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Mar 31, 2017

Rieu Vocalist Mirusia CapturesThe Netherlands

Rieu Vocalist Mirusia CapturesThe Netherlands

Chapeau Magazine: by Maarten van Laarhoven - Friday, March 31, 2017 Many know her from her performances with André Rieu, who discovered her at a young age and with whom she traveled around the world. The Australian-Dutch soprano Mirusia Louwerse, who was born exactly 32 springs ago in Brisbane, Australia hails from Dutch parents, and is currently engaged in a successful theater tour throughout the Netherlands, with its title "From the Heart." During her performances, one hears the same music as from her earlier this month released CD, which carries the same title.

Mirusia, who at the tender age of 19 is the youngest winner ever to claim the famous Dame Joan Sutherland Competition Award for opera singers in her homeland, and has now been singing the stars from the sky on major international stages for more than ten years with Rieu and his famous Johann Strauss Orchestra.

On his official website, André Rieu speaks about how he came in contact with the blonde soprano after she received that award . "Her aunt, who still lives in the Netherlands, emailed me about the exceptional talent of her niece in Australia. Of course I was curious. I listened to Mirusia's voice on her website, and immediately phoned her and two days later she was in my studio singing."

The world famous violinist describes how tears filled his eyes when, in his own words, he had the always cheerful young singer sing an established aria by Mozart. "With her beautiful voice and her blonde curls it was as if I heard an angel sing."

The Australian born has built a successful solo career with albums which are quite successful with a wide audience. She has a varied repertoire, and alongside her own songs she also includes known materials from pop music, musicals, films and popular classical music
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Even her own new studio album contains a mix of styles. "Geef mij je Angst" (Give Me Your Fear) by Hazes and "La Vergine Degli Angeli" by Verdi peaceful coexist on the new CD, which has become a very personal album to her. Some songs have directly to do with the love for her husband Youri. The famous "Memory" is a tribute to her grandmother and "Als je niet van mij Houdt" (If you do not Love Me, by Boudewijn de Groot) is dedicated to Ruud Merx (trombone player with André Rieu) who died last year of a cardiac arrest during a tour through England

Chapeau Magazine has received five CDs from Mirusia's management to give away. 
What is your best memory of Mirusia during the concerts of André Rieu?
Send your answer to: events@chapeaumagazine.com. The participants with the best five responses will receive the latest Mirusia CD!

Thank You to Ineke for the article and John for Translating it!

Mar 26, 2017

Refugee Brought Rieu Success by Marjorie Rieu

Refugee Brought Rieu Success

Maastricht March 20th: From the "Limburger" By Casper Cillekens and Ruud Maas -  What is happening to Maastricht? Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann (69) cannot comprehend it. Why is the PVV (Freedom Party) the largest political party in her birthplace? Why are the largest part of the Limburg citizens so against refugees? To this newspaper she writes: "Thanks to a refugee, for the last thirty years André Rieu can now make millions of people worldwide happy with his music." The refugee she is referring to is her father Edgar, who in 1936 fled from Berlin to Maastricht, because he was a German Jew. The only thing he could carry with him was his collection of records, which inspired André Rieu many years later. Marjorie is telling her story in the castle "House of little Towers" where she and André reside. She thought long and hard about the following statement: "I am not climbing on the barricades and kick someone in the shins. I only want to plead for the refugees. I do not like people who say that refugees are bad people. For the past two years I have had the feeling that I need to do something. I can become quite angry the way refugees are being thought of."

Maybe Marjorie started writing again since she read the letter her father wrote while he was in hiding. He wanted to mail this letter to his also refugee friends after the liberation. "In a typed fourteen page letter he wrote about amongst others, how valiant Maastricht citizens risked their lives by helping them and providing them with addresses where they could hide. " Marjorie wrote that the letter was typed between August 1942 and the liberation of Maastricht in September of 1944, and because she is thinking about publicizing this "time document". He writes about his family and friends, and knew they would not be coming back.

Edgar Kochmann first hid in Arnhem and Nijmegen, and later in Maastricht. He was lucky to have been tipped off by two cousins, telephone operators, of his friend Nelly who would later become Marjorie's mother. Edgar's parents, who had already fled to Maastricht in 1933 and had started a small factory in hat liners, also went into hiding. His father passed away while in hiding due to pneumonia. Horst, one of Edgar's brothers and his wife Friedel did report to the gathering place in Maastricht from which Jews were transported to the transit camp Westerbrok. Friedel died three days later in the gas chambers is Auschwitz, and Horst passed away in a work camp Blechhammer.

She feels she needs to make a statement.

Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann is annoyed about the way refugees are being treated in this country. Her Jewish father had to flee from Germany but was afforded a chance to build a new life here in Limburg.

