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Jun 21, 2019

Economic Impact of The Rieu Concerts Have Increased Enormously


Economic Impact of The Rieu Concerts Have Increased Enormously

Hotel keeper: Toine Scheerens: The impact of the Vrijthof Concerts by André Rieu is now particularly large for the economy in Maastricht and the entire region. Take for instance the hotels, they really benefit from them, according to Toine Scheerens, manager of the NH-Hotel and President of the cooperating hotels in Maastricht. (Sahot) 

By Jo Cortenraed: Chief editor Chapeau Magazine and Manon Broers 

That afternoon André and his wife Marjorie are sitting comfortably on the couch, accompanied by two poodles who are very peacefully snoozing and not paying any attention to either the guest or the conversation. The homely tranquility is in great contrast which most fans worldwide have of him: always energetic on and around the stage, and always busy entertaining his public of millions with his music. "It all started with the "Hieringe Biete" (Herring bites) concerts", he said soberly. "That was in the eighties. Back then I already dreamed of someday playing square in the middle of the Vrijthof. That would really be something we told each other. And yes, back then we had no idea that it would ever happen and that it became so big." 

Convincing the hotel and catering industry (Horeca) 

The first edition of everything is always the most difficult, because everything is new. André and Marjorie discovered that also in their "own" Maastricht. "Primarily the horeca industry on the Vrijthof was not that much in favor. The entrepreneurs were afraid that they would miss out on income, especially since we demanded that no drinks would be served during the concerts. That would interfere too much with the music. It took a lot of persuading. In addition we made a very interesting agreement: that they can include the entrance fee in their packages and we would not collect anything from that. Our revenue comes only from the tickets we sell for the square only, and not the tickets for the terraces. After the first weekend, now fifteen years ago, our house was filled with flowers, all sent by the same horeca entrepreneurs. Apparently the events turned out to be in their favor, and since then we have complete cooperation. Even from the city council. That started from the very first year, for which then Mayor Gerd Leers was responsible. In the past the cooperation did not always go smooth. Once back in 1994, we and the orchestra were just having a drink on the square "de Thermen" to celebrate our first CD "Strauss and Company." We started playing spontaneously and the people found it to be awesome. But very quickly we had to stop, because of a couple of municipal inspectors. We had no authorization. We were creating a nuisance to the residents, while it was still in the middle of the afternoon. I understand that you have to take everything into account as much as possible, but I think that when you consciously are going to live in the inner city, you need to be flexible too. To enjoy full peace and quiet you need to live outside the city."


"My public is always so emotional
because I am that too" 

Taking Risks 

The current Vrijthof concerts are thus based on the "Hieringe Biete" concerts which with André and his former Salon Orchestra started some thirty odd years ago, in conjunction with Carnival (Mardi Gras). "I already knew back then that this would become our livelihood, but I absolutely had no idea how big it would become. Of course, the success is now overwhelming, and fans from over eighty countries come to Maastricht. But we took a lot of risks, in fact for all those years. What did you think, with one hundred twenty people in permanent employment, and about as many additional part timers. Those are mega investments. But we succeeded, our company is now in calmer waters, and everything is well under control, But that was not always so," he says laughingly and putting it into perspective. "Yes, André is always very giving without realizing the consequences" says wife Marjorie soberly, with whom he has always formed a team behind the scenes, even up until today. He is just what he is. That is his strength. He wants to succeed every evening. He is not acting, that is how he is." André adds to that: "I would not be able to do it otherwise. The people feel that too, whether it is real or not. That is why my public is always so emotional, because I am that too." 

Highlights 

Looking back André spontaneously recalls some of the highlights of the past fifteen years on the Vrijthof. "The arrival of actor Anthony Hopkins, whose composition we played, the performance of Benny Neyman, Rouwwn Hèze, Vikey Leandros, the Harlem Gospel Choir, Jermaine Jackson, the choir from South Africa, the Maastrichter Star, the four hundred brass players which we acquired during the World Music Competition, Triny Lopez. Lou Vega, and yeas I can still go on. And why the marching band from Eijsden prior to the concerts? The musicians of the "Sainte Cécila" provide an excellent atmosphere on the terraces every evening prior to our concerts. Just prior for us going onstage, they serenade us as we stand on the steps of the theater, which every time is a beautiful moment. You can also think about other warm-up programs, but I am a loyal person. And when it works why change it. It works and provides the proper sphere." The numbers speak for themselves. This year the 100th concert on the Vrijthof and a 1,000.000th visitor. All together 140,000 people who especially come to the Vrijthof, in total twelve evenings. "Yes, who would have thought that fifteen years ago. In addition there are the millions of viewers who watch the concert in the cinemas. That does pretty well too. It not only benefits us, but also the entire city and the region. Yearly we sell 700,000 tickets worldwide for our concerts. And everywhere we go, I speak about my beautiful birth city Maastricht. I like doing that. And it is wonderful to play here. Some hotel owners told me once that I solely am responsible for most of the marketing for Maastricht. And I don't charge them a dime for that." 

