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André Rieu

André Léon Marie Nicolas Rieu (born October 1, 1949) is a Dutch violinist and conductor. He is famous for creating an international revival in waltz music and for his many top selling DVD and CD recordings with his "Johann Strauss Orchestra".


Early life and career

André Rieu was born on October 1, 1949 in Maastricht in the Netherlands. He began studying violin at the age of five. He was raised in a musical family (six children) and his father was also a musical Conductor. From an early age he developed a fascination with the Orchestra form. He studied violin at the Conservatoire Royal in Liège and in the Conservatorium Maastricht, (1968–1973). His teachers included Jo Juda and Herman Krebbers. From 1974 to 1977, he attended the Music Academy in Brussels, studying with André Gertler. At that Academy, he won the Premier Prix.

At University he performed the Gold And Silver waltz by Franz Lehár and was impressed by the audience reaction, so he decided to pursue the waltz form. He formed the Maastricht Salon Orchestra and performed as a violinist with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, he created the Johann Strauss Orchestra and his own production company. Since then, his melodramatic stage performances and rock-star-style demeanour have for some been associated with a revival of the waltz music category; others, however, have criticised Rieu for his unrestrained populism and uncritical embrace of consumer culture.

Johann Strauss Orchestra

The Orchestra began in 1987 with twelve members but now performs with over forty and up to fifty musicians. At the time the Orchestra first toured Europe, there emerged a renewed interest in waltz music. This revival was initially mostly in The Netherlands and was ignited by their recording of the “Second Waltz” from Shostakovich's Jazz Suites. As a result, Rieu became known as “The King Of Waltz”.

Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in North America, and Japan. They have won a number of awards including two World Music Awards and have recordings that have gone Gold and Platinum in many countries around the world, including 8-times Platinum in the Netherlands. In September 2007 Rieu performed in Australia for the first time (solo, without his Orchestra) at the Eastland shopping centre in the Melbourne suburb of Ringwood - playing My Way and Waltzing Matilda - and the next day at Sydney’s ARENA COVE, Warringah Mall shopping complex with the same set. Rieu and the Orchestra plan to return to Australia in November & December 2008 for a full Concert tour . He records both DVD & CD repertoire at his own recording studios in Maastricht - a wide range of classical music as well as popular and folk music plus music from famous motion picture sound tracks and theatre musicals. His lively and colourful orchestral presentations have attracted worldwide audiences to classical music that may not initially have been drawn to that genre.

Rieu has worked together with his brother, Jean Philippe, for several years, but Jean Philippe has now started his own production company. Rieu has two sons; of which the youngest Pierre, now works with him full time as his Production Manager. André Rieu plays a 1667 Stradivarius violin. Some of his orchestra's performances have been broadcast in the United Kingdom and the United States on the PBS television network such as the 2003 airing of Andre Rieu Live in Dublin, filmed in Dublin, Ireland, and 2005’s André Rieu Live in Tuscany filmed in the Piazza Della Republica in the village of Cortona in Tuscany.

Personal life

He is married to wife Marjorie, and has two sons: Marc and Pierre. He speaks - in order of fluency - Limburgish, Dutch, German, English, French, Italian and Spanish.

Selected discography

  • In Wonderland (2007)
  • Live in Vienna (2007)
  • Auf Schönbrunn (2006)
  • New York Memories (2006)
  • Songs from My Heart (2005)
  • Christmas Around the World (2005)
  • Live in Tuscany (2004)
  • The Flying Dutchman (2004)
  • New Year's Eve in Vienna (2003)
  • André Rieu at the Movies (2003)
  • Live in Dublin (2003)
  • Romantic Paradise (2003)
  • Maastricht Salon Orkest - Serenata (2003)
  • Love Around the World (2002)
  • Dreaming (2002)
  • Live at the Royal Albert Hall (2001)
  • Musik Zum Träumen (2001)
  • La Vie Est Belle (2000)
  • Fiesta! (1999)
  • Romantic Moments (1998)
  • The Christmas I Love (1997)
  • In Concert (1996)
  • Strauss gala (1995)
  • D'n blauwen aovond (1995)
  • Hieringe biete 1 & 2 (1995)
  • Strauss & Co (1994)
  • Hieringe biete (1993)
  • Merry Christmas (1992)