Thrilling

Marjorie heard little from her father about the war. "He only spoke about funny things. I never heard about the bad ones. Those were thrilling stories. How he, in the attic walked in his stocking feet - balancing himself with his hands on the wall - over the skirting as not to make noise." Her father consciously did not speak much about that time. "That's just the way he was. He said: "That is past, period!"

Her father was born in 1907 in Berlin. As a young man he experienced the 'golden 20's' in that city. He was a branch manager of a shoe store on Alexander square. He loved dancing, in particular the Charleston. He also liked light music and operettas. "Tauber, Caruso and the Comedian Harmonists. He owned a few hundred records. Those were the only things he could take with him from Berlin. Much later I realized how big the transition must have been for him from a world metropolis of Berlin to a small provincial town like Maastricht. He was amazed that mixed swimming was not allowed here." In Maastricht Edgar made his living as a wholesaler in lady's hats. He met his future wife at a dance in 1936. Laughingly he said: "They did too do mixed swimming. In Visé (Belgium) just across the border."

"For two years now I feel I need to do something. It makes me so angry the way people think about refugees".

Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann

Wall

Her father continued to treasure everything German. He did not mind, contrary to some in his environment, that his daughter studied German. "My father said that he did not suffer under the German people, but through the Nazi's. We continued to shop across the border and continuously visited family in Berlin. A very special note: I was there when the wall was built, August 13, 1961."

Father was very interested in the politics. "I had to be quiet when on Sundays he would listen to G.B.J. Hiltermann who would give his views of the world on the radio. I loathed that. That might be the reason why I do not care much for politics." After her German studies in Nijmegen, Marjorie taught for seven years. "I did not really care too much for that at all." When she and André became parents she stopped teaching. She was by then already, very much involved with the newly organized Maastricht Salon Orchestra. "André was still searching for his own distinctive repertoire. I let him listen to several of my father's records. He did not know that kind of music, but was immediately sold."

She knows for certain that without that inspiration, born from those records, Rieu would never have become so successful worldwide. Even at times when doubt struck Rieu, it was Marjorie's father who helped André persist. "My father was raised with the Prussian discipline of never giving up." Edgar passed away in 2000, at 92 years of age. "Luckily he was able to enjoy Andrés break through."

Barbeque

Because of this family history there is a lot of understanding for the refugees in the Rieu house."When it became known that an asylum center would be established here on this street, André spontaneously said that - whenever it would be established - he would organize a barbeque for those people."

(Pictures are from the Rieu-Kochmann Family)

Thank you to John for the article and Translation of it.

Mar 8, 2017

WORLD PREMIER WEST SIDE STORY LIVE IN OPEN AIR

WORLD PREMIER
WEST SIDE STORY LIVE IN OPEN AIR

THEATER ON THE VRIJTHOF AND THE PHILHARMONIC "ZUID-NEDERLAND" 
ON THE VRIJTHOF IN MAASTRICHT

By Jo Cortenraedt: Chief Editor Chapeau Magazine The Theater on the Vrijthof and the philharmonic "Zuid-Nederland" are in ecstasy already. They are anxiously awaiting for their spectacular mega-production which will take place live on Monday July l0 on the Vrijthof in Maastricht. For the first time in the world the famous film West Side Story will be played outdoors by a large philharmonic orchestra while the audience simultaneously can watch the entire film above the stage. A synchronized combination of film and live music, and that in the middle of a large square.

This has been made possible thanks to the commitment of many, to begin with André Rieu, who 'just' happen to make his temporary stage and all the technical facilities available for this co-production of the philharmonic "Zuid-Nederland" and "the Theater on the Vrijthof". "This is fantastic and we are very grateful to André Rieu" said Jos Roeden, artistic programmer for the philharmonic. "That means that we are able to used "state-of-the-art" equipment both in terms of sound as well as many large digital screens around the square. This also fits entirely in our ambition to not always perform in the usual concert halls, but also to participate in major projects and events which brings our music closer to the people."

Peter Noten, program director of the Theatre on the Vrijthof, can hardly suppress his enthusiasm. "This is going to be fantastic. We can barely fit a thousand people in our theater and now for this concert we suddenly have a availability of 10,000 people. And all that with this film musical, which has worldwide fame.

It has taken quite some efforts to receive the rights for this production, because they are still part of the estate of composer Leonard Bernstein. But it all worked out. A special team from America will come over to assist us with the implementation of our production. And we had a choice of only a limited number of conductors who are allowed to perform these workings. That turned out to be Wayne Marshall who is very familiar with this musical and who will also perform in our theater later this year as a concert pianist."

