Johann Strauss Orchestra
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The Johann Strauss Orchestra was founded by André Rieu in 1987. At the time of its first concert on January 1, 1988, the orchestra consisted of 12 musicians. In 2008 the orchestra has expanded to 43 members and performs regularly with guest musicians and singers such as Mirusia Louwerse, Carmen Monarcha and the Platin Tenors. The orchestra is well known for performing classical works with a distinctly unorthodox frivolity, joking with the audience and performing all sorts of antics.
The Orchestra now performs with between 80 and 150 musicians. At the time the Orchestra first toured Europe, there emerged a renewed interest in waltz music. The revival began in the Netherlands and was ignited by their recording of the Second Waltz from Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra. As a result, Rieu became known as the Waltz King.
Rieu and his orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in North America, and Japan. Winning a number of awards including two World Music Awards, their recordings have gone gold and platinum in many countries, 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 appeared at Sydney's Arena Cove, Warringah Mashopping with the same set. Rieu and orchestra returned to Australia in November as part of his world tour. Rieu and his orchestra played 3 concerts at Melbourne's Telstra Dome from 13–15 November and continued their tour throughout Perth, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide, through to December 2008. The concert theme is 'A Romantic Vienna Night' and the set comprises a life-size reproduction of the Viennese imperial Schönbrunn Palace, complete with 2 ice-skating rinks, 2 Fountains, and a ballroom dance floor situated above and behind the Orchestra. Rieu's largest concert attendance to date in Australia was 38,000 on Saturday 15 November in Melbourne. The Perth concert did not feature the replica of the Viennese Palace as it was stated in the press because it would not fit into the front doors of Subiaco Oval.
He records both DVD and CD repertoire at his own recording studios in Maastricht in a wide range of classical music as well as popular and folk music plus music from well-known soundtracks and musical theatre. His lively orchestral presentations, in tandem with incessant marketing, have attracted worldwide audiences to this subgenre of classical music.
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 Repubblica in the village of Cortona in Tuscany.
- Soloists: Carla Maffioletti, Carmen Monarcha, Mirusia Louwerse and Kimmy Skota.
- 1st Violin: Jet Gelens, Frank Steijns, Lin Jong, Kremi Mineva, Freya Cremers, Diana Morsinkhof, Boris Goldenblank, Els Mercken, Vincenzo Viola, Lara Meuleman.
- 2nd Violin: Cord Meyer, Agnes Walter and Jennifer Kowalski.
- Viola: Klaartje Polman, Pierre Colen, Linda Custers, Nadejda Diakoff.
- Cello: Tanja Derwahl, Margriet van Lexmond, Hanneke Roggen, Joëlle Tonnaer, Karin Hinze.
- Double bass: Roland Lafosse, Jean Sassen, Franco Vulcano.
- Piano: Stéphanie Detry.
- Synthesizer: Ward Vlasveld.
- Oboe: Arthur Cordewener.
- Flute: Teun Ramaekers, Nathalie Bolle.
- Trumpet: Roger Diederen, René Henket.
- Clarinet/saxophone: Manoe Konings.
- Saxophone/Bassoon: Sanne Mestrom.
- Trombone: Ruud Merx.
- Horn: Noël Perdaens.
- Accordion/bass trombone: Leon van Wijk.
- Tuba: Ton Maessen.
- Percussion/kettledrum: Marcel Falize, Mireille Brepols, Glenn Falize.
- Choir: Nicolle Steins, Karin Haine, Judith Luesink, Anna Reker, Virgenie Henket.
- "Andre Rieu: The Flying Dutchman (2005)". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2008.