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Nov 29, 2020

A Dance of Joy After The News About a Corona Vaccine

A Dance of Joy After The News

 About a Corona Vaccine

"de Limburger" - He danced for joy in the centuries-old Huis de Torentjes in Maastricht, where André Rieu lives with his wife Marjorie. “I am very happy that there will be a vaccine soon, fantastic! That's what the whole world is waiting for. It means that the normal, wonderful life is coming back. As soon as it is my turn to be vaccinated, I will be ready! ”

The vaccine offers hope that concerts can take place again next year. And that André Rieu can go out into the world with his orchestra "to make people happy". “It is a difficult time for everyone, including musicians and other artists who have been home for months. The Johann Strauss Orchestra has been around for 32 years and we have never been away from each other for longer than a few weeks of summer vacation. ”

Rieu is “very grateful” for the government's financial support, he says. "Otherwise we would not have managed to keep our company afloat with 120 permanent employees," he reports. The world-famous violinist and orchestra leader made it through the concert less corona period studying (violin), cooking, baking and sports. And thinking about new shows: "I already have the program for new world tours in my head and I can't wait until I can go back to the stage with my orchestra and soloists." For Christmas he has come up with something new - in addition to the release of the box CD / DVD "Jolly Holiday." 

He does not want to say what that is yet. "We will announce that soon."

Thanks to John for the article and translation

Nov 17, 2020

André Rieu reveals the pain of his childhood to Ivo Niehe


Four years of therapy was necessary for the celebrated violinist to process "loveless" upbringing. 

André Rieu reveals the pain of his childhood to Ivo Niehe

Apart from the corona virus, ANDRÉ RIEU's life seems to be like one big MUSIC PARTY ON THE SQUARE. But that has not always been the case. In addition to his violin case, the king of the waltz carries with him a burden that he fought with therapy for years: the trauma of his youth. What happened there, he reveals tonight in a special episode of the TV Show, in which the world star reveals to IVO NIEHE how, at that time, the choice of his wife MARJORIE cost him dearly at home ...

De Telegraaf, 17 Nov 2020


A special episode of IVO NIEHE's TV Show, will be shown tonight(17 Nov 2020). ANDRÉ RIEU (71) emotionally opens the book about his troubled youth. The king of the waltz posthumously cracks hard nuts at both his parents, who he said gave him "a loveless upbringing."  ANDRÉ RIEU SR., Leader of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, and his wife had three sons and three daughters whom they ruled with an iron hand.

Four years of therapy were necessary for André at a later age to learn how to deal with his childhood trauma. He tells Ivo to have done everything necessary to give his own sons a better childhood, which, according to PIERRE, who can also be seen in the program, has been extremely successful.

Tears roll while this barely discussed episode of his life is being revealed. André Rieu, who is presented by host Ivo Niehe as "the world star who has rarely been presented to the Netherlands in this manner", struggles with a painstakingly processed past and does not suppress his feelings during the program which the Avrotros presenter is trying out for the first time tonight.

He says, "I walked around with the idea of "the early years of ... "where celebrities talk about the time before their success. The years before they became who they are and how everyone knows them now. It seems like a wonderful new format to me and it is certainly is nice to be able to try it out in the TV Show environment. Tonight we are going to do that with a big name like André Rieu and his special story.”


Apart from being special, that story is also dramatic. André makes it clear in the course of the broadcast that he lacked a lot of love in the first years of his life. A lecture endorsed by his brother ROBERT, experienced the same during his childhood. Both men say that children need attention and a feeling of being loved. Both fell precisely far short from that point. Friends were kept outside the door, performance was paramount. When mother ALICE was once called to school because things were not going quite well with little André as expected, she even felt insulted when her son was called "an artist" by the teachers.

It all went completely wrong when André, then 24, brought his then later wife MARJORIE home for the first time. In fact, what happened there in the process went so far that the bond between the violinist and his parents was forever disrupted. Moreover, father and mother Rieu never were at one of his concerts ... And that while the world turns out for André and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, when the Limburger unpacks his Stradivarius and almost yearly, descends during the summer on the famous Vrijthof. Spectators from better than one hundred countries sometimes save years, just  to be able to be there just once in the magical setting of his hometown.


His father passed away in 1992 and has never seen the world success of his renowned son, who, after all, followed in his footsteps. But even when junior made a difficult start with his Maastricht Salon Orchestra, he had already given up on him. Mother's chair remained empty until she passed away last year, at the age of 98.

This pain is also deep, as André talks about the last major run-in with his parents who, according to his brother, gave him "life imprisonment" when he decided to leave with Marjorie and explicitly chose her. "That was hard, because from that moment on he could not do anything right."

