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.
“I could hear the music in my mom’s belly,” said Mr. Simons, who lives in Pomona, N.Y., in Rockland County. “They told me when I was a kid that I would move to the music.”
Mr. Simons is still moving to the music, 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.
Since his wife, Janet, died 20 years ago, Mr. Simons has been living by himself in the simple house in the woods that he moved to in 1950.