Andre Rieu makes stage and equipment available

In 2014 Noten saw "West side Story" live, with an Orchestra in London which played in combination with the film. "That was in the Royal Albert Hall. It's very exciting because every note must be played exactly at the right time. The entire performance lasts almost three hours and you sit on the edge of your seat. "We consider this a highlight to our 25th jubilee year as Theater on the Vrijthof;" said Jean Boelen, director of the Theater on the Vrijthof. Obviously we are very lucky that we can combine this with the concerts ofAndré Rieu who so generously made everything available to us. If we had to build it ourselves, I am afraid our budget would not been able to afford this." Stefan Rosu, director of the philharmonic "Zuid- Netherland", says that the orchestra will be the largest with nearly 100 musicians and that the orchestra is being strengthened with extra specialists, such as five saxophonists, due to the technical challenges (e.g. the coordination of movie and music on the main square) we are very happy with conductor Wayne Marshall who knows these workings very well, has already done the film version and a good "jazzer". The big challenge is to at certain times to follow the exact rhythm of the film, so that the musicians themselves can look at the images of the film. They must therefore fully rely on the directions of the conductor. And of course there should be a substantial amount of rehearsing in order to get it all in sync."

The story of the musical and film West Side Story is about the romance between Tony and Maria, each belonging to a different street gang in New York. That creates heartbreaking moments. It's an engaging blend of story, song, clans, music and games. The film dates back to 196I and earned no less than Ten Oscars " The film is now completely digitalized so that the images are razor sharp," says Peter Noten. 
The presale for the musical starts March 8, and the prices have purposely been kept low. Seat prices are between 25 and 55 euro, depending on their location. There are also, just like with André Rieu concerts, combined terrace arrangements available.

Thank You to John for the Translation and Ineke for the article
 

Feb 9, 2017

Rieu's Stage Being Used By Another Orchestra in Maastricht

André Rieu's Stage 
Being Used By Another Orchestra In Maastricht

The Limburger: The South Netherlands'  Philharmonic will perform live music from the film West Side Story on the Vrijthof on July 10, 2017. For this event André Rieu's stage will be used.

The concert will be held in commemoration of the 25th anniversary of "the Theater on the Vrijthof", so writes De Limburger. On that day there will be no concert by the violin virtuoso.

Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will perform from 6 to 9 July, 13 to 16 July and 22 July on the Vrijthof.

Big screen

The classical film, which acclaimed several Oscars, will be projected on the big screen behind the orchestra, while live music by Leonard Bernstein is being played . One hundred musicians are participating.

Nicely relaxing

"Since in the past André himself has played in the Philharmonic, he could not refuse this request. We support it wholeheartedly. For us it is also nice that we for once can look at our stage, deliciously leaning back ," said manager Pierre Rieu in the newspaper.

Thank you to John for the Translation

Jan 8, 2017

Rieu a Well Oiled Machine in Amsterdam

A Well "Oiled" Orchestra in The Ziggo Dome

January 9, 2017, The Limburger by Jan Cuijpers It is a rock hard rule: The show must go on.Last Saturday André Rieu and his orchestra performed again for the first time since the passing of trombone player Ruud Merx. The Ziggo Dome received their monies worth.

Amsterdam
Just a remark by André Rieu half way through his performance in a fully packed Ziggo Dome. "During our concerts many friendships are established between people who previously never would have known each other. I am proud of that." That comment confirms the expression "music unites." Those connections also exists within the Johann Strauss orchestra, where several relations originated. That is where Ruud Merx, who passed away on 22 December, learned to know his wife, violinist Alina-Lin Jong. And between various band members there are friendships which far transcend the ordinary good fellowship. The passing of the much beloved Merx also caused emotional reactions within the group.

Happiness André Rieu immediately canceled the remaining five concerts of his England tour after the heart attack of his trombone player. The Maastricht citizen's motto is, that he and his orchestra want to bring happiness to the people, and that is why under those circumstances, he and his musicians were not able to perform, so said the conductor.

Between Christmas and New years, André could not be turned away from the TV. By channel surfing you could always catch him on a Dutch, German regional TV station. Unwittingly the broadcasts ensured that Ruud Merx was still alive. He not only filled an important role as a musician, but if we go to face book and the speakers at the impressive memorial service at the Rodahal, he was also the man of jokes and witty remarks and the instigator in the orchestra.

He was also prominently featured in several broadcasts, balancing his trombone on his chin. But that was missing for the first time in Rieu's New Year's concert in the Ziggo Dome on January 7th. Would the front man be able to be the humorous entertainer again and how will the orchestra react to the loss of the trombonist - who until that fateful December 22nd had been a vital link for over two decades. Very important, since after Amsterdam there will be a volley of 25 concerts, primarily in Germany.

Top form The answer to the first question: André is in to form. He is living proof that a (world)star must not only be a good musician, but also a super performer. It is not for nothing that he is in the top 100 of the successful touring artists worldwide. Just the ticket sales for his concerts alone grossed a whopping 32.1 million in 2016. His whole appearance radiates that he is the leader of the company and with his tongue-in-cheek announcements he enchants his audience. If for instance someone calls out that he should speak English: "Are there many English here?" When there is a massive reaction: "I thought you all left Europe!" And he easily continues the show bilingual. A concert that attracts an international public. The British have already been mentioned, but also Belgian, Spanish, Mexican and even Columbian people occupy the seats in the Ziggo Dome.

