Book Review: Andre Rieu - My Music, My Life by Marjorie Rieucategories: Book, Biography, Music, Musical Family, Success Story, Classical Crossover, Waltz, Andre Rieu
Author: Marjorie Rieu
Publisher: Hardie Grant Books
Follow your Dream
a review by Raymond Boyd DunnThis is an inspirational story of one man's dream to bring happiness to the world through his music. It began with receiving the gift of a violin on the occasion of his fifth birthday, and came to fruition with 'The Second Waltz' forty-five years later. André Rieu is a Dutch violinist, born in Maastricht, and living there to this day when he is not travelling the globe with his world famous Johann Strauss Orchestra. The book is in the form of an autobiography, written with obvious love by his wife Marjorie, who has been a tower of strength in the background throughout his career.
It was she who encouraged him to take the first step towards realising his dream of creating an orchestra to make classical musical popular. He played in the five piece Maastricht Salon Orchestra before taking a huge step in faith by forming the Johann Strauss Orchestra of twelve musicians in 1988.
Since then the Orchestra has grown to about fifty, and tours all over the world. He departed from the normal staid dress for his musicians, by dressing the female members in colourful full-skirted ball gowns. Instead of conducting in the normal way with his back to the audience, he faces them whilst leading the violin section. He talks to the audience in between numbers, and has introduced comedy into the presentation by allowing members of the orchestra to fool around.
The book relates his story from childhood up to his phenomenal successes of the mid 1990's. My copy of his book was published in 2009, and I became a fan when he toured Australia in 2008 with a full scale replica of a castle as his stage.
I found the book to be a fascinating read about a man with the courage to follow his dream, and be rewarded with worldwide success by making classical music popular with the masses.
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