“When strangers express amazement that he is 100 years old, the orchestra conductor Ed Simons likes to extend his longevity by saying his love for music ‘started before I was born,’ spurred by his father playing Mozart symphonies on a Victrola,” writes Corey Kilgannon in Friday’s (2/10) New York Times. “Mr. Simons is still … performing and teaching the violin as well as conducting the Rockland Symphony Orchestra, which he founded in 1952. He is often described as the oldest active orchestra conductor in the country.… He teaches a handful of violin students and plays at a couple of senior centers every week, not to mention frequent impromptu recitals.… Mr. Simons grew up in Pittsburgh and … was playing violin by age 9.… After high school, he played violin in local ensembles and joined the Pittsburgh Symphony.… After his Navy service, Mr. Simons moved to New York City and played with the American Ballet Theater” and conducted Broadway musicals. In 1956, Simons and his wife, a violist and pianist, established the Rockland Conservatory of Music. “ ‘He is much beloved in the county and by musicians worldwide,” said Annamae Goldstein, a violinist who played in Mr. Simons’s orchestra as a teenager and now plays with the Metropolitan Opera orchestra.”

Posted February 15, 2017