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Aug 29, 2015

ANDRÉ RIEU Made His Dream Come True

André Rieu
International Artist Who Made His Dream Come True

In the mid 90’s André Rieu waltzed the Netherlands flat with his Viennese sounds.  In 1998, he was in the Top 40 for at least 28 weeks with the Second Waltz. From Algemeen Dagblad August 26, 2015 by Arno Gelder. 
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.

This month we leave for concerts in Chile and Peru. Peru will be our first time. We will perform in a sold out stadium in Lima for 18,000 people. Isn’t that unbelievable? Then in September, I’ll put the finishing touches on the new CD "Roman Holiday" which will be released in autumn (November). And the DVD "Wonderful World", a recording of the concert this past summer in Maastricht, will also be released. Starting in October we will tour the world: Mexico, Turkey, Paris, Belgium, England, Germany, Scandinavia, and Eastern Europe. And do not forget the Gelredome on November 14th

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

Aug 28, 2015

The Traveling Judge and André Rieu

The Traveling Judge
Frank Visser is a TV personality who has been hosting the "Traveling Judge" show for many years.
He travels the country with his team of legal advisors to assist the public in legal matters.

Text: Bea Kastrop - Photo: Roger Veldman: For this issue, Mr. Visser wanted to do an interview with André Rieu, a man he admires for various reasons. And André Rieu and his wife Marjorie's would not miss the opportunity for an interview with the "Traveling Judge." Here is a conversation between the two men who both had the courage to go their own way.

Mr. Visser:  "We both actually turned against the elite. If twenty years ago you would have said that you wanted to go to an André Rieu concert, you would be dismissed as a commoner. You have never let that bother you and ultimately you now mean more to classical music than the whole avant-garde music placed together. This in fact really has no influence at all. When I started the "Traveling Judge", the legal elite also looked down upon that and me. But it never occurred to me not to do that just because of it. "

Rieu: "Some time ago I met Geert Mak, who basically told me the exact same thing. He, as a serious historian was also looked down upon by the elite. It was again too popular, you understand. If the majority likes something, you as a critic can easily distinguish something by breaking it down. For us it's just a matter of persevering. "

Mr.Visser:"Exactly, as long as we have the time to live".

Rieu: 'What the h…..?! You're only 64! You are just beginning! Do you get enough exercise?"

Mr. Visser: "More than you, I think."

Rieu: 'More than me? I have a personal trainer and three times a week, for two hours at the time I am exercising. I have been doing it for three years now and it is fantastic. I am a different person! "

Mr. Visser: "I also participate in athletics. At the gym. And when I come home from my sculpting, I too take a shower, you know!"

To The Moon

Mr. Visser: "Do you sometimes dream of something totally different? Something you would still like to do or experience? "

Rieu: "No. I am living my dream. For me freedom is one of the most important things in life. Freedom of thought, of action, of "being". I do not have a boss and I can do whatever I want. My dream was to make music with my orchestra and along with that see the world, but not as a tourist. Now I travel around the world with a bunch of friends and I think it's a very nice life. Perhaps there might still be one thing ... If I could ever go to the moon ...

Mr. Visser: "That does not tell me anything at all. What do you need to do on the moon? "

Rieu: "When you look from the moon to the earth, you see no more boundaries, no black or white, no rich or poor. I like to place things into perspective and that is placing things literally into perspective. Then it's just our earth. To me it seems like a fantastic experience. "

Mr. Visser: "I used to dream of becoming an actor. If I were still young I would become an actor. As a "Traveling Judge" this is the closest I can come to the performing arts, hahaha. Originally a lawsuit was for a large part just like a theater. And the funny thing was that once someone entered the arena, the class difference was gone. Everyone could speak their mind. Even the little man. That also takes place with the "Traveling Judge" and people naturally feel that it should be that way. "

Rieu: "We really are in agreement with that. The abolition of that elitist thing. I've never did it for the success. I still don’t. I played in the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, where my father was the conductor. And I was missing something, but I did not know what. Later on I discovered that it was the sheer distance from the public which bothered me. I wanted to make music for the cleaning lady, the professor, young and old, for everyone. Music is the form of art which touches all hearts. My wife Marjorie played a very important role in that quest. Without her I would now be lying in the gutter! I mean that seriously! Classical music creates a lot of victims. Because the stress is so high. Today, the musicians have to compete against those perfect recording outfits. "

Needing a Drink?

Rieu: "You have to make decisions which have a profound impact on people's lives. Does that create a lot of stress? "

Mr.Visser: 'Sometimes. I do think it is extremely important that you have a close relationship. If you don’t, you will see in our profession, and indeed also in television, and then alcohol becomes a danger. Before I met my wife, I definitely was antisocial. In the sense of just doing what I wanted to: just studying and working. I had no interest in friends and going out for me was a waste of my time. Through a good wife and a normal family life you do get ... many of those highly paid lawyers all have a few marriages behind him. They work till late at night and then after a few drinks go home. Now I must admit that sometimes after a lengthy hearing as the "Traveling Judge" I too need a drink. The concentration is then so great! And you are just no longer part of this world."

