Comedy may be the new rock'n'roll but classical music will forever be the old. And, with its leading lights long since snuffed out, it is a new order of gatekeepers and entertainers that bring hundreds of years of classical music to life for modern audiences with fresh and innovative interpretations.
One such innovator is 62-year-old Dutchman, André Rieu who, in 1987, created the Johann Strauss Orchestra. Originally just a 12-piece company, the JSO now boasts more than 40 instruments and, with Rieu, tours the world's biggest venues performing the great waltzes and other classical works.
The light, often playful, interpretations of the classics have earned Rieu and his orchestra two World Music Awards, a clutch of Gold and Platinum discs, and seen performances all over Europe, in the US, Japan and Australia. 2012 will once again see the 'Waltz King' and his charges picking up many thousands of air miles as they criss-cross the globe with their enormously heavy luggage.
After an extensive tour of continental Europe early next year and a summer in the southern hemisphere, Rieu and the JSO have announced a handful of huge UK dates in the run-up to Christmas 2012.
The UK leg, André Rieu's 2012 world tour begins in Belfast at the Odyssey Arena on Monday 10th December 2012, followed by shows in Manchester (14th), Newcastle (15th) and The O2 in London (17th) before the final date at the LG Arena in Birmingham on Tuesday 18th December 2012.
We will have tickets available for all dates when they go on sale on Friday 14th October 2011, priced from £40 to £90 for the best floor seats, for all venues.
Note that these are December 2012 dates with tickets being made available more than a year in advance.