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Soprano Recorder

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Soprano Recorder

Andre Rieu was born on October 1, 1949, in a very old town, dating back to Roman times, called Maastricht, in the Netherlands. He was a very nimble child and started to study the violin when he was only five years old.

He continued his studies at the Conservatorium, in Maastricht and Liege's Conservatoire Royal. He was fascinated by orchestras. For three years in the 70s he studied under luminaries, such as Andre Gertler, at the Brussels Music Academy. Whilst there he won the 'Premier Prix'.

Later he created the 'Maastricht Salon Orchestra'. The Limburg Symphony Orchestra was so impressed with young Rieu that they allowed him to appear as a solo violinist.

In 1987 one of his dreams came true and he formed the 'Johann Strauss Orchestra' with only twelve members. How it has grown! The orchestra now utilizes the first class talents of between forty and fifty musicians. Some have criticized his elaborate stage performances and sets. However the fact remains that he has done an enormous amount of good, not only to populurise waltz music, but, also classical music in general. He also puts on a wonderful and entertaining show and brings much pleasure and happiness, wherever he and his orchestra perform. Andre earned his, well deserved title of, 'The King of Waltz'. Andre is a man with much charisma who enjoys playing his violin, but also enjoys light banter with his audience, who oft times, are made to feel part of his orchestral family.

He owns and plays, two historic Stradivarius violins. One dating from 1667. The other from 1732.

The Johann Strauss Orchestra, with Andre at the helm, have given acclaimed performances all over the globe, including Europe, the Americas, and as far away as Australia. He speaks, at least, seven languages, including Dutch, German, English, French, Italian and Spanish. His recordings and DVDs have also been received, with enthusiasm, by his world-wide family of faithful fans.

The Johann Strauss Orchestra has won many many. Gold and Platinum recordings and no less than two World Music Awards. In Holland, eight Platinum awards were also added to that growing list. He now has his own, very active, recording studios in Maastricht, where he produces, not only DVDs and CDs of his own performances, but records for movie sound tracks, theatre musicals and other forms of music, including classical, folk and popular. Andre worked with a brother, Jean Phillipe, for some years, until Jean struck out on his own and opened his own production company.

Pierre, the younger of Andre's two sons, works with him, as his Production Manager, on a full time basis.

His wife, Marjorie has composed several pieces and these have been performed by the orchestra. One, particularly lovely piece 'Please Don't Go', was sung by Suzan Erens, Carmen Monarcha and Carla Maffioletti to critical acclaim.

In 2007, Andre also chalked up another first. He toured Australia alone, without his orchestra. He was very well received and delighted audiences with his own interpretation of their unofficial Australian National Anthem, 'Waltzing Matilda'. However, both Andre and the full Johann Strauss will be returning to the 'Land Down Under' late in 2008, in November and December, for a full tour. Much to the delight of his legion of admirers there.

PBS, Public Broadcasting Services have transmitted many of the live performances of Andre and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, both throughout the U.K. and North America. One particularly wonderful performance was from the Piazza Della Republica, Cortona, Tuscany. A tender and deeply touching performance of Puccini's, 'O Mio Babbino Caro', sung by a beautiful, young soprano, Carmen Monarcha, from Brazil. People were moved to tears, both in the audience and watching at home. I know, because I was one of them. Carmen and the other two sopranos, Carla Maffioletti and Suzan Arens, delighted the audience with several other vocals at the concert. I recommend that this DVD be placed on your, 'Must Have', list. I guarantee you will never be be disappointed with it.

There is much more of this story to be told and I shall be writing further articles about this extraordinary performer, his orchestra and his sopranos. In the meantime, please enjoy my Squidoo lens and web site, which contains more Andre Rieu delights and even some super free videos of his performances, plus the singers. Details in the author's resource box.

Soprano Recorder - Stairway to Heaven

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