Carl Topilow


This year Carl Topilow will be celebrating his 10th season as Firelands Symphony Orchestra Music Director and Conductor. His tenure with 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 at the Cleveland Institute of Music, and leads the National Repertory Orchestra, a summer festival in Breckenridge, Colorado.

Topilow has appeared as guest conductor for more than 120 orchestras in 37 states and 12 foreign countries. This season he will conduct orchestras in Davenport (IA), Fresno, South Bend, Toledo and Wichita.

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.

In addition to his work as conductor, Topilow continues to perform as clarinetist with orchestra as well as with piano in informal recitals.

Topilow’s wife Shirley is the President and CEO of the Cleveland Pops Orchestra and Director of the Morgenstern Dance Studio. Daughter Jenny, a graduate of CIM, is a violinist with the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. This fall daughter Emily returns for her junior year at Bowling Green State University, where she is majoring in psychology and minoring in marketing. She also plays in the BGSU Symphony Orchestra.