Friday, December 30, 2022

Europe's music man André Rieu: famous Dutch violinist and conductor

Maastricht, The Netherlands

André Rieu created the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 1987 and began with 12 members, giving its first concert in January 1988. The largest private orchestra in the world has about 60 musicians.

Rieu known as the 'King of Waltz', has sold over 40mn CDs and DVDs and at 73 he still performs at concerts worldwide.

He was born on 1 October 1949 the third of six children, his father, Andries Antonie Rieu, was the conductor of the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra.

In the past, Rieu used a 1667 Stradivari violin at his concerts. The Italian maestro liutaio (master luthier) was about 23 when the instrument was produced. More recently André Rieu uses a 1732 violin which was made when the maestro was about 87.

The renowned Antonio Stradivari (Latin: Stradivarius circa 1644-1737) had a workshop in Cremona, Italy, and it is believed to have produced over 1,100 string instruments. Two of his sons worked with him and today the most common number of extant instruments in Google Books and other references is about 650. However, that is typically copied from other publications without a source.

There have been many copies of the Stradivari violin since his death and Wikipedia sourced in 2022 282 original extant violins; 12 violas and 63 cellos. The number in private collections is still being determined.

A 1714 Stradivari violin was sold at auction in June 2022 for US$15.34mn. A new Stradivari violin in the early 18th century in Lombardy would have cost the equivalent of $17,000 to $18,500 US dollars today.

André Rieu and John Sheahan who had been a member of 'The Dubliners' group in 1964-2012, performing 'The Marino Waltz' live in Dublin. 

Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Foreign-born in Ireland overtake Irish-born in countries overseas

The main facade of Government Buildings in Central Dublin

The Irish population grew by 11.7% in 2011-2022 (535,000: 362,000 in 2016-2022) while net housing units were at 130,000 at Census 2022 in April (new completions from 2011 were at 163,000 in December 2022; 29,000 in 2011-2015). However, employment (15 years +) in 2011-2022 (Q3) jumped by 668,000 or 35% (the unemployment rate was above 15% in 2011 and at 4.5% in 2022). Non-Irish nationals (excluding naturalised) were at 13.8% of the population. Inward migration in 2016-2022 was 190,330 and almost 47,000 settled in the Dublin area in the 6-year period.

Foreign-born residents of the Republic of Ireland have overtaken the number of Irish-born living overseas. Residents of Northern Ireland are not included.

According to Census 2022, the total population was 5.124mn — the highest since 1851.

In the Census 1991, the total population was 3.297mn. The foreign-born population was 5.5% — Great Britain was at 3.9% and the Rest of the World was at 1.6%. In 1981 the total number was 5.6% and in 1971 it was 2.5%.

The first census was held in the Irish Free State in 1926. The population was 2.972mn and the foreign-born population was also 2.5%.

The rate was 12% in 2011 including about 40,000 people, who got certificates of naturalisation that were issued to people from 2000 to 2011.

In April 2022 the foreign rate in the total population was 18.5% compared with 14% for expatriates. The rates compared with the native-born population were 23% and 17%.

In England & Wales in the last decade, the Irish-born population fell 80,000 to 325,000 and adding 21,000 for Scotland, Great Britain has a current population of about 67mn and the Irish population is about 346,000.

Since Brexit in 2016 about 100,000 Irish passports have been issued annually to British residents. "If one of your grandparents was born in Ireland, but neither of your parents was born in Ireland, you may become an Irish citizen."