Maestro X

Maestro XMaestro X, aka John Axelrod, is the creator, producer and conductor of Classical Rock. With his business partners, Mister Y and CPRX, Maestro X has formed AD Productions to present classical music in unique formats and productions.

Axelrod, the Music Director of the Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire in France since 2010 and Principal Conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano "Giuseppe Verdi" in Italy since 2011, is no stranger to rock-n-roll. Prior to his professional career as a classical music conductor, Axelrod worked in the music business from 1988 to 1992 as an Artist and Repertoire director for BMG/RCA Records and Atlantic Records, where he was involved in the discovery and direction of such artists as the Smashing Pumpkins, Marc Cohen and Tori Amos. With this experience, Axelrod became familiar with all aspects of record engineering and production.

In 1997, he founded OrchestraX in his hometown of Houston, Texas, which developed innovative ideas of concert programming for younger audiences. There he tested with great success the idea of presenting an orchestra as a rock band, creating an interactive experience similar in definition to a rock concert.

However, it was during his tenure from 2004-2009 as Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra in Switzerland that Axelrod presented such a program for the Lucerne Festival in a hockey arena in front of 4000 people, with the lead singer from Krokus, Mark Storace. Once Axelrod saw that it was not only a success musically and commercially, but also measurably increased subscribers to the orchestra, he understood the potential opportunity to record this project and make it available for a wider public.

Since 2000, Axelrod has conducted over 150 orchestras around the world, recorded for such labels as Warner Music, Sony Classical, Ondine, Naive and Universal, toured Asia and the USA with jazz legend Herbie Hancock and Chinese classical pianist Lang Lang, and also maintains a post as Music Director of the "Hollywood in Vienna" Film Music Gala Concert, with the Radio Symphony Orchestra of Vienna. He also writes a column on wine and music for Crescendo magazine.