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Sep 24, 2003

Interview With André Rieu on Belgium RADIO

Interview With André Rieu on Belgium RADIO2

(Program Funiculi Funicula)to promote the Brussels Concert "Romantic Viennese Night" on September 13th 2008, and the Christmas Concert in Hasselt on December 23rd 2008

Interview by Marc Brillouet in Flemmish/Dutch.
Translation by Ineke and John


André Rieu is not giving interviews quite often, but tonight he is here for an exclusive interview. You'll hear André in a different way. We'll talk about his expensive hobby, religion, family, why Marjorie was not immediately welcome in the Rieu family, his plans to conquer South America, etc.
AR: We've known each other for a very long time. You work here for a long time. You are faithful to me, so I am faithful to you. I think being faithful is important.

Expensive hobbies How do you spend your money?
AR: Well, I love beautiful cars, I own an expensive Mercedes AMG, which can go very fast. The majority of the money goes back into the business. What do you think a Schönbrunn show cost? Way too much! A crew of 250, the castles, making them suitable for travelling. You can see a brand new version in Brussels. The banks are helping me. For a long time they did not get a cent out of me, now they receive a lot!
MB: What about your castle, your "orangerie" (greenhouse)?
AR: Oh, well, that is home. I love the exotic plants, the butterflies, the birds. I love to be there.
MB: Can you still go out in public?
AR: Oh yes, I don't mind being recognized. Marjorie still does not like that.
But sometimes people go too far. They act like they own me. It is okay to be recognized. Sometimes that can be an advantage, for instance in the airport, I can go through faster.
MB: Can you go to the bakery?
AR: Yes, I can. I like that. When I return home from New York or Toronto, I kiss Marjorie first and then next we go shopping together in the supermarket.
MB: Do you have "pain in the ass" fans?
AR: I have about 40-50 hardcore fans who follow me everywhere. Some manage to stay with campers near my front door. I don't like that. I give 100% to create beautiful concerts. After the concert I give autographs. That should be enough. I don't like for them to follow me into my hotel.

Religion
MB: Do you have a spiritual side? I mean: are you interested in life, why we are here, etc?
AR: Yes, I have my own ideas about that. They are based on the theory of relativity. I think life is a voyage of discovery. I think there are more universes. I am convinced that science is on the verge of discovering that soon. That is my spiritual side. I do not believe in the great beyond, voodoo or God. I believe in the human being. I am sure that humans have to take responsibility for their deeds here on earth. It is not good to say: "Later on, in Heaven, it is going to be better". That is like a permit to mess around here now. You go to church to confess, all is forgiven, and you can start all over again messing around the next day. That is not good. I believe in the here and now and in the people. If you do good things you can say: "I did that". If you do bad things, you have to take responsibility for that, also.

Family
MB: One year ago you told me that you would slow down if grandchildren would appear. But instead you accelerated. I suspect you are hinting to your children. Are there any indications?
AR: No, but Pierre is going to marry a very sweet girl. Marjorie and I are very happy with his decision. They are building a house. Who knows, it might happen in the future. That would be wonderful.
MB: Talking about Pierre, he worked very hard on the Schönbrunn project. It took 80 sea containers on a big ship to cross the ocean.
AR: Yes, there goes my castle, bobbing across the ocean. Marjorie asked me: Why so big? The bigger, the more that can go wrong. I think she is right. It got out of hand. It became bigger than we thought. But it is very beautiful. People say: "I have never seen anything like that before…"
MB: If I would tell Marjorie: "Your husband is suffering from delusions of grandeur. How would she answer?"
AR: She would deny it. We have known each other for a long time. We have been married for 33 years. She knows me. She would answer: "No, he is just chasing his dreams".
Maybe in the future we are going to perform in smaller venues again. Pierre fulfilled my dream. Without him, there could never have been a Schönbrunn concert.

