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, is Music Advisor for the National Repertory Orchestra (a summer festival in Breckenridge, Colorado), and was named Faculty Emeritus at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Topilow has appeared as guest conductor for 125 different orchestras in 37 states and 12 foreign countries.

Topilow’s new book, The Orchestral Conductor’s Career Handbook, published by Rowman and Littlefield, has been acclaimed by prominent conductors Leonard Slatkin, JoAnn Falletta, and Gerard Schwarz.

In addition to his work as conductor, Topilow continues to perform as clarinetist with orchestra as well as with piano in informal recitals. Topilow has assisted in the training of talented musicians and conductors for positions in orchestras in the United States and abroad, and has supplied numerous young musicians the opportunity to perform as both orchestra members and soloists. His manner of presenting the music through musical illustrations and guides has enhanced the concert experience for audience members.

Topilow’s wife Shirley is the President and CEO of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra. Their daughter Jenny is a violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra.  Their daughter Emily is working in marketing, pursuing a master’s degree in communications, and performs as violinist with a local community orchestra.

Watch Carl Topilow Perform