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Oct 13, 2019

André Rieu "Welcome To My World 3"

"Welcome To My World 3"
Join Us On a World Trip With André Rieu

AvroTros, 10 episodes, starting Friday Oct. 18, 2019  9:25 PM, NPO 1. (Dutch TV) -  Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra are back with a new series 'Welcome to my world'! In this third series, the maestro travels to the other side of the world. Literally, because they settle in Australia for a very special Christmas party on the beach. Also North America, Tel Aviv and of course the home town of Maastricht will also visited. In ten episodes you will get a look behind the scenes of the grand and spectacular concert tour.

The series starts Friday October 18, 2019 on Dutch TV and begins on a very familiar location: the Vrijthof in Maastricht. During the rehearsals, soprano Donij van Doorn brings André to tears with her performance of an aria from 'La Traviata' and the orchestra receives the surprise of their lives when David Hasselhoff arrives in his "Knightrider" car.

Trip down memory lane

The world trip starts in Israel, where André gives a party in honor of his first concert in this country. And what else than a traditional Dutch clog dance to celebrate this! In between the concerts, André and the orchestra are afforded an opportunity to discover the Holy City of Jerusalem and there is an emotional reunion between Jewish families. In the next episode, the 30-year anniversary of Rieu's career is celebrated with a trip down memory lane.

The American Dream

André and the orchestra perform a special concert in Los Angeles and of course a visit to the "Hollywood walk of fame" should not be missed there. But the rest of the USA is also being explored: in Arizona the cowboy boots are ready and in Florida the sopranos are getting into a Halloween mood. Later in Europe they are seeking the sun in Lisbon, where André is invited for a royal visit to the Queluz Palace.

Christmas in the sand

The series ends in December with a special Christmas party. The entire team is in Sydney for a performance at the historic town hall. And if you are in Australia, you should of course look for koalas and kangaroos. This time the Christmas meal is not with the family around the dining table, but on the warm beach. Barbecue included!

Photos by Marcel van Hoorn
Thanks for Article from Ineke and Translation by Ineke and John

Oct 4, 2019

Birthday Greetings To André From All Walks of Fans

The Newspaper “The Limburger” posted  a series of Congratulations by prominent people, colleagues and fans of André Rieu on the occasion of his 70th Birthday

October 1, 2019: By Rob Cobben, Kim Noach and Peter van de Berg. Drop the name “Maastricht” in New Zealand, Brazil or Japan and you will immediately receive “André Rieu” as a response. The Maastricht musician is world famous and knows how to touch the hearts of millions with his music. Today he is celebrating his 70th birthday. Long may he live … and play ...
Sister Leona (105), big fan

“I have been following  André Rieu since the “Hieringe Biete” concerts (Eating herring). I secretly went there from the convent. And I always returned very happy. He makes the people happy with his music. If I feel bad or sad I put one of his CDs on and then everything goes immediately much better. He is a wonderful human being, who is concerned about his fellow human beings. I hope that we can enjoy his music for a long time to come; and I hope that I will still be there next Summer to dance a waltz with him on the Vrijthof Square”.

Jan Cober (68), conductor of the marching brass Band “Sainte Cécile” (which performs at the Vrijthof before the concerts)

Your father was steadfast, was a beacon for his musicians. You show the same traits with your orchestra and not only in the artistic way. You demonstrate the same with your own orchestra, which does not show only on the artistic side, but you manage an orgaznization in a subtle way. Your music is often underestimated but you bring it to something special by your high qualities and striving for perfection. We may be very grateful for that and enjoy it to the fullest. I wish you many more healthy years and for us to enjoy your music André, best wishes!

Theo Bovens (60), commissioner to the King in the province of Limburg

André, I wish you many more years in good health, with your engergy and condition, I think that that will turn out well. I hope that you will pleasure many in Limburg with your music, and the manner in which you carry out the name of Limburg in the rest of the world. André uses music as the language of the heart. Through that he easily connects with people regardless of circumstances, roots or cultures. Being in Lourdes (place of pilgrimage in France) I was one of the first who heard your track “Wie sjoen os Limburg is” (How beautiful our Limburg is). And for only that reason, his music sticks with me.

Enzo Kok, (17) violinist

André Rieu’s music is very special because it appeals to a broad audience. I experienced that myself. One moment you laugh about his jokes and the next moment you are moved to tears. That is his power. He is a lovable man who leaves nothing to chance, everything is organized into the smallest details. That night in 2015 when I was allowed to join the orchestra … was so special to me. A dream which came true.

