Friday, April 29, 2011
Thursday, April 28, 2011
Meanwhile, Genuine Interactive is putting the final touches on the www.maestroclassics.com website so that we can sell MP3 downloads from our own site. This will be a major step into the new technological era. At the moment, you can purchase our Maestro Classics on iTunes and Amazon, but when that happens, we never know who is listening to our CDs, and we love to know who our fans are. Also, they are unable to offer the booklets that accompany every CD that we spend so much time on, with their world-class illustrations, fun activities, and additional information. The booklets are so good to have while you are listening and are great to have for kids to look at in the car.
The Falmouth Chorale had its first rehearsal with Maestro Simon. As usual, he was funny, demanding, helpful, encouraging, as they went through the "Ode to Joy" in German. Last night he had the first orchestra rehearsal and came home saying, "To have an orchestra like this on Cape Cod is really amazing!" The Simon Sinfonietta will obviously have another triumph on its hands on May 10th at Christ the King Church in Mashpee, MA. Tonight is the first Chatham Chorale rehearsal. I hope to take my Flip camera with me. It is so inspiring to listen to this symphony.
For the first time, we announced that we are offering free homeschool curriculum guides. They include language arts, math, geography, history, arts, and music. Each curriculum guide can be accessed at the maestroclassics.com website. Because many parents know that classical music is important for kids, but often do not know how to introduce it into their homeschool curriculums, we asked a wonderful music educator-choral director-homeschool mom to help us create these homeschool curriculum guides to introduce kids to classical music. Now everyone who buys a CD from us will have a curriculum guide to enable them to not only enjoy listening in the car but also include it in their homeschool curriculum.
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
One of the greatest symphonies ever composed. The Maestro was taken to Carnegie Hall to a live performance at the age of 10: Arturo Toscanini, one of the conducting giants of the 19th and 20th centuries, conducted the NBC Symphony Orchestra. You can see part of the performance on YouTube (click). Incredible to think that during those years, 1948-1952 NBC was presenting great concerts on TV regularly. He in turn took his sons when they were about the same age to a legendary performance of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 with Sir Georg Solti conducting the Chicago Symphony with four magnificent soloists, including a young, unknown tenor named Luciano Pavarotti! The maestro hopes that some kids who like classical music will come to his performance of Beethoven Symphony No. 9 in Mashpee, MA and remember it as well.
Our music director, Maestro Stephen Simon, does not just do classical music for kids. He also conducts music for adult concerts. He just finished conducting a concert with L'Orchestre des Portes Rouges in New York City with organist David Enlow (Juilliard faculty). The concert was a great success - the musicians and the audience loved it. We, of course, handed out a few My Name is Handel: The Story of Handel's Water Music CDs that are hot off the press. There were some kids in the audience - his two granddaughters who came from Boston to see their grandfather conduct live for the first time.
Sunday, April 17, 2011
Our Maestro Classics music director, Stephen Simon, conducted L'Orchestre des Portes Rouges on Friday, April 15, 2011 at Church of the Resurrection, 119 East 74th Street, NYC. David Enlow, organ faculty at Juilliard, was the soloist in a program of Mozart Church Sonatas and the Poulenc Organ Concerto, as well as a Mozart symphony. The acoustics in this beautiful Renwick-style church are glorious, and the newly installed organ with pipes nestled in all corners of the building was stunning. None of the musicians had ever performed in the space before and their delight promises to make it one of New York's special concert venues in the future.
On a personal note, it was wonderful to see so many old New York friends as well as friends and relatives from out-of-town welcoming us back to the musical scene in Manhattan.
Photos will follow
Monday, April 11, 2011
Time to get back on the blog. I am embarrassed to see that I have not been on for 12 months, since just before our second venture into the homeschool world of the Midwest. Why? A beautiful new website www.maestroclassics.com has taken a year to build and a new CD has been born. But, on to today.
Quickly, the Midwest Homeschool Conference. I gave two talks and abandoned the Powerpoint presentation, explaining that Maestro Classics is all about listening. At the booth and after talks, it was great to meet all the folks who listen and love our CDs. Twice as many families purchased CDs in 2010 as in 2009, and this year in 2011 it seemed that the word is really out, and the number tripled. Maestro Classics has been discovered by the Midwest homeschool community!
Many parents approached our Maestro Classics booth saying,
"My friend told me that I absolutely have to come and listen to your CDs."
"I just want to tell everyone here that these are wonderful CDs. We purchased the entire set two years ago and my son has already worn out 2 of the CDs!"
Another memorable comment came from the family who said that their car was broken into and all their Maestro Classics CDs were stolen;they wanted to replace them all.
Classical music and kids. There are still some families who are skeptical. Do they know enough to introduce it to their children? Isn't it that deadly stuff you put on when you want your child to go to sleep, or perhaps help them concentrate on their homework, not too interesting so you don't really need to listen? Just come and listen to Maestro Classics CDs, I always say. The conductor explains the music. You can not only hear the London Philharmonic Orchestra, you may also head the Russian Trio Voronezh playing folk instruments, the Maestro Classics Dixieland Band, a jazz trio, or even Joe Stump, the head of the heavy metal department at Berklee College of music. Are these CDs classical music for kids? some people ask. I prefer to say "Good music for kids....and their parents." Plus, on every CD, the conductor talks about the music, you learn a little history of the composer and the times from me, and there is always the "Play/Sing/Dance-Along" track at the end, preceded by my famous, "Stand up and smile!"
Since I wrote a year ago, we have a new CD: My Name is Handel: The Story of Water Music. It is the most beautiful to date. More on that later.
At the moment, I need to get to Church of the Resurrection on East 74th St. in NYC where our music director and my husband, conductor Stephen Simon, is having a rehearsal for the April 15th concert for organ and orchestra and I want to go and listen to the fabulous organist, David Enlow.