André Rieu – Romantic Paradise
André Léon Marie Nicolas Rieu (born 1 October 1949) is a Dutch violinist and conductor best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra.
Together they have turned classical and waltz music into a worldwide concert touring act, as successful as some of the biggest global pop and rock music acts.
For his work, Rieu has been recognized by the Knight of the Order of the Netherlands Lion by the Netherlands, the Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres by France, and the Honorary Medal by his native Province of Limburg.
The name Rieu is of French Huguenot origin. Rieu’s father, of the same name, was conductor of the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra. Showing early promise, André began studying violin at the age of five. From a very young age, he developed a fascination with orchestra.
He studied violin at the Conservatoire Royal in Liège and at the Conservatorium Maastricht, (1968–1973), studying under Jo Juda and Herman Krebbers.
From 1974 to 1977, he attended the Music Academy in Brussels, studying with André Gertler, finally receiving his degree “Premier Prix” from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.
At university he performed the Gold And Silver Waltz by Franz Lehár. Encouraged by the audience reaction he decided to pursue the waltz form.
Rieu formed the Maastricht Salon Orchestra, and served as violinist with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, he created the Johann Strauss Orchestra and established his own production company.
Since then, his melodramatic stage performances and rock-star demeanor have been widely associated with a revival of the waltz music category. André Rieu plays a 1667 Stradivarius violin.
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