Welcome to the Clinton Symphony Orchestra

The CSO has been a presence in the Clinton, Iowa, area since 1954 when a group of community leaders got together to form an organization to bring great music to the city and its environs. Now in its 65th year, the Orchestra draws patrons from a wide geographic area. Under the leadership of music director and conductor Brian Dollinger, the Orchestra has expanded its repertoire and performances to include soloists of note from our local communities and education systems. The Orchestra Association is proud of our commitment and hopes that you will share this love of great music with us.

Brian Dollinger

Maestro Dollinger returns to the Clinton Symphony Orchestra for his 13th concert season as its Music Director & Conductor. He continues into his 15th season as the Conductor and Music Director of the Muscatine Symphony Orchestra as well as his recent appointment as the Artistic Director & Conductor for the Hawaii-based Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra in 2016.

His personable approach combined with his clear conducting technique have come together to create a fun, inviting, energetic, and enriching atmosphere at each rehearsal and performance. He has conducted a variety of orchestras including the Georgia Symphony Orchestra, Kamuela Philharmonic Orchestra, Quad Cities Symphony Orchestra, Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra, Marion Philharmonic Orchestra, Idaho Falls Symphony Orchestra, and Muncie Symphony Orchestra.

“There are many fine conductors in this country who really know what they’re doing and those who work extremely well with artists and audiences. There are only a few who excel at not only both of those skills but who also get their orchestras to play to their best abilities… Brian Dollinger hits the trifecta and his ebullient personality and warmth on stage are simply bonuses that come with the package.”      ~Steve March-Tormé, guest artist & entertainer

During the summer of 2014, Mr. Dollinger made his debut as conductor for the summer opera program of the Genesius Guild. He conducted numerous successful performances of the operetta Die Fledermaus by Johann Strauss. Mr. Dollinger returned to conduct the 2015 summer performances of Puccini’s Gianni Schicci at Lincoln Park in Rock Island (IL) with great success. He has subsequently returned to conduct performances of Copland’s The Tenderland and a trio of operatic gems: The Telephone, Old Maid and the Thief, and A Hand of Bridge.

Mr. Dollinger has a passion for teaching, conducting, and mentoring young musicians. This has led to a number of conducting positions with educational institutions and organizations. These include Gainesville Youth Symphony, Bradley University, Central Illinois Youth Symphony, Illinois Wesleyan Civic Orchestra, Ball State University Symphony Orchestra, and the East Central Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra.

“His performance proved to be unforgettable and one of the most significant artistic events.” 
~Jan Milosz Zarzycki, Music Director Lutoslawski’s Philharmony, Poland

Maestro Dollinger is a frequent conductor and clinician for various youth string festivals, competitions and workshops. He will be the guest conductor for the Illinois Music Educator’s District Festival held on the campus of Western Illinois University in November of 2018. In March of 2019, he will be the featured wind ensemble conductor at the NUIC Music Conference Festival. During the ’16-17 season, Maestro Dollinger was the guest conductor at the Iowa Junior Honors Festival held in Ames, Iowa. He has been invited on numerous occasions to conduct at Illinois Music Educators Association events, including all-day festivals rehearsing, teaching, mentoring and performing with some of the state’s best high school symphonic musicians. He was conductor of the 2014 Metro Orchestra Festival in Cedar Rapids and was a guest clinician at the Jefferson Orchestra Invitational in 2016, which was also held in Cedar Rapids. Mr. Dollinger has been a recurrent guest conductor with the Northwest Indiana Youth Symphony Orchestra.

“Maestro Dolinger reminded me of the days when Yoel Levi conducted the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra. For, Dollinger needed no score in front of him as he took to the podium. Every note and bit of instructional coding reposed in his head….He’s a very impressive conductor who interacts very well with an audience.”     ~Robert Heller, Atlanta Arts Scene

During his studies, he has studied with many prestigious pedagogues. Larry Rachleff, Adrian Gnam, Leonid Korchmar, Manual Alvarez, and Glenn Block are but a few of his mentors. Mr. Dollinger has also been awarded a number of academic honors including induction into the Phi Kappa Lamda Honor Society.

Mr. Dollinger served in the United States Marine Corps where he was a part of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. During his time in the Marine Corps he also took part in numerous humanitarian joint task force missions to impoverished Central American countries.

He is the proud husband of fellow conductor, Rei Hotoda, and father to Arianna, Constantine, and Sophie-Ann.  He may be contacted through his website, https://www.briandollinger.com/

Executive Director

Robert Whipple

Our Board of Directors

William Zickau President

Nancy Malli Vice-President

Mary B. Paul  Secretary

Richard Sweet  Treasurer

Sharon L. Gilbert  Historian

Edward McMahon

We are seeking new members for our Director and Auxiliary Support Boards, please contact us!!