Rieu: When I'm on the Vrijthof and I see all these people enjoying them selves... that makes me so happy. Then after such an evening I too need some red wine to come back to earth again, though. And not just I. My entire group."

Thank to Ineke for sending the article and John for Translating it.

Aug 20, 2015

André Rieu Provides a Marriage

André Rieu Provides a Marriage
In tears Mirusia Louwerse gave her "yes" word to Youri

Without André Rieu Mirusia Louwerse would not recently have said her vows to her friend Youri Wystyrk. She was in fact discovered by him as a soprano and he works in the team of the world famous violinist.

By Johan Lok: In the romantic castle Heeswijk in North Brabant Mirusia Louwerse recently promised her friend Youri Wystyrk eternal fidelity. The singer, who made headlines with André Rieu’s Johann Strauss Orchestra met her true love thanks to the Maastricht violinist. Youri is part of his production team. "We liked each other from the very beginning, but there was nothing between us" said the soprano. "I went back to Australia for a year, where I lived almost my entire life with my parents. We both noticed then that we missed each other greatly. In order to participate in the coronation concert which André performed in Amsterdam on April 30, 2014, I went back to Netherlands. That is when the spark really jumped over. From that moment on we were inseparable."

Diamond Ring

Youri had thought of a very special way to propose marriage to Mirusia. "He did that during a dinner party in our favorite restaurant "Rozemarijn" in Maastricht. Two of my girlfriends, Giedré and Agnes, who both play violin in André’s orchestra came in while playing the love song "Nog Nooit" (Never) by Herman van Veen. That is the song Youri often sings to me. I cried immediately. It became even more emotional when shortly thereafter two members of the choir entered while singing their own texts to that piece. Youri wrote that especially for me. When he knelt down on one knee in front of me and asked me to marry him, of course I said: "Yes." And as a gift he gave me a lovely diamond ring." Mirusia and Youri opted for an intimate ceremony. "There were about 50 guests present. My parents had come over from Australia. Sadly André could not attend. He and his wife Marjorie were on holiday in Italy, and unfortunately due to the busy schedule of the orchestra could not make changes. He did send us a personal letter full of congratulations and surprised us with a beautiful bunch of flowers. My 92 year old grandmother handed over the rings. She did that together with Youri’s grandfather, who is also 92. Do you know what also was so beautiful? When we both said our vows, suddenly the sun broke through. That was a very special moment."


After the wedding the couple traveled to Thailand for their honeymoon."With André’s orchestra we have been to many places in the world, but had never been to Thailand. In addition we both love Thai food, so that is going to be enjoyable" said the bride after the wedding. Rest of course the question whether consideration is being given to a child. Mirusia bursts out laughing. "Well, not just yet. First I will do my solo tour and afterwards also a tour with André. So there is currently no time for a baby, but there will definitely be one. I know for sure that Youri will be a very good father."

Thanks to Ineke for the article and John for Translating it.

Aug 19, 2015

Mirusia and Youri - André Rieu saw love thrive

Thanks to Willem-Alexander Mirusia and Youri said "Yes!"  
André Rieu saw love thrive

Privé Magazine by Yvonne Hoebe: André Rieu’s star soprano Mirusia Louwerse and his security guard Youri Wystyrk did not dare to speak to each other during one of Rieu’s world tour for at least six months. In South Africa they had a small conversation with each other and that is when the spark jumped over, but the first kiss did not happen until Amsterdam during the King's ball at the museum square in honor of King Willem-Alexander. 

André Rieu, who considers the Australian Mirusia his biggest discovery since he listened to a tape sent by her aunt, saw their love thrive in front of him. André also had a part in the marriage proposal which Youri had in mind, so says Mirusia who would also liked to have had her mentor at her wedding, but André was already committed to his own yearly Italian vacation with his entire family.

Mirusia: "After the last Vrijthof concert, Youri had the idea of going to eat in our favorite restaurant in Maastricht. I did not suspect a thing, not even when after the main course, when Giedré and Agnes, two violinists from the orchestra came in to play; to be honest I thought the restaurant owner had hired them to perform. But when our singers Marcel and Bob appeared and together with Youri started to sing Herman van Veen’s song "Nog Nooit"(Never) I started to suspect something. "YES!" I shouted throughout the restaurant when Youri placed a beautiful diamond ring on my finger. I had never experienced such a romantic moment. Youri managed to pull that plan off beautifully thanks to the cooperation of André.


From that moment on, Mirusia’s life, next to her performances with Rieu’s orchestra, her solo career and the preparations of her tour "This Time Tomorrow" was dominated by her fairytale wedding, which would take place in the Noord Brabant castle of Heeswijk.