Gerd Leers (68), former mayor of Maastricht, who assisted André in performing on the Vrijthof in 2005

In church history, the triple stroke, Verum, Pulchrum and Bonum (the truth, fair and good) have been used for centuries. If one fails, the other two will fail as well. For years “the fair” was seen as unnecessary frills, but André Rieu put that into its place again and made it accessible to the masses.

I passionately sing along with the choir: Long may he live… because then we all will have André and his fantastic orchestra with us for many years

Jan Slagter (65), Manager of the Dutch TV Channel “Omroep MAX"

André Rieu is a phenomenon. During the "Time for Max" tour in 2016 we were in Maastricht on the O.L.V. square (Our dear Lady square) for a broadcast with André and a free mini concert for the audience (watch the movies website under previous items: free mini concert on Sept.30, 2016 or click:
It was spectacular. He managed to get everyone to dance! I hope that he may perform many more beautiful concerts and that he can travel the world in good health. As an ambassador he puts the Netherlands and especially Maastricht on the map and that makes us extremely proud.

Rocco Granata (81), singer, composer of the song ‘Marina” (with which André finishes his concert every evening)

A few years ago I performed as a guest in André’s concert on the Vrijthof. Afterwards I received reactions from family, friends and fans from all over the world. André is a top entertainer! I am not surprised that he and his orchestra are highly regarded all over the world. If I were to be an impresario, and I could choose between Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, the Rolling Stones or the Beatles, I would be sure: I would always select André Rieu. He has to continue for at least another 50 years.

Guido Dieteren (45) violinist, conductor of Guido’s orchestra

I know André very well. From October 1995 until May 1998, which was during my conservatory studies, I was allowed to play as a fulltime violinist in his orchestra. They were beautiful musical experiences. Our very first performance in Germany was really unforgettable. The audience in Hamburg almost literally brought the roof down. During the years I played with the orchestra, we always started with the “Frühlingsstimmen” (Voices of Spring) Waltz. Even now, when I hear this beautiful waltz, I think: “Start the show, it is showtime!”

Beppie Kraft (73), singer from Maastricht

I admire the way André manages his hectic life, with so many travels and performances all over the world. My favorite Rieu piece is of course “Clavelitos”, an original Spanish song, which I bring to the stage as “In d’n hiemel” (In Heaven). Years ago I discovered this melody. I spoke to my producer, who knew that André had this song in the repertoire of his Maastricht Salon Orchestra. It remains a wonderful memory that we share this beautiful piece together.

Jack Poels (62), singer of the Limburg pop band “Rowwen Hèze”

In 2007 André invited our band to perform with him on the Vrijthof. One day earlier I had planned my wedding party. "So then celebrate that here with us;" André said enthusiastically. "I’ll never forget that!"

Once I heard a Rieu fan say: “André takes the pain away in my life”. I have never forgotten that remark. There is no expiration date on his music. And the waltz is so universal which everyone understands. I appreciate him also as a hard worker. When I also look at "Rowwen Hèze": we both worked very hard in achieving something.

George Baker (74) singer and composer of “Green bag” and “White Dove”

I greatly appreciate André for his courage, entrepreneurial spirit and perseverance. He has fully realized his dream and we in the Netherlands can be very proud of that. I see him going on for a long time. You see that he still has fun on stage. He radiates pleasure. No, we have never performed together.  I am very honored that he recorded my hit “Una Paloma Blanca” (One White Dove) on his new album.

Thanks to Ineke for sending these and John's Translation

Oct 3, 2019

André Rieu Interview in Maastricht A sensitive String

Interview With André Rieu in Maastricht
A Sensitive String

Orchestra leader André Rieu turns 70 today, but he continues to play. A walk with the Maastricht violinist, who never received the recognition from his parents.

Volkskrant  Oct. 1st 2019. Translated fragments from the article
By Gijs Beukers and Merlijn Kerkhof - We suggested to start the walk on the Vrijthof square, the epic center of the Rieu worship. André was accompanied by his lady of press affairs, the German Marie, and two body guards. We had been given a 30 minute time for the interview. Soon we noticed that it was not the best idea to go to the Vrijthof. Even on a drizzly autumn afternoon André seems to be a magnet for passers-by who ask him for autographs or take selfies with him. Rieu took the time and talked to them in fluent German, French, Dutch and Maastricht dialect.  When it started to rain, we went to the “Hoofdwacht” a neo-classical building at the Vrijthof, to take shelter under the gallery, and there we were not too noticable for passers-by.

