Johann Strauss Orchestra
|Johann Strauss Orchestra|
|Principal conductor||André Rieu|
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. By 2008 the orchestra had expanded to 43 members and has performed regularly with guest musicians and singers such as Carla Maffioletti, 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 50 and 60 musicians on very large stages. 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 modern "Waltz King", a title originally bestowed upon Johann Strauss II.
Rieu and his orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in North America, Japan, and Australia. 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.
Rieu records both DVD and CD repertoire at his own 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 effective 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 2003's André Rieu Live in Tuscany filmed in the Piazza Della Repubblica in the village of Cortona in Tuscany.
Gemma Serpenti and the Dutch violinist and conductor, André Rieu founded the Maastricht Salon Orchestra (MSO) in 1978. In the beginning, André Rieu performing small classical crossover concerts with MSO. But the group has served as the vehicle for Rieu's increasingly ambitious ideas since its founding. In 1987 André changed the MSO into the Johann Strauss Orchestra to continue with Waltz music. On the occasion of Rieu's first concert with the orchestra, on January 1, 1988, there were 12 musicians. By 2008 that had expanded to 43, and by the mid-2010s the group might include anywhere from 80 to 150 members, depending on venue and occasion.
The most senior member of the orchestra is Jean Sassen, who has been a member since 1987. 
- 1st Violin: Jet Gelens, Frank Steijns, Lin Jong, Kremi Mineva, Freya Cremers, Diana Morsinkhof, Boris Goldenblank, Els Mercken, Vincenzo Viola, Lara Meuleman, Gosia Loboda.
- 2nd Violin: Cord Meyer, Agnes Fizzano-Walter, Jennifer Kowalski.
- Viola: Klaartje Polman, Nadejda Diakoff, Linda Custers.
- Cello: Tanja Derwahl, Margriet van Lexmond, Hanneke Roggen, Joëlle Tonnaer, Karin Hinze.
- Double bass: Roland Lafosse, Franco Vulcano.
- Flute: Teun Ramaekers, Nathalie Bolle.
- Oboe: Arthur Cordewener.
- Clarinet/saxophone: Manoe Konings.
- Saxophone/bassoon: Sanne Mestrom.
- Horn: Lars Wachelder, Noël Perdaens.
- Trumpet: Roger Diederen, René Henket.
- Trombone: Dennis Close.
- Bass trombone/accordion: Leon van Wijk.
- Tuba: Ton Maessen.
- Timpani/percussion: Mireille Brepols, Marcel Falize, Glenn Falize.
- Piano: Stéphanie Detry.
- Synthesizer: Ward Vlasveld.
- Harp: Vera Kool.
- Choir: Nicolle Steins, Karin Haine, Judith Luesink, Kalki Schrijvers, Virgenie Henket, Anna Reker.
- "The Johann Strauss Orchestra". www.andrerieu.com (in Dutch).
- "Andre Rieu and The Johann Strauss Orchestra". The Telegraph.
- Manheim, James. "Johann Strauss Orchestra Biography". allmusic.com.
- "Andre Rieu: The Flying Dutchman (2005)". The New York Times. Retrieved 18 August 2008.
- "New Maastricht Salon orchestra". andrerieu-movies.com. September 5, 2016.