After introducing his parents to his bride-to-be and had brought a treat for with the coffee for the occasion, mother Rieu proposed to cancel the session. Marjorie could go home and 24-year-old André could go to his just cleaned-up room, and with clean linens. But André had other plans and went with his future wife - this was not the beginning of the end, but immediately the end.

The illustrious 1970s had begun. The Rieus were Roman Catholic and were also strict in their teachings. In the Limburg from back then it was still like that. And what does a condoning André now say: "It was the time in which you brought your children up like that."

It was quite different when Pierre took a girlfriend home and André found his son in bed with her the next morning when he opened the door. Screaming with laughter, father and son now reminisce about that embarrassing moment." Dad asked: "What are you doing?"And I told him I was explaining something. "And?" He then asked. "Did  she get it?"

The ever invisible Marjorie and the man who chose her and not his family are now heading for their golden wedding anniversary.  André has often emphasized in interviews that without the former German teacher he would have ended up under a bridge or in the gutter. The waltz king also has an extraordinarily close bond with his brother Robert, who lives in Marseilles, and who also talks uninhibitedly about the special family from which he and André came from.

The special Ivo Nihe TV program aired on Dutch NOP1, 17 Nov 2020 @ 21:30 

Thanks to Ineke and Ruud for the article and John's Translation of it ...

Nov 16, 2020

André Rieu Offers Metal "Christmas Trees" With Lights

André Rieu Offers Metal "Christmas Trees" With Lights

Telegraaf, 14 Nov. 2020 in ENTERTAINMENT

The production team of violinist André Rieu will be offering large metal "Christmas trees" with lights to companies and municipalities in the coming weeks.

“We have 1,300 tons (26,000lbs) of huge scaffolding and scaffolds which are now being stored unused,” explains his son and spokesman Pierre Rieu on Friday. “We can use that to build large 'Christmas trees' of 25 meters high and provide them with lots of lights. Just think about the transmission tower in Lopik, which is decorated with lights every December. ” The lights can be supplied in various colors.

The Christmas trees will be offered through the website next week. The team which normally takes care of André Rieu's stages will come to decorate and tear down the "trees".


Just like all companies in the events business, André Rieu Productions also has had a difficult year financially because almost all concerts and performances have been canceled since March. Rieu agrees in his annual financial report that the uncertainty will also remain in 2021.

There are more artists who come up with creative solutions to earn some money. Various Dutch musical actors who have not been able to perform for months due to the corona crisis, will be selling personalized musical Christmas wishes in the coming weeks. They do this under the name "My Merry Music Message."

 Thanks to Ineke for this article and John's translation

Nov 9, 2020

Rieu To Play Eight Additional Concerts On The Vrijthof

Rieu To Play Eight Additional

 Concerts On The Vrijthof in 2021

André Rieu may perform an additional extra eight days at the Vrijthof in 2021. Providing the corona is under control, and then the violinist and his orchestra can be admired from June 30 to July 25th.


During a committee meeting, André Rieu texted city councilor John Aarts on 6 October. He wanted to know which direction things were going. Aarts told the orchestra leader to be patient for another month. Last night the time had finally come: in 2021 not only will he be allowed to perform twelve times, but this time as many as twenty. Primarily because of corona.

This decision was politically quite sensitive, partly because the municipality initially argued about the exception with, amongst other things, "the economic damage limitation placed by Rieu."

Opinions were deeply divided, from "the economic interest prevailing over that of the residents" to "the critics are doing insufficient justice to the great importance of Rieu's contribution to this city." We have gold in our hands, and other cities would be overjoyed having him. "The one and real doubter, D66, presented a motion last night. This motion explicitly limits the eleven extra days (Magical Maastricht plus two) to the already planned events. As a band-aid against the "bleeding" of inner-city residents, the municipality must also promote the new city sector in the Frontenpark as an alternative event location.

That motion was carried by a 20 to 16 decision. The coalition, minus Greens Left (Political Party), supported D66. This with reference to the laboriously agreed standard of a maximum of sixty event days on the square. "Extra days do not remove the corona damage done."

D66 did not receive any compliments. Jack Gerats

(SP) put his finger on a sore spot: "D66 has apparently failed to come up with a real alternative, this is a proposal for the stage." Andreas Lurvink supported the motion, but pointed to a possible precedent: “Put a beer tap on the Vrijthof and you have a party. Do it twice and it's a tradition.”

Ultimately, the extension of the number of event

days to 71 received the support of 25 councilors. The difference with the motion was mainly that the "Party Safe Maastricht" (three seats) now voted in favor. "As far as we are concerned, the expansion could become permanent, as long as this can be done in consultation with local residents," said Tiny Meese. Alderman Aarts was then able to report the good news to Rieu.

