January 26, 1938

The orchestra is incorporated, and Richard Oppenheim is named its first Music Director.

The Canton Symphony Orchestra Association was incorporated in 1938. Richard Oppenheim, a professor of violin at Mount Union College, was invited to form the orchestra. He held auditions and selected 70 musicians to make up the orchestra.

This orchestra operated somewhat differently from other community orchestras mostly in the fact that the members were paid for their services. This created a sense of discipline and professionalism among the players.

February 16, 1938

The Canton Symphony Orchestra performs its first concert.

Season tickets for the orchestra’s first season of 4 concerts sold for $2 & $4 ($1 for students)


This first concert was free to the public and took place in the City Auditorium, before a crowd of ~3,300!

On the program:
Beethoven: Egmont Overture
Haydn: Symphony No. 94 in G Major “Surprise”
Rimsky-Korsakov: Scheherazade, Op. 35 – III. The Young Prince and The Young Princess
Tchaikovsky: Marche Slave

75 years later to the day, the orchestra will perform the same program (however with all 4 movements of Scheherazade, and no Tchaikovsky)

Single tickets were priced at 25¢, 50¢, & $1.

April 20, 1938

First concert for which admission was charged.

Single tickets were priced at 25¢, 50¢, & $1.

November 9, 1938

Renowned 17-year-old virtuoso Frederick Vogelgesang appears with the CSO as violin soloist.

Mr. Vogelgesang was a child prodigy who began studying the violin at age 4. He graduated from the Curtis Institute of Music where he was a student of Efrem Zimbalist. At 18, he was the youngest member of the Philadelphia Orchestra. He also became the orchestra’s official pianist.

During his career, Mr. Vogelgesang was also a member of the Denver Symphony, NBC Symphony, CBS Symphony, Metropolitan Orchestra, New York Philharmonic, New York City Ballet, American Symphony and the New York City Opera, where he played for almost 30 years. He worked with Arturo Toscanini, Leopold Stokowski, Eugene Ormandy and Leonard Bernstein, who had also been one his classmates at Curtis.

He also conducted at the Roxy Theatre and Radio City Music Hall and for many Broadway shows. During World War II, he played French horn with the U.S. Air Force Band.

Mr. Vogelgesang made many recordings throughout his life, playing violin, piano, viola and French horn, and perhaps his most famous recording was of the Brahms horn trio in which he played all three parts himself. He was also a music teacher and coach.


January, 1939

Soprano Genevieve Rowe is a guest artist with the CSO

Vocalist Genevieve Rowe sang for one of the Canton Symphony Orchestra’s performances. 

Originally from Fremont Ohio, the radio star sang on the CBS Radio show, The Gay Nineties Revue, Behind the Mike, and Treasury Star Parade. 

March, 1939

Russian conductor, opera producer, impresario, and broadcast commentator Boris Goldovsky performs with the CSO as piano soloist

The famous conductor, pianist, and opera producer Boris Goldovsky was born in Moscow, Russia, and received his muscial training in Europe while studying under Leonid Kreutzer, Arthur Schnabel, and Ernest Dohnanyi.

He later studied music composition with Leo Weiner, the leading Hungarian music educator of the time, at the Liszt Academy of Music in Budapest, Hungary.

In 1930, Goldovsky came to the United States when he was only 22 and became the “popularizer” of American Opera that we know of today.

October 25, 1939

1000 seats still available.

1000 seats still available at 35¢; other seats 75¢ to $1.