"The Musical Worlds of Linda Custers"

Maastricht resident Linda Custers plays (amongst others) fiddle with the Limburg Medieval Reincarnatus which she is on stage with a tight leather suit. One day later she plays the violin in the Orchestra of André Rieu, dressed in a baroque style gown. Both music groups have an International Career and as different as they are, Linda would not miss playing in either one of them.

"At the age of 4, I already wanted to play the violin. But the only thing I got were 'violins' (in English the plant violet) for the garden. My father was the manager
of the Maastricht Music Academy and he played the flute. He did not like parents who wanted their children to become the best in the same profession as them".

At the age of 8 Linda received her violin. "And after a few months I played with André Rieu! Oh well ... played ... André performed with his Maastricht Salon Orchestra in Borgharen, the village where he lived. I was his fan and tried to scrape a few music pieces with him. He asked whether I wanted to make my profession out of it and next he advised against it. "You can not earn a penny with that", he joked. But that was 27 years ago.

Linda persevered, studied violin and viola at the Music Academy and she encouraged others into the profession. She had her own class with 25 young private pupils. She continued studying herself with the goal of playing in a Symphonic Orchestra. "That requires a huge knowledge of techniques, which you can only obtain by practicing very much. Every now and then I would play in such an orchestra".

André Rieu
Eight years ago she started in the Johann Strauss Orchestra with André Rieu. "That was completely different. The music was a lighter style. André wants to touch the people with his music and he wants to loosen up emotions during his
concerts. People are emtionally touched. Often we see tears of happy emotions during his concerts. It is wonderful if you can arouse that. I played a few more times in the Symphonic Orchestra, but I like the JSO better. These musicians obviously have a different way of thinking, and I myself do not experience this as a job ...

"We are no Symphonic Orchestra. We improvise. Arrangements are often created during rehearsals. André has them in mind and he clearly explains, It has to sound like this or that ... During the rehearsals a lot is changed. A concert is growing that way ...Within a short period four different programs are scheduled: Heerenveen, Amsterdam, Heidelberg and Sydney. That means we have to rehearse every morning on the days we don't perform."

She plays in the JSO for 90% of the performances. "We are with 5 viola players, of whom minimal 3 are playing on stage during a concert. So, every now and then I can take a day off. That happens by mutual agreement."

Reincarnatus is a project of Joyce Hamers and Renate Dirix. "Renate also played with Rieu and Joyce took care of the video recordings. They left the orchestra in
an amicable way to set up their own group inspired by music from the middle ages. The musical styles from the Middle Ages are translated to present times, with a combination of modern and traditional classical instruments. The group consists of seven female musicians. They asked me to join and I thought it would be an enormous challenge. I participated in a rehearsal and I immediately purchased a fiddle in Rome."

Linda was involved in Reincarnatus from the very beginning. During rehearsals the group developed. "Creating a project together is very exciting. I am one of
the seven band members, but I also play solo's. In the beginning I did not feel at ease, for I am a little bit shy, but my experiences with André Rieu made me feel more free, also in playing classical music. With André we have 60 musicians and one conductor."

"Reincarnatus is good for me to grow. We play everything by heart. The group is also touring abroad and it is exciting to follow that process from the beginning. Dressing is different (tight leather) and the audience is different (trendier, younger)". Linda wouldn't miss Reincarnatus, "I play with them half of the total concerts per year."

Arranging a Lot
There is a lot to arrange to combine the two groups. "Sometimes it happens that I return home from an André Rieu Concert at 4:00 am and four hours later I depart with Reincarnatus. Or, I perform with Reincarnatus in Cologne and immediately afterwards I fly to Toronto for a concert tour with André Rieu, but everything turns out well."

She won't make a choice.
"I really like both orchestra's. The variation is fascinating". Imagine a Reincarnatus break through world wide, just like André Rieu? "No, I don't want to miss anything. I choose to work half and half and I absolutely do not want to leave André.

Imagine, Reincarnatus is invited for a guest performance in an André Rieu Concert?
"Then I would put on my leather suit under my baroque ball gown and at the moment of performance I can have a quick change. Yes, changing clothes would be necessary, for I cannot play André's music in the leather outfit and visa versa".
Click Here To See More on Linda and Reinccarnatus: ►http://www.reincarnatus.com/nl/member/linda