For the Dutch speaking fans: L1 Radio Interview Classical Guests:MANOE KONINGS.On Sunday November 9th 2014 Manoe Konings was the guest of the L1 Radio program: Classical Guests. Interviewer: Emil Szarkowics. Language: Dutch.Manoe Konings, clarinet player with the Johann Strauss Orchestra. Click on the link below to listen to the interview and Manoe's music selection:1. Second suite of Daphnis and Cloe, by Maurice Ravel (most difficult piece to play by S-clarinet)2. Autumn symphony, part 3, by Johannes Brahms.3. Adagio, clarinet concert by Mozart (Johann Strauss Orchestra)4. Tenderly, by Ella Fitzgerald and Louis Armstrong. On the piano: Oscar Peterson. (Manoe's other (jazzy) side).5. Four trombones.Since this interview is in Dutch, we'll post an excerpt of the highlights here.Translated by Ineke, edited by John.
Manoe was born on March 10th 1961 in Maastricht, in a musical family. She was an only child. Both her parents are still alive. She inherited her musical talents from her mother's and grandfather's side. Her grandfather was on the board of governors of the brass band "Heer Vooruit", and Manoe's father succeeded him there. Manoe and her father have been members with this band for over 40 years. When Manoe was 6 years old she received an S-Clarinet (a smaller type than the usual clarinets, since she said she was small then, and still is). All throughout her musical education, she received music lessons from well-known musicians. At the age of 9, she was the first female to join the brass band. At that time only boys and men participated and were members playing wind instruments in a brass band.She also enjoined sports such as: judo and handball. As a child she did not know which career to choose: a sport career or a music career. It turned out to be music. She was also interested in jazz music and studied guitar and vocals. She also taught as a music teacher for a few years at a middle school.As a conservatory student she joined several projects and one of them was in a project with the LSO (Limburg Symphony Orchestra) where she traveled to Berlin as a soloist, with a piece of Leonard Bernstein. According to Manoe, she is a musician through and through.
Above: Manoe and her father in 2011:40 years members of the Limburgbrass band “Heer Vooruit”.
Living in Maastricht, she was familiar with the Rieu family, since André senior was a renowned conductor. She met André junior in person while performing with the LSO, where he played the violin. He had just started to form his Johann Strauss Orchestra and when asked to join them; she did not hesitate for a moment. André also discovered her organizational talents, so she worked in his office in the music department, until 2001. During that time the JSO went on tour for the first time. Manoe stepped in for the second tour. In the beginning they performed 50 concerts per year, which is a lot more today.Manoe's other permanent task within the orchestra is the check-in list. She ensured that everyone is on the bus or airplane, making sure no one is left behind, like for instance in Brazil.... She has performed this duty for 25 years. She calls André "the boss" in a charming way. He is not a very severe conductor but he sure is the leader and is part of the orchestra.
What is André Rieu's secret?His charm, his special charisma, and his different views on classical music.What is the power of the Johann Strauss Orchestra?The pleasure we have in playing music. People may sway, sing and hum along.What do you think of the never leaving so-called real critics?In the beginning we thought them to be annoying, but not anymore. We are very successful and we tour the world. They don't.How do you see the future?André is convinced in becoming 120 and I have strong genes too. My parents are still alive and my grandmother turned 101 and is still alive. But I cannot go on playing the clarinet, when my dentures are chattering and too loose. Then I'll go back to studying and playing the guitar again. In my spare time I perform with the guitar/mandolin ensemble "the Strings", and I still play with the brass band "Heer Vooruit" every now and then. I also would like to be in the management, or doing drama. What is on the calendar the coming months?In the month of November we'll play close to home: Antwerp, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, and Brussels. Nice to be sleeping in my own bed.In December we'll play our Christmas tour in the UK.Finally, the Culture tip to read a book....I'll recommend the books by Khaled Hosseini. Very interesting to read about all the different cultures. I read many books on tour and devour them.
Photo: John de Jong
This is what André wrote about Manoe on his website under "André and JSO".Manoe is something else! Seeing her in her black leather outfit racing through the streets of Maastricht on her motorbike, it’s hard to believe she’s the same girl who looks like a fairytale princess in the evenings in her fabulous concert dress. Manoe is a real clown on stage. She plays the clarinet, saxophone, bagpipes, guitar, she sings, she dances... and if I suggested she should do all of those things at once while standing on her head, I have no doubt she would manage to do that too! We have Manoe to thank every evening when we’re all present and accounted for when on stage, because she is the one who checks every time we get on a bus or plane to make sure everyone is there, so that no one is left behind and has to race after the bus to our next destination.
Photo Martine Calvinhac
To see Manoe's drama- and presentation talent, click on HERE.Manou presented the Blue Bird Serenata open air concert by Carla Maffioletti, in Valkenburg, the Netherlands).