She told me he insisted she called him maestro: “I thought it was ridiculous and silly,” she said.
That opinion is seconded by Eric Ripert, the maestro of Le Bernardin.
At the opening, Clinton was very much the maestro, a mixture of MC and talk show host.
"master of music, great teacher or composer," 1797, from Italian maestro, literally "master," from Latin magisterium, accusative of magister (see master (n.)). Applied in Italian to eminent musical composers. Meaning "conductor, musical director" is short for maestro di cappella (1724), literally "master of the chapel" (cf. German kapellmeister).
A title for distinguished artists, especially those in music. It may be given to teachers, composers, conductors, or performers. Maestro is Italian for “master.”