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Dec 8, 2018

Happy Birthday Sue

Happy Birthday Sunshine 
from all of us on the Harmony Parlor.
Have a wonderful day with friends and family and an enjoyable year ahead
and we hope that all your wishes and dreams may come true.

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!

Oct 9, 2018

André Rieu Announces 15th Edition of His Maastricht Concerts

André Rieu Announces The 15th Edition of His Maastricht Concerts

Waltzing Along With Rieu On The Vrijthof During The Jubilee Edition

By: Fons Winteraeken, TV-Valkenburg - In 2019, André Rieu will be performing his traditional summer evening concerts in Maastricht for the fifteenth year in a row. Tens of thousands of visitors can enjoy the maestro and his orchestra on the Vrijthof on 5, 6 and 7 July. Official ticket sales for the special jubilee edition will start on Friday 12 October at 10.00 Central European Time

In recent years, André Rieu has performed 88 concerts in Maastricht for about 900,000 visitors from more than 100 countries. Rieu about his concerts in Maastricht: "For 14 years I with the orchestra, have been walking from the steps of the theater along the terraces at the start of the concerts. That remains such a special feeling. Every time again. You only experience that in your hometown. If it is up to the violinist, he would like to do that for at least another 25 years."

This year the Maastricht stand-alone violinist performed no less than thirteen concerts on the Vrijthof. That was a record. Whether he will stay with three performances next year is not clear.

Thank You To John For The Translation

Sep 10, 2018

Rieu's Concert Series Very Successful

Rieu's Concert Series Very Successful 
Good for 13.3 million Dollars 

By: Rosalia September1,2018 André Rieu is doing very well. The violinist is in second place on the list of artists who are most successful with their tours

According to the Billboard Boxscore list, only Ed Sheeran is more successful worldwide. 

$51.1 million: According to Billboard Boxscore
( this year, and thanks to the thirteen concerts on the Vrijthof in Maastricht, Rieu generated a turnover of 13.3 million dollars (more than 11 million Euros). Since the start of the concerts on the Vrijthof in 2009, the violinist may have raised 54.1 million dollars (more than 46 million Euros) in ticket sales for his performances. According to Billboard Boxscore, these totaled to about 76 shows in Maastricht. In total, the Rieu's touring may have raised some 550.1 million dollars (more than 474 million Euros).

Thank You To John For The Translation

Jun 22, 2018

Tickets and Dinner For The Victims of Rieu Concerts

Tickets and Dinner For The Victims of The Rieu Concerts

Maastricht by Ivo Kok - During the thirteen concerts given by violinist André Rieu in Maastricht next month, space has been cleared up at the Theater at the Vrijthof for the seven hundred guests who were duped by the bankruptcy of the restaurant Scharrels en Scharen.

The domestic and international fans of the Maastricht Orchestra leader, some time ago bought an arrangement of 85.00 Euros each at the chicken and lobster restaurant, including dinner. But after Scharrels and Scharen went bankrupt after barely a year, money, dinner and tickets seemed to have disappeared like snow in the sun. Pierre Rieu, André's son and head of the production company, promised to do everything possible to compensate the victims, which has now been achieved.

The tickets are made available by Rieu, while after consultation with the entrepreneurs of the Vrijthof it was finally decided to add additional spaces to the Theater on the Vrijthof. Dinners will be served there without any additional costs to the victims. Rieu has also taken in consideration that many foreign fans have already booked travel and hotel arrangements for the performances. They can go to the theater on the day they had originally planned their reservations.

It is the second time that André Rieu's productions company came to the rescue after a bankruptcy, because the same happened in 2005 with hotel-restaurant Anna on the Vrijthof. Then too, ten thousand Euros were invested to provide the affected a nice evening. This will be the last time though, emphasized Pierre Rieu. "Undoubtedly at a certain time a business will go bankrupt on the Vrijthof. And for that there needs to be an insurance which will take care of that. A kind of safety-net, so to speak, so that we do not have to arrange everything at the very last moment. We are in discussions with this with the Vrijthof entrepreneurs at the Vrijthof, and they are very sympathetic to these discussions.

Thanks to John for this Article and it's Translation. It will be his last Translation for us until he comes back in August from Maastricht and his vacation  .. Have a Good One John - you've earned it!! 

