Nicknamed the ‘Flying Dutchman’ and known to many for his numerous PBS appearances, violinist Andre Rieu is a flamboyant showman, who specializes in performing glittering Viennese waltzes with his own Johann Strauss Orchestra. Rieu says it’s not so much what he plays that’s the key, but the atmosphere he creates at his concerts.
“The people come to my concerts to enjoy themselves and to dream and to forget all the troubles of the day.”
The suave, classically trained violinist was exposed to music early as his father was a conductor, but Rieu says he generally found classical concerts rather stuffy.
“In a classical audience everybody is sitting there very stiff and nobody dares to move and to breathe.”
So, while regular classical concertgoers have to contain their emotions, Rieu encourages his audience to let their hair down a little.
“I say to the people through my music don’t be afraid, be at ease. Feel as if you are at home. When you want to cry, cry. When you want to dream, dream. When you want to laugh, laugh. When you want to clack, clack. When you want to dance, dance.”
Waltzing in the aisles it is then, tonight, when Andre Rieu performs with his Johann Strauss Orchestra at Arco Arena.