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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.

Against

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.

Letter

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.

Fun

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 ... 

Proposal

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.

Damage

"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. ”

Fiasco

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.”

Impossible

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.

Prohibited

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.

Baking

"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

bankrupt.

"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!!

Aug 8, 2020

Franks Steijns still crazy about "musical karate"

 

City carillonneur Franks Steijns still crazy about "musical karate"

Frank Steijns is celebrating his 25th anniversary this year as the city carillonneur of Heerlen. The versatile musician, known from Rieu's Johann Strauss Orchestra, is crazy about his Heerlen "heavy metal" - over 10,000 kilos of bronze bells - high up in the church tower.

"de Limburger," by Kim Noach: Anyone walking through the center of Heerlen on a summer day should not be surprised to hear all of a sudden "Nothing Else Matters" by Metallica from the bell tower of the Pancratius Church. City carillonneur Frank Steijns (49) from Maastricht has the popular rock song in his repertoire, along classics such as "Glück Auf."

This year, the musician is celebrating his 25th anniversary as the city carillonneur of Heerlen, Last year he celebrated a quarter of a century in the same profession in the city of Weert and in 2022 he will again be celebrating a silver party, but then in Maastricht. The festival is will be celebrated in Heerlen with a whole series of concerts (see below).

Heavy Metal

Steijns took over the position as city carillonneur from his father Mathieu who had been playing the carillon in Maastricht and Heerlen since the 1960s. “I remember that as a five-year-old boy I witnessed my father playing the new Servaas carillon. The fact that the entire city can hear you, made a big impression. I was so proud of my father. "I want to do that too," I told him enthusiastically. His answer: "Either you complete your education, or you stay away from it." Steijns smiles: "Yes, he was serious when it was about music."

The paternal advice did not fall on deaf ears. Steijns junior is studied at the Royal Carillon School in Mechelen, where he graduated summa cum laude in 1991. At the age of 23 he made his debut in Heerlen - at that time he was the youngest carillonneur in the world. “My father played everything from the classical genre, I also added pop songs such as Marco Borsato's "Most Dreams Are Deception," a big hit at the time. But I also play Metallica.” With a grin: "There is more than 10,000 kilos of bronze in that tower, that's heavy metal too isn't it?"

Stradivarius

Anyone who wants to hear Steijns live just once, can have fun in August with a diverse number of concerts from classical to pop and jazz. His goal is to show the versatility of the instrument. “The Heerlen carillon is an undiscovered pearl, the Stradivarius of the carillons. And I really mean that."

He explains that the 49 bells have hung in the church tower since 1964 and were made by Royal Eijsbouts from Asten, who are known as "the crème de la crème" in the world of bell founders. The carillon was paid for by DSM at the time, Steijns happens to know. “During the heyday of the mines, there was sufficient money to go for quality. That is why there is still beautiful thick bronze works in the church tower. Today such a thing is unaffordable due to the price of bronze. The quality is reflected in the sound. How would I describe that? A warm, full sound, romantic. Not so "pingly."

The carillon was restored in 2011. Steijns: “We have replaced the old steel cables which connect the clocks to the keyboard with light but super strong Dyneema cables. Yes, also from DSM. ” 

Concerts to celebrate Steijn's anniversary 

In collaboration with "Parkstad Limburg Theaters," Frank Steijns will be celebrating his silver jubilee in August with a series of concerts in which the city carillonneur is assisted by various artists. 

- Sunday 9 August, 3 pm: violinist Enzo Kok and clarinetist Emil Szarkowicz 

- Tuesday 11 August, 11.00 am: Carboniferous singer and guitarist Rim Steijvers and flutist Iris van Cleef 

- Tuesday 11 August, 7 pm: Koen van Assche plays Beethoven (city carillonneur of, among others, Antwerp) 

- Thursday 13 August, 7 pm: App Your Song, concert filled with requests

- Saturday, August 15, 7 p.m.: singer Tamara Hoekwater and guitarist Pieter Vermeulen (both ex-Volumia) play jazz 

- Sunday August 16, 3 pm: Bronze-green Carillon with accordionist Carlo Plaum 

- Tuesday 18 August, 7 pm: youngest carillonneur in the world Elien Van den Broeck from Belgium 

- Saturday 22 August, 1 pm: Steijns will play Johann Sebastian Bach 

- Wednesday 26 August, 7 p.m .: three sopranos from Strauss Orkest Rieu (Madieke Marjon, Christina Petrou and Joline Soomers) sing pop and classics 

- Saturday 29 August, 7 pm: Canto Ostinato meets jazz with Jeroen van Veen and Mike del Ferro

Thanks to John for his translation.

Jul 14, 2020

André Rieu With friend André van Duin


With friend André van Duin, the Waltz King reminisces about his rich career.

André Rieu "VIENNA was my worst concert"

From "de Telegraaf": Setbacks, disappointments and even opposition ... ANDRÉ RIEU has been affected by it across the entire world. With ANDRÉ VAN DUIN he’s currently making a cinema production where he looks back at FIFTEEN YEARS OF VRIJTHOF CONCERTS. And looking back he does, with his comedian friend while on a Maastricht terrace awaiting his comeback on the stage ...

