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music director
& Conductor

Carl Topilow, Music Director and Conductor of the Firelands Symphony Orchestra

Carl Topilow

Music Director and Conductor

During Carl Topilow’s tenure as the Firelands Symphony Orchestra’s Music Director and Conductor, the orchestra has seen a dramatic improvement in the orchestra’s quality, a significant rise in subscriptions and concert attendance, and the appearance of world class soloists to our stage.

In addition to his work with the FSO, Topilow is Founding Conductor of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra, Conductor Laureate of the National Repertory Orchestra, a summer festival in Breckenridge, Colorado, and was named Faculty Emeritus at the Cleveland Institute of Music. He has served as principal pops conductor of the Toledo Symphony Orchestra, the Southwest Florida Symphony Orchestra, and the Mansfield Symphony Orchestra.

Topilow has performed as guest conductor with 132 different orchestras in 37 states and 12 foreign countries. In addition to concerts this season with the Ohio Valley Symphony and Florida Lakes Symphony, he will be giving master classes at Bob Jones University, the University of North Carolina Charlotte, the Collegiate Orchestral Directors Association conference, and hosting his second conducting workshop in Cleveland.

Topilow’s wife Shirley is President and CEO of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Their daughter Emily is a marketing associate with the Cleveland Clinic, and their daughter Jenny is a violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.

Carl’s book, The Orchestral Conductor’s Career Handbook, published by Rowman and Littlefield, is now available through and


Carl In Action