Yesterday's rehearsal was crucial for today's success. There, that was the place for sorrow and tears.

Machine
There were only smiling faces in the orchestra. The venue looked and sounded like a well oiled machine. There is only one word for that: "PROFESSIONALISM." "Today everyone was in good form," said manager Pierre Rieu after the performance. "The rehearsal we had yesterday was crucial for today's success. There, that was the place for sorrow and tears. Today we purposely did not say anything about Ruud. That would have been too difficult and it is also our sorrow. We do not want to burden the public with that, even though they understand 100%. Fortunately we persevered."

A hard, but none the less true conclusion after seeing a world class concert: every musician is replaceable, but not the Maestro
Thank You to John for this Translation  

André Rieu New Year Concert at Ziggo Dome

Ziggo Dome To Become a Viennese Ballroom

The Gelderlander - Jan. 7, 2017: It will become an annual spectacle during a time when traditions are increasingly under pressure. Tonight André Rieu introduces a keeper at the Ziggo Dome: A New Year's Concert. Did he as a child also watch the famous New Year's Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic? Which was followed by the ski jumping in Garmisch Partenkirchen?

Andre Rieu (67) starts to laugh. "During my childhood there was no television at all - that's how old I am But when I married Marjorie and we had children, we watched the New Year's concert every year."


"I was a great admirer of conductor Willy Boskowsky, who just like me stood as a violinist in front of the orchestra. In the beginning years with the Johann Strauss Orchestra, we mainly played Viennese music. Primarily Johann Strauss, but also Franz Lehar, Emmerich Kalman operetta music and also other well-known Viennese songs like Wien, Wien nur du allein. These New Year's Concerts were in a sense a source of inspiration."

The Ziggo Dome is tonight the scene of the first Dutch New Year's concert by André Rieu. The beginning of a tradition, because the Limburg stand-alone violinist and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will return annually to the Amsterdam music hall.


People need to feel that this year could not be better

Pop Songs
So now our country has its own opening concert of the New Year, in which classical and popular music intertwine. "Because in the meantime our repertoire has become much broader and we actually play almost 'everything'. Waltzes, operettas, musicals, movie soundtracks and even the occasional pop song."

The first official New Year's concert works seamlessly with another, especially for André Rieu's memorable event: An der schönen blauen Donau, the mother of all waltzes, which 150 years ago, was first performed.

"Moreover not immediately and exactly a resounding success" he says. "The real triumph of the Danube around the entire world only began after Johann Strauss had conducted his own composition in 1867 at the World Exhibition in Paris."

The Vienna Philharmonic finishes its New Year's concert in the big hall of the Viennese Musikverein invariably with the famous and equally beloved piece, the Radetzky March by Strauss Sr.

In Austria "An der schönen blauen Donau" is cherished as a national anthem which recalls the glory days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the monarchy we especially know in these parts of the lavish splendor in the Sissy movies.

To listen to the iconic Viennese Waltz, André Rieu invited 150(!) Couples to come waltzing into the Ziggo Dome. "It will be a magnificent formation dance", he predicts. "With 150 men in tuxedo's and 150 ladies in beautiful white ball gowns especially designed for them. First they waltz to the famous music from the Dr. Zhivago film,Lara's Song, but later they will actually dance to "der schönen blaue Danube."
Andre Rieu has "prepared" a New Year program with an undeniably Viennese touch.


I want the visitors to leave with a smile on their faces

Mexico
"Nice music, waltzes, beautiful arias and a festive atmosphere. People need to go home with the feeling that nothing can go wrong this year. That's what I want to achieve with my concerts: that the visitors leave with a smile on their faces."

Tomorrow is Belgium's turn. André Rieu will then, including the 150 couples, perform in Brussels. Afterwards there will be a series of concerts in Germany and France and then on the program it will be Poland, the Czech Republic, Croatia, Slovenia and Scandinavia. "Of course in July we will play again on the Vrijthof." Yes, the 67-year-old also has a vacation planned, but not one too long huh ... "Because after the summer we go to Chile and Mexico."
Thank You to John for the Translation

Dec 28, 2016

Everything But a Festive Week

André Rieu and Jo Cortenraedt

Everything But a Festive Week

The weekly Saturday blog by Jo Cortenraedt

December 24, 2016 From the Chapeau Magazine: The week after Christmas is for me - and I think for many - one week of two feelings. On the one hand you look forward to a beautiful time of togetherness and also taking it a bit easier. But on the other hand, there is still so much that needs to be done that week. And of course you also do not want to arrive exhausted at the end.

