• FSO & CARL TOPILOW

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Welcome to the Firelands Symphony Orchestra and Music Director and Conductor Maestro Carl Topilow!

The Firelands Symphony Orchestra was founded in 1992 as a non-profit organization after 10 years as a growing chamber orchestra. Leadership shifted through many hands as the organization grew until May of 2008 when our current Music Director and Conductor Carl Topilow joined the Firelands Symphony Orchestra. The Orchesta has experienced tremendous growth in quality, subscriptions, attendance and exposure to world class soloists with Carl’s contribution. The Firelands Symphony Orchestra’s mission is to “Enrich lives through music” and continues to expand its musical offerings through the introduction of the Firelands Symphony Chorale led by Michael Shirtz, the FSO School of Music and many community engagement and outreach activities.

To learn more about the Firelands Symphony Orchestra and members please follow these links:

Enriching Lives Through Music


  • Music Education Engagement
    Each year, the Firelands Symphony Orchestra brings our guest artists and musicians into local schools across North Central Ohio to perform, teach and encourage choir, orchestra and band classes. Additionally, we bring an artist or ensemble to three elementary schools for a multi-grade interactive music presentation (up to 375 students).
  • Music Lessons
    ou can sign up at anytime. We offer lessons for: piano, guitar, music theory, saxophone, clarinet, viola, cello, voice, trumpet, and trombone. Call (419) 621-4800 to register!
    Learn More

SUPPORT THE FSO

Did you know that ticket sales cover only 25% of the cost of producing FSO’s concert series and community engagement programs? Nearly 3/4 of the orchestra’s budget comes from grants, special events and donations from concert-goers like you.

You can support the orchestra’s dynamic programs by contributing to the Annual Fund, becoming a Chair Sponsor or leaving FSO a legacy through a planned gift such as a will bequest or charitable gift annuity.

Ways To Donate


Event Schedule

  • Date
  • Event
  • Description
    • Date
      December 5, 2021
      4:00 pm
    • Event
      Holidays Are Here Again!
      $25-30
    • Description
      Return to celebrating the holidays with the Firelands Symphony Orchestra! Featuring selections from family-favorite Christmas films, yuletide standards, and instrumental classics with live narrations and guest vocals. The Firelands Symphony Chorale also lift their voices in celebration of the season.
    • Date
      January 16, 2022
      4:00 pm
    • Event
      Portraits of American Heroism
    • Description
      Honor and remember the famed accomplishments and bravery of the Tuskegee Airmen with our inspiring patriotic pops concert saluting the first Black military aviators in the U.S. Army Air Corps. Join us for a diverse program of lively militarial and patriotic selections from all eras and genres performed by the full orchestra, accompanied by special recognition of Sandusky’s Tuskegee Airman Harold Brown.
    • Date
      February 19, 2022
      7:30 pm
    • Event
      Hope for a New World
    • Description
      The first classical concert of the season offers a range of music highlighting light and happiness to curb the mid-winter blues, including Dvorak’s Symphony No. 9 “From the New World”. The full orchestra will be joined by guest artist Sterling Elliot, winner of the Senior Division of the 2019 National Sphinx Competition. This gifted cellist will perform Saint-Saëns’ Havanaise, and Popper’s Hungarian Rhapsody.
    • Date
      March 13, 2022
      4:00 pm
    • Event
      The Essence of Beethoven (Chorale Concert)
    • Description
      Celebrate the 250th anniversary of the birth of one of the world’s most prolific composers: Ludwig Van Beethoven. With the FSO Chorale and Chamber Orchestra, under the direction of Michael Shirtz, selections will include “Hallelujah Chorus” from Christ on the Mount of Olives, Mass in C Major, op. 86, and “Joyful, Joyful” from Symphony No. 9.
    • Date
      March 26, 2022
      7:30 pm
    • Event
      Melodic Languages of Love
    • Description
      Guest violinists Ilya Kaler (the only violinist to win the Gold Medal at three prestigious international competitions) & Olga Kaler (renowned soloist, chamber musician, and artist-teacher) join the FSO for a passionate and romantic journey to other lands. The program features international songs of devotion from Russia to Spain, such as Tchaikovsky’s Sleeping Beauty Suite, to de Falla’s El Amor Brujo (The Love Wizard), and a special orchestration of Moszkowski’s Suite for Two Violins and Piano, adapted for the full orchestra by Maestro Carl Topilow.
    • Date
      April 24, 2022
      4:00 pm
    • Event
      Venture Into Nature
    • Description
      Join the FSO and Martín García García (first prize winner at the 2021 Cleveland International Piano Competition) for an outdoor trek from the forest to the sea. Audiences will be transported on an excursion exploring the beauty of nature with pieces such as Copland’s An Outdoor Overture, Dvorak’s In Nature’s Realm, and Gliere’s Russian Sailors’ Dance.
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