Friday, March 14, 2008

Andre Rieu on PBS

Non-Dutch readers, please ignore this posting, but readers in the vicinity of Jacksonville, Fl., pay attention. It's just that I was flipping through the channels on the TV in the hotel room and to my suprise there was Andre Rieu on PBS with a Dutch concert of his. Now, PBS is known for high-brow artsy-fartsy programming and, interesting enough, Andre Rieu is the opposite.

He's the conductor of an orchestra that plays mostly Strauss waltzes and has contributed greatly to making classical music more accessible. In Holland, e.g., he has the reputation of targeting people who have no clue about classical music. So how does he get them to come?

Well, by creating an ambiance that can only be described by this typical Dutch word 'gezellig'. It's the type of classical concert where you can dance the waltz in between your seats, you can hum along or get involved in a polonaise and there's lot of visual entertainment to enjoy as well. He has combined the normally boring and stiff way people listen to classical music with showbiz and it works: the people love it.

He must be making it big in America as well now that 'our' Andre will perform in Jacksonville, Florida on April 25th for the second time in as many years. It's almost sold-out according to the TV program, so if you're close and want to see this Dutch phenomenon, you'd better hurry.