So that means balancing on a shaky rope. Then you try, in the evening hours, to meet all deadlines, but you cannot shield yourself from  the daily news, at least I cannot. So for a few evenings I sat with my laptop on my lap working  while we followed the developments in Berlin.

Unfortunately, that was a confirmation of what we have feared for some time. There are so many people around in Europe, mostly from Islamic countries, who not only want nothing to do with our culture, but are also willing to attack us. At least hundreds, maybe thousands.

On the one hand, I do not follow the attitude of the right-wing radicals who want to close all the borders and far exceed our own standards. And I also do not follow the many naive representatives of political correctness, who still think that they are just "a couple of idiots." Action is warranted, and that now also includes Angela Merkel.  She cannot do anything else any different. She has also awoken. We have a structural problem.

Much closer to home, a totally different drama took place. For many years I fairly regularly go on tours with André Rieu and his orchestra to make reports. The first TV report I made in this context, was in Germany in 1997. It was the first year of the regional television in Limburg. Then TV8.

In the early days of the Limburg television the performances by André Rieu were already quite large, but compared with today they were still quite modest. By regularly traveling  along you learn to know besides  the maestro - whom I had learned to know previously and privately via a different route - also the orchestra  members. At the airport, on the bus, backstage, at the bar. One of those with whom I made contact with the fastest was Ruud Merx, the trombonist. And also with his equally spontaneous wife Alina-Lin. At one time it was about volatile issues, other times more serious things. In any case, Ruud was one of the most spontaneous, one of the most pure orchestra members.

Was, I must say. For he is no longer here. During the England tour he was  suddenly stricken in the middle of the night and suffered a cardiac arrest. The assassin who always strikes unannounced . This has happened to several people in my circle and is often fatal.

Ruud continue to breathe for a few more days, but never recovered. Someone with so much enjoyment of life, a sense of responsibility to his family, to his profession and his surroundings.

That the other concerts in England were canceled, proves how big a shock it was within the entire orchestra, something which I have so often experienced as being an itinerant family. André Rieu has always invested in a good atmosphere within the orchestra, everyone is like a VIP. Of course there is one boss, but he sits with them at the table after the concert.

I remember that I asked - I believe it was in Mexico - Ruud and even his wife asked how they foresaw the future, when their conductor who had been struggling with his health had not been available for some time. Well, they of course were worried. And advised  André to take good care of himself and divide his strengths.

Well, you then do not suddenly expect something like this to happen to such a relatively young guy like Ruud.

The dark days before Christmas became more than a reality for André Rieu and his entire orchestra. The emotional impact has a tremendous effect on their mutual bond.

If I go along the next time, no matter where in the world, it will be different. Because Ruud was such a colorful and cheerful individual who just belonged.

Of course, life goes on, the orchestra does too, there's no other choice. But in the coming days many tears will flow because of the loss of such a fine individual. For his family it will be a very difficult time. But as consolation,  they are part of a very close group which they have around them to assist them in the fight to get through this ... Jo Cortenraedt

Thank you to Ineke for the Magazine Article and John for Translating it.

Dec 22, 2016

Trombonist Ruud Merx, 47, passed away today.

In a Maastricht hospital, trombonist Ruud Merx, 47, passed away today.

He was a musician with André Rieu's Johann Strauss Orchestra. Ruud suffered a heart attack last Saturday while on tour in England.


He was more than a trombonist
Ruud Merx was not just a trombonist. He was also known in the Limburg music world as an arranger and composer. As a young musician he started his musical career in Bocholtz with the Philharmonie and continued his musical studies at the Maastricht Conservatory specializing in the trombone. He has been  a trombonist with the Johann Strauss Orchestra since 1994. 


Merx also wrote carnival songs, including songs for several artists from Landgraaf and Kerkrade. As a board member of the Limburg Association for Muziekgezelschappen (Music organizations) he was a strong supporter for the LBM Youth Orchestra and the integration of musical education in primary schools.

Canceled Concerts
André Rieu had canceled the remaining five concerts, which he would have performed in Britain. If more performances are to be canceled is not clear.

Thank you to John who with a heavy heart translated this from DeLimburger.

Dec 18, 2016

André Rieu Cancels British Tour

André Rieu Cancels British Tour After Tragedy Strikes His Orchestra

1Limburg: André Rieu has decided to cancel the remaining five concerts he would be performing in the future in Great Britain. Everyone is too upset to continue playing after an orchestra member suffered a heart attack.

Uncertain
According to manager Pierre Rieu, the man's condition is still uncertain. "We are all together waiting for him to wake up." The orchestra member suffered cardiac arrest on Saturday morning at 5:00 am. His wife - also a member of Rieu's orchestra - immediately called for help from their travel-along doctor and security. The musician was then  transferred to the hospital. Based on that situation, Rieu  decided to cancel the show for Saturday evening.