Thank You to John for the article and translation

Sep 27, 2020

André Rieu Christmas Concerts Definitively Canceled


André Rieu Christmas Concerts Definitively Canceled

 "de Limburger" editors, Sept. 24, 2020: 

André Rieu's Christmas concerts in the MECC in Maastricht are definitely canceled. The violinist announced this on Friday on Face book.

Rieu had previously informed "De Limburger" last month that the concerts planned for 19 and 20 December would most likely be canceled due to the corona measures. Now that decision is final. The concerts will be postponed to December 18 and 19, 2021. Tickets already purchased will remain valid for the new dates.

"Safety comes first, of course, and at the moment we cannot perform the way you and we would like," writes the orchestra leader on Face Book. "My orchestra and I are looking forward to seeing you all in Maastricht in 2021."

From André

Dear fans! The Johann Strauss Orchestra and I were very much looking forward to this year's Christmas concerts. I remember last year's fantastic atmosphere, with so much romance and the fun we had together!

I really enjoyed creating our own winter palace, with hundreds of artists, skaters, dancers and soloists. It was a truly unique experience and I am very sorry that we cannot do that again this year. But safety comes first, of course, and at the moment we cannot act the way you and we would like.

My orchestra and I are looking forward to seeing you all in Maastricht in 2021. Thank you for your patience. All stay healthy! Lots of love!

Ticketholders are advised to keep their tickets as they will remain valid for the new dates: December 18, 2021 at 8:00 PM (replacing 19 December2020) and December 19, 2021 at 3:00 PM (replacing 20 December2020) . These concerts are already on sale and tickets can be purchased at:

 Thanks to John for this article and his translation

Sep 15, 2020

Hope Lets André Rieu Live

Hope Lets André Rieu Live

de Telegraaf by Evert Santegoeds.

While ANDRÉ RIEU still has to fight a long battle in his Maastricht to get some extra concerts at the Vrijthof next year, there are also some bright spots in sight. A remarkable advertisement appeared in the German newspaper "Der Bild"  this week. In it, the start of Rieu's new tour with his Johann Strauss Orchestra was announced.

André Rieu cannot wait to return to his familiar stage.

On January 8, Dutch fans of ANDRÉ RIEU's (70) music can again indulge themselves. Not too far across the border, in Cologne, the first concert will again take place. That same month, major German cities like Hanover, Kiel, Rostock, Magdeburg, Nuremberg, Mannheim, Stuttgart, Munich, Dortmund, Frankfurt and Berlin will follow with concerts. And Rieu and his orchestra will again tour this country in May .

In recent months, since the musicians discontinued their tour through America and returned heads over heels to the Netherlands, their work has come to a complete standstill. Rieu was confronted with a loss of millions, since the famous Vrijthof events were completely canceled. With government assistance he was able to stay afloat.

"Hope gives life", says son and manager PIERRE RIEU when PRIVÉ inquired about the German plans. “We also take into consideration that these events by then may not continue. But for now, ticket sales have started well, and we assume that full halls by then will be allowed again, until we hear otherwise. The first concerts would then take place in Germany. ”

The audience is clearly looking forward to the repertoire of the Strauss family and the Limburg violinist who continues to honors Strauss. Highlights of his Vrijthof concerts can now be seen in cinemas. Pierre: "We will let those performances continue for a while. We are now at fifty percent of last year's attendance figures in the cinemas, which we do not think are too bad at this time due to all the limitations.”

On 6 October, the Maastricht the city council will consider the violinist's request to be allowed to perform not twelve, but twenty concerts in 2021 on the most famous square in the south. The PvdA(Political Party) in particular is being obstructive. They argue that the local residents will experience too much of a nuisance from all the events. Residents who are thinking along the way of the  violinist have started a petition to support the world star. Neighborhood network "Binnenstad" proposes a one-time relocation of the yearly fair to make room for more Rieu evenings.

 Thanks to John for his Translation and Ineke for the article 

Relocate The Maastricht Fair For Rieu


Residents In The Center of Maastricht: 

Relocate The Fair For Rieu

Photo: Jean_Pierre Geusens

1Limburg, by Jochem Rietjens: In order not to get in the way of André Rieu and Magical Maastricht in 2021, the ten-day fair on the Vrijthof will have to be relocated just once to another location in the city.

This is a suggestion made by the Inner City Neighborhood Network in the discussion about stretching the Maastricht 60-day events norm.

 Corona Crisis

This standard has been set to keep the number of events on the historic town square within its bounds. However, due to the corona crisis, the mayor and the aldermen of Maastricht would like to extend that to 71 days in 2021.