Was he allowed to marry his true love?
MB: To my surprise I heard you in the IVO NIEHE interview (see on Ineke's website), telling about the fact that Marjorie was not immediately accepted by the Rieu family. You just talked about that openly and honestly.
AR: Oh yes, why not? I was the first child in the family who entered a relationship. My family was devout Catholic and that happened about 35 years ago, so that was a different time. At a certain moment I said: "Tonight I'll stay with Marjorie". The result was like a bomb explosion. I felt disappointed. I was a grown man, she was my choice, I would like to make my own decisions. I felt rejected by my parents. It is not nice if they do not support you. Years later, they came to our wedding, okay, but the environment at home never was the same. It does not matter. I just continued on with everything I wanted to do and I did not turn out to be an unhappy person….
MB: Did you learn anything from that in your relationship with your children?
AR: Yes, Marjorie and I raised our children in a more flexible way. I remember one day, Pierre was 15, he came down with his hair dyed white. At first we were shocked, but we did not object to it. We said we liked it. After two years he was done with it, changed it back to its normal color again. I think children must have the opportunity to be themselves. I had an aunt who said: "Children, you have them for a certain time to care for. Since the day they are born, they slowly grow away from you". MB: You are a glamour boy and Marjorie is very modest in comparison. Opposites attract each other? Can you imagine a lady next to you with lots of makeup and jewelry?
AR: No, that does not suit me. Of course I like to look at beautiful women, I am just a man! But for a relationship I chose someone with more depth. I think the face is the most beautiful part of a woman. Marjorie's face is the most beautiful face I know. In her eyes I see everything she is. Honesty, faith, love, intelligence, everything she is able to do, and in everything I receive her support.
I fear that I cannot see that in a superficial beautiful glamour girl, although her measurements might be ideal.
MB: But there are a lot of temptations in your profession.
AR: Oh yes, but I am looking for the profundity. I think that can be heard in my music too. I put feelings and emotions into the music, I am not just playing notes.

How does he kick the habit?
MB: 18 years ago André's success started and is still continuing.
When are you going to kick the habit?
AR: I don't know what you mean. To kick a habit is a necessity to stop some bad habits you don't like, for instance drugs.
MB: Aren't you a workaholic? That is also an addiction.
AR: Oh, yes I think I am. If you mean it that way, yes I am an addict. But I love my addiction. Music is my life. So I do not kick the habit. I keep it!
MB: Do you ever read?
AR: I very seldom read, I do not have much time to sit and read… then I fall asleep. But right now I am studying Spanish, so I read Spanish books.
MB: What is your next dream: Mexico or Argentina?
AR: Entire South America. I spent six months in Brazil, so I can speak a little bit of Portuguese/ Brazilian, but I have to study Spanish now. I speak French and at school I studied Latin, so that helps.
MB: Don't you think the Latino's prefer their own music: Tangos and Zarzuelas?
AR: Well, In Brazil my DVDs are broadcast on Television and the people like them. Waltzes have a certain International charm. There is no difference between Hasselt or Rio de Janeiro.
MB: Once you said you wanted to buy the church behind your house. Is that a religious reason or a business reason?
AR: None of them. It is a historic reason. The church council told me they had to close the church. I said, "If that moment arrives, let me know first, because I want to buy the church and keep it the way it is". The reason is that I love that place. It is a romantic place, lots of couples were married there, took beautiful pictures…. I want to keep that.
MB: Playing in the Semperoper in Dresden, did that give you melancholic feelings of the time you played with the smaller Salon Orchestra in smaller venues? AR: Oh yes, I had that "back to the roots" feeling, it was great. The Semperoper has wonderful acoustics. No necessary sound check. Everything sounded okay immediately. The building is built for music.
You never know what will happen in the future … André Rieu

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

What a wonderful interview! Thank you John & Ineke. He is so open and honest...and I love the beautiful way he describes his feelings for Marjorie and what he sees in her face. I do believe they each found their soulmate 35 years ago!

Kay

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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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