sharon, have two children, Anna Marie and Peter Karl Irum and two granddaughters, Trinity Rose and Emmeline Abigail.