Magical Maastricht can then be extended by three days and gives André Rieu eight extra playing days. Due to the corona pandemic, these activities could not take place in 2020. The PvdA (Political party) has already announced that it is dead-strong against this expansion. The Maastricht Social Democrats believe that the interests of the residents of the city center should not be subordinated to the economic interests of the stand-alone violinist.


Those residents are now involved in the discussion by sending a letter to the mayor, the aldermen and the municipal councilors of Maastricht. In that letter, the Inner City Neighborhood Network asks not to change the sixty-day norm, but to move the ten-day fair that takes place every year in mid-May on the Vrijthof to a different location.

Alternative Place

Then those ten days will become available on the Vrijthof, and they will be for Rieu and Magical Maastricht, so the Neighborhood Network suggests. Because the network also says that it sees  these events are of great economic value to Maastricht. The residents' network proposes the Frontenpark, the Sphinxkwartier or the Groene Loper as an alternative location for the Maastricht fair.


The Maastricht Center Management Foundation states in a letter to the Municipal Executive and the city council that it is in favor of the onetime extension of the 60-day standard. The entrepreneurial platform indicates that it somewhat mitigates the negative economic consequences of the corona virus outbreak of 2020, and that it is good for local employment and the residents can enjoy the eleven extra days on the Vrijthof.

On 6 October, the city council of Maastricht will consider the question to extend the 60-day standard for a one time change.

Thanks to John for his Translation Ineke for the article

Sep 9, 2020

Proposal: Extra Days For Rieu on The Maastricht Vrijthof in 2021

 Proposal: Extra Days For André Rieu and Magical Maastricht on The Vrijthof in 2021

André Rieu's one hundredth Vrijthof Concert on July 21, 2019.

Photo: Mitchell Giebels' archive

de Limburger by Annelies Hendrikx: The 60-day norm for events on the Vrijthof in Maastricht will for one-time be expanded  to 71 in 2021. André Rieu and his Magical Maastricht are the lucky ones.

André Rieu will be allowed to increase the number of concerts on the square from Twelve to Twenty ... 


The council of mayor and aldermen announced a council proposal to that effect, which will be discussed in the council meeting on 6 October. The 60-day standard is set in the 2016-2020 events policy and in the associated events regulation. The one-time extension of the number of days is the authority of the city council.


"Rieu in particular is forced to provide more performances in order to limit the economic damage to his company as a result of the corona crisis", writes alderman John Aarts in a council information letter. The economic impact of the crisis is very tangible and enormous for the organizers of events, says Aarts. "Also because of the effects on employment in retail, the hotel and catering industry and suppliers, is it desirable to organize more activities and events in 2021 on a one-time basis."

The councilor emphasizes that the safety and health of the residents remain paramount. “That is why events, and therefore the expansion thereof, can only continue if the corona measures allow for it. In doing so, the municipality follows the advice of the State and the Security Region. If they don't offer this space, the events will of course not take place at all. ”

Not happy

During a meeting last week between Aarts and the mayor on one side and inner-city residents and entrepreneurs on the other, residents in particular showed that the risks - even in a post-corona period - are too great, says a municipal spokesperson. The entrepreneurs are in favor; the residents are far from happy with the expansion. They stated in a letter to the city council that the actual number of days that the Vrijthof will be occupied in 2021 according to this proposal will be many times higher than 71.

"Not considered are city-wide events such as carnival, events that take up less than half of the square (such as Het Parcours) and André Rieu's" in-between days "(Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday)." If these are included, as well as the construction and dismantling days of events, the residents come up to 193 days of occupation of the Vrijthof for 2021."

Thanks to John for the article and his translation


Sep 2, 2020

Violinist André Rieu Reminisces With Privé

Violinist Reminisces 

With Privé

André Rieu won Marjorie over at the age of eleven!

Telegraaf by Harry Nijen Twilhaar

While all mega concerts worldwide have been shelved for the time being, ANDRÉ RIEU tries to put his concerns aside for a while by reminiscing about good memories. With PRIVÉ he shares his childhood photos and the waltz king talks about the first, romantic summer holiday with his wife MARJORIE, the love of his life, in Giethoorn. (Small Dutch town known for its beauty and quaintness)

It has been almost sixty years since ANDRÉ RIEU (70) met his wife MARJORIE (72) and from that time on they are almost inseparable. “We were both in elementary school. Our first meeting was during a Saint Nicholas party. I was eleven years old. In the years afterwards, we always kept in touch. True love blossomed between us when I was 25. It turned out that she has been in love with me for all those previous years! 

“When I was at the conservatory in Liège - to which I drove my moped every day - I passed her house. I hoped to get a glimpse of her then. Eventually, the spark crossed over and we came together. We have never let each other go since. ”


He can still remember his first truly romantic summer vacation with Marjorie. That turned out to be  a complete fiasco.