Ziggo Dome
Rieu would be performing on Monday and Tuesday in London, Wednesday in Birmingham, Manchester on Thursday and Friday in Glasgow. But now the next scheduled performance is the New Year's concert in Amsterdam's Ziggo Dome on 7 January.
Thank You to John for the Translation

Dec 17, 2016

André Rieu Concert Canceled

Drama Strikes Orchestra, André Rieu Concert Canceled

De Limburger, 17 Dec 2016: The André Rieu concert which was scheduled  in the English Nottingham for Saturday evening had to be  canceled.
Namely a member of his Johann Strauss Orchestra suffered a heart attack. The man who for more than twenty years played in the orchestra, is now in critical condition in a British hospital.

A traveling family
André's son Pierre Rieu confirmed the incident, stating that the orchestra cannot muster the strength  to go on stage this Saturday . "We are not going to play nice, nice music. We are a traveling family and that has many advantages, but now, we are all devastated." André addressed the group, stating  that in this situation he did not want to go on stage.

In his sleep
The orchestra member was struck by  cardiac arrest Saturday morning in his sleep at around 5:00 am. His wife, also a member of the orchestra, immediately called for help from the  accompanying doctor and security. "We always carry defibrillators with us, and we were able to use them now.  Sometimes the question arises  whether that sort of equipment and a doctor are really needed, but now we are thankful that we were able to act quickly."

London
According to Rieu never before had such a serious incident taken place within the orchestra. The orchestra will be in England  until December 24. Shows for Monday and Tuesday are still scheduled for London. Whether these will be performed, is according Rieu not yet known.

Thank You to John for this and the Translation of it.
Our thoughts and prayers go out to all ...

Nov 21, 2016

André Rieu Sets Event Cinema Record

André Rieu Sets Event Cinema Record

Deadline Hollywood November 21, 2016 - André Rieu has done it again. The Dutch violinist’s CinemaLive holiday special, André Rieu: Christmas With André, has topped his own previous box office record, becoming the highest-grossing single-day music concert event of all time at UK and Irish turnstiles. 

Screening at 480 locations on Saturday, the concert grossed £1.162M ($1.45M), beating Rieu’s 2015 Maastricht concert which had sold £1.034M in UK/Ireland tickets. Saturday’s event featured a never-before-seen recorded Christmas concert, a personal live tour of Maastricht and a live Q&A with Rieu, aka “The King of Waltz,” who’s known for his energetic and festive live performances. 

The concert also screened in 223 cinemas across Europe, including in the Netherlands, Germany and Belgium. On November 27, encore screenings will be held at 290 cinemas across the UK & Ireland, plus 57 more in Europe and at select dates in Australia and New Zealand. Canada celebrates Christmas with André on December 1.

Oct 5, 2016

André Rieu Performing on ABC's DWTS!

From André's Facebook Page Today: USA mark your calendars! 
André Rieu will be performing on ABC's Dancing With The Stars next Monday at 8/7c!

André Rieu, "King of the Waltz” 
To Perform On Dancing With The Stars

ABC's Dancing With The Stars: International phenomenon André Rieu, known to millions around the world as “The King of the Waltz,” is set to perform. Rieu is the first artist to appear on the show along with a full 60-piece orchestra to perform a major opening number with “My Heart Will Go On.”

Sep 29, 2016

Free Rieu Concert Tickets Gone in Less Than Two Minutes

Free Rieu Concert Tickets Gone in Less Than Two Minutes

De Limburger - September 2016: On Tuesday, the 630 available seats for Rieu’s free mini-concert for 30 September on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Plein (Our Dear Lady’s Square) were gone within two minutes, so says director Sione Götte of the Derlon Hotel which oversaw the ‘pre-sale’.

Over Booked

"Within 7 minutes we had receive 997 requests, so we had to turn our web site off real quick. That also meant that we had to disappoint a lot of people. And to keep everything in order attendees will not be assigned a seat until they have received a confirmation from us.

Australians

The vast majority of the reservations according to Götte went to the residents of Limburg. "It is a real Limburg party. Yet there are also a few people from Belgian Limburg scattered throughout. They come from places like Bree and Bocholt. However, most strikingly is the family Francis from Cranbourne in Australia who managed to get through. All the way from Australia, just for thirty minutes, that is hard to believe."

Re-opened 42 Times

Another notable fan was Melanie Burchartz from Heerlen. "She really wanted two tickets so she reopened our page 41 times. But rest assured, she will only receive 2 tickets and not 82," Götte laughs.

Max

The Rieu concert and his entire orchestra was an initiative of Broadcasting Company Max. This company travels throughout the country with "the Time Max" caravan and broadcasts a week long from the Vrijthof. The broadcasts began on Monday, September 26th every day. The final Friday Max broadcast was moved to the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein (Our Dear Lady’s Square) specifically for the Rieu concert..
The last time the Maastricht violinist performed on the Onze Lieve Vrouweplein was in 1999.