Jun 17, 2018

"King of the Waltz' Prepares For Marathon Concerts at The Vrijthof"

"King of the Waltz' Prepares For Marathon Concerts at The Vrijthof"
André Rieu: "Without a family, I'd be nowhere"

By HARRIE NIJEN TWILHAAR, de Telegraaf: ANDRÉ RIEU (68), the unsurpassed 'King of the Waltz', is on the eve of another series of marathon concerts at his trusted and beloved Vrijthof in Maastricht. The maestro does not want to speak about exhaustion, although it will be a big task. "I really do need the support of my sons and my wife MARJORIE for this period.''

It is hard to understand that ANDRÉ RIEU (68) will be giving thirteen concerts in two and a half weeks - starting July 4th - at his trusted Vrijthof in Maastricht. Last year there were nine. The violinist certainly does not want to speak of self induced punishment: "This is the best thing there is."

Are you totally ready for this?
"As far as I am concerned. yes, I am fit enough to tackle this long concert series. It is not an attack on my mind and body. Thirteen concerts at the Vrijthof, it is not an unlucky number for me. We can handle it."
The world famous violinist has sold more than forty million albums over the past decades, and remains as hot as ever. In fact, his fan group seems to only increase.

The flamboyant maestro and his Johann Strauss Orchestra have admittedly conquered the whole world, but his performance is nowhere near as beautiful as in his Maastricht. "I love my city and the people at the Vrijthof immensely."

Does such a series of concerts like this not demand a lot from your body?
"Of course it takes a lot of energy, but at the same time all those happy people and all those smiling faces give me back so much energy. I am now training hard to maintain my fitness level, I rest enough and make sure I can perform these "home games". Don't forget that we give concerts throughout the year - worldwide. On an average of one hundred to one hundred and twenty per year. (Laughing) The advantage of the Maastricht concerts is that I can go there on my bike."

The tickets flew again like hot cakes over the counter. What makes your style so special?
"Our music apparently ensures "cuddle hormones" are created. That's what people love, of course I do too. You see people beaming in the square, kissing, it does not end. When at the end of last year the first concert weekend went on sale, those tickets were sold out in no time. The same happened again for the second concert weekend, which shortly thereafter was announced online. There was so much of a demand for tickets that we ended up with these thirteen concerts. And the people who cannot come here can see the concerts live in the cinema."

That 'waltzing' in cinemas also seems to be extremely popular?
"Right. The concerts are broadcast every year in about 2000 cinemas around the world. It was my son PIERRE's idea. I did not at first believe that it would turn out to be such a huge success where people are dancing in the cinema! Isn't that fantastic? They have the feeling to be there live. ROBERT TEN BRINK is the moderator for the concerts on the white screen. We have again put together a nice program. I always find it so delightful to see people love each other so much during our concerts! Every year we have a new program and we try to keep our mystery guest a mystery for as long as possible and we rehearse very hard for a few weeks to give a great concert. Last year we managed to snare Hollywood star DAVID HASSELHOFF (65) and his Knight Rider car. That was an unbelievable huge success."

In 2010 you were ill for a long time. How will you prevent not to become overtired again?
"Just like a sportsman at the highest level, I prepare myself for those marathon performances. I have to be there on Wednesday, July 4th when the premiere takes place and I cannot afford to let my mind or body falter. I had a viral infection on my equilibrium eight years ago. The situation worsened at the time because I became tired due to too many performances."

Have you learned to be more in tune with your body?
"Yes, definitely. That infection and the grueling period afterwards did not deter me. I think more about my health than ever before. The problems with my equilibrium have fortunately never returned. I do everything to stay fit. That way I make sure everything is in balance and harmony, just like the music we play. That way you can endure. I live healthy, sport under professional supervision with my personal trainer and make sure that I rest sufficiently. On concert days I do nothing else than prepare for the concert. No appointments and no interviews.

Not only has your popularity grown, but that of your orchestra as well.
Last year we celebrated our thirty-year jubilee. In 1987 we started with twelve people on the stage, now there are more than sixty men and women who make music with me. We play with all of our heart and enthusiasm which we feel in us. Nothing is fake, everything is real and authentic. We play classical music but bring it in such a way that it appeals to both young and old. Classical is not meant for the elite alone. Take MOZART for example, I'm sure he was a pop star in his time. If he was alive now, many admirers would want to take selfies with him, and girls' rooms would be decorated with his posters!