“We went on holiday to Giethoorn with an old Simca 1000(French built car). Along the way everything went completely wrong and I got stuck in the mud in a pasture. No one was around so I walked to a farm to ask for help. I asked a farmer who was milking at that time if he could help us. He did just that. See, we still have pictures of it.”

Photo ARP

On his first holiday with Marjorie, a young Rieu gets his car stuck in the mud ....

Photo ARP

.... only to be helped by a local farmer. André: "And then it went completely wrong. "

“Eventually we were able to continue our journey to Giethoorn. Back then it was not as busy as it is today. We have never been back since. Recently I saw images of crowds of Chinese who flooded Giethoorn before the corona time. Back then it was still quiet and Marjorie and I could enjoy an undisturbed holiday there.”

"Never again a vacation like that ..."

“When our children PIERRE (39) and MARC (42) were born, we went on vacation to Italy where we stayed in a small guesthouse. That first holiday with both children did not exactly go smooth either. In the meantime we now owned a Citroën DS, which had a suspension which you could raise or lower the car. Pierre, who was six weeks old, was in a crib and Marc sat next to him in a small chair. It was very hot when we arrived in Rimini and Pierre cried for at least three continuous days. It was total misery. We decided to just drive back to Maastricht. When we got in the car and the air conditioning provided us cooling, he immediately stopped crying. In the following years, we took our holidays on the Belgian coast because we no longer dared to take any risks.”


Nowadays it is increasingly difficult for André and Marjorie to go on holiday. “We have now been married for 45 years and are still crazy about each other. Celebrating a holiday as it was then, in anonymity, is no longer an option. They recognize me everywhere. It is almost impossible to sit on a terrace. You are being recognized in no time at all. Only in Rome is it still reasonable without being asked every minute for an autograph. We go there for three days every year. We have been doing that for twenty years.”

Photo ARP

Later on André Rieu and his wife Marjorie often  went on holiday to Belgium.

"I absolutely can't stand face masks"

“But yes, we did not go anywhere this year. I also don't like wearing face masks. We were recently on the Belgian coast where we were obliged to wear one. What a disaster that was. I can't stand it and become short of breath. Incidentally, I am hopeful. I expect the virus will gradually weaken and that there will be a vaccine. In the meantime, I spend all day at home or am at the office rearranging concerts abroad. I follow the corona developments closely. In the meantime, I am concerned about how long we can last. Financially it is a downright catastrophe for us despite the financial support by the government."

“We are hoping that by next summer, when the municipality of Maastricht grants us a permit for twenty concerts without restrictions - we can be filling the square every evening with 13,000 visitors. Those are eight more concerts  than originally planned. If that approval is granted, we will largely be able to make up the financial losses of this year's Vrijthof concerts. Of course, the virus may of course not bring the entire country to a standstill again. Incidentally, the catering industry around Het Vrijthof also benefits from our concerts. Marjorie and Pierre are now doing the math every day. I am responsible for a large company and the members of my Johann Strauss Orchestra must also be able to continue to pay the mortgage or the rent. All in all, these are exciting times. ”

Thanks to John's Translation and Ineke for the article

Aug 24, 2020

Rieu's Maastricht


André Rieu's Maastricht

"My concerts are like sex. I build it up for two hours and then: WHAMMM, the climax. Waving his index finger, the world renowned violinist and conductor, André Rieu speaks about his concert series which would have taken place on the now empty square. He is giving us an exclusive tour along the highlights of his Maastricht."

de Telegraaf, by Leroy van den Berg

The pandemic has brought the cultural sector to a standstill. Even André Rieu has been hit hard. All his concerts were cancelled, both abroad and as well as on the Maastricht Vrijthof, his home base. I do not want to do mandatory dismissals that I find terrible. I see our reserves drastically decreasing, but there is no speaking of bankruptcy".

With a slightly crackling voice: "If we can play again here next year, I'll do everything I can to make sure I don't have to dismiss anyone. I don't think I can prevent the tears from running once we are allowed to perform again." It oblivious affects the world renowned violinist a lot not being able to perform this year. "There are a few people who recognize me, which I like, but that's not why I am here. Normally I am here on this square (he points towards an empty spot) to be on stage playing,"

"The city of Maastricht is also missing out a lot in the way of income. That was like that fifteen years ago too when these concerts started, with the idea: we do everything together. The city, the entrepreneurs and I. Many entrepreneurs earn lots of money during these concerts. That is OK with me because I receive something  very valuable in return: a city which is one for a while."

From the Vrijthof we walk, via a figuratively tunnel  of people who are staring at us or taken pictures, to the next stop: the "Bonbonnière" on the Our Dear Lady's Square. Rieu's potential to light there for the first time in the former city theater of Maastricht. "This building represent the absolute beginning of everything" says the world star while we are being gawked at by bystanders.  A friendly lady asks for a picture. Rieu calmly acknowledges but maintains the 1.5 meter distance.