Thanks to John for the Translation

Huge Trees Force Rieu To Creativity

Preparations For The Mini Concert

Huge trees force Rieu to creativity by L1 news - A mini concert by Andre Rieu will be aired live from the OLV (Our Dear Lady’s) square on Friday by broadcast station MAX. Two huge trees at the OLV square are creating a few headaches. Right in the center where the stage needs to be are namely two huge trees.

Cut Them Down

A problem for which Rieu already had a solution. "I told the city to cut them down and make violins out of the wood; they turned white. Of course it was a joke. I am a lover of trees. They will be receiving a place of honor on the stage. The orchestra members will be placed nicely around them.

Procession

And so, nothing more stands in the way of the mini concert – the violin virtuoso will probably perform for a half hour. Rieu might be performing a surprising repertoire. "As a youngster I often walked in a procession. The song that was often sung was "Sterre ter Zee" (Star of the Sea). Wouldn’t that fit just right on this square? The older Maastricht residents know the text by heart, just like I, so who knows whether or not I might play that."

Free

The concert on the square is part of the TV series "Time for MAX" which airs daily from 17:00 – 18:00. On Friday a large part of the program will consists of Rieu’s concert. Admittance to the square for the concert is free. There are a few restrictions: people are not allowed to bring chairs and umbrellas are also not permitted.


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

Sep 20, 2016

Rieu: Preferably One Sip Of a Good Red Wine


Rieu: Preferably One Sip Of a Good Red Wine

Seventeen years after his last concert on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe plein (Our Dear Lady's Square) André Rieu and his entire Orchestra will return there albeit for only thirty minutes. From Argentina the orchestra leader let it be known that he would love to perform longer. "If possible, but not for three hours."

Maastricht by Ronald Colée - "It is not always the best" André says laughingly on the telephone from Buenos Aires. "It is the same with wine. I am happier with a sip of a good red wine, than an entire bottle of port. " The Maastricht orchestra leader is currently in the Argentine capital where he and his Johann Strauss Orchestra are performing six concerts in the Luna Park Stadium, while referring to the free mini concert which he will perform on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe Plein (Our Dear Lady's Square) in Maastricht on 30 September.

"I was approached by the broadcasting company 'Max' and they asked me if I wanted to close the Maastricht week of the "Time" by the MAX caravan with a concert on the Vrijthof. I did not see that materialize. I just finished seven concerts in a row there for 18,000 people per concert. That square is too large for a program like this. In addition I know what it entails to perform a concert like that. Just think about all the preparations for instance, but also the closing off traffic. That is why I suggested to change to the Our Dear Lady's Square. That is much more intimate and cozier. Initially it was not possible, but in the end it became reality."

Complete Orchestra

Rieu does not expect that the surprise performance will lead to a stampede. "This concert is in no way comparable to a Vrijthof concert, even though we are performing with an entire orchestra. A Vrijthof concert lasts three hours, this one only forty minutes, including an introductory conversation. So that will actually only leave us thirty minutes." If it was up to the orchestra leader, he would like to play a little longer. "But I understood from my studio manager that there would be another broadcast by MAX right after mine. So I think we can only play at the most for an additional fifteen to twenty minutes." For lovers of his Vrijthof series who were hoping this would become a yearly event, the orchestra leader has to disappoint them.

One Time

"I am now 66 and have always said that I will live to be 120, so I will go on with the Vrijthof for a while longer" Rieu laughs. "Or it could be that broadcast station MAX is going to ask us every year. But that is not the case. I see this as a onetime event where I can show the rest of the Netherlands the most beautiful Our Dear Lady's Square in the world. I like to linger there when I am in town. I just hope it will become a cozy half hour. And I am not at all worried about the weather. Because when I and my orchestra perform in Maastricht it is always good weather."

Thanks to John for the article and the Translation of it.

Sep 12, 2016

The Stand-Alone Violinist Divided By Five

The Stand-Alone Violinist Divided By Five

Yesterday at the Cultural exhibition (Parcours)there was a first: the revival of André Rieu's Maastricht Salon Orchestra. A magical crowning at the opening of Maastricht's Cultural season.

Maastricht by Vikkie Bartolomeus: The original scores had to be restored. And the rest from the time of the 'heringenbieteconcerts" (herring bites/eating concert) has been kept as original as possible: the clothing, the setting and the famous Toselli Serenade. André Rieu was the only one absent at the revival of his own 'Maastricht Salon Orchestra'. Well, in the back ground he was more than present, and later on will be directing. "The only thing he does not do, is play along. He says, "I am too old for that and besides I do not have the time." Frank Steijns is one of the five members from André Rieu's Orchestra performing in the new Salon Orchestra. Almost forty years later Rieu gave new life to this chamber music ensemble. Steijns says, "With the big concerts, we see André's enthusiasm, now we need to do that with the five of us. That is a totally different way of making music. The five of us went into quarantine until we had the proper sound."


