With the “King of the Waltz” conducting
The Johann Strauss Orchestra was started in 1987 by conductor and violinist André Rieu. While it was merely 12 members strong at its inception, the group now consists of Rieu, soloists, and an orchestra of anywhere from 80 to 150 instrumentalists, depending on their venue. They are known for performing classical music while joking and engaging with the audience, which is very unorthodox for a symphonic concert. This relaxed atmosphere has been credited with the revival of the Waltz genre, in an era where interest in classical music has dwindled.
The soprano featured on this performance of César Franck’s “Panis Angelicus” is Mirusia Louwerse. Known as simply Mirusia in her native Australia, she became the youngest to ever win the Dame Joan Sutherland Opera Award in 2006. She has been working with Rieu since 2007 as his star soprano. In Australia, the famed singer is known as “The Unconventional Pop-Star” and “The Angel of Australia.”
André Rieu has been starting orchestral groups since 1978 when he began the Maastricht Salon Orchestra. Since 1987, his Johann Strauss Orchestra has released 58 live and studio albums and sold more than 30 million records worldwide. Since 2008 his world tours have generated more than $510 million. Rieu will be on tour in America later this year.
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