"OK, where was I. Ah yes, here is where we performed our first concerts  with my Salon Orchestra, in the foyer of the theatre, the so called "Lunch-break" concerts. We were only with five people then, two violinists, a cello, a piano-player and a contra-bass. Our passion was immediately appreciated. We made one thousand records and they were sold in no time. Back then we did a combination of classics and pop, which we still do."

"See that basilica back there?" Rieu continues. "I went there every Sunday as a child. I actually liked Catholicism. The togetherness which the church brought has now for a large part disappeared. That sense of belonging and theater I brought with me from the church. That happened unconsciously. The catholic church was also just theater?"

To the question whether religion still plays a role in his life, he answers firmly: "No, not at all anymore. I had a rather strict upbringing, and my wife too. Together we went into therapy to leave that part of our lives behind us. We then left the church too. It's just fine the way it is."  

Next stop: a residence which previously was a cafe. A place where Rieu in his early thirties started building his career. Even back then he was already a perfectionist.  "We would be performing there for three days in a row. Arrived there and found an unplayable piano. We turned around and came back the next day. Another piano but again unplayable. On the third day everything had finally been organized correctly."

"I am an enormous detail freak, and that has brought me to where I am now. In the past I would get angry when something did not suit me, but now I try to solve it with humor. I try to put everything into perspective, but sometimes it is necessary to make something clear. Are my employees afraid of me? No, absolutely not." Despite his friendly character, rieu was raised with an iron hand, His father was an egotistical man, He told us as we were walking by the house where Rieu lived during his adolescent years just outside the city gate. "My mother was also a cold person. My parents did not like what I was doing. My father only came to one of my concerts.

"I made a firm resolution to raise my children differently than the way they did it. I still think a lot about this question: Is a child formed through genes or by its upbringing? I think both. And also by the people you meet along the way. My wife Marjorie turned the tide for me. We both "fled" from our strict upbringing. When we both left our homes, it took us three weeks to catch up on our puberties. I had thrown my violin in the cupboard, and put in an earring. That phase did not last long, ha ha."

By way of a tiny building, the two wanted to start a pizzeria. "If you ordered "Pizza Paganini," named after the Italian violinist, then I would come and play at your table. Heavens, am I glad we did not pursue that," as we are walking back to the Vrijthof.

In the middle of the terraces, a bronze plate has been placed in the ground, a tribute by the city of Maastricht for the works by Rieu. "This plate means an awful lot to me," says Rieu. "It is the feather on my cap."

Time to finish the tour with one more favorite activity: to eat a real Limburg vlaai (pastry). Rieu orders four slices in Maastricht dialect. Reluctantly the waitress tells him that all the vlaai is gone. There is a little muttering and then he happily continues. It is going to be apple pie. "With whipped cream of course!!"

 Thanks for John's Translation and Ineke for the article  

Aug 21, 2020

December Will Most Likely Be Canceled. Rieu Confirms

 André Rieu's planned Christmas concerts in the MECC in Maastricht on 19 and 20 December will most likely be canceled. André Rieu confirmed this Friday evening. 

"As soon as we are certain, we will communicate that immediately." In the meantime, the famous violinist and orchestra leader is looking for alternative dates in December 2021.

de Limburger by Ruud Maas: The famous violinist and orchestra leader stated this in a response to "De Limburger: “The way it looks now, there is a good chance that the concerts will not take place. As soon as we are certain about this, we will communicate that immediately and then we will move the concerts to December 2021. Tickets will of course remain valid for the new dates.”

Rieu thus responded to statements by general director Rob van de Wiel of the Maastricht conference center earlier this Friday. Van de Wiel considers it almost impossible that with the current corona measures he can welcome 12,000 people per evening. “What I can definitely imagine is that we are going to talk about an alternative. We hope to see if André Rieu will be happy to perform in the M-theater which we just presented to the public and which can accommodate 1250 people. But I dare not to say whether he wants that or not.”

Christmas Atmosphere

In early March, just before the corona paralyzed the country, Rieu announced that he wanted to give the Christmas concerts in the MECC in 2020, just like last year. The first edition in his home town tasted for more. More than 30,000 fans from all over the world came to the shows transformed into a winter atmosphere. The conference center was transformed into a Christmas world with 300 dancers, 82 skaters, sopranos, tenors and a gospel choir. “For me, Christmas is the most beautiful time of the year and I prefer to spend it in the company of my friends, family and fans in my own city. The atmosphere in the MECC last year was fantastic. So romantic and at the same time is very cheerful,” the violinist said in March.