Mirusia: "I always dreamed I would marry but never knew when, where and with whom. A year ago we started with the preparations, we wanted to have everything organized well in advance. Also since we were on tour the last months prior to our wedding. It had to be romantic and it was. I found my dress in the Netherlands. Classical with a modern twist. Youri found it beautiful. We even thought of getting married in Australia, after all I was born there. I am three quarters Dutch and one quarter Polish, just like Youri, funny huh? But he was born in the Netherlands. So our choice was the Netherlands since there are no castles in Australia, and they truly belong in romance. Our relationship is a fairy tale, so that fits. In addition we wanted our grandparents to be present, my grandmother Ria lives in Breda and Youri’s grandfather in Maastricht and they both are 92 years old. We had thought for them to hand over the rings, and that is what they did. That is when I had to wipe away a tear. We had a wonderful day and felt the love of the people around us."

Thank you to Ineke for the article and John for Translating it.

Aug 7, 2015

Mirusia’s Wedding: Rieu provides his "angel" with a groom.

Mirusia’s Wedding
Waltz emperor must henceforth share his muse Mirusia
Rieu provides his "angel" with a bridegroom.

The Telegraaf by Evert Santegoeds: Andre Rieu (64) brought Mirusia Louwerse (30) from afar, Australia, and provided her a new life. The star soprano, from Dutch parents, beams when on the Vrijthof and all the other venues in the world where she performs with the orchestra of the Waltz emperor. But these days Mirusia beams like she has never done before ... on her own wedding, and especially for her groom Youri Wystyrk, a member of André's security team! A year after their first date, they married ...

The rings were presented by her 92-year-old grandmother and Youri's equally old grandfather. Their presence was eased by the absence of her discoverer André Rieu who was on a long ago planned vacation in Italy.

The singer, who had made so many headlines with André's Johann Strauss Orchestra, received a great personal letter of congratulations and all the best wishes for prosperity, love, health and happiness from his holiday address. And Rieu has a special place in his heart for Mirusia, he even compared her with a supernatural being when he found her in 2007 and first heard her sing. "Tears came into my eyes. It was as if I heard an angel sing".

Never before

In the North Brabant Castle of Heeswijk the fairytale wedding took place. But it might have very nearly never have come this far ... "We dared not to speak to each other the first half year. Eventually, while on tour through South Africa, during a chat after a concert the spark immediately jumped over. Last year, after the Vrijthof concerts, Youri lured me to our favorite restaurant. There was a band and some singers and he asked me to marry him. He had written his own text to the beautiful song "Never before" by Herman van Veen. It was so romantic!"

Tossing and turning

In the beginning the two were moving around each other hesitantly and cautiously, and it took a long time until there was a first date. Mirusia and Youri let no grass grow under their feet afterwards. And a year later, they married: "The evening and night before the wedding we again spent apart from each other. That evening I did some nice things with my bridesmaids, who had come over from Australia. Honestly, that evening I just lay there tossing and turning, wondering what he would think of the wedding dress. But he loved it!"

The proud groom, "I really became emotional. I always see Mirusia on stage and even then she always looks dazzling. But this time she surpassed that even more, I had never seen her so beautiful. Our relationship is a fairy tale in every way, and so was every minute of our wedding."

Although the weather did not totally cooperate that day, the sun did break through the moment HARALD BERGMANN mayor of Middelburg; the town where Youri hails from, asked them to pronounce their yes-word. And sun will also still be shining the coming week: "We're going on our honeymoon to Thailand. Although we've seen the world with André, we've never been there. After that we go to my native Australia. Only in February we will be back in the Netherlands as my tour "This time tomorrow" starts!

Thanks to John for the Translation 

Jul 11, 2015

The Second Fan Picnic in Maastricht This Weekend
A Record Number of 100 Fans attended!
(The Great Photo as always by our own Al Girard)

Jul 8, 2015

Ineke and Ruud done by "Andre's photo service on the Vrijthof"
Maastricht 2015

Jul 5, 2015

Photo Taken by Al Girard at Last Night's Concert

Jul 4, 2015

Some Special Concert Photos From Last Night

Jul 1, 2015

Photos of André on The Vrijthof Tonight in Maastricht

 Jayne Bailey who is in Maastricht, just took these (unusual) photos of André on the Vrijthof
climbing a ladder and posted them on our Facebook Group ... He's always hands on with everything!! ;-))

The Mystery of André Rieu Master of Detail

Exhibition and Scientific Book Unravel The Mystery of André Rieu
Master of Detail

André Rieu, stand-alone violinist, maestro and above all loved son of all of Maastricht. His world success in classical circles is dismissed with disdain. But the question always remains: "How does this Limburg citizen manage to do that?" Now simultaneously a book and an exhibition reveal a little corner of the secret of his success formula: "Perfection and emotion!"