Preparation 


The preparations of André on the Vrijthof are no different than when for example he performs in Brazil or Australia. "I concentrate on the evening. It just so happens that my home is my hotel room, in a matter of speaking. For instance, I will not do any chores. I work out and rest. I make sure that I am on the Vrijthof around 5PM, and to see that everything is OK. We eat there and afterwards I rest, just like when I am on tour. Nothing is done automatically, everything has to be done from the very beginning. And afterwards comes the relaxation. Always a wonderful feeling. I hope I'll be able to that for many more years to come. For me and as well for all the people who come here to enjoy themselves.

The first concert series of André Rieu on the Vrijthof were not a big deal for the hotel keepers in the city. "We had troubles getting the rooms filled", said Toine Scheerens. There were only 3 concerts in the beginning and not 12 like now. So, just only one weekend and besides I think that mostly fans from this area attended. It was something new. The international public came later. The start of a separate industry by André Rieu Travel Agency (started by son Pierre Rieu) was an important turning point for Scheerens. "That turned out very well. Especially the package arrangements which they offer to their guests, work well. For us it is a very good outfit to work with. All appointments are properly met." 

For a long time the art fair TEFAF (The European Fine Art Fair) was for the hotel keepers of Maastricht and vicinity the absolute highlight of the year. That has changed. "TEFAF is still very important to us, that is certainly true. But with 140.000 visitors from many different countries, Rieu's concerts as an event have become twice as big as TEFAF. During those weekends the hotels are totally occupied as far away as Eindhoven, Hasselt, Liège and Aachen. The entire region benefits from it. The room rates we feel are excellent. There are hotels which adjust their interior as much as possible to Rieu with decor elements to get their guests into the right atmosphere." The concerts are also good for employment. "We hire extra people from all over the country, all the way up to Amsterdam. Otherwise we cannot manage the event. All vacations/holidays are withdrawn during that time. Because guests arrive early and like to have lunch and dinner. Just for an N-H Hotel alone we already have 8 buses running, especially for the Rieu-fans." 

Not only do the hotels benefit from this mega-event. "What do you think about the laundry services, the bus companies, the taxi cabs, the shops in the inner city and of course the restaurants and cafés with their outside terraces. The entire city earns a lot of money and may be thankful to André Rieu." Scheerens himself is mostly entertained by the international guests. "They come from everywhere. Brazil, USA, South-Africa, you just name it. That says something about André Rieu's fame, his status as a world star. The people are very diverse. From very common to very sophisticated, a mix of everything. And they all have a lot of fun. 

GILLIAN 

Fan for life from Kent, UK. No less than 80 springs young, but that does not stop Gillian Bisseru from travelling all alone from England to the Vrijthof every year. Not one Rieu concert day is skipped by her, and this year she attends all 12 concerts. "It is so wonderful to see how Rieu and his orchestra know how to touch anyone to release emotions." In order to make the most of these days, Gillian treats herself to the VIP package deal from the Kruisheren Hotel. "The location of this hotel is ideal and the architecture is very special". The VIP arrangement includes a lunch, a guided tour through Rieu's castle, studio or backstage, depending on the day. "It is a unique way to get a look into Rieu's life. Especially when his son Pierre Rieu is the tour guide!" 

ANDREAS AND DIANA 

Fans for life from Munich, Germany. "Every time we look forward to the Rieu concerts on the Vrijthof. In our eyes he knows like no other how to select music and so move his audience. Next to the beautiful dresses, the decor is also very special, surrounded by all those terraces and churches…. It's a piece of Heaven on Earth." Andreas and Diana von Dall' Armi have been coming for years especially from Munich to attend the Rieu Vrijthof concerts. Maastricht has become a place for the family where they both can enjoy their two passions during the summer, namely André Rieu and the equestrian sport. During the same time, a well-known equestrian event, the CHIO, takes place in Aachen. After the overwhelming Rieu concerts, it is always a big party and the German couple likes to stay an extra night to relax. "We prefer to enjoy a drink on the Onze Lieve Vrouwen Plein (Our Dear Lady Square) after the concert has finished, because that is the most romantic place to enjoy life". 

RUUD AND INEKE

Fans for life from Den Haag, the Netherlands. Ruud and Ineke Elshout-Cornelissen are real fans from the first hour. In the 90's they already attended concerts by André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra. "At present we travel each year to Maastricht and each year we stay longer! We want to be there the entire time, which last year resulted in all 13 concerts!" They stay at the DuCasque Hotel where they recover from Rieu's concerts, the fan dinners and picnics, which they are organizing themselves for the fans. "It has almost become a fulltime job that organizing. Where Rieu goes, we go too. In the meantime this has become our favorite holiday formula: combining a concert and meeting fans, with sightseeing a city.



