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Aug 26, 2007

Carmen's Birthday

"Happy Birthday To Carmen!!"
From Everyone in The Harmony Parlor

Dear Carmen,

We wish you a very Happy Birthday.

Liefetjes, Sonja Y

Aug 22, 2007

"Another" Dutch Andre

Another Highly Talented Dutch André!

Hi Americans, have you ever heard of the painter André Balyon, who lives in Monterey, California? He is the oldest son from a Dutch family with seven kids. He was raised in The Hague, the city where I live! All by himself he emigrated in 1970 (19 years old) to the United States of America. His family members still live in the Netherlands. The family is very talented. Four of his brothers are painters or graphic designers. André Balyon already had build up some fame in the States, when in 1994 the Walt Disney Studios asked him to sketch the skies and the clouds for the Lion King cartoonfilm. You know, most of the Dutch painters are famous for their skills of painting seas, skies and clouds.

André said he had been fascinated as a young boy, by the "Panorama Mesdag", which is in a museum in The Hague. That panorama is a big cylindrical painting, made by the painter H.W. Mesdag. It is an impression of the historic fisherman’s village of Scheveningen around the year 1881. (Scheveningen is now a well known beach resort and part of The Hague). Want to have a closer look?? , click for the English language.

Well, that André Balyon painted another cylindrical painting of the Big Sur, the coastal line of California where he lives. During three years it had been exhibited in California. June 2007 André and all his Dutch family members, build up the painting in the Netherlands where it stays till June 2008. We have visited the exhibition and it is great!! We could not see where the (foam) rocks, the vegetation, and some stuff washed ashore ended and where the painting began…. André Balyon is a landscape painter and he did not want to paint cars driving over Highway 1 and a very ugly restaurant over there (that is what he said). At the moment he is working on a cylindrical painting of the Grand Canyon!! Want to have a look at the Big Sur? I am attaching a few pictures I made. In 2008 the painting will be shipped to China.

Next to the Big Sur Panorama is the Panorama Tulipland. I think I told about that before. It is been painted by one painter: Leo van den Ende. He expects he can finish it in 2009. The visitors can see him paint and can talk to him. The painting is about the bulb area in the Netherlands, around the fifties. To complete this story about the cylindrical paintings: have a look at

Have fun,
Ineke Cornelissen

Aug 16, 2007

Happy Rain Photos

A Few Happy Rain Photo's From Ineke
From Maastricht and The Efteling

Fans and Performers Can Be Happy in The Rain!!
The Brightly Colored Picture Has German Fans ~ Beate, Peggy and Nino.
The Lunch Photo at the Vrijthof Terrasje Has ~ Laurie, Joan,
Jeanne-Marie Rogers (French) Chris and Siggy.
And Bobbie with Frank, Mirusia and Carmen

Aug 15, 2007

Maastricht Flashbacks

Maastricht Flashbacks
(From an email to Sonja and Laurie)

I was sitting here watching Jay Leno (boring) and Maastricht started going through my mind and I was sorta' day dreaming about it. (or night dreaming).

I started thinking about the Sunday night concert ... even though it rained the first half, Sunday night was SPECIAL! ~ Watching the first half of the concert from my room with Laurie and Sonja ~ André starting to conduct the orchestra with his bow and then stopping, shaking his bow and head no, turning around and basically telling 10,000 people to shut up and he wasn't going to play until they did!! He looked 10 feet tall at that moment!!
(we think some people were shouting at other people that wouldn't close their umbrella's)
Going down into the concert for the encores and Sonja and I finding Betty and then sitting our bottoms down in those Cold Wet seats next to her ... then moving down front more and having to sit down AGAIN in wet seats with already cold wet bottoms and laughing about it as we did it!! (There were scattered empty seats from some that had left because of the pouring rain in the first half)
Betty going up to the stage for the FIRST TIME EVER with us for the encores and remembering her face just glowing as she was standing there in front of André singing and clapping! THEN getting to meet Mirusia and Carmen after the concert and getting our pictures taken with them!! ...... So much Fun!!

But what prompted me to write this email to Laurie and Sonja was, I had forgotten and suddenly remembered, what happened to Laurie that night ....... It was getting close to the part in the program when André played Bolero and the Encores would start right after that. We all decided we were going to go down to the concert and up to the stage. Laurie left the room and as she left, Sonja and I thought we heard her say she was going to the concert. (Andre's music was VERY loud in my room) So a few minutes later we too left and went down to the concert for the encores.

Laurie joined up with us again at the stage during the encores. She said, "I went back to the room and you two were gone!" We said, "we thought you said you were going to the concert". She said, "no, I said I was going to get my Concert Scarf!!" Here's where it got worse ... when Laurie got back to the room and we were gone she couldn't get in, she remembered her concert ticket was in the room!! So she had to do some fast talking to a few people at the ticket gates to get in without a ticket!!

We all laughed about it and Laurie talked her way into the concert so all was well .......

