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The Johann Strauss Ensemble

Claudia Miclaus May 12, 2019
The Johann Strauss Ensemble is a lovely orchestra with a talented leader traveling and performing all over the world. Here's more...
Russell McGregor was born in the pretty town of Oxford, England. Seven years later, he moved to Australia together with his family, and finally became famous. He took up playing the violin when he was seven, and slowly improved his musical skills.
He got some awards, but this was not enough for the future-to-be concert master. Thus, McGregor realized he would only evolve artistically if he left Australia.
He came to understand that in order to become a true master of this genre, he had to make sacrifices and honestly love this kind of music. Because of that, he made an extreme gesture, one might say―he sold his own house and bought the precious violin which became inseparable to him ever since, and which finally gave a new meaning to his life.
The violin was made in 1697 by the famous stringed instrument maker named Carlo Giuseppe Testore, the one who made Mozart's viola, making it the most valuable violin in the world. In the hope of a brand new life, Russell McGregor sold his car, with that money, he bought a ticket to Europe, the remaining money he used to pay his rent for 6 months in Austria.
The beginning was pretty hard, because McGregor didn't know anybody there, and he was forced to live in a cold attic of a building in Vienna, where he would practice his violin in the winter time, with the help of some fingerless gloves. But he was very proud to be the possessor of one of the most expensive violins in the whole world.
Through a lot of work, studying, he managed to become famous up to the level of fame he enjoys nowadays, that of a virtuous violinist, the concert master of the Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna, the conductor of the Johann Strauss Ensemble orchestra. This was set up in 1985. Their repertoire includes Beethoven, Mozart, Haydn, Schubert, the Strauss family, etc.
Johann Strauss Ensemble has succeeded in enchanting different audiences through its musical performances all across the world. They have been on tour to Tokyo, Osaka, Melbourne, Sydney, Paris, London, Monaco, Madrid, Rome, Brussels, Berlin, Zurich, Hamburg, Salzburg, and Vienna of course.
Their success is undoubtedly generated by the typical Austrian sound, by the tinge of humor, which has made this orchestra shine wherever they traveled.
They keep visiting the country of Romania for several years now, and their tours in the big cities of Romania have already become a tradition. In fact, the conductor of this famous orchestra seems infatuated with Romania. The charismatic Russell McGregor has been at least four times in Romania.
He says they are already familiar with Romania, and that they've been to Bucharest, Sibiu, Cluj-Napoca, Craiova, and Targu Mures. They have chosen Tg. Mures because it is an important cultural center. His last concert there was part of an anti-drug campaign which started in Bucharest.
The Johann Strauss Ensemble had refused a tour to Asia in order to be in Romania, and McGregor said this choice was a matter of heart―their Christmas tour through Romania becoming a real tradition for this wonderful orchestra.
A funny thing about this charismatic musical character is that women kept telling him he looked like the American actor Richard Gere. He said this usually happens to him twice a week, and it also happened even at a concert in Brazil.
The famous conductor finds this amusing, saying that if he met Richard Gere one day, he would definitely ask him if he knows that he looks like Russell McGregor.