Thank You to John and Ineke for Translating this long article! (and to "me' for posting it!) :D

Jun 16, 2019

Passion Plays in Tegelen To Receive Scaffolding From André Rieu


Passion Plays in Tegelen (Limburg) 
To Receive Scaffolding From André Rieu

June 17, 2019 - The Limburger by Marco van Kampen: Paris did not need André Rieu's assistance, but Tegelen (city in northern Limburg) will make use of his assistance.

After the devastating fire in the Notre Dame, Rieu offered seven hundred tons of steel for the reconstruction of the Parisian cathedral. That turned out not to be necessary. Some of the materials now go to the Passion Plays in Tegelen, according to Jos Teeuwen, chairman of the Passion Plays.

The organization will make good use of the scaffolding material. "It is safe and good quality stuff with a variety of heights. That is exactly what we need. According to board member Math Schmeitz we have good contacts with Rieu, and he would like to cooperate. This way the scaffolding will get a religious destination."

Note ... Tegelen conducts the Passion Plays every five years. Whereas Oberammergau, Germany performs them every 10 years.

Thank You To John For The Article and Translation

Jun 15, 2019

Rieu Deeply Touched by The Theft of Instruments

Rieu deeply touched by the theft of instruments from a brass band: I'm going to buy everything new

When world star, violinist and orchestra leader André Rieu heard  yesterday that a brass band for intellectually limited musicians had been robbed of all their instruments worth at least 20,000 Euros, it became too much for him.  He did not hesitate for a moment and decided to provide the robbed brass band with brand new instruments.

The musicians from Haarlem are "really overwhelmed," is what they wrote on Face book. The nightmare for the Haarlem brass band "Happy with Music" took place last night, when thieves left with their trailer containing all their musical instruments. The trailer was parked along the Spaarne river. "Oh ..... we are so angry!!  And so sad!", the corps desperately wrote on Face book.

The news hit hard in Haarlem, where the band is a welcome guest. The band's "Happy with Music" foundation consists of around 25 people with intellectual disabilities who make music together every week on percussion and wind instruments. The group's instruments were acquired over a period of  seventeen years thanks to, among other things, sponsoring campaigns.

The news about the theft was massively shared after the initial announcement. Immediately a crowd funding campaign was set up which raised enough money to be able to purchase new instruments. Other fanfare bands in the Netherlands also came to the rescue. "Would you like to borrow our instruments for a while?" was the response on social media from all over the world.

The cowardly theft also reached world star and orchestra leader André Rieu. The "King of the Waltz" was so touched by the news that he immediately decided to take action. He immediately contacted the brass band and made a proposal which was received with great enthusiasm."  This is outrageous, which is why he immediately arranged for new instruments," Rieu's spokesperson confirms today.

"Heart Broken"

He tells De Telegraaf that "his heart broke" when he read that the group of musicians had been robbed of their instruments. "That's why I'm going to help them, so that later they can be one hundred percent "Happy with Music" again. I want to give them back the joy of music taken from them," says Rieu. The Limburg violinist is responsible for all costs for the new instruments.


Juria van der Lubbe, chairman of the brass band, reacted very emotionally. "What a lovely man, that he will do this for our corps. I'm completely confused. We first have to process this. ” In the meantime they have already made contact with Rieu's management.

The members of the brass band are, just like Juria completely overwhelmed by this sweet gesture. In addition, they have decided not to let this get to them.  Since they want to play, but have to wait a while for the new instruments, they are now trying to borrow enough instruments to form a full-blown band.

"Full Regalia"

This afternoon, "Happy with Music" will hopefully be in full swing at a jubilee premiere in Deventer. "We will set off this afternoon with a wonderful, proud feeling," they write. " Thanks to the Damiate Band Haarlem and an association from Deventer, we can now perform!"

In the meantime André Rieu (69), is now busy preparing for his twelve jubilee concerts at the Vrijthof in Maastricht. Earlier this year, André donated no less than 700 tons of steel for the reconstruction of the Notre-Dame cathedral in Paris.
Thanks to John for the Translation

UPDATE 
André Rieu Does Not Have To Buy New Instruments 
For Robbed Musicians With Disabilities

June 16th - André Rieu does not have to open up his wallet to help out the robbed brass band from Haarlem. All stolen instruments with an estimated value of at least 20,000 Euros have been recovered. Rieu had offered to purchase new instruments for the band.

According to the police, the instruments were recovered yesterday (Friday) afternoon, and are virtually undamaged, and have since been returned to the victim brass band. The trailer in which those instruments were located has not yet been found. People with an intellectual disability play in this band.

