A letter from Maestro Paavo Järvi


For over thirty years, working and growing with musicians. I have taken the stage thousands of times, and yet every single rehearsal and concert continues to be a transformational experience. Above all, I’ve learned that orchestras are in many ways a microcosm of society at large. Any rehearsal can be examined as a study on human behavior. All over the world, at any given time, over 100 musicians are constantly making choices that impact the common goal of making the best music possible. Thousands of seemingly unnoticeable interactions and compromises are occurring every second. Each musician, who is remarkably talented in their own right, must decide when to ask questions, when to trust, when to speak up, and when to listen.      

The growth of an orchestra between the first rehearsal and a concert never ceases to amaze me. Somehow, magically, these individuals become one whole, rising above discord and chaos to create harmony that touches lives. It is this transformation that inspires me to dedicate my life to music. To me, every concert is a miraculous example of what we are capable of when we are determined to reach a common goal.

We now live in a world where it seems everyone shouts and no one listens. But it is through careful listening that we can achieve our greatest potential. It is careful listening that is the lifeblood of democracy. It is careful listening that is at the heart of education. And it is only through true education that we can have understanding. Every musical performance is a miracle. And with every miracle, there is hope. Thank you for your impact and dedication as teachers. I am grateful for the opportunity to share my experience with you.    

[Classroom editions of the film are available at www.MaestroMovie.com, where you can also download FREE curriculum.]


Paavo Järvi


A letter to educators from the director of Maestro:

It was during a very dark chapter in my life that I first heard the music of the Estonian composer Arvo Pärt. Despite the fact that he is of a different generation and nationality, it felt as if that piece of music had been written just for me. I will never forget that moment.  

Classical music has the power to broaden our understanding of what it means to be human; true education.


It is a great tragedy that so many students will not be exposed to this music because of commercial interests or forces outside their control. Maestro is the product of years of hard work by a passionate group of individuals eager to give our restless educators a tool that could spark conversation and curiosity.    

It took four years to make Maestro. On many occasions, it looked as if the film would never reach completion, and I contemplated giving up. But the thought of just one student watching the film, and welcoming this music into their life, inspired me to overcome my deepest fears. So in many ways, this film was always for the students. It was always for the educators who are working against the odds every day. It was always for dreams of a future where there is greater understanding.      

So, it is my great pleasure to present the educational version of our film and curriculum. We welcome your feedback.

[Classroom editions of the film are available at www.MaestroMovie.com, where you can also download FREE curriculum.]


David Donnelly