Nuts, that distain for popular culture.
by Marie-Therese Roosendaal

De Telegraaf: Radetzkymarch, Funiculi Funicula, the Blue Danube, Adieu mein Kleiner Gardeoffizier, Viennese blood, Auld Lang Syne, Sirtaki, Don’t cry for me Argentina. The evergreens are a constant fixture at André Rieu’s concerts, the man who gave the waltz new life. Three scientists working in Rieu's home of Maastricht were surprised that no one had ever seriously examined the phenomenon, André Rieu, and so off to work they went. Their book, "Rieu, Maestro without borders" unravels his success formula. Honorary professor of gender studies Maaike Meijer, who eagerly delves into the popular culture, was the spokesperson, and also spoke for her coauthors Jac van den Boogard and Peter Peters.

Life Songs
She wonders why André Rieu as a research project has been left alone for such a long time. Everyone says: "Hey, how is that possible! And that is that as though it speaks for itself. Nuts, really, that distain for popular culture, life is not only about Bach. The cultural spectrum is just great, rich and divers. I really like classical music and I am an omnivore. I love "Life Songs", the Jordaan (a district in Amsterdam) and the accordion. In a "life song" you can read an entire social development. Through fetlocks, and girls in high heels with Chihuahuas. When I had a girlfriend in Brabant, I enjoyed carnival music and operettas at her home. My first Rieu concert on the Vrijthof recalled an acute nostalgia of that time. "Tiritomba" immediately whisked back into that world." "Rieu always selects pieces which we have almost forgotten. That gives you an aha-moment: Oh, yes that is right, the waltz music of my parents. That enters unexpectedly and brings forth emotions." Conductor Rieu orchestrates that emotion. In classical concerts normally always the hands of musicians are only seen: Look at those violinists, how virtuous. That draws the viewer away from his own emotions. With Rieu the public is brought into view on the big screens; a waltzing couple, a mother who flips away a tear. To see people cry makes you cry, to see them laugh makes you laugh." He knows what he does: but it is more intuitive than conscious. It is based on experience. Before his break-through in 1994 with "The Second Waltz" by Sjostakovich, he had of course already performed in every "doghouse". For the elderly, for organizations. He knows what makes the public happy, or peaceful. And he lays it on thick, while with classical music one should always be composed, kind of flat and not full out. The orchestra members look fantastic, the ladies in ball gowns. It gives you the illusion of a
fairytale. And the bar is always set very high, everything goes into perfection.

"From the operas he brings the emotionally laden arias. He then expresses his admiration for the great Puccini. And say: "Come in, classical music is also for you. Along with his orchestra he then jokes around: from the man with the triangle who fell asleep just before the crucial moment. The violinist who pretends he drank too much. It is jocular and carnival-like: people are allowed to laugh at the elite, may take revenge on their oppressors. That is reassuring: we are allowed to come in, and we are also allowed to laugh loudly. Ingenious how he lowers the threshold of the classical music." He is also a precursor to classical music, which in crisis does not know how to get full concert halls, tormenting their brains on how to turn the tide. They also want go out on the streets more often, the Amsterdam Canal Festival is a good example, or during the enthronement of Willem-Alexander, the performance of DJ Armin van Buuren with the Concert Building orchestra. And Rieu does it all by himself, clever, in a culture where since the fifties the building subsidy became ever higher. It is no secret that he would like to conquer the world, and he is well on his way: he is especially successful in Australia, more so than in the Netherlands and Germany. I guess that is because classical music there is less prescriptive and less averse to the state of the popular genre. And in America they think of Rieu as classic." Maaike Meijer enjoyed the performances: "Nicer than CD’s. The encores are a concert all by themselves. It is one folk fest, the public goes crazy. And me too!" Is the maestro sometimes accused of megalomania, which she too places in context: Of course Andre Rieu is megalomaniac! Without his great dreams he would never have come this far. But that millions around the world enjoy his music is his most important drive."

Pomp and Pageantry almost touchable
Below the portraits of his teachers, Robert Stolz and Herman Krebbers you find the sofa bed of André Rieu. Stella Schurgers laughs: "The real one! He has four, and one always accompanies him. Just prior to every concert he lies down for a little while in order to charge himself up again." Stella, a Maastricht Rieu fan from the first hour, sits ringside as a volunteer coordinator at the Museum on the Vrijthof. Tomorrow the André Rieu exposition "Love for Detail" opens. A museum, which otherwise just like André Rieu, runs without a penny of subsidy. Inspired director Erik de Jong states: "Made in Maastricht is our motto. And then you very quickly wind up with Maastricht’s favorite son. His story is now well known, so to go there again ...

He racked his brain about a new approach: "When I was in his studio I noticed images of Maastricht hanging on the wall. He told me he had sent a winter scene back to the artist since it did not depict snow. And although the artist pointed out the bare trees, winter for him means snow. OK, so she added snowflakes. And I had my theme; "Rieu’s eye for detail." I hesitate to use the word perfectionist, which to me indicates a fear of failure. He is not afraid; he just wants to make it precise. Stella Schurgers is admiring the Sissi dresses with the small waistlines and hoop skirts. "During the concerts on the Vrijthof from row 32 you only see the contours, now this pump and pageantry is almost touchable." 