Jun 7, 2019

André Rieu Wants To Bring Classical Music Back To The People


André Rieu wants to bring classical music back to the people – 
and to perform on the moon. Anita Singh met him in his castle
The Telegraph - June 7, 2019: If you have missed out on tickets this summer to see André Rieu, the best-selling classical musician on the planet, there’s no need to worry. He’ll be back next year. And the year after that. In fact, he might be here for all eternity.
Rieu, you see, is 69 but hopes to live to 1,000. “Yes! I would love to do it. I think it’s possible,” he says. He follows the work of Prof Aubrey de Grey, a British scientist who believes that the secret to living for ever is within our grasp. “I know what he’s working on and from the moment that he says, ‘OK, we are ready to trial,’ I’m there. I’m first. Hellooo!”
He announces this shortly after I arrive at his mini-castle in Maastricht – said to have belonged to Charles de Batz-Castelmore, the 17th century musketeer on whom Alexandre Dumas loosely based the character of d’Artagnan and who perhaps provided the inspiration for Rieu’s magnificent hair. He is an expansive host, welcoming me into the kitchen with a megawatt smile and a brick-sized slice of gooseberry meringue pie.
“This is where d’Artagnan had the last breakfast of his life before fighting for his king,” he explains. Does he feel a psychic connection to the musketeer? “I don’t believe in early lives and all that, but I think I could live like an earl, ha-ha-ha!”
In fact, his title is King of the Waltz. Maastricht is the location of the open-air concerts he has staged in the city square for the past 15 years. The rest of the time he tours the globe playing arenas, and he has sold 40 million CDs and DVDs. His concerts are a phenomenon. Audiences laugh and cry and dance in the aisles. With his Johann Strauss Orchestra, the biggest privately owned orchestra in the world, he conducts and plays the violin in a show that is pure entertainment. The music is a draw but the key is Rieu himself, radiating charm and bonhomie in his white tie and tails, setting female hearts aflutter.
There are some who think this party atmosphere and Rieu’s popular repertoire – The Blue Danube, Lara’s Theme from Dr Zhivago, a version of the Macarena in which a member of the orchestra whips off her ball gown and tap dances on a piano – are an affront to classical music. He thinks such opinions are sad. “I am a classical musician. I say that with all my honesty. But that doesn’t mean that I’m a dull person. Classical music is music that touches your heart. Bohemian Rhapsody is classical music for me.”
He has no truck with stuffy concerts where audience participation is frowned upon.
“When Verdi composed his Nabucco, the whole audience in Italy was singing. And then, I’m not a history man, but something happened; classical music went there and popular music went there” – he points in opposite directions – “and I don’t know why.” And that’s where he comes in. “I’m not travelling the world like a priest and bringing classical music back to the people… but in fact that’s what I’m doing.” British reserve disappears at his concerts, he says: “I make them feel at ease.”
People come to see him from all over the world. “They say, ‘We are from the Fiji islands and our dream was to come to your concert.’ It makes me proud.”
Do people propose at his concerts? He nods. “It’s really true. And also people in wheelchairs who stand up.” Really? “Yeah, you are sitting next to God, you know?” This is said with a knowing wink because Rieu is self-deprecating, despite superstardom and the fact that his website sells a jigsaw with a picture of his face on it.
You are a very handsome man, I tell him, because a few hours in the company of André Rieu makes one say things like this. “Thank you very much,” he beams. How does he enjoy his heart-throb status? “It’s good!” He has plenty of male fans, he notes, then adds with a twinkle in his eye: “But of course I look to the women. When I am on stage with my violin playing Elvis Presley, then I look them in the eyes, because that’s nice.”
He receives his fair share of marriage proposals but they are not serious, he says, because they know about Marjorie. She is his childhood sweetheart, the love of his life and wife of 43 years. What is the secret of their happy union? “First, we never argue. You can say, ‘Ugh, dull,’ but count your blessings. And have respect for each other and let each other have his and her life.” Marjorie does not tour with him but scripts the shows and is a partner in the business.
The son of a conductor, Rieu began violin lessons aged five and formed his first orchestra in his 20s, playing weddings and retirement homes. His professional breakthrough came when a Belgian radio DJ remixed one of his tracks and it was an unexpected hit. Then he was invited to perform Shostakovich’s Waltz No 2 at the 1995 Champions League final, a piece of music that featured in an insurance advert at the time. Watch that performance on YouTube; he has the crowd in the palm of his hand.
Next month, he will perform his 100th Maastricht concert, welcoming his millionth visitor, which is all good news for his bank balance, because he also owns the production company that beams the concerts into cinemas, and the travel agency that organises the package deals. “In the beginning you don’t realise you can do that yourself, so the money goes to others. And then you think, let’s do that differently.”
He cheerfully admits to financial mistakes, notably the time he built a replica of Vienna’s Schönbrunn castle, complete with ice rink and a carriage covered in actual gold, as a stage set to cart around Australia. It left him €34  million (£30 million) in debt. His error was to equate sales of his CDs and DVDs there with the number of people willing to see his shows. “I didn’t know that all the people buying them were the same people. I did a signing session and I thought, ‘Oh my God, that is the one lady who bought all the DVDs!’”
But he made the money back and now appears comfortably off. The castle, bought as a wreck 20 years ago, is his pride and joy and main source of expenditure. Rieu does not have diva tastes. His next holiday will be to England because he and Marjorie want to visit the locations in Midsomer Murders. His two luxuries when touring are a personal trainer, who puts him through thrice-weekly weight training sessions, and a red sofa – he has four of the latter, shipped ahead to different venues – on which he has a 90-minute power nap before concerts.
He would be a dream booking for Strictly Come Dancing. "They asked me, of course I said no because I had to be there for two months and I cannot leave my orchestra."He has never been invited to play at the Proms, but wouldn't accept anyway, the last night being too close to his shows.
Somehow we segue to his ambition to perform in space. ("Richard Branson promised me to build a hotel on the moon. Tell him to hurry".) And Elon Musk's theory that we are all living in a computer simulation. Rieu likes that idea. "I think there are endless universes the same as this. There are another two of us and another. Yes!" An infinite number of Andre Rieu's? What a thought.
 The Maastricht concert is in cinemas on July 27-28. Details: andreincinemas.com
He also tours the UK in April/May 2020

