Gerhardt Zimmermann 1945-2023
The Canton Symphony Orchestra has confirmed that longtime conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann passed away Saturday morning at the age of 77.
Born June 22, 1945, Zimmermann studied at Bowling Green State University before pursuing graduate studies at the University of Iowa. He then led the Western Illinois Symphony and was an Assistant Conductor of the St. Louis Symphony before joining the Canton Symphony Orchestra in 1980.
His tenure oversaw the founding of the Canton Symphony Chorus in 1983 and the construction of the Symphony's current home which bears his name, the Zimmerman Symphony Center, which opened in 2014. Those who made music with him remember him as a dedicated musician and a passionate advocate for music education.
In his final message to the community, he wrote:
Please understand that I will forever be with you in spirit, even if I am unable to stand on the podium. Your dedication, talent, and commitment have made the Canton Symphony Orchestra an artistic force to be reckoned with, and I have the utmost faith in your ability to carry that torch forward. May music always be your guide, and may the passion in your hearts continue to ignite the souls of your audiences. Never stop pursuing the beauty that lies within each note.
Sitting in the orchestra for the first time at Bowling Green, it was as if the heavens opened up. From that moment on, a conductor was all I wanted to be. In life, if you're going to do it, give it all you can. Live it. Breathe it. Sing it. Enjoy it. Love it. Sing, sing, sing,
Memorial services are pending.