Music from the Centre of the Universe The Sounding Performances of André Rieu, the World’s King of the Waltz
January 16, 2015 at 11:00
Dvorana Zempljepisnega muzeja ZRC SAZU, Gosposka ulica 16, Ljubljana
This presentation will focus on the musical politics played out by André Rieu, the violist and conductor known as ‘the world’s King of the Waltz’. André Rieu is an artist of world fame, but with a special relation to Europe. With his Johan Strauss Orchestra, Rieu evokes a nostalgic image of a nineteenth century upper class Europe, an imaginary that attracts millions of people from many different countries. This transnational dimension gains special currency during the annual series of performances in Rieu’s hometown Maastricht (the Netherlands), the city, Rieu proclaims to be ‘the Centre of the Universe’. Based on ethnographic research conducted during the 2014 Maastricht concerts, the presentation will address Rieu’s usual proclamations of messages of peace and the turn his traditional highlighting of the national constituencies among the audiences took in the context of the Ukraine crisis.
Lecture: Irene Stengs, Meertens instituut, Amsterdam