Fans from all over the world follow you to the Vrijthof. Does that do anything for you?
"I find it inconceivable. Besides, playing in Maastricht is really "coming home", it feels so fantastic! The entire year we travel all over the world, and in the summer "the entire world" comes to Maastricht. I always welcome my audience to "The Center Of The Universe", because at that moment that is what we experience. Last year there were about ninety nationalities at the Vrijthof. Unbelievable, isn't it?"

Do you yourself decide every year what you are going to do on the Vrijthof?"
"I do that together with my wife MARJORIE. We together decide which compositions are suitable. We never have a certain theme in our heads, it evolves automatically due to the composition of the program. Sometimes an orchestra member comes up with a musical proposal, even MARC (my oldest son); he has an enormous collection and knowledge of film music. Marjorie and I regularly make use of that.

Do you still have time for a private life?
Yes, of course I do! I always call my orchestra "my big family", we share everything together "on tour", love and suffering. But there is always enough time left over for a private life which I can spend with my "small family". That is of course my wife, my sons and not to forget my five grandchildren. That is an unprecedented luxury, being a grandfather of five of the sweetest and most beautiful grandchildren in the world!"

Thanks to Ruud for finding this article and to John for Translating it for us!

Jun 13, 2018

André Rieu Ambassador "Youth Fund Culture Limburg"

André Rieu Ambassador
"Youth Fund Culture Limburg"

The Limburger - June 13: André Rieu will accept a position as Ambassador for the "Limburg Youth Culture Fund". With André as Ambassador, the fund expects to improve their visibility and goal (every child counts) of the fund.

 "The Youth Culture Fund" makes it possible for all children to have the chance to develop, even if that is sometimes not financially possible. 

In 2017 the fund supported 817 children in Limburg.

Thanks to John for this and the Translation!

Jun 7, 2018

Together with André Rieu, This Girl From Twente Travels The World

Together with André Rieu, This Girl From Twente Travels The World

ENSCHEDE - With André Rieu's orchestra she travels around the entire world. But on Friday (8 Jun 2018)  Singer Donij van Doorn (32) will be back in the Dutch province of Twente. Eight years ago her father passed away due to cancer. Now there is a benefit concert. "Music comforts, always."
By Herman Haverkate:

Next month she will be back at the Vrijthof in Maastricht again. For thirteen evenings. Rieu fans from all over the world will come to Limburg. In a dress where all the details have been determined by the waltz king himself, Donij van Doorn, will sing in the shadow of the Servaas basilica, the great aria of Violetta from the opera La Traviata by Verdi. "All those thousands of people on that square: that's when you know why you do all of this."

"The music must always go on, but sometimes there are times when it is better to be silent". (Donij van Doorn)

Benefit Concert
Friday at 8 pm, in the intimate atmosphere of the Arkezaal of the Enschede Music Center, not much of the great show will be of notice. Donij van Doorn, permanent soprano soloist in the André Rieu orchestra, will be back in her hometown for just a short time. Together with her brother Brandon on the piano and fellow singer Erik Slik, she will sing at the charity concert of the KWF (fight cancer), organized by her own mother. "My father died of lung cancer in 2010. He was only 53. The hole he left behind is still great, I was unable to sing at his funeral, and we then played a recording of a song I had previously recorded. The music must always go on, but sometimes there are times when it is better to be silent."

Ewige Liebe (Eternal love) The charity concert will somehow be also overshadowed by the thoughts of her father. Especially for him she'll sing the song "Ewige Liebe" (Eternal Love) by Brahms. "Unbelievably beautiful, unconditional love: that is what determined his life. After seven years I now feel that I am able to sing this. Also Erik will make this a personal gesture. He has lost, just like me, his father through cancer."

The concert will be a mix of opera/arias, songs, duets and pieces for piano solos. "We want to show people how beautiful classical music can be. André Rieu is a master in that. He is not only a musician, but also an artist." The fun of our concerts will burst out. And it is only possible if you are really gripped by music."

