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Serena Vanheuverswijn new violinist per November 2022.
November 2022. From her website: My name is Serena Vanheuverswijn. Nice that you want to know more about me! I was born in Ghent, Belgium in 1998, where my musical journey began. When I saw a Christmas concert by André Rieu at the age of four on television, it was clear to me that I wanted to become a violinist! After much nagging at my parents, I was allowed to take violin lessons when I was eight! When I was eleven I moved to the Netherlands, where I continued my violin lessons in Amersfoort with Carla Heidema, Evelien Bouwmeester and Jan Schoonenberg. I am now a graduating master student at the Utrecht Conservatory, studying under Carla Leurs. I obtained my Bachelor's degree in 2021 through Chris Duindam. I think making music is the best and most beautiful thing there is! Playing together is very important to me. Since 2014 I have been active in various orchestras, including the Amersfoort Youth Orchestra, the Netherlands Youth String Orchestra, the Ricciotti Ensemble, National Youth Orchestra, the Netherlands Symphony Project and the North Pole Orchestra.
Vincenzo Viola on Facebook: November 11, 2022: Rehearsals together with our new lovely and talented violinist Serena Vanheuverswijn.
January 18, 2023. First concert of the German tour in Hannover and Serena joins for the first time the orchestra. You can see her behind Frank Steijns and Kremi (left).
Algemeen Dagblad, January 20, 2024, by Femke van Rooijen Translation: Ineke, edited by Diana D. Le. Serena Vanheuverswijn AT THE AGE OF FOUR, SERENA (25) WAS ENCHANTED BY André Rieu, NOW SHE FLIES AROUND THE WORLD WITH HIM. She was only four years old, but when she saw a Christmas concert by André Rieu on television, Serena Vanheuverswijn (25) from Amersfoort (NL) knew for sure: she wanted to become a violinist. That dream never let her go and Serena now plays in the world-famous violinist's orchestra. “Sometimes I still can't believe it.” From Germany to Abu Dhabi to Mexico. Over the past year and a half, Serena has traveled all over the world with André Rieu's orchestra, even though she only graduated from the conservatory in Utrecht a year ago. So she did that while she was already playing in the orchestra. “Of course, it really felt like a dream, but the first months were also intense. While we were on tour with the orchestra, I was also busy graduating. Every morning, I was busy practicing for my studies and then I went straight to the sound check for the concert.” Serena knew from an early age that she wanted to become a violinist. “My father always watched André Rieu's Christmas concerts on television. When I was four years old, I saw it for the first time and was immediately enchanted by it. According to my parents, I then shouted: 'I want to play the violin too!'. It was the whole picture, that mysterious music, all the beautiful dresses. It was like a fairy tale.” Nagging for a long time And that fairy tale never let her go. “My parents are not into music and thought it might be a phase. But after a long time of nagging, I finally got my way and was allowed to take violin lessons at the age of eight,” says Serena. She continues: “I remember going with my father to pick out a violin. What an experience that was, I was deeply impressed.” And the first violin lesson also made an impression on Serena. “I heard the teacher say to two girls: it's a shame you didn't practice properly at home. I thought that was so strange. I thought: who wouldn't want to practice their violin at home?” And practice, she did. First during her violin lessons in Amersfoort and later at the conservatory in Utrecht. “Now I understand those girls who didn't want to practice,” says Serena, laughing. “I love playing the violin, but you have to put in the hours. Even if sometimes you don't feel like it. Moreover, it is sometimes lonely, because you often study alone. A good dose of discipline is therefore not a bad thing, because if I don't have a rehearsal planned, no one tells me to practice.” But all that hard work does pay off. Although Serena is only 25, she has already managed to fulfill her big dream: playing in André Rieu's orchestra. “I came into contact with the orchestra through a friend. I was allowed to submit a video. After that it all happened very quickly. I was allowed to audition and two weeks later I had my first week of rehearsals.” Such a first rehearsal was quite exciting. “I was still studying and suddenly ended up in a large orchestra, where everyone has known each other for a long time. It felt like out of nowhere I joined a very large, close-knit family.” Looking back on that period, all that tension was unnecessary, according to Serena. “I really came into a warm bath; I didn't know what I was experiencing.” Serena has now been playing with the orchestra for about a year and a half, she has moved to Maastricht for her work and she has completely become part of the 'family'. “Last summer I even got my own dress. I thought that was a special moment, a real milestone. Sometimes I still can't quite believe that I am really part of this orchestra.” And the future? Is there actually anything left to dream after this achievement? Serena: “I always keep dreaming! I also really enjoy teaching and definitely want to continue doing so. In addition, I would like to stay where I am now as long as possible and continue to play in this beautiful orchestra.
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