Do you ever get tired of the attention?
No, only if fans claim me. In the beginning of my career I was in France. A boy in a tuxedo was playing the violin on a square and I immediately noticed that he was forced by his parents. They said to me: “He is terminally ill, he only has two more months to live and you should play with him”. I did not believe them and I did not do it. The boy is still alive. These kind of things often happen.

What happens to the Johann Strauss Orchestra when you stop?
I don’t know. When the two Strauss boys died, their orchestras stopped.

Are there people in the world who do what you are doing?
I don’t think so. Apparently it is more difficult than you think, to travel the world with 200 people.

Do you think that you get enough recognition in the Netherlands?
In the meantime, yes. The same happened to André van Duin. When he started, people thought him to be too straight forward. As soon as a renowned newspaper said he was good, it was okay.

In 2013 a certain music reviewer criticized you. Does that hurt you?
Not anymore. I know that my success is sincere and that colleagues respect me. So I don’t suffer anymore because of criticism.

Newspapers review classical orchestras but not yours.

Once you invited critics on stage.
Yes, in the beginning of my career. That was a Limburg joke. I invited two notorious Limburg critics, who always wrote in a cynical way. I invited them on stage. I gave one little bells and the other a whip. They could not do anything right and the audience reacted hilariously! They never wrote anything cynical again.

Rieu tells us he is fascinated by the universe. He reads books from the British physicist Stephen Hawking. Why are we here? What are we doing here? “That is so interesting. I developed my own opinion. I remember that my Geography teacher at the elementary school said that Europe, Africa, North and South America had been one continent in early history. I noticed that immediately, I told him because the pieces fit together. He didn't like that.

Were you a smart child?
No, not all. My mother thought I was a moron, because I had not yet spoken a single word before I was 2 years old. My father was a conductor and he demanded complete dedication from his children. I started to play the violin at 5. While friends played soccer outside, I had to follow lessons in solfège and ear training. It was tough. A child never wants something that has to be done and I was forced to learn to play the violin.

What was it like to play in your father’s orchestra? (around 1980 in The Limburg Symphony Orchestra).
Not so nice. It was like a civil service atmosphere. It was uncomfortable for me. “There comes the son-of …. ” Colleagues thought I was being favored. “We have to be nice, while we hate that man”. It was still the time that conductors were appointed for life. When my father stopped, it became more fun for me.

Did you speak with your father about that?
No, I had a difficult relationship with him. We never spoke too much and certainly not during that time.

You started the Maastricht Salon Orchestra in 1978 as a precursor to the Johann Strauss Orchestra.
What was his opinion about that?
He hated it. He did not say so, but I just knew. I played on weddings and parties. He did not send me to the conservatory for that!

Have you ever received his recognition?
He attended a concert once in Heerlen, but left halfway through. After that he wrote me a letter with the comment: “If someone can do it, it is André Rieu”. But he never gave me his blessings, he never embraced me. I found that very difficult. I think such things are important for children. On the other side: I should be thankful for his discipline and genes, which led to my career now.

Your father passed away in 1992. Do you regret that he did not experience your big break through?
I don’t know. I don’t even know if he would have appreciated it. My mother lived a long life (she died in 2018 at the age of 98) and she never said anything about it either.

Why not?
Because they never believed in me. My sister Teresia was their favorite. She was much bolder. Yes, I am on stage now, but actually I am very shy. As a child I was happy just sitting in a corner.

Have you ever taken steps to improve the relationship with your parents?
Yes, over 40 years ago I went into therapy, together with my wife Marjorie. The therapist said: You have to go on with your life. And that is what I did.

Then after one hour, press lady Marie gestures that we have to finish the interview. Where does the Maestro have to go? “I once wanted a new kitchen. My wife agreed under one condition: I had to cook for her”. We said goodbye and there he went: walking along the St. Servaas Church. He has to do the shopping!

