André & JSO
For at least the last twenty years, my personal life has been so bound up with my work that the story of my personal life would sound pretty much the same as the story of my career - especially as my wife Marjorie has been so closely involved from the start. My life is simply music, music is what we are always doing, and it never gets boring!
Even as a child, I was fascinated by the world of music. My father was a conductor, and I remember the huge orchestra and the wonderful sound it made, all those bows moving together - I thought it was fantastic. But even then I can remember being surprised at the sombre atmosphere during the concerts. Everybody looked so serious, you weren't supposed to cough or laugh, even though the music seemed to me to radiate so much joy!
You know that solemn atmosphere you find in the concert hall with classical music, and how it intimidates most people and keeps them away? With us, it is simply not there. My orchestra consists of young, enthusiastic musicians, who put their heart and soul into the music every evening when they play in our concerts. At one of our concerts you'll see me and the orchestra, and the audience too, all having a lot of fun together. Swaying with the music, humming along, clapping, jumping up and down - it all happens! Every evening is a wonderful experience, and in my view there couldn't be a greater pleasure for a musician.
When I was studying the violin at the music academy, somebody asked me to play in a salon orchestra. It was there that I played the waltz 'Gold und Silber' by Frantz Léhàr for the first time. What a revelation it was! I was immediately spellbound by that beat which, years later, has almost become the rhythm of my life: three-four time, the rhythm of the waltz. But with my own orchestra, I play a lot more than waltzes these days.
My dream is to make the whole of classical music accessible for everyone. To achieve that, I've had my own recording studio built, and we're working hard to make new recordings of the classical repertoire.
I hope I may be given many more years to make people happy with my music!