Andre Rieu sets up Dutch music education fund

André Rieu has donated €425,000 to charity Jeugdfonds Sport & Cultuur (JSC) Limburg. The charity is using the cash to provide 1,000 schoolchildren in the Limburg region of the Netherlands with access to music and culture activities.

“I would like to give these children the pleasure of making music,” said Rieu. “My orchestra members and I know how much fun it is to make music every day, and to make millions of people happy with music night after night.

“We were all given the chance to have music lessons since our childhood and were fortunate to learn how to play an instrument. So we may understand better than anyone else what it means, if you do not get that chance to be involved with music as a child.”

Each child in the scheme will get up to €425 per year towards music tuition. JSC said that it hopes Rieu’s donation will encourage more private donations to its education efforts.

“Developing your own creativity…has a major effect,” stated JSC in a press release. “Those who practice art gain self-confidence, improve their concentration and increase their social skills. These effects are very important, especially for children in disadvantaged positions. We want to offer these children the opportunity to actively participate in art.”

Self-styled as ‘the King of Waltz’, Rieu has sold over 40 million albums worldwide. His 60-member Johann Strauss Orchestra features musicians ranging from 18 to 80 years old, including players from different generations of the same family. |