Two days after revealing he was under hospice care due to declining health conditions, conductor Gerhardt Zimmermann has died on Saturday at age 77. Gerhardt Zimmermann was Music Director of the Canton Symphony Orchestra (Ohio) since 1980.

In a heartfelt letter posted on Facebook through his daughter last Thursday, Zimmermann spoke emotionally about his love for classical music as he made it clear he’s no longer able to serve as maestro.

Maestro Zimmerman’s health had taken a turn for the worse in 2019 when he fell seriously ill, prompting him to announce his plans for retirement in 2026.

Assistant conductor Matthew Jenkins Jaroszewicz is expected to succeed him, the announcement explained. The Symphony also named Jaroszewicz the Music Director Designate upon Zimmermann’s retirement.

In his long career, Zimmermann conducted many American orchestras. He was Associate conductor of the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra Music Director of the North Carolina Symphony, Artistic Director/Conductor, Breckenridge (CO) Music Festival, 1993-2014, Professor of Music The University of Texas at Austin, 2006-2018. In  2006, Zimmermann was named director of orchestral activities at The University of Texas at Austin.

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