Arthur Cordewener
Arthur plays the Oboe and the English horn in the Johann Strauss Orchestra since 2000.   

Arthur Johan Laurens was born in Kerkrade on July 22, 1965.   Kerkrade
has its own very strong dialect.  It is different from Maastrichts and very
hard to understand even for a Dutch person.  On 16 Sept, 1994 Arthur
married Johanna Theodora (Pia) Mooren, born on Feb 17, 1965.   On Feb
12, 1999 he became the proud papa of Sophia Maria Josephine born in
Heerlen.   Arthur has one sister Anna Desiree Mathilda, a niece
and a nephew.   At the time that this was updated on 12 March 2006,  
both his parents are still alive.  
This really is in the States.  
Shopping in a German store
Even when hot the
rehearsals must go on
The Other Side of.... Arthur Cordewener
                                                                                                                        11 April 2002 / translation Sonja

For the past year and a half oboe player Arthur Cordewener is part of the world famous Johann Strauss
Orchestra.  He took time for this interview with the Familiaan press.  (the news letter from the Eamiliaan
Harmonie) So Desiree Cordewener (indeed the sister of....) and Jo Kemmerling traveled all the way to
Haanrade where Arthur and his Pia in the mean time have found their own dream house in the trees.  

                                  In June 1997 I received a phone call from Andre Rieu,  he was thinking                 
                                    that adding an oboe to the orchestra for the occasion of the new                         
                                    Christmas-CD would be a good idea.    The original intention was that                 
                                    Arthur would only contribute during the taping of a few of the                               
                                    compositions for the new CD.    
                                  During the first practice session it soon appeared that he would be                       
                                   playing in increasingly more of the Christmas songs.    The Monday after              
                                   the rehearsal I had to join them at the 'Wisseloord Studio' in Hilversum                  
                                   where the actual taping would take place.    I was under the impression                
                                   that it would be a one-day affair.  That turned out to be a misconception, they
had set three days aside for the recording. There you are, without clean underwear, shaving articles or
toothbrush.   No fear, Andre had a solution for the dilemma, and quickly the necessary attributes were

Several weeks after the recording I again received a phone call from Andre,
I should stop by sometimes so I could listen to the recorded CD.   When I
arrived at Andre's delightful villa it soon appeared that the conversation
would not be jut about the Christmas-CD, but that in the mean time they
had decided to expand the orchestra with an oboist and that the thought
had turned to me.  After another quick audition we soon agreed on the terms
and condition of employment and the fringe benefits.
I immediately was sent to 'Maison Louis' on the 'Grote Straat' in Maastricht
so they could take my size for four dress suits, twelve shirts, four pairs of
shoes and several other attributes.   They also thought there should be a
second oboe purchased.  

                              Soon after, my first concert took place in a sold-out Ahoy Hall in                               
                               Rotterdam, without a rehearsal!   Right after that concert we were to leave              
                              for a big tour of Canada and the US.   Flying in business class for the first                 
                              time was a fun experience.   During the tour we went to Montreal, Quebec,               
                              Toronto, Boston, (the famous Boston Symphony Hall), Washington D.C.,                   
                              Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Philadelphia.  In short I was thrown in front               
                             of the lions right away and it was a fantastic experience!   However, it was                 
                             and is indeed very tiring.   Every day packing in- and out everyday,living out                
                             of suitcases, flying, sound-check, concert and the next day again.   Only in                 
                             Montreal did we stay five days and we had a change to catch our breath and              
                             to enjoy the city and surrounding area.  (like the swimming pool on the roof                 
                             of the hotel).

Further is much of out time spent in Germany and France.  Due to the large distances we have to cover
also within Europe, we soon got our own airplane.   Since I play with the Johann Strauss Orchestra I
have flown over 135 times. (my stomach does not always agree with it)   In the mean time the whole
company Andre Rieu and his JSO has grown to: a 30 people orchestra, 60 people technical staff, 5
cooks, 4 stages, 1 orchestra bus, 1 catering bus, 5 night buses (for the roadies) and 10 trucks. (
of course
this has changed since this interview, but I thought it would still be interesting to know)

What does a workday really look like?    Getting up at 7:00AM, followed by
breakfast and then as fast as you can pack back up, with airplane of bus to the
next location.  New hotel, unpack, lunch and around 4:00PM to the sound-check.  
Dinner and followed by at 8:00PM the concert.  Around 11:30 the end of the
concert and back to the hotel to talk things over then a nightcap.  To bed around
1:00AM and the following day the same thing over again.   Thank goodness once
in a while we do stay longer than one day in a city, so we have the possibility to
explore the city and surrounding country.

Meanwhile I my second American trip behind me.  During this tour we performed in New York (Radio City
Music Hall), Orlando, Tampa, Miami, San Francisco and Los Angeles.   In Los Angeles we stayed two
days and we drove through Beverly Hills and Hollywood in enormous limousines.  (the driver told us that
the day before he had driven Bruce Willis and Demi Moore).   We also had a VIP-visit to Warner Brothers
Studios on the program.   Another eventful experience was the trip to the German island Sylt.  On the
evening of the concert there was such a bad storm that we could not perform the outdoor concert we had
planned.  The next day was a free day and the weather was terrific and we were able to enjoy the
beautiful surroundings.   

                             Television programs are a totally different story. There you are in the middle              
                              of summer with a Santa hat on in a big barn in Europe and you are taping                  
                             for a TV Christmas special.  Or you think to have a few nice days in                           
                              Mallorca, turns out that because of the bad weather the recording starts at                
                              8:00AM and goes on till 3:00AM.    Meanwhile we have honored practically               
                              all the German TV shows with a visit.
                             We also regularly run into famous faces, like Andrea Bocelli, Jose Carreras,              
                              Celine Dion, Rolling Stones, Phil Collins, Gloria Estefan and the Spice girls.                
                              In the near future we have concerts on the agenda in Italy, Spain, Norway                 
                              and in August a tour in South America. (
I am not sure if that happened).   

To be able to keep this up the atmosphere in the orchestra has to be exceptionally good and that it is.  It
is like a fun circle of friends.  When I am at home I always visit Aemiliaan (
Music organisation in Arthurs
city of birth Kerkrade, and they are doing this interview
) to get a taste of the exceptional atmosphere
there too.  And yes, meantime I have my very own fan-club with flowers, drinks, letters and handcrafted

With friendly greetings
English Horn
May 2002
Just a fun kind of guy
ARthur cordewener
Arthur Cordewenre  Andre rieu translations
Arthur Cordewener, Andre Rieu translations