All those fun special memories, and THAT was on the night it rained!!!
Can't wait for next year!! :)

Aug 11, 2007

Bumping Into Andre

A Little Story With A Big Surprise!
There are a lot of stories from Maastricht this year and I can't wait to read them!
I just wanted to share this short one with you ...
On Thursday our first day there, some of us walked up a little cobble stone street and around the church where Frank Steijns was giving a concert on the carrilon of the St Servaas at The Vrijthof.
As a few of us were heading back into the Vrijthof area by way of a small deserted back street, we came around a corner and who did we bump into but ~ Andre himself!!! Ruth (Morgan) said "Hi Andre!!"~ He looked at her and with a Big Smile AND Wink, waved and said "Hi" back to her. I don't think I need to tell you how happy Ruth was that evening!! He smiled at us all as he walked past, then got into his Mercedes and drove away.  
It happend so fast and although we all had our camera's, the only one that was quick enough to react and take a picture was Jeanne Marie ~ "Merci" Jeanne Marie!!! ~ And Thank You Chris and Siggy for sending the picture:)

Aug 7, 2007

Future Mega Concerts

Future Mega Projects 2007~2008

This a recent interview given by Andre, and contributed by Arie Bussemaker (Holland) "to friends of Andre Rieu"
And worked more in our idioms by Joan Hopkins from Illinois.

In September 2007 we are going to Japan for some concerts. Since we’ll be in the neighborhood, we are flying to Australia for a week to promote the next concert tour. We are very popular in Australia. Seven of my albums are in the top 10. We will be playing in the Olympic Stadium in Sydney, Adelaide, Perth, Melbourne and Brisbane.

We have built an impressive exact replica of the façade of Schönbrunn as our set and we are taking it with us. We have had three of these stage sets built. We had to do this because it will take about three months for it to arrive in Australia. There is no other way since the concerts in other cities need to go on as usual.

For these Mega projects, André has chosen special venues such as the Stade in Paris, Boudewijn-Stadium in Brussels, arenas in Düsseldorf and Amsterdam, and the Olympic Stadium in Munich. Next year in 2008 we are going to Mexico and Brazil, and later to Chili and Argentina. One day in the future we will play in Moscow's Red Square.

One of these mega sets, a replica of the facade of Schonbrunn will be shipped here and used for the first time at the December "Toronto Concert"

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."