Thanks to Ineke for article, her and John's translations
Photo by Rebecca Fertinel

Oct 1, 2019

André Rieu Celebrates His 70th Birthday in Maastricht

King of The Waltz (70) Celebrates His Birthday
In "His" Maastricht

André Rieu: "Without Marjorie, I would be in the gutter"

By Harrie Nijen Twilhaar, de Telegraaf. 30 September 2019: Violinist and conductor ANDRÉ RIEU celebrates his 70th birthday on Tuesday (Oct 1). The world famous "King of the Waltz" interrupted his South American tour to celebrate this memorable day with family, friends and his orchestra. In an exclusive interview the musician tells about his family, the love for music and the future: “I don't want to think about quitting. I am going be at least 140 years old!”

Maastricht citizen ANDRÉ RIEU is overjoyed that King's Day 2020 will be celebrated in "his" city and the violinist would like nothing more than to give Queen MÁXIMA and King WILLEM-ALEXANDER a concert to on 27 April. "The choice for Maastricht was the first "Birthday present" I received last week for my birthday. It would be fantastic to be able to perform for the royal couple."

Just back from Colombia, the uncrowned Waltz King, who is going to blow out seventy candles on Tuesday, tells us he wants to take all the time and tranquility to celebrate his birthday with a party of more than five hundred (!) guests. Now that he is at home with his wife MAJORIE RIEU (72), the driven artist can catch his breath. "After my birthday we fly back to Chile, where we will continue our concerts."

►Does your seventieth birthday feel different than when you were fifty or sixty?
"No, not at all! I don't feel like I'm turning seventy at all. And now again,  I am celebrating my birthday between two tours: Colombia and Chile. Isn't it fantastic that I have been traveling around the world in good health for so many years? I want to be at least a hundred years old. I trust the scientific research, which to indicate that we can even reach 140. So I'm halfway there, haha.

Hollandse Hoogte

►It seems that as you are getting older, your popularity also increases.
"My fame has indeed explosively grown in recent years. This is mainly due to our concert registrations which are shown worldwide. Also in countries where we have never performed before. I even get nice sweet messages from fans from India, Mongolia, Egypt, Malta ... truly from all over the world. The people in those countries primarily know our music from YouTube and Face book.

►Are there fans with whom you have built a personal relationship?
"No, I would never do that. I have my personal friends, lovely people with whom I already was friends before I was not yet known. That is very different from fans."

►You radiate a lot of enthusiasm.
"Being an artist does not feel like work. I have fun! I can imagine that people who have done heavy or tedious work all their lives will be happy when they can finally retire. But I can't imagine anything better than to be on stage every night and make music with my orchestra. After every concert I need a few hours to recover. You can only make music with love and passion.”

►How do you maintain that mentally and physically?
"I have changed my lifestyle. I eat healthy, do not drink alcohol and exercise a lot. I am lucky that I can sleep anywhere, even behind the stage. That is a big advantage. In addition, I have had a wonderful life of seventy years and I am energetic. I sometimes feel like a child who can play all day without getting tired. I just do what I feel like. That is also my advice to young, ambitious people: do something that you enjoy."

►Your illness in 2010, a viral infection of your equilibrium, hit like a bomb. Is that why you started to live healthier?
"I became ill that time for the simple reason that I did too much. Since then I do less. Fewer interviews, haha! I concentrate on music and I do strength training three times a week with a personal trainer.”

►Are you afraid of becoming ill again?
"Absolutely not. I almost never become ill and I think that the fear of becoming ill is in itself already a cause of illness.”

►You once said, "My life is music, it never stops." So neither do you?
"That's right yes. I see no reason to stop making music. It's too much fun! This year we performed in seventeen countries and sold nearly 700,000 tickets. Why should I stop? "

►You run a large family business, but a successor, musically speaking you don't have. Have you ever thought about how that is going to continue when the André Rieu era is over?
"For the sake of fairness: that is not something I am busy with currently. I mainly think about new programs, ideas, new CDs, DVDs, new countries where we can go. I have been doing this together with my wife Marjorie, for forty years, and we want to continue this together for a long time to come.”

►When is it over? If your health fails you?
"Well, if that ever happens, we'll see then how to proceed. I am not a worrier to sit and worry about that. I look ahead, but only in a positive way. What can I still do? And not: what I could possibly never do anyway?"

►You place an enormous value on your family. How important are they to you? PIERRE in particular is a driving force, MARC is less visible?
"My family is very important to me. Pierre (38) has been in the organization and production for almost twenty years. He has grown enormously in the company. Marc (41) is a painter and historian. He also writes lyrics for our website and has an advisory role in the musical field. He is a great connoisseur of classical music and film music. I do everything together with Marjorie. I would be in the gutter without her."

