page contents Review: Mini Maestro Family Concert | mummy rates it
Days Out Reviews — 26 March 2012

Independent Review: I quite fancy the idea of having a musician in the family. In fact we (me and OH) have even gone so far as to learn the piano in the hope that it will rub off on the kids. This weekend Operation ‘Our Kids will be Cultured’ continued with a visit to the Mini Maestro concert. Here is my review…

Independent review by Michelle at of Mini Maestro

Mini Maestros: taking in the music

The weather was so gorgeous this weekend that a trip into town just to sit inside a concert venue, even one as beautiful as St Martin in the Fields, would have been criminal. Picnic lunch packed, then promptly eaten on the train, we spent two hours pre-concert in St James’ Park. The little playground area is a great spot. Not only is it lots of fun with a big sandpit, swings, seesaw and adventure slide and ropes but it also has a cafe. (I’m sure I can’t be the only parent who appreciates being able to enjoy a latte whilst watching the kids play).

Anyway, a couple of hours of sandpit action and we headed off to Trafalgar Square to find St Martin in the Fields. En route we saw not one but two of the large Faberge eggs that have been hidden around town. (In case you didn’t know there are 200 of them scattered across the city centre and a £100,000 egg to win).

Mini Maestro is held in the church of St Martin in the Fields, in the north east corner of Trafalgar Square. The event was presented by John Landor, who is also the conductor of the London Musical Arts Orchestra. Landor began by introducing himself and his orchestra but much of that was lost on the kids who were open-mouthed listening to all the instruments being tuned.

On Saturday the orchestra played Mozart’s Symphony No 39. Know that one? I didn’t and so I joined the kids by being agog as Landor explained how you can often find a story within a piece of music. In the case of Symphony No 39 he used the analogy of a mountaineer ascending the steepest mountain in the world, ducking from falling rocks and stones, battling against the wind until he reaches the summit and sees the most magnificent view. When the orchestra played this piece the children all became mountaineers themselves, climbing, ducking and reaching their summits.

Children were encouraged to come and mingle with the orchestra and to have a go at conducting. Landor, who comes across as quite strict with both his orchestra and the audience, made sure that the musicians kept true to how they were being conducted. This produced laughs as some kids were very slow whilst others produced really fast playing.

Wiggly kids were kept amused by crayons and paper being handed out so it is a suitable event for younger ones as well as those old enough to be captivated by the music and instruments. At one point the orchestra came out into the audience and asked children to hold their music for them. Later still, they mingled again allowing children to ask them questions.

All in all we enjoyed our experience at Mini Maestro. Future events could be greatly improved by Landor refraining from snapping at his assistants – the poor things! For £6.50 for children and £8.50 for adults it was an experience which young and old enjoyed. It certainly provided us with plenty to talk about over our pizza.

The next (and last of this season) Mini Maestro concert is on Saturday 21st April at 4.30pm. Concerts last about one hour.


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