The idea of a revival of the Salon Orchestra came about after a small delegation of the Rieu Orchestra had performed for some foreign guests. It was an immediate hit. The music is André's, it is under his direction, and we will not imitate him."

Frank Steijns plays the piano and does the presentations, Roland Lafosse plays contra bass, Cord Meyer second violin, Tanja Derwahl cello and Gosia Loboda has the difficult task of trying to approach Rieu's violin playing. "The stand-alone violinist is being divided. Actually André is being split into five pieces." Could the Salon Orchestra be a forerunner of Rieu's eventual retirement? Steijns laughs, "No, André always says that he will live to be 120. And performances with the Rieu Orchestra have priority."

There was a huge crown at the Parcours. At more than thirty places in the city center the public could get a taste of the exhibitions participating in the new cultural season.

"A mix of tradition and newness. That is why I am so thrilled that André Rieu awarded us with this event. I never expected it would be so busy" said Tom Berghmans, member of the city center management.


Thank You to John for the article and translation of it.

Sep 1, 2016

He The King of Waltz ~ She The Crown Princess

Floating Over The Entire Vrijthof

He is the king of the Waltz, she the crown princess

Kimberly Smith from Maastricht managed 150 ballroom dance couples who transformed the Vrijthof area during the concerts of André Rieu into a large magical Viennese dance floor.

Maastricht by Vikkie Bartholomeus: Whether or not he himself can waltz? Of course André Rieu can waltz. She has already danced with him during a CD presentation." And that went fine, perfect. The king of the waltz waltzes very well!" Kimberly-Kim Smith says laughingly, although she is actually too tired. In the past weeks she has been responsible for 150 ballroom dancing couples who will be waltzing over the Vrijthof during André Rieu's summer evening concerts. She had goose bumps when she first saw 'her' dancers float on the Vrijthof. "It was magical. Magical is also the word André uses a lot to explain what he wants."

He first made contact in February. They knew a little of each other: Rieu's sons once took dancing lessons in Kim's dance studio at her house; her parents are still very active worldwide as trainers and judges in the dance world. "André asked me: "Kim would you be able to manage eighty couples? I want the entire square to be dancing. He already had a picture of that in his head. Dark, glittering gowns, magical. He has an enormous vision. That is why he has come so far." Those eighty couples actually became one hundred and fifty, presented as "the Maastricht Dance Company." They came from all over: the Achterhoek (Eastern Gelderland province), Waalwijk (City in Noord Brabant), Germany and Belgium. "We have them from all levels and all ages above eighteen." They consist of senior champions, professional dancers and world champion wheelchair dancers. We held ten couples in reserve in case of injury or illness.

The preparations were intense. Kim travelled all over to have them learn their choreography. "André plays with a lot of feeling, but does not keep to a strict tempo. He adds stops and moments which makes it quite difficult for the dancers. That is why they were all given the music so they could practice."


He already had the image in his head. Dark, glittery gowns, magical.

Only two weeks prior were there two combined rehearsals in Genk under the all noticing eyes of the maestro. "André really sees everything, and directs with humor. And finally, as sort of a director for the dancers, he is correct." For the ladies, all the glittering gowns were custom made: for gentlemen who did not have a tuxedo, one was measured and one was provided. The compilation of the choreography was also not an easy task. "There could not be too much movement since the couples would be too close together in the pathways and in front of the stage. But all together they should move very easily. During completions, dancers are used to dance across the entire floor, now they had to move in place. That took some getting used to."

Entry and exit were tightly regulated. The dancers left the Vrijthof with 'scattered chassé', skipping in high tempo. "I stood by the exit gates moving everyone along in order to prevent congestion. Every show has to be tops. You cannot afford any mistakes." During the encores, dance partners were taken from the audiences. "Very emotional things happened. One of the dancers asked a 77 year old lady who used to be a prima ballerina, but had difficulty moving. He carried her. That lady was so happy she was able to dance again for just a little while."

Kim Smit has been dancing at top levels since her youth, and has participated in world championships with her Australian partner. During the TV program 'Dancing with the Stars' she taught Bart Chabot to dance. She also participated in the Belgian variation of 'Dancing with the Stars'. In addition she was one of the choreographers for the musical "Dirty Dancing' which played in places like London, Berlin and Chicago. Kim Smit was honored that André asked her. "It is so nice that ballroom dancing has now been focused on for a bit. It is something classical, timeless, really a heritage. It is fantastic that André promotes this." What is so beautiful about waltzing? "You float, and that is a wonderful feeling."

Thanks to Al and Ineke for the article and John's translation
Photos by Berys McEvoy and Patrick Verweire

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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"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

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