John Axelrod


Dear Friends,

Welcome to the new John Axelrod website.  A great deal of thought has been put into the process, design and implementation, and both ARTICOMM, the designer, and I hope you like the new look!

Making a new website brings questions to mind:  why should the organic, performance of music need to have a visual (and technological) support in the first place?  Why is it that so many promoters and Intendants engage people only based on “having heard their name before,” rather than actually having heard them play.   As in ages before, the reputation precedes us.  In the case of Mozart, he needed Salieri to spread his name. For Beethoven, he needed Haydn.  Schumann wrote about Chopin and Berlioz and Mendelssohn led the revival of Bach.  So having a name that others speak of seems important, not only the music we make.   Today, its not word of mouth only.  Via broadcast media, print, and website exposure, visual reminders can, depending on the aesthetic, actually help, not hurt a career.  And publicists don’t do so badly either.

There seem to be an infinite number of ways an artist promotes him or herself these days via the web.  Here are some sites I do like: Eivind Gullberg Jensen, Lang Lang, Christoph Eschenbach.  There are many others I don’t.  But websites, like music, is subjective; some may like it, others may not.  And unlike music, websites can become obsolete and quickly requiring a whole new design to impress the techno-savvy viewer.

Making a website is like composing a piece of music.  There is a method over-all, with mathematically guided equations of structure and form. There is an emotional aesthetic to affect the outcome.  And there is a motive, that repeats itself and is subjected to theme and variations.  In the case of this website, the one theme that kept returning is the use of the hands as the gestural instrument of the conductor.   Every time I give an upbeat and sound is made, it is, like the Blake poem writes, holding the universe in the palm of the hand.

So the palm naturally added substance to the motive.  There is something mystical and spiritual about conducting, something that is hard to explain, that indefinable chemistry between an orchestra and conductor.  Palmistry is quite mysterious.  And after my own experiences with palmistry: Having an experienced reader read my palm when I was 18 revealing things no one else would know, to the coincidental meeting of someone from my “past life” in this present life, to finally studying the art and science of chiromancy- I realized that the palm, its magic and its music, was in fact my own life leitmotive.

What the Head, Heart, Life, Fate and Stars tell us can be of great reassurance.  It helps build on strengths and improve weaknesses.  Most of all, it makes for a great time at a party.  I remember one night in Milan, my friend hosted a party without telling me that I would be the entertainment, reading everyone’s palms!  There was a line down the stairs and around the block!

So, this website is more than simply presenting information about an artist.  More than padding or exaggerating ones achievements.  In this case, it is a picture into my soul, into what interests me, and how the palm is reflected in my career choice.

See what your lines tell you.  Or come to a concert and backstage, and instead of holding out your hand to shake, turn it over so I can read your palm.  Then we can get to know each other very well.  And we might have even known each other in a past life.  Who knows?  Fate, like music, works in mysterious ways…..



1 Comment »
  1. Dear John,

    not only are you a wonderful conductor, but a 100 percent musician in so many other fields: from your knowledge of history to your visions of your own person as well as inspiring other people, like me.

    From my first meeting with you I knew you are special, and I hope you can help me put my composition efforts on a next level. We will find a way. Probably my palm will tell you ;-)

    All the best,

    Comment by Christian — 8 February 2010 @ 08:38

Leave a comment:


© 2010 John Axelrod. All rights reserved.