Apr 25, 2019

Praise To The South by André Rieu

Praise To The South by André Rieu
(Of The Netherlands and in particular the Province of Limburg)

"Where in the bronze/green oak woods" ... This is how the Limburg National Anthem starts and what a beautiful description of our southernmost province. I have been asked to write a preface about the south and I would like to do that. I have been living in Limburg all my life, and I would not want to live anywhere else!

By André Rieu - My ancestors came from the French region of Auvergne, but my parents actually came from Haarlem. In the Fall of 1949 my father secured a job as conductor of the then Maastricht Symphony Orchestra, and because of that my parents decided to move to Limburg. Therefore, I am a truly born and raised Maastricht citizen! Here people seem to really enjoy life to the fullest and they do so during all the seasons. This is particularly noticeable during the summer months, when the cafés and restaurants stay open late and the terraces are overcrowded - not only with Dutch people, but also with tourists "from abroad". It is not for nothing that I have chosen my hometown as the "final performance" of our annual concert series all over the world. In July we will be home in Maastricht and we can show our fans where we come from. Believe it or not, we counted no less than 90 (!) Nationalities on the Vrijthof during our concerts series last Summer.

Limburg citizens are truly Burgundian type people: that, in the first place has to do with a certain culinary lifestyle. People love great food and drink, and after a great dinner enjoy a leisurely  visit with friend and family... That also applies to me. I love to cook for my wife, children and five grandchildren! Second, there is, I think, no province as musical as Limburg. Every city or village has its own brass band or marching band where music is played enthusiastically every week. In addition, there is also a lot of music in the churches during mass. I sang in a church choir my entire youth, and I am convinced that has been very important for my musical development. Many of my orchestra members - particularly the brass section - have played in an all brass or marching band during their youth, and some still do it in their spare time. Sometimes I hear such an ensemble when I walk in the surroundings of my house. Then I feel so very warm inside and I realize "Just how beautiful our Limburg is ...!" (Wie sjoen os Limburg is)

From July 4 through July 21 you can once again enjoy the music of André Rieu and his orchestra during the Maastricht Open Air concerts. A few days later - on July 27 and 28 , the recording of these concerts can be viewed in cinemas throughout the Netherlands. And if you want to sit quietly at home, then Rieu’s new DVD "Love in Maastricht" is now available in stores! For more information, go to: www.andrerieu.com.

Thanks to Ineke for the article and John's Translation

Apr 17, 2019

André Rieu Offers To Help After Fire in The Notre-Dame


Deeply Shocked André Rieu Offers To Help After Fire in The Notre-Dame

"de Limburger Regio," April 16, 2019 - Monday night's great fire in the Notre-Dame is affecting the world. This is also the case with André Rieu, who is offering his help.

The dramatic images of the fire have deeply shocked Rieu. The Maastricht resident announced on Twitter to offer 700 tons of steel for the scaffolding during the restoration of the world-famous Paris cathedral. "The steel was used for the decor of the Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna," Rieu writes in a photograph showing the steel scaffolding.

In recent years, the violinist made a world tour with his full-size replica of the Viennese castle. It is one of the largest sets ever made for a traveling show: 125 meters (410.10 feet)wide, 30 meters (98.42 feet)deep and 35 meters(114.83 feet)high.

The Notre Dame, which is one of the greatest icons in Western Europe's history, caught fire on Monday evening while people from close and far were being consumed by sorrow. The damage to the Notre Dame is great.

