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Jan 7, 2012

Getting To Know André Rieu Violinist Frank Steijns

Getting To know
FIRST VIOLINIST FRANK STEIJNS
Frank Steijns had just received his diploma from the Lemmens Institution of Leuven (Louvain) the day before, when André Rieu called him. Would he like to come in the next morning at eight and audition? That was seventeen years ago. Ever since then he has been continuously on stage with André as first violinist. And as far as he is concerned, that will never change.
 "My two music worlds are equally precious to me"
Frank Steijns is probably the most multifunctional musician in the orchestra. He studied music theory, orchestra directing, violin and carillon. He is also the only one who has two full time jobs. First violinist and carillon player in Maastricht. First violinist? It sounds as if he is the most important musician next to André. "Of course not, a first violinist is responsible for the melody played in the orchestra. There are nine of us. My role is no more important than that of any other orchestra member." As modest as he is about his role within the orchestra, it is impossible to be that way in his function as carillon player. "I am a civil servant employed by the municipalities of Maastricht, Weert and Heerlen. When we are touring through Europe, I often return on Saturday to play the carillon. For me this is a nice addition to my work with André. As a carillon player you sit all alone high up in a tower. No one sees you but you are ultimately responsible for all the music you play. You never receive applause. That is totally different when you are on stage. There you appear in front of thousands of enthusiastic people. And you do that all together. Two separate worlds which are both equally dear to me. Being a city carillon player is a very honorable position. And it is even more special for me since I followed in my father’s footsteps, who did this sort of work for the city of Maastricht for fifty years." Violinist, carillon player but also co-arranger for several pieces of music.

"Don’t try to make it out to be any more than it already is," says Frank. "Because of my background in music theory it is easy for me to think along with André and it makes me a good sparring partner. And together we come up with some rather nice compositions. Sometimes something spontaneous erupts. I remember one rainy morning in Auckland, New Zealand. We were having breakfast and did not really have anything to do. Both of us started jamming, which eventually produced a waltz: "Dreaming of New Zealand." The public knows Frank Steijn as the always smiling musician, and when on stage is just a few meters away from André. That smile is a reflection of his mood. For seventeen years now he has been playing in the orchestra with the greatest pleasure. "It may sound kitschy, but this group is one huge family. As a new person it is not always easy to fit in. But once you are in, you will never want to leave again. We support one another. Of course at times I do have moments when I am not totally in top form when we start a concert. Say for instance when I go on stage with a migraine headache. But that seems to pass real soon. You receive a wink from a colleague, or a pat on the shoulder from another. And that’s how that works with us."
Franks Steins was born on Christmas evening 1970 in the Belgian town of Bilzen. Frank also produces the news page on André’s web site. (André’s quote: "My violinist Frank Steijns is the primary carillon player for the Sint Servaas, and I am extremely proud of that")
Thanks to John for Translating This Article For Us

7 comments:

Kay said...

Frank is so multi-talented, so full of fun and so "unaffected" like so many others in the orchestra. What an asset he is to André and the entire organization. I'm sure André is very appreciative and also very proud of him (as he should be). I would love to hear him play the carillon someday.

Carol said...

I enjoyed this article very much on Frank. He is such a talented and valuable member of Andre's orchestra."Dreaming Of New Zealand" and the other Viennese waltz composed by both Andre and Frank are so very beautiful and unforgetable. I love to hear Frank play his portable carillon in some concerts and hope to hear him play in a carillon tower some day.

Wendy & Dave Laing said...

Dave & I love the new pieces that Frank & andre composed. We met Frank in Melbourne in May 2011. Such a charming person - and talented too!
Wendy & Dave Laing, Melbourne

Anonymous said...

Nice article, and thanks for the translation! I attended one of Frank Steijns' carillon concerts at St. Servaas church in Maastricht last summer. Unseen, Frank was playing the bells high up in the tower, and the audience was seated in the lavendar-filled courtyard below. It was out-of-this-world beautiful. I am working on a travel article on the Maastricht area - I will let you know when it comes out. Best, Jennifer Dawson

Anonymous said...

Frank is a nice and very clever guy, we're all very happy he finally seems to have met the woman of his life.
Go Frank!

Karin.

wholesale clothing said...

Great post. I like it and I had a great time reading it. I find it interesting as well. Thank you for sharing.


Michelle

Anonymous said...

Really enjoyed this article. He is a very talented and special person. I remember reading that after graduating from the conservatory, he was unemployed for one day.
He toured over here with the first portable carillon back a few years. He played solo and did a "duel" with Marcel Falize - "Cirkus Renz" which was so much fun. (That's my husband's all timwe favorite.) It is on DVDs.
Also attended a concert at Maastricht's St. Servaas church in 2008, I believe. He met with attendees prior to the concert (and climbing all those stairs), but I wasn't among them -- (fan friends dining at Gaucho's went on too long)! The concert was fantastic, however.

Laurie

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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