Dreaming of the stage
She has been dreaming of the stage her entire life. A teacher from group 4 of the Jacobusschool in Enschede noticed her talent. She took piano lessons and became a member of a youth choir, "The many Voices of Lucy Oude Elferink. When she was thirteen she joined the youth opera in a performance of "The magic Flute".
"A fairytale, just like the piece itself. Looking back I think that that was the moment I decided to become a singer." Opera you do that all together, playing piano you do that alone. That is why I stopped."

Click - During the third year at the conservatory in Maastricht she first came into contact with André Rieu. "He urgently needed someone for his choir, they were recording in "De Efteling". Although at that time the conservatory was making it difficult, I said: "Yes." We clicked from the first moment. I never regretted that for a second."

"From the very first moment I clicked with André". (Donij van Doorn)

For two years now she has been a regular singer with his orchestra. She sings the big solo arias and joins him on all the tours. "Mexico, Japan, America: we travel the entire world. Like a a pop artist he travels the entire world. There is no other conductor in classical music who has achieved that."

She does not have problems with her repertoire. "Some people think it is one-sided, I do not agree. André chooses very broadly and deliberately seeks out the limits. I can follow him very easily in that endeavor." Sometimes she is away from home for weeks. Besides performing eighty to one hundred concerts a year with Rieu, she also does her own song recitals and plays roles in operas.

"Sometimes I see nothing else in the world than touring cars, airports and hotel rooms, but the trick is to ensure that the public does not notice that". (Donij van Doorn)

Her most beautiful concert was in Romania. She was there for the first time. Nearly ten thousand people filled the big square in front of the former palace of Ceausescu. "From the stage I saw them sit there. Ordinary people, often very poor, but with a big heart for music. They knew André's music, but had never heard him live before. And when you see them afterwards, radiating with happiness, then you realize that he has really changed something in classical music with his orchestra."

Thank You to John for this Translation.

May 29, 2018

Björn waltzes Around The World With Rieu's Orchestra

Björn waltzes Around The World With Rieu's Orchestra

By Jeroen Janssen: Wednesday morning in Maastricht. You may see a luxurious coach with elegant letters: André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra on the Kesselskade . The silver coach is the workplace of Bjorn Jorigas, born and raised in Heer and since 2002 driver of André Rieu's company. Even Bjorn did not escape cupid in the big 'family'.

The first years as a driver of a night-liner and in most recent years one of the drivers of André and his Orchestra. The story about a boy from Heer, who once dreamed of a career as a touring-bus driver or bus driver on a city bus, ended up in the world of André Rieu and his Orchestra.

There is no shortage of variety
Bjorn could never have imagined that his passion for the bus driver's profession would lead to one of the most varied and adventurous driver jobs in the world.
You have to admit: which driver spends a large part of the year in the company of the most famous and loved orchestra of all continents? Bjorn remains down-to-earth under that determination, but is indeed happy that he is associated with André Rieu Productions. There is no shortage of variety because last Monday he left for Salzburg where the first in a whole series of European concerts is being given.

Bjorn: "It may sound strange, but we left with empty buses to our destination, the Austrian Salzburg. The orchestra members were flown in later, which is faster and more comfortable. For us as drivers, Salzburg is the first location of this tour, from there we bring the orchestra wherever the concerts will take place. "
Bjorn also tells us that nothing is left to chance within the team. The musicians and crewmembers are not lacking anything. Everything is arranged down into the smallest detail and serves only one goal: the concert must always be perfect and flawless.

One big family
Throughout the years that he has been with the orchestra, Bjorn has never had the feeling of being an outsider. On the contrary, he totally feels as one with the orchestra.

"The company is sometimes jokingly called "one large family,' but that is really true", says the 39-year-old. "The atmosphere within the team is fantastic and that is due in large part to the perfectionism with which we work. Everything has been thought of, concerts and tours are prepared down into the smallest detail. The musicians and crew members are not amiss in anything. The entire preparations and planning serves only one purpose: the concert must be perfect."

Bjorn illustrates his claim with an example. "In preparation for the United States tour last year, I traveled ahead to inspect the buses we would be using there. These tour buses had to precisely meet the wishes of André and the production team, and if necessary had to be adapted. This typifies André's perfection."

