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Jul 26, 2011

Frank Steijns Musical Partner of André Rieu

Maastricht citizen, Frank Steijns (40), as a musician wears many hats. The best known is that as first violinist in the Johann Strauss orchestra of André Rieu. In addition to that he also is the city carillon player for the city of Maastricht. Even in an official capacity, thus as a civil servant. But more and more he is also becoming a musical sparring partner with André Rieu. Together they make their own compositions and arrangements.
Frank Steijns
The musical sparring partner of André Rieu

CHAPEAU MAGAZINE: In the last ten years Frank Steijns has not had a real vacation. Due to his double functions as Orchestra member with André Rieu and city carillon player there is no real opportunity to take off for a few weeks. "But that does not matter, because with the entire orchestra we travel all over the world. In reality that is not a vacation, but you do get to see a lot and the atmosphere in the group is fantastic. So really I do not have the urge to step into an airplane. Especially on Saturdays I seem to be doing this, so I can play the city carillon. When we are on tour somewhere in Europe, I travel back and forth quickly. And if that combination does not work out, I ensure for a replacement in Maastricht so that the people still can enjoy the beautiful sounds of the bells".

Next to violin and carillon Frank also studied Orchestra Conducting. Those different sides of music he learned while at the conservatory in Leuven (Louvain). "As a primary I studied music theory, which helps me a lot now since together with André I write more and more music. In New Zealand we together wrote our own beautiful waltz which will be on our next CD. That is really nice. André has such a wonderful feeling for music. He knows exactly where he wants to go. I feel the same way, I know where to place the proper arrangements. And so we derive a pleasing piece of music. Last year when André was required to take it easy for a few months; we popped into the studio for an hour or so, so the two of us could make music together, more or less for relaxation. It suited us, and we have composed quite a number of music pieces."

Frank Steijns has been doing arrangements for André Rieu for a while now. Also for the by Anthony Hopkins written waltz, which the orchestra recently recorded. "In that aspect, I am the link between André Rieu and the orchestra, and that works wonderfully. It’s primarily all about what you both feel and the atmosphere. Since you can always play the same notes in quite a few different ways, e.g. warmth and feeling, you have to be on the same page." In between all that, Frank Steijns still manages to play his mobile carillon and also carillons in other cities. "My hands are totally immerged in music. And I did not want to do anything else. The morning after my final exam party in Leuven (Louvain), André called me at 7:30 in the morning and wanted to know if I could substitute in his orchestra. Could I come and play that evening. That was in 1994. I have been playing with him ever since."
Thanks Ineke for sending this and John for the ©Translating it

5 comments:

Rhonda said...

what a devoted friend, Frank is the most talented inspiring person i have read about, i hope to see him next year if Andre comes out.

Wendy laing said...

We'd love to meet and chat with him again when next down under in Melbourne. Frank is such a personable man, as well as talented. It was no problem at all to have a chat, and let hubby Dave take a photo of me with him ;-)

Anonymous said...

I have been a fan of Andre Rieu for
at least for over 10 years. I love
his music and his orchestra. I hope
he comes back to Kansas City,Mo. for another concert some time.
I was able to meet him once. He is
was so nice to let me get a picture
of him..
Thelma Bigley

Gary Bourre' said...

Was fortunate to talk to Frank briefly at Chicago 2010 concert and
mentioned the scenic carillon at
Lake Wales, Florida. And, surprise,
Frank made a side trip over there
between Dec. Tampa and Orlando
concerts.

Barbara said...

What a really nice picture, Andre looks to be really enjoying himself, he looks so happy and what great talent Frank has. Andre has a really beautiful orchestra. I just love those guys.

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