Sir Anthony Hopkins (1937 – )
Sir Anthony Hopkins is a Welsh actor, director, producer and a composer. He started taking piano lessons when he was six years old. Hopkins worked hard at the piano. When he was 12 years old he began improvising on the piano with dissonant chords and began working on developing melodic lines which he would then write down on manuscript paper. In 1964 Hopkins was working as an actor at the Playhouse Theatre in Liverpool. He would often arrive early before everyone else in the morning when the cleaning ladies were there. There was an old piano in the theatre and he would sit down and improvise melodies. One day he came up with a waltz tune. Someone heard him and asked who wrote the tune. Hopkins said that he made it up. For years the piece was never premiered because Anthony Hopkins didn’t think the piece was good enough. In 2008 he scored the piece entitled “And The Waltz Goes On” for full orchestra. Hopkin’s wife Stella contacted violinist André Rieu and sent him the score. On July, 3rd, 2011 it got its premiere (50 years after its composition).
André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra
André Rieu is a Dutch violinist and conductor from Maastricht who is well known for his famous Johann Strauss Orchestra. He graduated from the Brussels Conservatory with a first prize in violin. While he was studying music at University, he performed Franz Lehár’s Gold and Silver Waltz. The audience reaction was wonderful and he decided to play more waltz music. in 1978 he created the Maastricht Salon Orchestra and played with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. in 1987 he formed the now famous Johann Strauss Orchestra as well as his own publishing company. The orchestra and Andre Rieu are very popular and regularly give sold out performances. André Rieu sets up the stage and the lighting before each concert and spends a lot of money making sure everything looks perfect. At some of his concerts they even serve real champagne in wine glasses to the audience members.
Here is a performance of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra performing Anthony Hopkin’s “And the Waltz Goes On”.