Another fact that illustrates the atmosphere within the orchestra is the fact that 13 couples have evolved from within the team, and that is even jokingly talked about as the "Magic of the Waltz." Bjorn also has not escaped cupid and is in a relationship with pianist and violinist Martine Wijers. "You can easily call this a world job and that I can experience this is great.

Thanks to John for the Translation

May 22, 2018

Become successful like André Rieu

This way you may become just as successful as André Rieu

King of the Waltz André Rieu not only draws sold-out venues, but also runs his own billion Euro business. How does he do that? In three lessons you can be just as successful as the world's best-known Maastricht Citizen.

By: Priscilla van Agteren, Algemeen Dagblad

The now 68-year-old Rieu built his business from scratch. He was first taunted for his love for the waltz, now he is a world star with his well-groomed shows. And everything he does - concerts, CDs, DVDs - he does in-house.

Author Johan Nebbeling dedicated a book "Thinking like André Rieu" to the lessons that can be learned from the success of this Maastricht resident. Nebbeling based his book on various biographies, including Rieu's "Maestro without borders" and dozens of articles. "In addition to the excellent violinist and variety entertainer he is, he is above all a great entrepreneur and an eminent businessman. The violinist, showman and entrepreneur André Rieu is someone from whom we can learn a lot.

Three lessons from Rieu

Lesson 1. Dare to dream and dream big
When  at the end of the 1980's Rieu decided to concentrate on the waltz, it was a daring choice. Where classical music was already viewed as a strange duck in the hit parades, this style was seen as hopelessly old-fashioned. But Rieu had a dream, and held on to it at any cost. The definitive breakthrough came in 1994, when his performance of Shostakovich's "Second Waltz" stood in the Mega Top 50 for 30 weeks.

But he was not done yet. Rieu risked a performance in 1995 during the halftime rest period of the Champions League match between Ajax and Bayern Munich, which was a huge gamble. The soccer public was eagerly waiting for an intermezzo of classical music. The fans reacted very enthusiastically and sang loudly along . His fame had started. A year later he founded André Rieu Productions Holding BV, with all shares held by himself and his wife Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann.

In the 30 years that followed, Rieu has played all over the world. But he never stopped dreaming. He would also like to perform a concert on the moon, he once said.

Lesson 2. Make your employees your family and treat them accordingly.
In 2018 André Rieu is the head of a company with approximately one hundred permanent employees, which he treats like family. Some of them really are actually his family members. He governs the company with his wife Marjorie and - increasingly - his son Pierre. Rieu is a family man through and through and watches over the welfare of his immediate family members and likes to spend as much time as possible with them. In addition, he maintains a warm relationship with all his orchestra members and the other employees. When Rieu is on his international tours, they are on the road for weeks . Rieu ensures that his musicians not only 'click' with him, but also with his choice of music. Playing in Rieu's orchestra gives little status for the classical-trained musicians. Orchestra members can count on skepticism from colleagues who see Rieu's choice as a submission to the trade. Nevertheless, Rieu manages to have them bond together by creating a family atmosphere in the work environment. Every rehearsal is started with coffee and cake, they dine together and there is a lot of understanding for personal circumstances. Rieu's employees often stay with him for years, if not decades.

Lesson 3. Prepare yourself well and take calculated risks
According to Rieu's working methods, there is a risk associated with entrepreneurship. Entrepreneurship also means taking risks. But taking risks is not the same as getting into something blindly and hoping that it will turn out to be okay. Before Rieu takes on a new venture, he prepares himself well. Preparation for Rieu is more than half the work. The performances are of course detailed into perfection, no matter where Rieu performs.

He also learned from his own mistakes. For tours abroad he does not work - as most artists do - anymore with a tour promoter, but does and controls everything himself. This avoids unpleasant surprises, such as those he experienced during a tour through the United States. Local promoters are tough to negotiate with and that takes up a lot of time. A reason for Rieu to decide that from now on he can arrange those better himself. In those he can afford to take risks. A successful performance abroad does not solely depend on direct income for Rieu. The Australia tour in 2008 was in itself a financial disaster: the construction of just the stage itself was very expensive because it required 500 employees. However, this loss was more than offset by the subsequent sale of DVDs, CDs and merchandising.

