11/2/1907 - 8/31/1989
Paul Katz was a gifted musician and founding music director of the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra, which he conducted for 42 years. He began violin lessons at the age of 5, and in 1916 was the youngest student ever accepted at the Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. He was a member of the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra and the Cleveland Orchestra, but his dream was to establish a symphony orchestra in Dayton. In 1933 he got together a group of musicians to perform two concerts at the Dayton Art Institute, and from these humble beginnings the Dayton Philharmonic was born. Katz was responsible for bringing many world renowned artists to Dayton, including Isaac Stern, Arthur Rubenstein, Yehudi Menuhin, Marion Anderson, Roberta Peters and YoYo Ma as well as pops artists Ella Fitzgerald, Lionel Hampton, and Dave Brubeck. He established all of the groundbreaking programs for which the Philharmonic is known: the Young People’s Concerts, the Dayton Philharmonic Chorus, the Dayton Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, and the Pops concerts series, all of which continue to flourish.