This summer, Rieu was forced to postpone his twelve Vrijthof concerts (normally good for 150,000 fans from ninety countries) for a year by government orders. "This news is heartbreaking for many - and it is very difficult for us to accept this decision," he said. These concerts have since been moved to July1st to18th - 2021.

Earlier this week, Rieu in an interview with Humberto Tan said that the chance is small that he will be on the podium soon. “I have already said: I can't do anything with that 5 feet social distancing. I can already see it happening, I enter the stage and let everyone sing, but that is not allowed. No dancing either: forget it. Everything that makes our concerts fun is now banned. So I can only do it - and I will only do it again - when everything is allowed.”

Thanks to John for the Article and his Translation

Aug 9, 2020

Coronavirus Hits André Rieu's Company Hard!

Corona hits André Rieu's company hard: 
"Since March we haven't earned a penny"

Like a true optimist, André Rieu (70) believes that he is only halfway through in his life. Corona has hit his company hard, but that doesn't get him down. A conversation, at home in Maastricht, about an unwanted oak tree, his Stradivarius and the Vrijthof.

From Algemeen Dagblad: by Alexander van Eenennaam: The sun shines bright, there is coffee with vlaai (Limburg pastry), we are sitting in his spacious, paradisiacal courtyard and yet André Rieu says: "Never buy a castle." He laughs about that, but the orchestra leader does not regret the purchase he made a quarter of a century ago together with his wife. He points off into the distance. “See those people walking there? Marjorie and I walked that path in 1994, it must have been around September. "Imagine us in that little castle," I said to her. She replied: "Then you still have to sell a lot of records."

The fact that the king of the waltz owns his own castle in Maastricht is a fact invariably well received by the American press, where fairy tales in line with the American Dream are just as enjoyable as Rieu does this afternoon with his gooseberries, meringue and whipped cream vlaai.

The hefty slices come from the local bakery in Maastricht, they are Rieu's favorite. "Here they also call it the André Rieu cake, "he says while poking another piece of meringue with his pastry fork. "You know what they are, kroonsele?" He asks rhetorically. “Gooseberries. The sourness  in combination with the cream and fluffed egg whites, they really pick you up."

It is no coincidence that we are at home with André Rieu.  he performs with his orchestra for three weeks every summer in the center of his hometown Maastricht.   he then fills the Vrijthof with fans of his waltz music for more than ten evenings . Logically, the immense square will remain empty this year, and Rieu spends more time at home than he would like, no matter how fairytale his shelter may be.


"I started baking day one of the corona time," he says. “We played our first concert of our US tour in Tampa, Florida, and right during intermission, Trump addressed the country and told people to stop going to massive events. Then I knew enough. Three of my employees have been busy the entire night to book tickets. We immediately had to return with 110 people. On my first day at home I made cream puffs. Have a look," he says, while searching for the photos on his smart phone.

“I liked to watch soccer, but that was no longer on. And if I have to watch what my wife likes on TV, we would long be separated. I started watching videos on YouTube, there I came across the videos of Mr. Cees Holtkamp. ""

The Amsterdam baker has made a series of baking films which inspired Rieu. “I baked something almost every day. My son Pierre and the grandchildren live a short distance away. And so I walked with my bakings to their house every day, because of the corona I was only allowed to give them through the window. Yet that was a daily moment of happiness. No, I haven't tried gooseberries with foam yet, but it will come. It's fairly easy."

You are forced to stay home, but so are all the people in your company.

“Yes, 120 permanent employees. Who can do almost nothing at the moment. I welcome the government's support and hope that it will continue through the fall. ""

And if not?

“Then I probably will not survive it in the end. Everyone understands that I cannot keep paying all my people while nothing is being earned. We haven't earned a penny since March. ""

Does that keep you awake at night?

“No, because I always sleep well and am an optimist. I was born on a Sunday, and it comes from that, I think. But during the day I sometimes wonder how this will continue. I still have some meat on the bones, that's why we can still sit here and eat a cake, but it is going the wrong direction at a tremendous speed. If this continues for another year, then I will be bankrupt. And 95 percent of all entertainment companies along with me."

Why don't you perform on a smaller scale, solo if necessary?

“That is not an option. And not fair to my orchestra. We all will go on together or not at all. And if we have to close down, afterwards we will still go on. I always say that I will live to be 140 years old, I mean that too. I'm 70 now, so I'm halfway through. So now I think: well, it has been a tough year, but there are 69 more years to come."

While Rieu speaks, the bell of the St. Peter's Church strikes half past three. The church is located opposite "Huis De Torentjes", which is the official name of Rieu's National Monument.

You said that you and your wife dreamed of this castle 26 years ago. How did you manage to buy it?

