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LONDON, March 27, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

With the London 2012 Olympics mere months away, John Axelrod, one of the world's renowned classical conductors and creator of the Classical Rock genre, is embarking on an initiative to coincide with The Games to improve national musicianship by embracing athletes' training disciplines. John believes that strict athletic style training, even before a musician picks up an instrument to play, can improve their performance in the long term, especially since most classical musicians (and even rock musicians) perform past retirement age, whereas most athletes retire before they hit middle age! Thus, a musician's physical stamina needs are even greater as they age and their work "is done in a uniform (or costume), just as the white tie and tails designates the importance and role of a musician, so does the leather pants and sunglasses of the rock musician as does the colour, material and design of a sport uniform for the athlete."

He compares the efforts a leading classical or rock musician needs to attain to that of a world class athlete competing in the Olympics and is attempting via his embracing of the two musical genres, rock and classical which together create Classical Rock, to develop both a musical understanding between the two diverse musical styles and a desire to emulate through fitness and training, an Olympic ethic in people learning how to play musical instruments of all kinds.

"As I see it," explains Axelrod, "the musical performance is the equivalent of the athletes' game, the musicians are the athletes. Notes must move with the finesse and grace of a gymnast seeking the perfect score, persist with the fidelity of a triathlete gruelling towards the finish line, hit with the precision of an archer aiming only for the bull's eye. The hard work doesn't come without risk for either: pianists and tennis stars alike deal with carpal tunnel, runners or cellists with tendonitis. But whether it be performing a piece by Vivaldi or fearlessly defending the net, one is always living in the truest sense of the present, with the finish - with victory - being the only option."

"I am aiming to set up groups via social networking sites under the Classical Rock banner," John elaborates, "to inspire every element of professionalism amongst those already at their musical peak or those just starting out in music, and given that training is a fundamental part of learning and improving, the idea of developing forums that can bring together athletes and musicians would be inspiring. After all, the importance of training arms and fingers for example for those in the string section of the orchestra or band will help them in the same way as a strict fitness regime will help someone in archery for example. A swimmer may suffer some similar problems to those in the wind section of an orchestra and by understanding each other's training methods injury - which can put either athlete or musician out of action - can be avoided. In other words if you look at the way a performing of music has to be in action for many hours on occasions through a performance it is so similar to the way a top athlete has to perform and hence shared training and fitness advice could be crucial to becoming the best possible in either discipline."

Classical Rock is a project conceived, conducted and produced by John Axelrod (aka MaestroX), with arranger Christophe Patrix (aka CPRX). This unique and revolutionary concept album unites some of the greatest rock songs ever written with the weight and depth of an orchestra. In many ways, the orchestra is a team, each individual articulating the compositions with their instruments, sharing the goal of delivering the piece in its intended glory, with an Olympic calibre performance. The arrangements harness the aggression of competition, the emotion resulting from unwavering dedication. It's a project and conceptualisation that appeals to audiences from all areas of the musical spectrum. And it's not hard to understand why: rock owes classical music its life.

Looking at the orchestra, for example, it is divided into specific sections and each also shares a common body movement or usage with athletes and hence the work out or fitness regimes can be shared not only to improve performance but avoid injury -

  • String section - similar to archery or some bat or racquet sports
  • Woodwind section - similar to long distant running or any sport needing extreme cardio vascular control
  • Brass section - closely linked to swimming due to the rapid impact of breath needed
  • Percussion section - similar to boxing, shot put, javelin etc..

The level of musicianship and the intricacy of the arrangements are truly awe inspiring, much like the Olympic athletes who demonstrate the highest level of our capabilities and strengthen our resolve to be the best that we can be. Classical Rock delivers the power and passion of the original song without losing focus; it brings us to the finish line the same way sport delivers the pride and satisfaction of determination... of gold and glory.

Music is sport. Sport is music. For more information please visit

Please contact Vicky Berry at Quite Great on +44(0)1223-410000