ABOUT MAPLE GROVE MUSIC PRODUCTIONS
Formed in May 2006, Maple Grove Music Productions was the brainchild of Alan Fraser and his former student, Jovan Haji-Djurich. Both were musicians with no previous business experience, but there was an artistic-pedagogical demand that needed to be filled, and when they conceived the business their genetic makeup was helpful in their getting started.
Alan's paternal great-grandfather ran a successful lumber and ship building enterprise out of Bear River, Nova Scotia 100 years ago. He was one of the most prosperous businessmen in Eastern Canada but fell upon hard times when the company went public, building a pulp and paper mill that went bankrupt shortly thereafter due to the stock manipulations of some rather unscrupulous American business partners.
Jovan's maternal great-grandfather ran a successful import-export business and was one of the richest men in Valyevo, Serbia, until the Communists took over in 1949 and confiscated everything including a mansion in the most exclusive part of Belgrade.
It seems that somewhere inside both of them was the impulse perhaps not so much to make up for the earlier fall in their respective family fortunes but to take up the torch of the family's creative bent, to develop a business that sells a quality product and to empower the many people involved in that process.
The chance for this impulse to find expression arrived in 2006 when Alan produced the DVD version of his book, The Craft of Piano Playing (Scarecrow Press, 2003, 2nd Edition 2011). A window of opportunity opened, and it was Jovan's belief not only in the artistic and pedagogical value of the product and its corresponding commercial possibilities, but in the necessity of forming the company, so that a greater number of pianists could be exposed to the same pedagogical regime under which he himself had flourished, that finally ignited and made real the company that had lingered somewhere in Alan's dreams for so many years.
They learned by their mistakes as all young enterprises do, Alan drawing on his memories of Monopoly and Stock Ticker games with his cousin Peter DeBlois on rainy Prince Edward Island summer afternoons, Jovan by sheer enthusiasm and grit acquiring the vast body of knowledge needed to design high quality websites and do the necessary SEO to make the whole operation tick. Company growth has been organic. Alan's main focus is still on research and development, as the recently published Study Guide, Honing the Pianistic Self Image and All Thumbs bear proof - he has his hands full with other things besides business matters. Jovan has been the unsung hero, working overtime and giving his all to fuel the company's expansion from scratch for its first 2 ½ years.
With Jovan finally fulfilling his dream of heading to the Miami for post-graduate studies in piano with Kemal Gekic, he has changed his working relationship with Maple Grove, opening his own web design business, IKRE84U while continuing to freelance for Maple Grove – developing projects such as an eventual new version of PianoTechnique.net offering subscriptions for regular new teaching video podcasts from Alan Fraser. We wish Jovan every success in his new endeavors and travels, and we will always appreciate the special dedication he showed as one of the founders of the company.
SOPHIA CHOLICH - General Manager & Director of Marketing
Responsible for processing sales and shipping our products, Sophia brings such a thorough, competent and calm-inducing presence to her work that being in the office with her is like being in meditation. A rare and treasured gift she is to us!
RICH TRIVETT - Website Upkeep & Development
Maple Grove Music Productions has recently entered a new phase in its development with the arrival of programming whiz Rich Trivett on the scene. Rich hails from Prince Edward Island but worked in Silicone Valley for years alongside the people were in on the ground floor of Internet and website development. Rich will be doing a general overhaul of all Maple Grove's sites and then developing new sites as the need arises.
Milosh Yankovich - Sales & Service
Milosh is Sophia's right hand man, handling aspects of customer relations and sales when Sophia's duties oblige her to be occupied elsewhere. No relation to the famous Serb tennis player, he nevertheless displays the same guts and determination to get the job done that launched Jelena to world ranking.
Sue Grunton - Office Manager
Sue is our girl Friday who keeps us supplied with high quality coffee and smiles at all hours of the day and night.
Ivan Yurkinov - Research & Product Development
This Russian pianist recently arrived in Novi Sad has been a valuable addition to Alan Fraser's research into the various schools and traditions of piano technique. Has made significant contributions to material for future books and DVD's.
OUR 'SIGNIFICANT OTHER' CONTRIBUTORS
Much of our high-demand Photoshop wizardry work is now done by Igor Peyovitch, another Novi Sad local who is uniquely distinguished as the owner of a Pinzgauer All-Terrain Vehicle that can do amazing things like climb walls without tipping over.
And Igor's significant other Sonya Ardan continues to provide us with stellar photographic work as well as new illustrations for Alan Fraser's latest works on piano technique.
Trevor Fraser, Alan's nephew is a graduate of McGill University in comparative religion & philosophy, and is a high-profile presence in many of Montreal's key social action groups. He has taken on the re-design of AlanFraser.net.
Every new idea has an ideal moment of expression, and it is somehow fateful that the symbiosis of Alan's 35-year research effort happened just when Internet marketing has really come into its own. Today Maple Grove has sold several thousand copies of The Craft of Piano Playing DVD, and expansion of the business continues. We are busy getting new products ready for market and deepening our reach over the Internet – our goal is nothing less than to give all pianists on the planet access to The Craft of Piano Playing and its accompanying materials, and the Internet actually makes such an outrageous goal possible to achieve. Most of our profits are being ploughed back into the development of new products; thus every purchase of The Craft of Piano Playing, Honing the Pianistic Self-Image, etc. contributes to the ongoing development of the ideas and forms of expression of Craft of Piano Method.