►The love with Marjorie is still flourishing, although it was less so in the past. You even went into therapy.
"We have been happily married for 44 years. The fact that we went into therapy had to do with the fact that we were both raised quite strictly. We had to learn to move more freely. Well, that was pretty successful! I always wanted a woman with whom I was not only privately happy but someone with whom I could also work well. Marjorie also gave me the confidence that I needed to form my own orchestra. She was the first to believe in me. Without her I would not be where I am now."

►You are away from home a lot. How does she deal with that?
"That is our life and it is great. We have contact with each other every day and moreover we are never more than two weeks on tour for, because there are many parents of small children in the orchestra. I certainly don't find it touring boring, on the contrary. ”

►Do you ever waltz with Marjorie?
"Haha! We took a dance course together once, but we both wanted to lead. So that became a fiasco. Just let me and my orchestra play a waltz!"

Photos: Hollandse Hoogte
Thanks to Ineke for sending the article and John translating it

Sep 17, 2019

Pierre Rieu Proud of His Grandmother

Pierre Rieu Proud of His Grandmother
War museum in the making as a lesson for the future

Maastricht citizen Pierre Rieu is one of the main characters in the book 'Portraits of freedom', commissioned by the Eijsden-Margraten municipality, and edited by Chapeau.

Pierre Rieu's contribution to the book  "Portraits of Freedom"

At the front of the biggest shed is a part of the stage attributes of his world famous father André. But behind a large wall in the same shed, is where the domain of Pierre Rieu begins, indeed, "the son of". There you enter a very different world, that of the Second World War. Impressive tanks, jeeps, army trucks, amphibian vessels, motorcycles, reconnaissance vehicles and a lot of utensils from the period 1940-1945, such as radios, a printing press for pamphlets and lamps.

No, it's not just a hobby. It is not primarily about tinkering, having rare vehicles with which you can take a nice ride, like in an old-timer. There is a definite story behind it all.

"My maternal grandmother was married to a German Jew. My grandmother was in the resistance. They never talked much about it. I can still remember  that they did have many books about the war.  As a child, I often poked around. That is how my interest arose. And that's how at the age of sixteen  I landed a job as a volunteer guide at the Fort Eben-Emael. I learned a lot there. About the war and the liberation, but also about how to deal with groups of people. "

Pierre is 18 when he buys his first car. It is an American Army Jeep from the war.  At least, it is being sold to him as that. Afterwards it seem that it dates from after the war. But that does not matter, his interest in everything  war grows and grows.  "I have been to Israel several times and have met people there whose grandmother in Maastricht was saved y my grandmother. At a certain moment I also met a small, elderly Amsterdam person. He grabbed my face. First I thought he was a fan of Dad's. But no: he was thankful when he saw me, because he told me my grandmother had saved his live when he was 5 years old and living in Maastricht. Even more interesting was that he was married to a lady who had been pulled from a train filled with locked up Jews by American soldiers who  had liberated Maagdenburg. One of them, Frank Towers, later took me there. He told me that some 2500 Jews were lock up in that train for five days. The Germans still wanted to take them to a concentration camp, but had to flee because of the allies. Some of the people in the train started to suffocate, and several did not survive."

Through the course of several years he built a friendship with Towers and several other veterans.  With them he visited the areas where they fought and the military cemeteries such as Margraten and Henry-Chapelle.  With them he also visits commemorations in Israel. "I even have a cousin living there. She does not dare to settle in Europe, for fear that the Jewish persecution would take place again. Because she reads that anti-Semitism is on the rise again in Europe. That because of the basis of your origin you are being murdered is unthinkable." Pierre shakes his head. He is not totally convinced that history will not repeat itself.

For Frank Towers, who since has passed away, it became a life's work to visit as many people as possible who were then on that train. It was a war injury for him. By spending time with him and other veterans I also absorbed those emotions. Can you imagine, that one hundred thousand young men came to Europe to liberate us. Even though they did not know Europe at all, they still did it. Every soldier who fought along has seen one or more comrades die.  Would we still go and free an entire nation at another continent? To leave your family to fight for life and death far away from home? Very difficult!"

That Pierre has taken over half his Dad's warehouse, indicates that Dad supports him. "No, otherwise I would not have been able to do this. He is very enthusiastic about this and we have often received veterans at our home. My mother does not talk much about this. Understandable, with her and her family that goes quite deep."