Thanks Ineke for this article and John for the translation

May 21, 2018

Andre's View

André Rieu's view

André Rieu's view: 'My orangery is the place where I can completely relax'

Every week "De Volkskrant" (Dutch Newspaper) asks what a nice friend sees when he or she looks out of their window - and what that says about them. Artist Matteo Pericoli, who created the series "Windows on the world" for The New York Times, portrays the view.

By Misha Wessel May 2018

André Rieu's view. Photo Matteo Pericoli

People often ask me which music I like to listen when I am at home. Frankly, I prefer silence. I play between one hundred and one hundred and twenty concerts a year. So when I'm free, I think it's great not to have anyone around me and not be surrounded by music for a while. My orangery is the place where I completely relax. I have sent my gardener out to find out the most beautiful plants and butterflies in the world. The only noise in here comes from the tropical birds and the clatter of the little waterfall at the pond. Delightful!

When I saw that the "Castle De Torentjes" (Little Turrets) was for sale, I did not have to think about it twice. I was - and still secretly am - a big fan of Tin-tin. At one point his good friend Captain Haddock bought the castle "Molensloot." That has always appealed to my imagination. I wanted that too! And my castle has housed so many special residents and stories: the first owner (in 1534, if I am not mistaken) might have been a composer. The famous musketeer d'Artagnan ate his last breakfast here before he died in front of the city walls of Maastricht and I even received piano lessons here as a little boy. So I am incredibly proud that I live here now.

In Maastricht they ring the "Grameer" clock on most of the special Holidays of the church. "Grameer" is Maastrichts for grandmother, derived from the French word "grandmère." The clock hangs in the Basilica of the Saint Servaas, in the center of the city. We live exactly the perfect distance from it to hear its sonorous, almost ominous sound of this clock. And precisely since the clock is almost never rung, I find it so beautiful. I like silence, but that sound really belongs with my view. '

André Rieu (Maastricht, 1949) is a violinist and leader of the Johan Strauss Orchestra. Known as "King of the Waltz", he wants to make classical music accessible to everyone. He has sold more than 40 million CD's and DVD's worldwide and annually attracts hundreds of thousands of fans with his concerts.

Thanks Ineke for the article and John's translation

Another bankrupt Restaurant on the Vrijthof

Rieu wants insurance for bankrupt companies on the Vrijthof.
There is still hope for duped fans of André Rieu.
Despite a bankrupt restaurant they can almost certainly still go onto the Vrijthof.

Maastricht by Ivo Kok

That a hotel-restaurant establishment never again will go bankrupt in Maastricht, is a utopia according to Pierre Rieu. But it has to be be the last time that everything and anything needs to be arranged at the very last minute in order to help the duped fans of his father André. And now it has happened again for the second time in four years, first when hotel-restaurant Anna's suddenly went bankrupt in 2015 and some seven hundred fans from home and abroad could wave good-bye to their already paid tickets of at least eighty Euros each for a complete package, and now here in 2018 the same is happening with hotel-restaurant establishment Scharrels & Scharen. (Scratching & Scissors) The chicken and lobster restaurant, located in the former building of "La Cloche" on Vrijthof 12, was opened in mid-2017, but for whatever reason it turned out it was unable to keep things going for more than a year. Exactly how this came about is still being investigated by curator Roel Janse, but once again numerous fans were duped. Both Rieu and Janse confirm that the same order of magnitude as in the case of Anna's should be considered. It amounts to hundreds of fans and thousands of Euros.
Image result for pictures vrijthof maastricht 
No promises
Where the production company of the world famous Maastricht violinist, led by son Pierre, did everything possible in 2015, it now seems to be happening all over again this year  It seems, and Pierre Rieu emphasizes this strongly, that he promises "absolutely nothing" because I do not want to promise things that in the end I cannot fulfill. But still, "I have to say that we are going to do our utmost best to help these people, and it is true that, when we do our best for something, it usually works out." In other words: "Even the duped fans of this year may more or less assume that despite all the misery, they will nevertheless receive value for their money in the end, without having to pay a penny extra, of course, because if that is the case, that would find Pierre Rieu "in a very awkward position". "At the moment we are busy negotiating with the entrepreneurs on the Vrijthof and hopefully in about two weeks I think I can provide absolute clarity, but again at this moment, I promise nothing." The consultation between the vigorous production company and the Vrijthof entrepreneurs will focus on the same outcome as in 2015: victims who are still attending the concert, and if possible, will also receive a free dinner in or at a different place on Maastricht's most famous square. And although he did not promise anything, Pierre Rieu states that he also wants to take into account the days the fans have chosen. His father will be giving thirteen concerts, and there are going to be more than enough (foreign) fans who have booked a trip and hotel accommodation  for a certain day. "In any case, there are things I cannot guarantee" continues Rieu, "and that is where people have booked on that same date and place, and that is entirely going to depend on what the new owner (in the building of Scharrels & Scharen who will soon open a subsidiary of the Amsterdam Corner Bakery concept) wants.  We are not going to be talking about that at all." And neither will we talk about the prickly situation the hundreds of fans ended up in "Actually it is not our problem, if you want to put it as hard as you want, but our name is still on it."