In the museum a studio has been furnished, complete with ironing board and sewing machine. Small suitcases are lined up in a row: Every musician has his own suitcase, with their own things. Glittery pumps, a small makeup bag, jewelry, photo of the violinist on the inside of the suit case lid. "That means four times the same suit cases with the same identical contents. For everyone. That again is perfection. If one suitcase happens to be in Bucharest for a concert, the second one might be on its way to Australia for the next concert series."

On the wall you can read the story how Rieu comes to the costume department with pictures of dresses he has seen in the series "The Tudors" and in the movie "The Other Boleyn Girl." "Get inspired and pay attention to the details" was his directive. The results are displayed on a mannequin, the blue- white dream dress of soloist Carla Maffioletti. In the museum even a ballroom has been laid out. Dance school Bernaards even placed dance steps of a waltz on the floor. Schurgers laughs: "I can see myself swirling around here! I have known André Rieu long before he became so big. With Hieringe Biete, eating herring pieces on Ash Wednesday, he always performed with the Salon Orchestra on Our Dear Ladies Square. (Onze Lieve Vrouwe plein) Even then he brought people into exaltation." Musical scores, a black and white photo of a little André with violin and all the program booklets. But the highlight of the exhibition is a live presentation: the Maastricht luthier Niels Rijsemus. Unperturbed he keeps on plaining wooden curls. Then he beams:"My first violin went to André. A great honor. And in 40 years from now I will still recognize that sound. The sound from the violin and from André Rieu."

Thanks to John for the Translation - his last before leaving for Europe on a well earned vacation!

Jun 26, 2015

Andre Rieu: How the Waltz King's Concerts 
Have Inspired a Cult Following

The Rieu audience’s experience does not begin with the first note of music. It starts as soon as they arrive at the hall – and it’s then that you need a sense of occasion, a welcoming ambience, ease and efficiency of finding refreshments, cloakrooms and loos, comfortable seating both inside the hall and in the foyers, and much more besides. Rieu’s audiences wave flags, sport merchandise and participate by purchasing these – presumably at the event – thus acquiring a sort of personal stake in the goings-on.

Jun 25, 2015

Duped Fans of Bankrupt Restaurant Offered an Alternative Dinner

Duped Fans of Bankrupt Restaurant Anna's Are Offered an Alternative Dinner

Maastricht Gezien by Laurens Bouvrie: Prime Minister Mark Rutte can be very proud of the Vrijthof entrepreneurs. These days they have shown their community spirit. In close consultation with André Rieu management, they are offering fans an alternative, which can be seen as an example of corporate social responsibility. Next to the terrace of Grand Café Basilica and next to the Gauchos terrace (where soon the terrace of the new Theater Hotel will be located), the majority of the disadvantaged fans will be seated for their dinner. In case those areas will not be enough room for all, others will be booked in alternative restaurants in town.

Pierre Rieu says he is very proud of the solution that has come about for his father's and JSO fans. Oscar Mans, owner of the Basilica restaurant, seconds this.

"André's intention to give the disadvantaged fans free new tickets for his concerts, was wonderful! The entrepreneurs thought they should also contribute so that the fans can enjoy. Now we can turn our intentions into deeds".

The chefs of the Basilica and Gauchos restaurants will have an extra hard job during the Rieu concerts of 2015. Normally these dinners give much stress, because the three courses of the dinners, have to be served in such a tight schedule, but this year the job will be extra hard. So be it. The chefs were consulted and they also agree that we have to do everything possible to give the duped fans a wonderful evening.

A big round of applause for André, the entrepreneurs and the chefs!!!

In cooperation with the trustee in bankruptcy of Anna's, the duped fans who had booked an arrangement, are requested to report via the e-mail address: or André's website

Translated by Ineke, edited by Sue (because John is in the plane to Holland). 

Jun 24, 2015

André Rieu and His Love For Detail

André Rieu and His Love For Detail

EXHIBITION: Exposition in the museum on the Vrijthof offers a look behind the scenes of the Maastricht artist and showman.

Up to and including 27 September, the exposition "Love for Detail" can be visited at the Museum on the Vrijthof. An exposition which in part explains the success of André Rieu:
"Striving for perfection."

De Limburger June 23rd by Guus Urlings: How do they know? Daphne Schrader of the Museum in Maastricht shrugs her shoulders. "No idea." But it is a fact: the exposition "Love for Detail" about the life and works of André Rieu was just barely in the planning stages when the museum was already receiving calls from all over the world asking when the opening date would be. "That just goes to show how incredibly popular André Rieu is." That popularity has also led the museum to be attentive to the motto "Made in Maastricht" and to put the in Maastricht born and raised violinist a little extra in the spotlight. But then different then different. It is not necessarily the person, the artist André Rieu which is being focused upon, but rather his love for detail, his pursuit of perfectionism. "For therein lies the secret of his success. Everything into the last detail is regulated, nothing escapes him. 