Thanks to  Ineke for the article and John's translation

Apr 16, 2019



Extra tickets for André Rieu concerts

Maastricht 15 Apr 2019, from "De Limburger"

A limited number of new tickets have been released for the twelve sold-out Maastricht concerts by André Rieu.
Rieu's concerts will take place this year from 4 to 21 July inclusive at the Vrijthof in Maastricht. About 150,000 visitors from more than 85 countries are expected. In September André Rieu performs for the first time in Columbia. These tickets are now available via www.andrerieu.com

Thank You to John!

Feb 13, 2019

André Rieu Completely On A Healthy Tour

André Rieu  Completely On A Healthy Tour

This year he will turn 70, and if it depends on André Rieu, he will add another 50 to that. Tonight the violinist will play his favorite piece in the Johan Cruijff (Dutch soccer star) Arena in Amsterdam. The "Second Waltz" will be played prior to the championship match between AJAX and REAL MADRID.

The Limburger, Feb. 13th - When two years ago he saw Andrea Maier on the TV program  "Summer guests,"  André Rieu sent the professor in gerontology at the university of Amsterdam and the university of Melbourne an e-mail. If she, when he was on tour with his Johann Strauss orchestra in Australia, would like to participate in sport exercises led by his personal trainer, who usually also accompanies the violinist during his foreign concert tours - "she did and now she is hooked. I receive messages from her husband that she is so healthily busy........."

Andrea Maier, Rieu explains, studies the process of aging and is of the opinion that the process of aging is a disease which can be cured. "A rather bold statement. There are people in 'her circle' who even believe that the first person turning 1000 years old is already walking around on earth.'' Laughingly: "That age for me for the time being seems to be too ambitious, but I'll strive for it more than ever to stay in good health and to experience my old age. But then you have to be careful with your body."

Soft Autumn
He will turn 70 this year, for many an age to surrender to the soft autumn of existence. Not André Rieu. The violinist/conductor is currently touring Germany, after which a series of European countries follows: Portugal, Romania, Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia, Austria, Switzerland, Poland, Bulgaria, Denmark and Macedonia. Tonight he'll be listening and playing in the Arena the famous "Second Waltz" for the Champions League game between Ajax and Real Madrid. Just like he did 25 years ago in the Olympic Stadium during intermission of the match between Ajax and Bayern Munich. His beloved Vrijthof in Maastricht is traditional in July with the decor of his Dutch summer concerts. Twelve performances with more than 12,000 attendees each. "Just as exuberant as I did last year... We drag ourselves from one jet lag to another. September will be the United States, October Argentina, November Australia. And this year Chile and Colombia are still on the program. But we always say: "We now really have to take things a little easier." And smiling he says: "But we've been saying that for a long time. "It is almost like  the life of a top athlete and that, according to Rieu, requires one to be in excellent condition. In 2010 he suffered a viral infection on his equilibrium organs - his overtired body stood in the way of a quick recovery. "  I took the warning to heart. I thought: it all marches Well, but after your 60th you have to be careful. Now I play sports three times a week - strength training, squatting, bench press, leg press, dead lift, the entire regiment - led by a personal trainer. He really tortures us, since my son Pierre is also part of the party. That makes it one much nicer."

Healthy Taboos
In addition, André Rieu has stopped drinking. "From one day to the next day, it is just like smoking. I smoked until I was 24, three packs a day. Then we wanted children and I read that nicotine affects your sperm. I stopped halfway through a cigarette. Got rid of it. Every day I drank two glasses of wine. Poison, even if  you do it in moderation. Because you are doing it daily. I will tell you: it will become just as taboo as smoking. I now only drink water. Or alcohol-free beer. Tastes pretty good. "Also the diet - or better said: Sensible food - has in "House the Turrets", the little castle of André Rieu at the foot of the Sint-Pietersberg in Maastricht, made its entry. The violinist himself uses the ladle with great regularity . In a brand new kitchen, which he say laughingly "has the same dimensions as the Schönbrunn Palace." "What do I prepare? Just say it and I'll make it for you. And for Marjorie and myself, for the children and grandchildren, for friends. I am crazy about schnitzel, puff pastry filled with meat or fish with a sauce. When I prepare braised veal, I immediately make twenty of them. I freeze them. It is in my profession and tempting to go home and pick up something, but that we do not do that anymore."

Thank You to John for the article and the translation

Jan 24, 2019

Tickets For André Rieu's 100th Concert


Tickets For André Rieu's 100th Concert 
On The Vrijthof To Go On Sale

A new milestone in a successful career

Thursday, January 24, 2019, Chapeau Magazine

This summer, André Rieu will conduct  his 100th concert on the Vrijthof in Maastricht. The ticket sale for this event starts Friday at 10am Central European time. The concert will take place on 18 July. It is the 12th concert of this summer which will be performed on  the Vrijthof. His first concert on the Vrijthof was in 2005. Due to the enormous demand from home and abroad, more than 80,000 tickets have already been sold in total for this coming summer.