Last time
And so, Rieu is the softhearted one again. But now it must be done, emphasizes the producer leader. We will talk with the entrepreneurs to see how we can prevent this in the future. We will have to find a system that provides a safety net in one way or another, so that this no longer has to be arranged by us at the very last moment."

                            Thanks John for this article and translation

May 4, 2018

André Rieu: Herman Krebbers Was a Great Role Model

André Rieu: Herman Krebbers Was a Great Role Model

The Limburger: He was considered one of the greatest Dutch violinists. Herman Krebbers, who for decades was the concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, died Wednesday at the age of 94 in Tilburg. "He was my great role model" ... responds André Rieu.

The former prodigy Krebbers is characterized by André Rieu as a fantastic violinist and a unique virtuoso on his instrument.

"This morning I learned of the death of my former violin teacher Herman Krebbers, what sad news! In the first place, I wish his immediate family, friends and other relatives a lot of strength with this great loss." He was my great role model .... I wanted to be like him! " Rieu reacts excitedly.

Enjoyment "I learned a lot from him, one of the most important lessons were enjoying in what we did, and as long as I felt that and radiated that to my audience, I have been delighted in playing the violin." Thank you, Mr. Krebbers, for your valuable contribution to the music world! "

Herman Krebbers continued giving violin lessons well into his later years. Many of his pupils won prizes during competitions at home and abroad.

Thank You to John for the Translation  

Rieu's Mother-in-law Helped Jews To Go Into Hiding

André Rieu's Mother-in-law Helped Jews To Go Into Hiding

Nelly Eymael, André Rieu's mother-in-law, rescued several Jews from the Germans during the Second World War

By Kim Noach: Pierre Rieu, grandson of this Maastricht resistance hero, will honor his grandmother with a portrait, which will be broadcast at the end of this year in the popular Rieu TV series 'Welcome to my world'.


Nelly Eymael has - as far as Pierre Rieu now knows - definitely helped two Jewish people in hiding. During his concert trip to Israel in April, Rieu met the Cohen family. They touched him with the story that Nelly helped their grandmother, Schlomit Cohen, go into hiding in Limburg. "After the death of Schlomit (she was 93 years old) the Cohen family found a photo in her house, where their grandfather and grandmother were prominently present, so during that meeting their grandma was saved by my grandmother. "We are alive thanks to Nelly" the Cohens told me. And that was so moving and beautiful, that together we stood there crying."

Resistant Group
The photo appears to be a group portrait of probably a resistance group from Maastricht. Pierre Rieu hopes to find a name and story behind all the unknown faces. Eight years ago Pierre met the - now retired - businessman Mattie Tugendhaft from Maastricht. As a five-year-old child, he was placed in various hiding addresses under the wings of Nelly and thus stayed out of the hands of the Germans.

Pierre Rieu is now making a portrait of his grandmother Nelly. It will be broadcast as one of the 'Welcome to my world' episodes at the end of this year. A concrete date is not yet known.

