Guest Conductor Leslie B. Dunner joins CCM Orchestras in Halloween concert

The CCM Philharmonia and Chamber Orchestra present "CSI Halloween: Post-Mortem" at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1.

The CCM Philharmonia and Chamber Orchestra continue the CCMONSTAGE Orchestra Series with a Halloween-inspired performance at 7:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 1 in Corbett Auditorium. Featuring guest conductor and distinguished alumnus Leslie B. Dunner as the “chief medical examiner,” CSI Halloween: Post-Mortem resurrects well-known classical works by Franz Liszt, Benjamin Britten and Camille Saint-Saëns.  

The ghostly performance features Liszt’s Totentanz (Dance of Death), which was inspired by the composer’s fascination with death and by his visits to the Paris gallows. The concert also includes Saint-Saëns’ Carnival of the “Dead” Animals, featuring 14 ravenous movements such as “Death March of the Lion” and “Torture-oises.” For the grand finale, Britten’s “Dead” Person’s Guide to the Orchestra “dissects” the different sections of the orchestra.

CCM welcomes back alumnus Leslie B. Dunner (DMA, ’82) for the November 1 concert. An award-winning conductor with a glowing international reputation, Dunner is the Music Director of the South Shore Opera Company in Chicago and serves as the conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Interlochen Arts Camp. Read more about Dunner’s accomplishments below.

View all upcoming CCMONSTAGE Orchestra Series performances at

CCM alum Leslie B. Dunner poses with his conductor's baton

CCM alumnus Leslie B. Dunner.

Leslie B. Dunner serves as the conductor of the Interlochen Arts Academy Orchestra, the World Youth Symphony Orchestra and the Interlochen Arts Camp. He has been Music Director of the South Shore Opera Company in Chicago since 2014. He has also served as Music Director of the Joffrey Ballet and the symphony orchestras of Annapolis, Dearborn and Nova Scotia. He spent 11 seasons at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO), first as Resident, then Associate and finally as Assistant Conductor, while serving concurrently as Music Director of the DSO's youth orchestra, the Detroit Symphony Civic Orchestra. Besides holding principal conducting positions at the Dance Theatre of Harlem, Harlem Festival Orchestra and Louisville Ballet, he undertook a season as Interim Music Director of the Orquesta Filarmónica de Jalisco in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Dunner's guest engagements with major orchestras throughout the world include two years with the Chicago Symphony and five as Cover Conductor of the New York Philharmonic, where he assisted during a four-week European tour. He has appeared with such distinguished ensembles as the Atlanta Symphony, Baltimore Symphony, Cleveland Orchestra, Dallas Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, Philadelphia Orchestra, San Francisco Symphony and Seattle Symphony, as well as orchestras in Canada, Mexico, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Ukraine, Russia and South Africa. An avid ballet conductor, Dunner has taken the podiums of the American Ballet Theater, New York City Ballet, Michigan Opera Theatre, Royal Ballet at Covent Garden, Birmingham Royal Ballet and South African Ballet Theatre, among others.

In addition to his professional conducting work, Dunner is a dedicated music educator. He began his career in music education as Assistant Professor at Minnesota's Carleton College and has continued to lead youth orchestras throughout his career. The first American prize-winner in the Arturo Toscanini International Conducting Competition, he is also a recipient of the Leonard Bernstein American Conductors Award and the NAACP's James Weldon Johnson and Distinguished Achievement Awards.

Dunner holds a Bachelor's degree in clarinet performance from the Eastman School of Music at the University of Rochester, a Master's in music theory and musicology from Queens College at the City University of New York, and a Doctor of Musical Arts in orchestral conducting from CCM.

CSI Halloween: Post-Mortem

CCM Philharmonia and Chamber Orchestra
Mark Gibson, music director
Featuring guest artist Leslie B. Dunner, guest conductor and chief medical examiner

LISZT: Totentanz
SAINT-SAËNS: Carnival of the “Dead” Animals
BRITTEN: “Dead” Person’s Guide to the Orchestra

7:30 p.m. Friday, Nov. 1
Corbett Auditorium

Purchasing Tickets

Single ticket prices start at $20 each; student and group discounts available. Pricing is inclusive of all fees. All performances are reserved seating.

Tickets can be purchased online though our e-box office, over the phone at 513-556-4183 or in person at the CCM Box Office in the Atrium of UC’s Corbett Center for the Performing Arts.

Learn about additional ticket options for current CCM students.

Directions and Parking

CCM is located on the campus of the University of Cincinnati. Please visit for detailed driving directions to CCM Village.

Parking is available in the CCM Garage (located at the end of Corry Boulevard off Jefferson Avenue) and additional garages throughout the UC campus. Please visit the UC Parking Services website for information on parking rates.

For detailed maps and directions, please visit

Story by CCM Graduate Student Kelly Barefield

Featured image: The Dance of Death (Totentanz) from Liber Chronicarum [Nuremberg Chronicle], 1493, attr. to Michael Wolgemut

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