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Aug 7, 2007

Doing It His Way


Doing It His Way
Melbourne Australia Sunday Herald Sun
(Photo from Monique)

Catherine Lambert July 22, 2007

DUTCH Violinist Andre Rieu may be enjoying the rarity of having broken through musical barriers, but it is both a blessing and a curse. The purists view with suspicion a classical musician who likes to play tunes such as My Way and The Music of the Night. The populists may be equally suspicious, if more respectful, of the classic heritage and training. For Rieu, 57, it is a simple matter of wanting to play any music that he likes. His classical education is evident in the way he approaches popular tunes."People often say they can hear the difference between a piece I play and some other musician," Rieu says."I really don't know what popular even means. I listened from my youngest years to all sorts of music and I like to put everything from my classical education into what I do.
"Born to a father who worked as a classical conductor, Rieu felt destined to be a musician.He would not have dared tell his father he wanted to be a doctor or an architect because it was tacitly understood that the elder Rieu wanted his six children to pursue music."As a boy I would watch my father on stage and my dream from the first moments I went to his concerts was that I wanted to be there too," he says."I started taking my violin lessons at the age of five and it sounded horrible. It's a very long road, which is why I've never pushed my two children (he has two sons) into music."I tried from the beginning to let them see that I have respect for everyone, not only musicians."His eldest son is studying art history in the US and his younger son is his production manager on tour.
Since 1994 Rieu has released 19 albums and sold more than 23 million CDs and DVDs.In Australia he has five titles in the top 10 ARIA DVD chart.In the past nine months he has performed more than 100 concerts and is coming to Australia in September for a promotional visit. He is hoping to perform here at some stage and it is in performance that Rieu is outstanding -- an accomplished and confident stage performer."If you're not confident you shouldn't go on stage," he says. "When you go on stage you should really believe in yourself and you should be very clear on how you will play the music."While he plans to compose music in his older years, he is still happy to interpret others. Known as the modern king of waltz for his approach to light classical music, he has an extensive repertoire, but has specialised in the waltz.
Love for the music he plays, rather than determination or ambition, continues to drive him.
"I play very much towards the audience, but it's also very important that I touch my own heart by playing the music that moves me," he says.
"From the beginning I realised I wanted to be myself on stage."

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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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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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