Setbacks always made you stronger you say.
"We have never avoided major challenges. Australia was of course a gigantic adventure. Whenever you see a program on TV in which customs turns all your suitcases inside out because they are afraid of non-native fungi, plants and food which tourists take with them - you can imagine what can happen when you see a complete Schönbrunn Palace in 250 containers arrive. In one of the boxes a snail was found and promptly, nothing else was cleared. Everything was gone through looking for more snails. And what turned out later? Fortunately, it was an Australian snail which had crawled between them so we were able to continue. At that moment you go crazy, but later you laugh about it.”

Which was the worst?
"Strangely enough, Vienna. There we were going to perform at the Michaelerplatz, near the Hofburg. But what we experienced there with the bureaucracy, that surpassed everything. Before that, Schönbrunn went well, and after that this concert would be performed in the city center. But the Austrians thought: "What does he think he can do?" It was all about lamp posts, manhole covers and fire hydrants. And nothing was allowed and nothing was could be done. Fortunately we had help from ZDF, the German TV who would mediate to get all the permits. We ran into a wall of opposition. When we asked our contact person how things were going, he just said optimistically: "Wien läuft!" (Vienna moves) That is still a great expression in our company, when things go wrong. "Hahaha. Wien läuft!" Actually it all turned out well in the end. During the concert I ironically thank all the Viennese officials in the districts for their incredible cooperation. Then you hear a laugh rolling from the first row to all rows behind it. That was so recognizable for everyone, apparently…”

But you receive a lot in return.
"In the sense of audiences reactions, yes. Beautiful letters from people who sometimes save for years to be able to attend a concert somewhere. This year we expected more than a hundred nationalities on the Vrijthof. It is therefore very regrettable that some people who had booked airline tickets and hotels will have to wait for a year now, hoping that they will still succeed. That is why I am happy with the Cinema Production which we have now recorded with ANDRÉ VAN DUIN and can be seen on August 20th. These are the highlights of fifteen years of Vrijthof concerts, narrated together with André, in an excellent image and sound quality.”

For yet one more reason, this has been a difficult year for you, André
"Yes, as people know, my husband MARTIN died in January. No one had any idea what was in store for them shortly after that. Suddenly corona reared and that of course also turned things upside down. I was very happy at that time that I had decided not to move at the last minute. The house on the canal was almost sold and I would have gone to a nice apartment. But now at least I have been able to spend those weeks in my familiar surroundings. And yes, I also went back to work. All of Holland Bakes, and with JANNIE VAN DER HEIJDEN I will go sailing again. Three episodes "Thinking of Holland" are now finished. We recorded on the river Vecht in Friesland, and here in Limburg in Thorn. It is so beautiful there! It is a wonderful program to be doing and it also leads to distractions. Just like this, a wonderful day in Maastricht!”

Are you two friends?
André Rieu: “Obviously, there is a lot of distance between our residences, and I am normally away a lot. But we always keep in touch. I also really sympathized with André when Martin passed. Yes, then I did let him know I was there for him. ”
André van Duin: “Very sweet, yes. We have known each other for a long time, I performed with André and his orchestra as "Mr. Wijdbeens." That resulted in a few collaborations and I also stood here on the Vrijthof as myself and sang Het Dorp. (The Village) We clicked immediately. ”
Rieu: "We have the same humor."
Van Duin: "And he even plays the violin along with that too!"

How did the friendship with Anthony Hopkins fair? The Silence of the Lambs movie star who had written a waltz?
"Yes, and we recorded and performed that in front of him. I don't know how things are now. He is quite a unique individual. At some point we had a very profound contact. What I always found weird was that he had a new phone number every week.” "What is that for?" I once asked, he said he had been doing that ever since there were cell phones. Then, in an interview, I said somewhere that he had tears in his eyes when he heard his own waltz. But according to him that was not the case: he never had tears in his eyes. After that it was done, I believe. Well, then that is that.

And in quick succession two hundred-year-old fans passed away.
“Yes, VERA LYNN of whom we always play "Land of Hope and Glory" while in England, which causes every hall to immediately turn upside down. Great that I was able to meet her. And of course you mean my oldest fan in Maastricht, SISTER LEONA. She was 105 years old. This nun already came to the Hieringbiete (Herring bites) on Ash Wednesday more than 25 years ago, the day after Carnival. There is where I always played in the Staargebouw. That was not allowed to do by Mother Superior, but she did it anyway. So she was already 75 years old at that time, but when she returned to the monastery - located here just behind the Vrijthof - and she heard where Sister Leona had been, then came the command: "To bed!" When she turned 100, she sat in the first row. And after that we danced on the square every year. She passed away this year, also a special woman.”

You certainly have never been in Maastricht for as long as you have now?
"All in one stretch, yes, that was long ago. But we are here quite frequently though" No matter how we travel around, we always plan to never be gone for more than three weeks. The orchestra members have partners, families and children. Being away for longer would not be good. Sometimes it is quite a puzzle, but this way it works out best. And now we are still here for a while. We miss performing together, because it is not just work of course, but a passion. We make the best of it, and we continue to hope.”

Thanks to John for the Translation and Ruud and Ineke for the article

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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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