Every Wednesday evening a group of 25 volunteers come to the warehouse and work on the robust vehicles, which are mostly know as dilapidated vehicles. "No, they no longer come from an old farm, that time has passed. Especially after a movie such as "Band of Brothers." These old vehicles are now worth a lot of money, even if they look like a pile of junk. I am not a dealer, so I don't need to earn anything from them. I am also not going to sell them, but have another purpose: to establish a private museum, hopefully within a few years.  We are just not going to place some old tanks and jeeps in a row, that does not appeal to the younger crowd. It has to become an experience museum where, by use of  dioramas, complete stories are being told, in chronological order. With all kinds of techniques, such as video, sound and light techniques  we are going to portray various scenes. From D-Day to, for instance, the liberation of Kerkrade.  We are going to show how people secretly listened to an old radio to see how far the Allies advanced. We will show you an open fireplace which can slide open.  Behind that you will see a Jewish family. Another scene is where that family is being betrayed by Dutch collaborators who would receive 5 guilders as a bounty from the Germans. Can you imagine,  5 Guilders per person? And that really did  happen.  We will show how the "underground resistance" worked. But also that some were reported and then also taken away by the Germans, facing death. We are not going to show atrocities, no blood. However, we do make it clear to the visitors how great the destruction has been. In that manner I hope that the youth will learn a valuable lesson and make them realize how important freedom is."

The American and English military vehicles, although not refurbished, often come from private individuals. In that world you build a network . Yes, and then it is quite an advantage that you have such a surname, one that sometimes opens doors. Often they are people who know that we have a specific goal in mind, and then it is just a matter of bestowing."

Lots has still to happen before the museum will be a reality. Many of the volunteers still have busy jobs.  Such as auto mechanics, notaries or doctors. Among them is a 15 year old boy who is very interested. "They all don't  need to be able to tinker, some do research for additional information. it is all about group unity, which is enormously strong. We regularly go to historic places like in Normandy, or England, just to name a few.  And then yes, sometimes we drive with a few men through Limburg in those old trucks. That is just fun. In any case, we do participate in a number of commemorative meetings every year. Will that decrease after the 75 year commemoration? Definitely not,  the commemorations will continue every year, we should never forget them. And with the museum which will come here, we will contribute to that."

Thanks to John for the translation and Ineke and Han for the article

Sep 15, 2019

Pierre Rieu Proud Of His Grandmother

Pierre Rieu Proud Of His Grandmother
War museum in the making as a lesson for the future

Chapeau Magazine, Maastricht: Maastricht citizen Pierre Rieu is one of the main characters in the book 'Portraits of freedom, commissioned by the Eijsden-Margraten municipality, and edited by Chapeau.

Below is an excerpt from his story:

At the front of the biggest shed is a part of the stage attributes of his world famous father André. But behind a large wall in the same shed, is where the domain of Pierre Rieu begins, indeed, "the son of". There you enter a very different world, that of the Second World War.

Impressive tanks, jeeps, army trucks, amphibian vessels, motorcycles, reconnaissance vehicles and a lot of utensils from the period 1940-1945, such as radios, a printing press for pamphlets and lamps.

No, it's not just a hobby. It is not primarily about tinkering, having rare vehicles with which you can take a nice ride like in an old-timer.There is a definite story behind it all.

"My maternal grandmother was married to a German Jew. My grandmother was in the resistance. They never talked much about it. I can still remember that they did have many books about the war.

As a child, I often poked around. That is how my interest arose. And that's how at the age of sixteen I landed a job as a volunteer as a guide at the Fort Eben-Emael. I learned a lot there. About the war and the liberation, but also about how to deal with groups of people."

The book is for sale in the town hall of Margraten and among others in the PLUS stores of Eijsden and Margraten.

Thanks to John For The Translation

Sep 3, 2019

André Rieu To Release a New Album

André Rieu To Release a New Album

The Limburger Sept. 3 - André Rieu together with his Johann Strauss Orchestra will release a new album on 22 November, titled "Happy Days." One of the songs on the album is "The Second Waltz", the song with which the Maastricht violinist broke through in the 1990's.

The album will be a "deeply romantic, but no less cheerful homage to Vienna."
Link To New Happy Days CD!

Jul 27, 2019

Donij van Doorn Clicks With André Rieu

Photo: Place de l'Opera

Donij van Doorn Clicks With André Rieu 

Maastricht July 26, 2019 from "Place de l'Opera" magazine by François van den Anker. 
If you follow soprano Donij van Doorn on Instagram, you will see the enthusiasm with which she secures her experiences during the Vrijthof concerts by André Rieu and shares them with the world. That enthusiasm is just as present when she speaks, which François van den Anker discovered during an interview just before the last concert. 

