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. 

André Rieu - Home for Christmas in Maastricht, The Netherlands

André Rieu - You Raise me Up

André Rieu - Tales from the Vienna Woods

André Rieu - Ballad For Adeline

André Rieu - Rigoletto

André Rieu & John Sheahan - Irish Washerwomen

André Rieu - The Beautiful Blue Danube

The modern kings of classical music: André Rieu and Andrea Bocelli | 60 Minutes Australia

André Rieu in O'Donoghue's Pub, Dublin, with John Sheahan