Thanks to John for this Article and it's Translation

Apr 19, 2018

André Rieu Starts New Year With Show in Ziggo Dome

André Rieu starts New Year With Show in Amsterdam Ziggo Dome

April 18, 2018: For the third year in a row André Rieu starts the New Year again at the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. His New Year's concert will take place next year on January 5th.

The performance in the Ziggo Dome is the start of Rieu's new world tour. "After having toured all over the world for a year, it's always nice to start the New Year close to home", says the Maastricht citizen. "Our friends, family and many of our fantastic fans are always there and I'm really looking forward to it."

Following  the New Year's concert in Amsterdam, another New Year's concert will take place on January 6th in the Sportpaleis in Antwerp. Tickets for both shows will go on sale on Friday (April 20th 2018).

The last few weeks Rieu performed in Mexico and Israel and will be touring in Northern and Eastern Europe in the near future. In July he and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will perform a record number of thirteen shows at the Vrijthof in Maastricht.

Thanks to John for this News and the Translation!

Apr 5, 2018

Rieu About Controversial Performance in Israel

Rieu About Controversial Performance in Israel
"Aren't I allowed to play anywhere anymore?"

L1 Entertainment April 4, 2018: The first of the controversial concerts conducted by André Rieu went smoothly Tuesday evening in Israel. The arrival of the orchestra caused a stir of twenty Palestinian artists and organizations. They called for Rieu to cancel the performances because according to them, the Israeli government would use the shows to divert the attention away from oppressed Palestinians.

No Politics
The Maastricht violinist said earlier that he is not involved in politics. "Then I would no longer be able to perform, so to speak," he said. "In America, where tongues are unleashed towards Trump as president, we just played there as well. And in Istanbul we also gave performances, even though Erdogan is not a popular leader.

Rieu noticed earlier that people in the hall were sitting with Israeli flags and thought that in their country there would be a need for his shows.

Festive Mood
Jo Cortenraedt, who is in Tel Aviv where Rieu is giving the concerts, tells L1 Radio that during the first concert on Tuesday evening there was a festive mood in the Menora Mivtachim Arena.

"I also saw Palestinian people sitting in the hall, and it struck me that here, just as in South America, the audience was mixed in age."

Rieu, together with his 60 member Johann Strauss Orchestra and several International Soloists, was for the first time in history on stage in Israel.

ThankYou to John for the Translation 

Mar 12, 2018

Rieu Will Go To Tel Aviv Despite Criticism

Rieu Will Go To Tel Aviv Despite Criticism

André Rieu is not giving in to the comments of twenty Palestinian organizations
They ask the Orchestra Leader via a letter on a website for human rights, to cancel four concerts next month in Tel Aviv.

De Limburger March 13, 2018 - Maastricht by Ruud Maas: A group of twenty Palestinian artists en cultural centers feel that André Rieu should follow artists like Lorde, Brian Eno and Lauryn Hill, who refused to give concerts in Israel. In a letter on Article 1 Collective, a site which is committed to human rights, they write saying that they that they find it inappropriate for the 68-year-old orchestra leader to perform there. A concert in Israel today is considered an equivalent of a performance for "whites only" in the South African resort of Sun City in the eighties, when the government oppressed black South Africans, according to the letter. The signatories believe that the Israeli government supports "big shows like yours" to divert attention from the Israeli decades-long repression of the Palestinians.

The group states that the government expunges the Palestinian culture by shutting down theaters and cinemas, banning events, denying artists a residency permit and incarcerate others without charge. "We admire your charitable dedication, referring to your benefit concerts in your role as ambassador of Wesambulance Limburg, which fulfills the wishes of seriously ill patients to experience a day distracted from pain. There is no breathing space for millions of Palestinians living under Israeli oppression."

Continued in the letter: "As a colleague artist we hope that you are in agreement with us and that we have a moral obligation to avoid all evil, and prevent our art from being misused to disguise oppression. We hope you stand on the right side of history."

From 3 until 7 April inclusive, André Rieu will perform four shows in the Menora Mivtachim Arena in Tel Aviv. This will be the first time he will be performing in Israel. Pierre Rieu, his son and spokesperson, indicated that the shows will go on. "We do not concern ourselves with politics, but with music. According to Pierre, the Orchestra Leader had never previously received a request to ignore a city.

Thank You to John for the Translation 






Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht












Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013




"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