André is a musician through and through. 
Sunday afternoon in Maastricht. The tables outside are already being prepared and on the twelve thousand chairs, bottles of water - with André Rieu's own label - are ready for the visitors. That evening it will be Rieu's one hundredth Vrijthof concert and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. This year's motto is "Shall we dance," which is why former members of the American band "The Village People," performing under the name of "Kings of Disco", have been included in the program. 

Dutch soprano Donij van Doorn has her own unique task: to bring tranquility with a large aria which - although she is convinced - will put visitors who have no affinity with the genre of opera, on the right track. 

Donij is many faceted singer, well-educated and with an interest in many types of classical-vocal music. "It once started with piano", she told during the interview when Place de l’Opera was with her five years ago. Two operas from the Dutch Travel Opera (Nederlandse Reisopera), in which the young Enschede resident performed as a member of a children's choir, which made such an impression that she decided to become a singer. 

She studied in Maastricht, was part for two years of the then so called "Opera Studio Nederland", sang with "Holland Opera" and "Opera per Tutti" and played Bubikopf in the highly acclaimed production of Ullmann's "Der Kaiser von Atlantis". (The Emperor of Atlantis) 

She has good memories of the six years of conservatory studies in Maastricht. "I had a super fun time," she says in one of the changing rooms in the Theater on the Vrijthof, which serves as a base during the André Rieu concerts. “I came to Maastricht from Enschede (in the province of Overijssel). I liked the city very much and we were a great group of students. ”In those years she sometimes visited the Perroen, a café on the Vrijthof which during the Rieu concerts offers dinner with a view from a raised terrace of the event. But frequently going out was - and still is - even in café city Maastricht - not for singing students. 

You have to sweeten the pot in order to move them 
She was in her third year when André Rieu was urgently looking for a soprano to fill in in the choir for a DVD recording in the Efteling. “I received a call and thought for a moment that it was a joke. But the next day I auditioned and immediately signed a contract. "The most important reason she said "yes" was that while working on the music, I immediately felt a musical click with André. "And so it almost became a real fairy tale: performing in the Efteling with the world famous Johann Strauss Orchestra."

After that introduction, the Rieu's invitations kept coming in. During an American tour, Donij sang the "Vilja Lied", even with jet lag, for literally thousands of people every evening. Due to those tours she was occasionally absent from her studies which was not very much appreciated by the teachers. “I always received good grades, but they started going down. They wanted me to spend more time on my studies. I understood that, but I explained to them that from those few weeks of touring I could pay for my master's degree.” 

“What struck me from the start was the enthusiasm, the pleasure in the music which everyone radiates around André. There are no differences here. Orchestra musicians, singers, technicians: it is all one big family, with André in the lead. That pleasure that you see on stage and which is so appreciated by the audience, that is real! André is an excellent employer. We are well taken care of. ”

We now know André Rieu the entertainer and entrepreneur better than André Rieu the musician. What does his musical side look like? 
“He thinks very much as an instrumentalist and loves
extremes, from a very large fortissimo to the very smallest. With a microphone - we are amplified in those huge halls and also here outside - you can afford yourself a lot. There will probably be people who think that such a huge rite of passage is way too big and I wouldn't do it in my other work as a singer, but here it is possible. Remember: there are 10,000 to 15,000 people who not all are familiar with classical music in advance, so you have to sweeten the pot to move them. And that works." 

What is that sweetness? 
“André is a true musician through and through, relying on his instinct. He knows what appeals to people and has his own unique style. We work a lot with special arrangements, although this year I almost do the entire aria "Ebben, ne andrò lontana" from La Wally original. Now an extra chorus insert repetition has been added. It adds to the aria and is experienced by to the people in a stronger manner. André knows exactly what touches people. The proof of that is provided here every evening, on the Vrijthof, for 12,000 people.” 

He is one of the few conductors with whom I can do an aria like" Caro nome "ninety times a year. 
After her graduation in Maastricht, a difficult dilemma arose in the development of this young soprano. She could expand her work with André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra or join the Opera Studio Nederland, which would in two years teach her a lot about singing, the profession and everything that comes with it. She chose the studio, and she certainly did not regret it. 