André ushered in 2019 with his traditional New Year's concerts in Amsterdam and Antwerp for more than 20,000 visitors. His performance in Sydney, shown worldwide in cinemas, was also a great success. André is currently touring Germany and will perform later this year in Portugal, Romania, Austria and Eastern and Northern Europe.

On 7 December 2018 his latest album "Romantic Moments II" was released. With more than 700,000 tickets sold on five continents, André celebrated the most successful year in his career so far in 2018.

The sales of tickets starts tomorrow, 25 Jan 2019

Thank You to Ineke for the article and John's Translation

Jan 19, 2019

André Rieu I Still Have Two Dreams in Life

I Still Have Two Dreams in Life

By: Katharina Schnurr
Photos by: Marcel van Horn and  F. Abraham

We rarely see the star violinist so personally. Instead of wearing a tuxedo and a violin, André Rieu shows up to  SUPERillu casually dressed, while revealing some of the details of his (musician) life.

His beloved castle in Maastricht (the Netherlands) has barely seen André Rieu, 69, in the last year. With his "Johann Strauss Orchestra", the star violinist has been more successful than ever before, touring all five continents. In SUPERillu, the Dutchman (with his current album: "Romantic Moments II") gives an insight into his life and offers pictures of a special journey.

Mr. Rieu, you are at home all over the world and you have recently performed in Israel!
The audience welcomed us so warmly, it was great. And truly, Arabs really danced waltzes with Israelis. One evening I invited my entire orchestra to Jaffa for dinner. They have wonderful fish dishes there! The Israelis really serve you like royalty, the food was so delicious. And our hotel in Tel Aviv was right on the Mediterranean. Many of my musicians were in swimming trunks or bikinis during the day, but in the evening, of course, in evening dress or tails.

For many of your musicians, you are more than just a "boss" ... 
Of course I'm the boss, but also a "father" to everyone. A good atmosphere is important for me and also that my orchestra feels good. We travel in the same bus, live in the same hotels, eat the same food. I have three cooks on tour with me, and every year there are Christmas gifts and a Christmas party in my studio for all employees. I enjoy caring for others and am very proud and happy about the loyalty of my orchestra and staff.


Son Pierre was in Israel, wanted to get to know the country of his maternal grandfather. He manages the company of his father.

Are there couples in your company?
Yes, many: 1, 2, 3 ... I believe 13 throughout the company. As to how many children were born from these unions, I do not know, I would have to count them. My drummer Marcel Falize alone has three adult sons who all have become drummers. Sometimes all four of them play in the orchestra, that's great!

Soon you will be turning 70. Others think of retirement. What is going to happen to the orchestra when you say goodbye to the stage?
Fortunately, 2018 was one of the most successful years ever for us, so I'm a long way from saying goodbye to the stage. But I have such excellent musicians that some would probably start their own ensembles or transfer to another orchestra. Many of my musicians have been with me for over twenty years, we are a big family.

You have 100 employees. Doesn't that at times feel like a burden?
Of course, I feel there is a certain responsibility, but it is not a burden. First and foremost, I am a musician, but also an entrepreneur, who sees more and more in opportunities than in risks. We make our living from the sale of the concert tickets, and I am not subsidized. After all, I have always wanted to travel around the world with my own orchestra. And I sleep very well at night, simply because I know I can count on my people - and they on me.


In a spice shop the musician makes faces smelling the spices

In 2010 you experienced a burnout. What are you doing to stay fit?
I do a lot of sports, proper weight training, eat healthy - right now I'm putting together a herb garden at home - sleep a lot and maintain a happy marriage. Besides that, I'm never bored.

With the herb garden you have fulfilled one dream. Are there any more?
Yes, I still have two dreams: one to play on the moon and two to play with Bruce Springsteen. I think those are super.

You always look happy. About what do you laugh?
My wife Marjorie and I laugh a lot together, we have the same sense of humor. It might be a program on TV, a sweet video of my grandchildren, a message we receive ... it could be anything!

On what do you notice you are getting older?
Actually, on positive things. I am more at peace. I am still impatient, but not like I used to be. Marjorie always said, "You are like a team of horses. You are either running or are asleep!"

Do you already have plans for your birthday?
Oh, that's only just in October. No, I do not make plans that far in advance. But we Dutch can celebrate rather very well. So it will be a nice break. On my wife's, my sons' and my own birthdays, I am always home, we do not tour then.


Thanks to Ineke for the article and John's translation

Jan 15, 2019

Sam's Special Experience With André

Sam's Special Experience With André Rieu

Written by Sam's Grandmother Sally: "I felt I had to tell everyone what happened to Sam, my autistic grandson, at André's Nottingham concert on the 15th of December". 

Samuel loves André and also Tanya. His teacher Wendy at his special school arranged for him to travel to the Nottingham venue on the afternoon of the concert.


