Music Director


The 2018-2019 Season will be led by a series of Guest Conductors following the passing of longtime Music Director Robert L. Cronquist in September, 2018.

Conductor Robert Cronquist believed everyone deserves great music: An appreciation.  Zachary Lewis, The Plain Dealer

Robert Cronquist is the second Music Director of the Cleveland Women’s Orchestra, assuming the post in 1990 after the death of founder, Hyman Schandler. During Mr. Cronquist’s tenure, the Orchestra’s repertoire and concert schedule have expanded and a permament Endowment has been established.

Mr. Cronquist is also Music Director of the Lakeside Festival Orchestra in Lakeside, Ohio. Since 1971, he has directed this summer symphony that attracts professional musicians from across the country. They come together each summer at Lakeside to present a series of programs that include symphonic works, light classics, ballet and opera.

For 22 years, Mr. Cronquist served as Conductor and first full-time Music Director of the Mansfield Symphony where he engaged many world famous artists to perform as soloists with the orchestra. He established a concert series that included ballet, oratorio, and fully staged operas in addition to symphonic programs.

A French horn player, he has performed with many orchestras across the country, including the Phoenix Symphony and the Cleveland Orchestra. He has also served as Interim Manager of the Ohio Chamber Orchestra and Director of the Harvard East Branch of The Cleveland Music School Settlement.

Mr. Cronquist has an extensive repertoire of over 1,000 symphonic works, ballets, oratorios and staged operas including Tosca, La Traviata, Il Trovatore, Lucia, and Carmen. Many of the world’s greatest artists have performed with Mr. Cronquist including Joseph Gingold, Leonard Rose, Eunice Podis, Itzhak Perlman, Jose Iturbi, “Doc” Severinsen, Karl Haas, Joseph Fuchs, and Metropolitan Opera stars Frank Guarrera, Blanche Thebom, Robert Merrill, Jerome Hines and many others.