My Story with The Maestro: Getting Online, Getting Discovered

Just as DJ Mix Master Mike is known for his scratch records, as Paul Gilbert is known for shredding his guitars, I present to you my friend, The Maestro, as the funniest conductor/pianist/violinist you’ll ever know…

How I got to know The Maestro…
One of the joys of working at the Educational Technology Center (ETC) is that I get to meet and help talented people transitioning through our university. Magnus “The Maestro” Martensson came by to teach at the University at Buffalo (there’s a decent music school here) and ended seeking my help to build an online presence as a musician. For starters, I guided him through the use of web ingredients such as a generous portion of blogger.com, some sprinkles of Flickr and a dash of Youtubeness (MySpace coming soon too).

A little background on The Maestro…
Swedish born conductor Magnus Martensson turned into a comedian/pianist during a concert at Victor Borge Hall in New York City, in front of an enthusiastic and encouraging audience that included members of Mr. Borge’s family. Since then, Mr. Martensson has appeared in Los Angeles, New York, and Buffalo, and critics have called his act both “hilarious” and “clever.”

Mr. Martensson wrote comedy as a young laddie, combining it with music and performing at school concerts. He presented a series of private Comedy&Music concerts in Cleveland during the 1990s, but has since been busy working as a conductor, narrowing down his comedy time to Scherzo movements in symphonies. After receiving encouraging words from the daughter of late comedian/pianist Victor Borge, Mr.Martensson decided to be funny again and has since been performing his comedy routine, combining it with conducting and multi instrumental musical performances.

Mr. Martensson is currently Music Director of The Slee Sinfonietta and The Scandinavian Chamber Orchestra of New York, and guest conducts in Europe and South America. He has premiered over 70 works, and has recorded for the Mode and Mindfeel labels. An active composer, Mr. Martensson’s commissions have included orchestral and chamber music, songs, and solo works. His one act opera Before the Law , based on Kafka’s work, premiered in Buffalo in 1997, while in 2004 he conducted his Kvasir for Strings at New York’s Carnegie Hall.

What’s in store for The Maestro…
The above YouTube clip (Quicktime version here) represents one of the many acts he has been performing throughout the States and we’ve compiled all the funnier bits in a neatly packaged DVD. He has also produced a music CD which contains a selection of delectable Scandinavian piano favorites, as well as a book entitled Thoughts, Verse and Further Nonsense, which as it states, is full of it complete with illustrations.

If you’re interested in his mad musical masterpieces, run over to his blog at maestromartensson.com right now!