Melbourne-born Russell McGregor returns to Oz after 20 years to show us how the Viennese really do Strauss.

How did a violinist from Melbourne wind up 20 years ago in Vienna?

I had actually been on tour with the Melbourne Chamber Orchestra in South Korea and then Milan and had planned to travel to Vienna and stay for two weeks. I then wanted to travel to London and home through the USA and New Zealand, expecting to be away for a total of three months. So what happened? I fell so in love with Vienna, the magic of the music and all of the great orchestras and artists that continually passed through, that I wanted to see if I could make it here. That was nearly 21 years ago!

Where did your passion for the Strauss family come from?

My first experience with the music of Strauss was performing at the glamorous balls in the ballroom of the Hofburg Palace, which are still to this day very important occasions in the Austrian calendar. I began to develop much more of an understanding for the feeling and tempos of the music after observing the exquisite dancing. My total respect and admiration for...