“As a child I fantasized about it when I read about Castle Molensloot
in the Tintin comics. I mentioned the comment my wife made during 
that walk that I still had a lots of records to sell. Well, the next year I 
sold a million of my "Strauss and Co" album. Since then nobody has 
been able to match me in the Netherlands. That was 1995, I played in the Amsterdam Arena during  halftime of the Ajax - Bayern Munich match. With all those flags. I believe I sold 100,000 CDs the next day, After that year we were able to buy this castle."

Why do you advise others not to buy a castle?

He laughs. “Because you first have to put 30 million in it which you won't see any more. Heating, the roof, foundations, walls, pipes, you name it. This property is built out of marl, very soft and brittle. There is no material which is worse."

And then it is also a national monument, which you may not just renovate.

“Funny that you should say that, because I had a lot of hassles with that. I was not allowed to fix it up. A little man came and looked, he said: only the affected bricks. But all those originally yellow bricks were black and I didn't want to turn my house into a checkerboard. He stood his ground. Yet I tackled it and made it beautiful. We don't live in Moscow here, do we? I'm still waiting for whoever is going to throw me in jail for it. It looks beautiful, doesn't it? I only want to get rid of that oak tree. ""

Let me guess: no permit?

“Well, I have requested one so many times. It's an old tree, maybe a hundred years old. But just a seedling and a piece of crap, it is totally lopsided. In addition, it is in the way of that chestnut tree, which would get a lot more space without that oak. But you really shouldn't remove such a tree without a permit."

Being at home a lot takes some getting used to for Rieu. Normally he travels the world, this year, in addition to the US, Chile and Israel were planned. He built a million-dollar company, which now is in dire straits for the second time. In 2008 he overextended himself by reconstructing the life-size Austrian castle "Schönbrunn" as a traveling set. Rieu literally thought very big and almost went


"We had 250 people on the set, but also another 250 to re-erect that castle every time. There was no profit in that. I ended up with a 30 million euro debts. During that time I did lie awake. I still remember the bank's visit very vividly. We sat in here and they looked around: what all can we seize? Fortunately, one of them said: let him play, that way he will at least earn something back. A year later I was 20 million in the positive. Nevertheless, it took the bank until 2018 to release me, which was disappointing to me. Even my Stradivarius had to ba pawned."

Which is worth millions?

“That's right. When I'm on the road, someone carries it in a suitcase so that I won't forget it. And every evening he goes upstairs with me to the bedroom. But does not lay in bed with me,  you know."

Who is allowed to touch that violin?

Nobody. Well, my wife is allowed to. But it is and remains a violin, which has to be played. I'm also just jump and dance with it on the Vrijthof. No, I won't drop it, I've been playing for 65 years and have never dropped a violin out of my hands.Whether it's worth ten Euros or millions."

You do not have to take the Stradivarius to the Vrijthof this year.

“That hurts. Every year we record the Vrijthof concert and show it as a film in more than 3000 cinemas in 60 countries. This year we cannot do that either, now we have made a cinema special with highlights from the past fifteen years. André van Duin presents and speaks with me about those moments. In the beginning you see images of empty streets and squares in Maastricht, while I play "Wishing you were somehow here again." Phew, those first ten minutes, I can't look at them. I get very emotional then."

Also because it is on your home turf?

“Yes, I was born in Maastricht, and as a Catholic kid there was this procession every year. I was in the church choir of the Sint Servaes, which is also on the Vrijthof. From the age of five to my eleven, then my voice broke. It's not only a huge loss for us. There are 120,000 people who live here, while 150,000 people spread over those three weeks come and visit my concerts every year. Last year, the municipality of Maastricht calculated that they stand to earn 30 million Euros from my concerts during that period. The hotels, restaurants, cafes are full, shops have triple turnovers. I was amazed, at such a high amounts. All that through music."

So you probably won't have to pay when you and your wife sit down on a terrace on the Vrijthof?

“Funny you should ask that. What do you think?''

I do not think so.

“Well, it does surprises me every time. I don't go there that often, because I hardly get any rest during the summer, but if I order a cup of coffee and a piece of vlaai after an interview: that will be 5 euro 50, Mr. Rieu. Isn't that incredible? Those entrepreneurs earn their money because of me. Feel free to write that down, they can put it in their pockets."

Have you started listening to different music in the corona time?

“I never listen to music. That sounds funny, doesn't it? Above all, I let others enjoy music. I don't know if I can say that yet, but next month we want to release an album with uplifting music, to bring joy. But listen myself? No. Not even in the car. I prefer it to be quiet. Silence is the most beautiful music there is.

Thanks to Ineke and Rob for the article 

And John's LONG Translation!!




Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht












Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013




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

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

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

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