Johann Strauss Orchestra (founded by André Rieu; not Wiener Johann Strauss Orchester)
The Johann Strauss Orchestra was founded by André Rieu in 1987. At the time of its first concert on January 1, 1988, the orchestra consisted of 12 musicians. By 2008 the orchestra had expanded to 43 members and has performed regularly with guest musicians and singers such as Carla Maffioletti, Mirusia Louwerse, Carmen Monarcha and the Platin Tenors. The orchestra is well known for performing classical works with a distinctly unorthodox frivolity, joking with the audience and performing all sorts of antics.
The Orchestra now performs with between 80 and 150 musicians. At the time the Orchestra first toured Europe, there emerged a renewed interest in waltz music. The revival began in the Netherlands and was ignited by their recording of the Second Waltz from Shostakovich's Suite for Variety Orchestra. As a result, Rieu became known as the modern "Waltz King", a title originally bestowed upon Johann Strauss II.
Rieu and his orchestra have performed throughout Europe, in North America, Japan, and Australia. Winning a number of awards including two World Music Awards, their recordings have gone gold and platinum in many countries, including 8-times Platinum in the Netherlands.
Rieu records both DVD and CD repertoire at his own studios in Maastricht in a wide range of classical music as well as popular and folk music plus music from well-known soundtracks and musical theatre. His lively orchestral presentations, in tandem with effective marketing, have attracted worldwide audiences to this subgenre of classical music.
Some of his orchestra's performances have been broadcast in the United Kingdom and the United States on the PBS television network such as the 2003 airing of Andre Rieu Live in Dublin, filmed in Dublin, Ireland, and 2005's André Rieu Live in Tuscany filmed in the Piazza Della Repubblica in the village of Cortona in Tuscany.