I have been praying at the altar of Beethoven from an early age. My first piece of music I played as a toddler of 3 years was Für Elise.
Bacchus has also been my muse for some time. Since my first taste at the ripe age of 15 of the Châteauneuf-du-Pape Vieux Télégraph, I knew my life would have a Dionysian destiny.
Music. Wine. Food.
I am also The Conductor In The Kitchen. Visit my Youtube Channel and subscribe or click below to the website. I conduct and cook Italian recipes (because they are my favorite and easiest to make with fresh ingredients).
And of course more classical musical hits are included.
Music never tasted so good!
I also love to make special events, especially Culinary Concerts, presenting an unforgettable evening of the best of wine, food and music. Look at the Events page to find out more.
I raise my glass to you. Let us eat, drink and be musical!
John Axelrod is recognized as a leading international classical music conductor, having performed with most of the world’s best orchestras and opera houses. As a result, this lover of wine and Italian food has, during his international travels, sought out the finest wines and authentic Italian restaurants for his own enjoyment.
When asked by his colleagues and friends, Axelrod enthusiastically began to share his discoveries which led him to write his reviews on his own website and begin his first blog AUTENTICO ITALIANO. This passion for wine and food has been featured in such publications as Corriere della Sera, El Mundo and Lufthansa in-Flight Magazine as well as Axelrod's own published articles in Crescendo Magazine.
As an author, Axelrod published Wie großartige Musik ensteht oder auch nicht, Lenny & Me: On Conducting Bernstein’s Symphonies, and Big Notes: How A Stradivarius Makes Money and Music, with the Italian translation entitled: Suono Ricco- Musica e mercato del lusso: investire in strumenti rari.
Prior to being a conductor, Axelrod was the Director of the Robert Mondavi Wine and Food Center in Costa Mesa, CA. There he became an expert on wine and food, working with celebrity chefs, preparing wine educational seminars and developing his love for wine and food. This background, as well as his profile as an internationally active classical music conductor, writer and public artist, frequently featured in print, internet and on television uniquely prepare him to create IAMBACCHUS.COM, and also inspired him to start the Culinary Concerts (Concerts Culinaires de Chardonne) and The Conductor In The Kitchen.
Principal Conductor, Bucharest Symphony Orchestra
Principal Guest Conductor, City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra, Japan
Since 1996, Mr. Axelrod has conducted more than 180 orchestras, 35 operas and 60 world premieres, establishing a profile as one of today's leading conductors and sought after by orchestras and opera houses throughout the world. His extraordinarily diverse repertoire, innovative programming, probing interpretations and charismatic performance style have been praised and recognized by both audiences and critics.
In 2020, Maestro Axelrod received the Special Achievement Award from the International Classical Music Awards for his outstanding contributions and interpretations.
In 2022, Maestro Axelrod was unanimously elected as the Principal Conductor of the Bucharest Symphony Orchestra, with a unique open-ended contract. In 2019, Maestro Axelrod became the Principal Guest Conductor of the City of Kyoto Symphony Orchestra. In 2014, Maestro Axelrod was the Artistic and Musical Director of the Real Orquesta Sinfónica de Sevilla (ROSS).
Other titled positions included Principal Guest Conductor of Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano (LaVerdi), Music Director of the NHK Jazz at the Metropolitan Theater, Music Director of the l'Orchestre National des Pays de la Loire, Music Director and Chief Conductor of the Lucerne Symphony Orchestra and Theater, Music Director of "Hollywood in Vienna" with the ORF Vienna Radio Orchestra, and as First Conductor of Sinfonietta Cracovia.
Among his long term relationships, invitations and recordings with European orchestras include Berlin’s RSB, NDR Symphony Hamburg (ElbePhilharmonie), Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchester, Filarmonica della Scala, Orchestra Sinfonica Nazionale della RAI Torino, Teatro La Fenice Orchestra in Venice, Orchestre de Paris, Danish Radio Symphony Orchestra, Prague Radio Symphony Orchestra, the Mozarteum Orchester Salzburg, and the Mariinsky Orchestra in Russia.
In the USA, Mr. Axelrod has conducted the Chicago Symphony, Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra among others. Maestro Axelrod recently debuted to great acclaim with the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and the Tokyo Metropolitan Orchestra. Important regular festival engagements include the Enescu, Salzburg, Lucerne, Montreux Jazz, Beethoven Festival, Pacific Music and the Schleswig Holstein.
John Axelrod’s key opera activity includes Bernstein's Candide at Théâtre du Châtelet, Teatro alla Scala and Maggio Musicale Fiorentino, Eugene Onegin at Teatro San Carlo in Naples, and Kurt Weill’s Aufstieg und Fall der Stadt Mahagonny at the Rome Opera. For the Lucerne Festival, he conducted: Rigoletto, The Rake's Progress, Don Giovanni, the Three Penny Opera, Falstaff and Idomeneo. Maestro Axelrod conducted Gianni Schicchi to open the 2020 Puccini Festival and returned in 2021 to conduct a new production of Turandot, directed by Daniele Abbado.
Mr. Axelrod has recorded core and contemporary repertoire for Sony Classical, Warner Classics, Ondine, Universal, Naïve and Nimbus, and released a cycle of Brahms Symphonies with the Orchestra Sinfonica di Milano Giuseppe Verdi, entitled Brahms Beloved on Telarc, produced by Grammy winner Michael Fine.
Actively committed to working with young professional musicians, Mr. Axelrod was the Principal Conductor of the Pacific Music Festival in Sapporo, and he has toured with the Santander Orchestra, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival Orchestra to the Salzburg Festival, the Orchestra Giovanile Italiana, the Accademia della Scala to Muscat, the NordDeutsche Junge Philharmonie and the Vienna Jeunesse Orchester. In 2020, Maestro Axelrod created CMO. Conductors Masterclass Online, now teaching 26 students worldwide. In 2022, Maestro Axelrod led the Bucharest Music Institute Masterclass and Competition.
Mr. Axelrod is also a published author and blogger about wine and food. He presents Concerts Culinaires de Chardonne, featuring the best of wine, food and music and makes cooking videos as The Conductor In The Kitchen. He is also the founder and president of CultureALL Association, based in Switzerland.
Mr. Axelrod graduated in 1988 from Harvard University. Trained personally by Leonard Bernstein in 1982, he also studied at the St. Petersburg Conservatory with Ilya Musin in 1996 and was mentored by Christoph Eschenbach from 1997 until 2000 when we made his professional debut at assistant conductor for Parisfal at the Bayreuth Festival.
Remy Franck, Pizzicato
If you would like to join the party, and be a Bacchus too, sign up for the IAMBACCHUS newsletter.