Nothing is left to chance, everything is very carefully prepared. Into the smallest details, really." That is immediately evident at the entrance of the exhibit, where a collection of dresses and suits can be seen, all worn by the soloist in various shows. "Almost all designed by Rieu himself, at least from the first instance. The ideas are his. He has in his head what he wants, often including the smallest creases and decorations, and so then it must ultimately be. That brings forth beautiful creations, such as the favorite dress of the "master" in which Carmen Monarcha performed more than three hundred times on stage.

To emphasize the motto of the exhibition "Love for Detail," the museum has scattered in almost all parts of the exhibition beautiful photographed details of all objects and jewels which are worn during the shows of André Rieu - of which he also is intensively involved – and they have come to be known to their own. They are draped on and in between a special collection of 19th century crystal from the museums own collection "from the time of Johann Strauss."

But there is much more to see

A (reconstructed) part of the studio of "the André Rieu firm," for example. With an ironing board, fabrics, buttons and everything else that is useful when designing and making clothing. A little further on the young Niels Rijsemus, a luthier, can be seen in his studio very carefully planing a wooden plank into what ultimately should become a violin. Because whoever says André Rieu, says violin, and it would be quite remarkable if he would not be a perfectionist in that area too. Has Rieu ever bought a violin made by him? "Two" Rijsmus says proudly.

A room further on is totally dedicated to the waltz, the favorite genre of André Rieu. And there - with a nice detail, this time thought out by the museum - on the floor a pattern of footprints which enables visitors to dance a waltz according to the rules. Still more? The inspiration room dedicated to the composers and musicians from whom André Rieu draws his musical inspiration and the books in which he seeks inspiration for the decors of his shows. Letters, programs, gold records and so on. Mandatory food for the fans, but also a must for those who (still) are not a fan.
Thanks to John for the Translation of this article! 

Jun 20, 2015

André Rieu To Come To The Aid of 700 Fans

Rieu To Come To The Aid of 700 Fans

That André Rieu is not the easiest but certainly not the worst individual, is already known in Maastricht. Yet the generous gesture of the conductor to come to the rescue of more than 700 dubed fans from home and abroad is today without a doubt, the talk of the day in the provincial capital.

The Limburger by Laurens Schellen - André Rieu comes to the aid of more than 700 domestic and foreign fans and helps them in an unorthodox manner. They have been seriously disadvantaged through the bankruptcy proceedings of hotel-restaurant Anna's on the Vrijthof. The fans, which include entire families and families and friends, have through the recently bankrupt HORECA business purchased an all-inclusive package, including a multi-course dinner and an eventual overnight stay, booked and paid for in advance for one of the seven Rieu concerts at the Vrijthof next month. In answer to questions from this newspaper curator Joep Tummers, who is overseeing the bankruptcy, revealed that the hotel sold many non delivered Rieu- arrangements in the amount of almost seventy thousand Euros’. The cheapest combo ticket (without accommodation) Anna’s was charging, was almost eighty Euros per person. Many of the victims are irate about the course of business and have reported fraud and scams to the police.

After careful consideration, none other than André Rieu himself is now coming to the rescue of these victims. Son Pièrre Rieu, production manager of the Maastricht violinist, confirmed yesterday afternoon that all affected will at no extra cost "be guaranteed" access to one of the Vrijthof concerts. "We'll simply arrange that." Furthermore Rieu junior is very busy negotiating with the unified catering entrepreneurs in Maastricht to offer the affected fans a free multi-course dinner in one of the restaurants in the downtown area prior to the concert. "During the course of next week, I expect to have a clear answer to this matter. I am hopeful, because the Maastricht hospitality industry has to maintain its name and reputation. To be honest, the events surrounding this bankruptcy are obviously not good advertising. It would be very nice if we all can repair the damage this way together," says Rieu Jr.

The seven Vrijthof concerts of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra are virtually sold out.

Thanks to John for this and it's Translation

Jun 16, 2015

Ineke and Ruud With André Rieu in Bucharest!

Ineke and Ruud in Bucharest!
Seven Sold Out Concerts in front of the former Ceausescu Palace, now Parliaments building. For a report of the preparations, concerts, fan picnic and our own experiences in Bucharest - Click on the link ... Ineke

Jun 11, 2015

Platin Tenor Eric Reddet in Bucharest

Platin Tenor Eric Reddet in Bucharest
"After three magical days in this fantastic country, here we go for the next four concerts. It is going well and we are all enjoying ourselves!!" (Eric, the new addition to the Platin Tenor's posted this picture on his Facebook before tonights concert). It's a nice close-up picture of him and wanted to post it on here for those of you who don't have Facebook.

Jun 8, 2015

"Laura Engel" the Chilean/Dutch soprano who we all know from her singing with André, will be performing a few Mini Concerts this July in Maastricht. So if you are going to be there for André's concerts, click here on  Ineke and Ruud's Movie Site for more details on seeing Laura!

Jun 5, 2015

The First Concert in Bucharest Tonight
Add the overwhelming sweet smell of lime-tree blossom to this picture and the sound of an enthusiastic audience of 12.000 Romanians ;-) then you have an impression of our concert here in Bucharest ... (From Franks Steijns Facebook Page).

