International Artist Who Made His Dream Come True
A monologue by the most popular international artist, André Rieu - homegrown and one who made his dream come true.
Since 1988 we have been touring with the Johann Strauss Orchestra through the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany. The concerts were always sold out. Our repertoire; a mixture of Viennese waltzes, polkas, operetta melodies, classical pieces and opera arias.
I was convinced that many more people could enjoy our performances, but for that a CD and TV were needed. That was not happening. Why, no one knows. Along with Marjorie, my wife, I repeatedly traveled to Hilversum, but no one saw any benefits in my requests. It took us six years. And no, it did not surprise me that waltzes and romantic music were successful. I doubted though that the entire public was on its ass. The audience always loved the waltz, but symphony orchestras barely ever performed them. In the classical circles they were generally looked down upon. Why?? I never understood that. Strauss was a brilliant composer. My father, a 30-year conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, was a great admirer of his works. That our first CD "Strauss and CO" was such a huge success really overwhelmed us though. The record company expected to sell about 25,000 copies before Christmas 1994. That became 250,000 in the first three months. More than Michael Jackson's "Thriller" were sold here. When the TROS that year broadcast a concert, we achieved incredible high ratings, the highest rating since the final match of the European Soccer Championship in 1988, in which the Netherlands won.
My wife Marjorie and I fell crying into each other's arms.
It was the best reward for all those efforts of all those years.
My health? To perform concerts all around the world is my life, the JSO is my second family. Twice it went wrong with my health. That had to change. Now I, just like top athletes have a coach. Ruud Gransier is an orthopedist, a nutrition expert and European bench press Champion. Under his supervision, I do strength training three times a week. I do not always feel like it, but when it is over, I feel a lot better. Besides, I place more rest breaks in my schedule. I now have four grandchildren and they are for Marjorie and me a wonderful relaxation. The success of the Second Waltz has really turned our lives upside down, but I do not have the feeling that I have become a different person through it - I only have a bigger and faster (electric) car.
Thanks To Ineke for sending the article and John for Translating it