André came down from the stage, in the middle of the sound check, and spent some time talking to him, then Tanya also came to talk to him. And when some of the orchestra went off for their meal, Samuel was invited to go up onto the stage, where he played his violin and jumped around with delight, whereupon those remaining orchestra members joined in and played for him.You cannot imagine the pleasure Samuel got from this.


Finally André returned to the stage to say goodbye to him, gave him a hug, and signed his violin for him. What a very kind and thoughtful man he is, to do all that for a disabled boy. Of course, his grandmother (me!) who introduced Samuel to Andre's music, was green with envy, but so thrilled for Sam.

Sally Mason

Jan 12, 2019

May You Have The Bestest Day Ever BJ!!!

Nov 28, 2018

André Rieu's Most Important Lesson

Rieu's Most Important Lesson

After the public voting round there are still ten candidates in the race for the title of "Entrepreneur of the Year", an initiative of De Limburger newspaper.  In the coming weeks all the finalists will be introduced. Who they are, and what their motives are. 

But Today We Introduce André Rieu

Maastricht, by Will Gerritsen - The  "André Rieu Productions "Factory" is running at full speed. With a tour group of one hundred and ten people, which he calls "one big family", he and his orchestra are performing this Saturday (24 Nov)  in the Australian city of Perth, and in two weeks in Ireland and the United Kingdom. In January they will be in Amsterdam and Antwerp, while on the 11th and 13th of January their subsidiary "Piece of Magic Entertainment" will be streaming his New Year's concert in Sidney to cinemas internationally. 

In between all activities a new CD "Romantic Moments II" will be launched. Who would have thought that of the violinist, who in the early days would perform with his Maastricht Salon Orchestra in amongst others, old people's homes and rehabilitation centers.? Despite his highly praised entrepreneurship, André Rieu has not followed any training in this direction. How did he manage to accomplish that? "I think two things have been very important: first of all, from the very beginning  I have done everything together with my wife Marjorie and secondly, I received a few good lessons from my father-in-law, of which the main one was: persevere!" His father-in-law was a Jewish businessman in Berlin in the early thirties and had experienced the crisis. Rieu: "Then came the escape to Maastricht, the war, the hiding time, loss of family, friends and practically all of his belongings. Time and time again he had to start from scratch.  Not only did Marjorie inherent this perseverance from him. Even I myself heard from him several times when I wanted to quit because everything was going wrong:" Keep going!" 

When Rieu finally  started performing, everything fell into place. "From the first concert on we were successful. There were of course setbacks, but the concerts were always fun and they gave me the courage to continue on. Success and adversity formed  him as an entrepreneur: "It was and primarily still is 'learning by doing. If you are fooled once, you know that next time you better be looking out, make better agreements and make better business decisions". "Rieu pulled classical music out of its serious and snobbish bubble. That together with the rediscovery of the waltz are his biggest innovations.

"In the first place
I will not for a long time to come
consider to or probably
never retire at all".

The story that the carnival concerts of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra under the conduction of his father inspired him, he says to: "Well, as a child, I noticed that as my father conducted a whole evening of symphonies and other "serious music", then as an encore conducted a Strauss waltz, the atmosphere in the theater changed entirely. The audience had a smile on their face, swayed with the music or tapped with a foot to the beat". 

An expansion of the "Rieu company" is the business start up of "André Rieu Productions Piece of Magic Entertainment" in 2017. Main activity: streaming live concerts to cinemas.

Speculation is that this will be the core business, if and whenever Rieu (69) decides to retire: "In the first place I am not going to nor will I  probably ever retire at all. I find it too fun to be together to make music with my orchestra.
My son Pierre has indeed established "Piece of Magic" . It appears to be a very successful formula. Worldwide a quarter of a million people view our concerts in cinemas." Which entrepreneurs form an inspiration source for Rieu? "I am not so involved in doing business that I look at examples which I like to follow. Actually, I just do something, haha! No that's not true. I know exactly what I want, but that comes from within me."

Why Should André Rieu Win?

Ask André Rieu himself:  "Why does he thinks he is eligible for the title of "Entrepreneur of the year?" Short answer: "I have no idea!" Outsiders however boast about his courage and his will to be create great dreams, like the glorious decor of the Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna, a 150 meters long replica which he had built. "I indeed have always been a dreamer, from child hood on. For example, I would watch at construction sites how Construction workers built a house, how a hole was dug, how the foundations were poured, the masonry walls were built and how the pipes were laid. I found everything interesting, learned from it and dreamed of it that I would later also be able to do that. 

In the meantime I just forgot to go to school, haha!" "But who knows, maybe I have learned more from looking than from the school itself. In this manner I looked the same way as a child to violinist Herman Krebbers. I had  a huge admiration for him and thought: "I want to be able to do that later too!"

Thank you to John for this article and it's Translation!

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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"Hello to all my fans on The Harmony Parlor!"

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André on The Theater Steps" by Bee

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André and Pierre on The Theater Steps" by Bee

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