Jun 2, 2015

André Rieu Surprised His First Love

André Rieu Surprised His First Love

June 1, 2015 - André Rieu may be very happy with his wife Marjorie, but his very first love was still Tiny Aerts. This past weekend he put her in the spotlight.

"Tiny was so beautiful and blonde, that I fell in love with her and could only stare at her," says André Rieu. But, we have to explain that at that time he was only 5 years old and Tiny was his very first violin teacher. "You can understand that I had a lot of trouble concentrating, I heard absolutely nothing of what she said."

"Miss" Tiny just turned 80 years old and that was the reason for André to surprise her with a surprise party. And she loved that from her student who became so very famous. (Caption with top picture - "She was the mother of a lot ... Frank was with her also").
Thanks to John for the Translation.

May 28, 2015

Hotel Bankruptcy Has Duped Many André Rieu Fans

Bankruptcy Disappoints Rieu-Fans
Declared bankrupt hotel-restaurant in Maastricht sold possibly hundreds of concert packages

The bankruptcy of hotel-restaurant Anna's on the Vrijthof in Maastricht has seriously duped an unknown number of André Rieu fans.

May 29 - The Limburger: by Laurens Schellen - Probably at least several tens and possibly hundreds of enthusiasts of the stand-alone violinist have booked and paid for one of Rieu's concerts on the Vrijthof in July at Anna’s on the Vrijthof for an all-in arrangement (with multi-course dinner and possible overnights). For the cheapest package (without accommodation) the company charged almost 80 Euros per person. The guests had to pay the full amount when they made their reservations.

This HORECA establishment, however, was declared bankrupt this week. Last year Anna’s sold several hundred packages for the André Rieu-concert series, which well informed sources confirmed.

The family "de Vries" from Alphen aan de Rijn is one of the victims. "Five years in a row now we come to Maastricht for Rieu. This time for variety we chose the terrace of Anna's. Early January though I booked three packages for which we immediately had to transfer the full amount of funds (almost 240 Euros). When I called last month to ask where the tickets were, we heard nothing more. Precisely now, we would take our birthday celebrating granddaughter. In a short time she will be taken violin lessons from no less one of André Rieu’s orchestra members " says Isse de Vries. In the meantime he has filed for fraud.

Owner Anna Raemaekers was unavailable for comment yesterday. Liquidator Joep Tummers says he does not know how many of the André Rieu fans have been duped. "I still have to sort that all out yet. I will take everything into account."

The VVV (Tourist Office) speaks of a "very annoying thing." Spokesperson Robert Hoogenboom stresses, however, that his organization cannot do anything for the victims. "The sales by Anna’s were run entirely outside of us."

The liquidator offered the victims last night still a glimmer of hope. "In consultation with André Rieu, we will examine the possibility whether there is still room for a settlement for them."

Thanks to John for this news and  the Translation of it.

May 27, 2015

"Rieu Removes the Stiffness From the Classics"

"Rieu Removes the Stiffness From the Classics"
Scientists examined secret worldwide success of Maastricht violinist

Yesterday afternoon in the museum on the Vrijthof the first copy of the book 
"Rieu, Maestro without borders/limits" was presented to André Rieu

May 27 - The Limburger by Peter van de Berg

Oops, Maaike Meijer strikes a nerve. When the cultural sociology and co-author of the book "André Rieu, maestro without borders/limits" refers to the waltz as "cornier than corny", the world-famous conductor raised his voice ...

"Hey, hey, hey" is the sound from the crowded lobby of the museum on the Vrijthof. André Rieu shakes his head as he stuffs a handful of peanuts in his mouth. "The waltz is not corny. Yes, then I am a little upset when something like that is being said," was the violinists reaction after Martin Paul – Chairman of the Executive Board of the University of Maastricht – presented him the first copy of the book.

Scientists Maaike Meijer, Jac van den Boogard and Peter Peters thoroughly scrutinized the "phenomenon" Rieu this past year. They analyzed the worldwide success of the Stand-alone violinist, followed Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra behind the scenes during performances abroad, attended rehearsals and interviewed the maestro, some of his orchestra members and other employees. They saw how "the King of Waltz" bridges the gap between high and low culture and how he gives classical music a new dimension. Therefore, the observation of Meijer about the old-fashioned character of the waltz was not meant negatively. She tried to show that Rieu has stripped away the dusty image of the waltz through his cheerful square celebrations."

Rieu has ensured that the stiffening of classical music has disappeared, by presenting concerts in a loose, festive and social way. According to gender expert Meijer, she and her colleagues were more than welcome by André. "He told his orchestra members," They are thoroughly going to research us. I already have had my turn. They dug deep into me, but it did not hurt."