How did that go during that period, when you were faced with that choice? 
Hans Nieuwenhuis, the leader of the Opera Studio, came to Maastricht to watch an imitation performance led by Roger Smeets at the conservatory. He invited me to the studio's audition rounds. André Rieu was also persuing me during that period; he wanted me as a soloist. But I still wanted to learn a lot more. During that first tour in America I was young and inexperienced and I wanted to continue with opera. I had a really good time with the Opera Studio Nederland - two years later they closed due to cut backs. You received many singing lessons and coachings. We had physical training three times a week and good conductors came to work with us."

Was there also a choice between the profession and the big money? 
“No. If I had opted for the money, I would have studied law, haha! I wanted to develop further. With the orchestra you tour the world with one aria. I am very happy with the choice I made at the time. André, who really wanted me for his tours, understood and supported my decision." 

In addition to the huge Rieu productions, your resume also mentions smaller, highly artistic projects. How does that work together? 
“I see myself as a versatile singer, who can serve many genres. I like to mix that up. Since I have a permanent contract with Rieu, I can't do much else in addition to that. A performance such as here at the Vrijthof puts a lot of pressure on you. In the short time I have on stage here, I really have to go all out with my aria. With a role in an opera you can build that up more and you have more time to make yourself heard. Luckily I manage to play a role in an opera every summer, and the organization here affords me that oppertunity. André allows me to do that." 

Your contribution to the performance is a large classical aria. Which one have you performed in recent years? 
"After it "Vilja Lied" came "Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss". And I did an "Ave Maria", but that didn't feel right in this setting. "È strano ... Ah, big "lazy ", the aria of Violetta from La traviata, that was really a piece in which I could sink my teeth in. Fine tuning, growing and doing it better every night. That's possible with André, originally he is a violinist, but he is one of the few conductors with whom I could to do an aria like "Caro nome" from Rigoletto ninety times a year. He is easy to read and we have an excellent balance in giving and taking. If I want to speed up somewherein tempo , not every conductor will go along with that, but André sees that and notices how I am on that day. We can challenge each other on stage, sometimes he lets a note last much longer or I demand something from him. That interaction is very exciting."

Do you participate in the choice of your pieces in the performance? 
"Fortunately yes! A few months before the Vrijthof concerts we start thinking about my part in the program. For this year I wanted to sing Catalia's aria "Ebben, ne andrò lontana", but André came up with different ideas. Of course I very graciously sang that first. Then I was afforded the time to sing the aria from La Wally. I then saw André's tears and thought: yes! I scored! André is very sincere and honest about that. The opera "La Wally" is relatively unknown, certainly with our audience. I am very happy that André is willing to listen to and acknowledge what suits me." 

You once said: André Rieu has really changed something with classical music. What is that? 
“That is an interesting question. I do not really have the image that our visitors afterwards will immediately consult the Dutch National Opera program. I know that André would like to convey the pleasures of classical music and during the performance I only provide opera the part. I do that with pride. I hope, no, I know that there are always a few people who liked the aria and later on will listen to other recordings. In that way they discover from which opera the piece is. These people also come to my other concerts and recitals. I use my own family and friends just as an example: they are not into classical music, but when they come to a performance of mine, they have to let that music come in without knowing anything about it. If you touch someone, I think that has nothing to do with what he or she knows." 

I am just an average person
When the conversation has ended, Donij shows how the Vrijthof is being prepared for the one hundredth performance for that evening in "the Maastricht living room", as the square is known locally. There are fans already and heads turn as the soprano passes by. The security staff also knows her; the crew pass is not necessary when we enter the well-guarded area for a photo. 

André Rieu is a world star, do you ever pinch yourself when you walk around in between those 12,000 seats and on stage? 
“I am well aware that I am on stage with a living legend, who by the way is also a very nice person. But I am just an average person who enjoyshaving everything being done for me during the tours, but who also just likes to go shopping at home. After this series of concerts I will rehearse for something completely different, the opera "La Grotta di Trofonio" by Salieri, which this year will be performed by Opera Nijetrijne in the nature reserve between Friesland and Overijssel (two provinces in the Netherlands). Director Nynke van den Bergh and I have been wanting to work together for a long time and that is now going to happen with my debut with Nijetrijne. I am really looking forward to that."

Thank You Ineke for the article and your and John's  Translation!
All other photos by André’s photographer Marcel van Hoorn
Place de l'Opera ►






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