With a smile Rieu listens to her words. He has already read the book, of course, but has not at all discovered anything new about himself. "I am honored with this scientific approach. Normally this study is bestowed upon someone who is considered to be dead for two hundred years. I make music with respect for everyone. I exclude no one. Compositions which make me cry also touch the audience emotionally. Johann Strauss already did that in the city park of Vienna. I do it on the Vrijthof, and that happens to be just a much nicer square."

From 21 June until 28 September the exposition "Andre Rieu – Love for detail" will take place in the Museum on the Vrijthof. The expo highlights Rieu’s music, life and career.

Thanks to John for this article and his Translation

May 26, 2015

For André Rieu Fans ... !!

May 27 - The Limburger: For André Rieu fans, the house where the famous violinist and conductor grew up can no longer be missed. Since yesterday there is a plaque on the property on the Begijnenstreet in Maastricht. It is a work of art, created by the Maastricht sculptress Desiree Tonnaer, and was donated by the city coucil because of the 65th birthday of André Rieu. The plaque was unveiled in the presence of the musician himself and Mayor Onno Hoes.
Thanks to John for this and his Translation

May 24, 2015

A Plaque For André Rieu's Childhood Home

A Plaque For André Rieu's Old House

May 24, 2015 The Limburger: At the house on the Begijnen street in Maastricht where André grew up, a plaque will be unveiled on Tuesday evening. The famous violinist/conductor and Mayor Onno Hoes will be present for this occasion. The artwork (for the plaque) was created by the Maastricht sculptress, Desiree Tonnaer.

The city of Maastricht offers this plaque as a gift to the violinist and conductor for his 65th birthday. In October Rieu reached that age.

Thanks to Ineke for the article and John for his translation

UPDATE - André unveiling the plaque at his childhood house today (Tuesday) with Mayor Onno Hoes. 
(Thanks to Christine for the photo).

May 19, 2015

Rieu Creates Swaying At a Filled Square

Maastricht scientists follow orchestra leader for a year and a half to explain his formula for success

Rieu Creates Swaying At a Filled Square

In the book "Rieu, Maestro Without Borders" the scientists Maaike Meijer, Peter Petersen and Jac van den Boogard take the secret success of André Rieu under scrutiny.

The Limburger by Peter van de Berg: The formula for success is very simple. André Rieu is a master in creating "a square filled with swaying." It seems simple, but behind his approach in trying to tie the audience together with a sense of community, often has hidden logic, which goes contrary to all the artistic laws.

So states cultural sociologist and gender expert Maaike Meijer in her book "Rieu, Maestro without Borders" which she and her fellow scientists Peter Peters and Jac van den Boogard, all of the University of Maastricht wrote. André Rieu has a reverence for classical music but also likes to deviate from that. He has stripped his repertoire from solemnity and stiffness. His shows are airy in nature and therefore he waltzes literally over the prejudices." In aversion to the cultural elite who have little or no respect in the manner in which the famous stand-alone-violinist presents his performances to his audience.

Ever since the first day the Maastricht violinist and his Johann Strauss orchestra harvested worldwide success the condemnations by the critics are not light at all. Maaike Meijer admits that initially she too viewed the concerts of "phenomenon Rieu" with some of her own skepticism."I was part of that elite group and had an aversion to massive events. But when I went to the Vrijthof, matters changed." The shows start right away with a climax when Rieu and his musicians enter through the audience to the music of "Seventy-six Trombones." "A thoughtful approach that instantly creates a festive mood and creates an atmosphere of togetherness amongst the spectators." Maaike Meijer is convinced that ultimately the protectors of the "great art" will come about. "Look at André Hazes. He has long been reviled. Suddenly everyone raved about with him. You cannot understand culture if you are not open to the popular segment."

Meijer, Peters and van den Boogard followed Rieu and his orchestra intensely for a year and a half. They accompanied him to concerts in Istanbul, Amsterdam and London. They were also present at the concerts in Maastricht. The Maestro afforded them the opportunity to watch extensive from behind the scenes, to be present at rehearsals and spoke to the orchestra leader, his musicians and other employees of the Rieu Company. According to the scientists Rieu is so immensely popular because he presents an integrated work of art in which emotions play a major role. "He puts it all out there.
Music combined with a tantalizing sense of images creates a sense of nostalgia. When someone becomes emotional, it becomes easy for other people too to let their feelings run free. Human emotions are contagious. His camera people have developed a sense of finding the right people from the audiences and to bring them broadly into view. That creates a flow which then easily spreads to other spectators." Meijer notes that Rieu largely acts on intuition. "Not everything he does is new. In fact, he returns his massive performances back to the folk feasts of centuries ago. Music back then too was largely focused on city squares. We are in a phase of creating festivities. People like to be together. Repetition in the world of cultural is quite normal. Rieu’s public is not geared up every year to see an entirely new program. For them it is important to just "be there."

One thing is certain: André Rieu cannot be copied. Meijers: "There is some thought within the company about how to proceed when the time comes when he can no longer perform. They would rather not talk about that. A ready-made solution is not immediately at hand. Rieu and his musicians live in the present and that is what they continue to do."

Thank you to John for this and his Translation














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