Maastricht Concert Program


1. 76 Trombones ~ M. Willson
2. Florentiner Marsch ~ J.. Fucik
3. Veleta Medly
4. Trumpet Voluntary ~ H. Purcell
5. G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald ~ J. StrauB
6. Third Man ~ A. Karas
7. Granada ~ A. Lara
8. Dein ist mein ganzes Herz ~ F. Lehár
9. Lasst den Kopf nicht Hängen ~ P. Lincke
10. Wolgalied ~ F. Lehár
11. Amigos para siempre ~ A. L. Webber

~~~Pauze ~~~

1. Einzugsmarsch ~ J. StrauB
2. Kaiserwalzer ~ J. StrauB
3. O mio babbino caro ~ G. Puccini
4. Diggi, Daggi ~ W. A. Mozart
5. O Isis und Osiris ~ W.A. Mozart
6. I've got plenty of nothing ~ G. Gershwin
7. Concerto pour une voix ~ Saint - Preux
8. Wishing you were somehow here again ~ A. L. Webber
9. An der schönen blauen Donau ~ J. StrauB
10. I belong to me ~ S. Levay
11. Bolero ~ M. Ravel

Laurie Crowley

Andre's Chicago Concert as I Experienced It ~The Chicago Concert really is the best one I have seen so far! Not that the music was better, it is ALWAYS the BEST ... but ANDRE was the best I have ever seen him. The Chicago audience seemed explosive from the start. Andre had to get down to the floor from up at the top of the first section and people saw him standing up there.(I'm assuming he had to do it that way because there was no other way for them to get down there.) In less than a minute, the place just exploded with applause and yelling! He was so funny ... he was laughing and waving to everyone from up there, then pointing to the stage (it seemed to where the PBS man that was standing that no one was paying attention to). Finally everyone let the PBS man speak, the music started and Andre (carefully) came down all those steps to the floor and started Marching up the isle like he always does. I noticed too, that he gave high fives to all the people all the way up the isle to the stage, which he doesn't usually do because of his hands. I know I have never seen him do it. I told my girlfriend, "this is going to be a good concert I can tell". He was so energized ... I think it might have been the combination of the crowd and he only had one more concert before he got to go Home!!

The arena holds 12,000 and if there was an empty seat, I couldn't see it! Funny you mentioned Pierre Laurie ... I looked and looked for him, even during the concert because I wanted to point him out to my girlfriend, but I never saw him. I don't think he was there. I thought maybe he had that horrible cold that Andre and the others had and was down with it. I noticed Andre would scrunch up his nose like a 12 year old kid and give a BIG Sniff every now and then, so he still had his cold. As for the pictures, I didn't see anyone taking pictures, so maybe they didn't get any!?! (Since I originally wrote this to Sonja and Laurie, I have seen that there are No pictures in Andre's Guestbook of the Chicago Concert. Just a small write up)

There was this one elderly lady that came in a little late and was walking to her seat just as Andre started talking. As she was walking across the front towards Andre she was waving to him the whole time. Finally he stopped talking and waved back to her and said something to her. She STOPPED right in front of him and waved up at him and he was laughing and waving back to her. Then she walked on to her seat, waving the whole time at him as she walked away. Andre was laughing still ........ it was really cute to see. Then another couple came in late and he stopped talking, put his violin on his hip and said, "we came all the way from Europe and WE got here on time!" Which I know he has done before, but it was the first time I had seen him do it! Very funny, cute and mischievous ... :)
He was very "frisky" through the whole concert and the audience was out of their seats after almost every piece. I swear you can see on his face how much he appreciates that and I'm sure it had a lot to do with his mood.

Ok ... now for my silly schoolgirl "Andre" part .......... :))))) And I don't want to exaggerate this, so will tell you exactly as it happened .......We were in the first section off the floor, (my first time not sitting in the front on the floor, but it wasn't that bad) When the encores started we went down to the stage and stood at Andre's feet right in front of him. He played many encores (I would say the same as AC) but anyway ... he was playing this one song that was slow and pretty, (don't know now what it was) when he suddenly tilted his head just a little forward and looked right into my eyes all the while playing this beautiful song (that I don't remember!). I am not exaggerating when I say he did that for close to 10 Seconds!!! (We're talking seconds here, so give or take a couple it was 10! :)I swear I thought I was going to faint! :))))))) For those few seconds, Andre was playing his violin to ME!!!!!!!! My girlfriend who was standing next to me said, " I'm not going to be able to get you back to earth the rest of the night now am I?" :) She and I were talking about it the other day and laughing so hard. I tried to look calm and cool as Andre was playing and looking at me ... God forbid I should act like the silly teenager I felt like, so I reached BEHIND my girlfriend, grabbed her shirt and pulled and twisted it in excitement where Andre couldn't see what I was doing. (All the while staring back at Andre smiling and looking calm and sedate as a woman my age should!) She said had I pulled any harder on it I would have choked her!! :)))))

I don't think there will ever be another "Concert Weekend" as exciting as Atlantic City was ... but this concert in it's own way, had a lot of memorable moments in different ways and I had so much fun!! I had seen Mirusia in Atlantic City and knew what a beautiful voice she had ... but I had NEVER seen Carmen live in concert and I had tears streaming down my face through her entire "O Mio Bambino". I was so glad Andre chose that for her to sing on this tour ... I think it's about everyone's favorite of hers ... I don't even need to write how beautiful her voice is.
Now it's waiting for the 4th of July to leave for Maastricht!!! Ohhhhhhhhhh what awaits us there???? :)))

Another little note about this concert. I went to it with my best friend since 6th grade who had never seen Andre before. She lives just outside of Chicago and I was visiting her there. She has a Master's Degree in Psychology and looking at all that happened from her perspective, "she could not get over the love and admiration etc. etc. etc. that she saw displayed in that arena for Andre from the moment they all saw him standing up at the top of the first section before everything started." When I saw Andre standing up at the top there, I was so excited to see him and looked at her ... her eyes were wide, but it wasn't because of Andre ... it was because all those normal people (and they aren't teenagers) that she had seen minutes earlier had just exploded with love and excitement. She has often asked me why I loved Andre and his music SO much and I can never explain it to her, to make her understand it .............. that night she saw an Entire Arena that felt the same way!!
Sue :)

Barb, I hadn't thought of that fantasy, but I am NOW!! ;-) There was another encounter with Andre when we were in Atlantic City. The night of the concert, we rode over to Boardwalk Hall with Chris and Siggy. After the concert, they drove us back to the hotel, but they couldn't drive up to the door to let us off because Andre's 3 busses were there and they took up the whole driveway. So, we got out in the rain (not raining hard though) and walked up to the main door of the hotel and went in. As we got closer to the elevator's we saw them ... the entire JSO and ANDRE waiting to get on the elevators to go to their rooms! ... Talk about instant elevated heartrate!! :)We got in the back of the line and soon more of the JSO came in. There we were, standing in line in the middle of the JSO and Andre. (Andre was off to the side with Johann his bodyguard) I said I was starting to feel like a "thorn in the middle of a bunch of roses"! Johann soon took Andre to the head of the line and got him on an elevator and he was gone. It took us several minutes to get up to the elevator's so we could get on to one go to our room. A few minutes before we got to that point, Kirsten walked up and talked with us. (I thought she was much prettier in person than when I see her on tapes and pictures) She was very friendly and was telling us that there were 2000 seats that weren't filled at the concert.I wasn't sure if she meant that was a good thing or a bad thing, but considering the weather I thought it was a good thing! The Hall is suppose to hold 12,000 so there must have been 10,000 there.It was our time to get on the elevator and Kirsten got on with us and one of the JSO members. For the life of me, I can't remember which JSO member it was, other than it was one of the girls. My head was just swimming with the excitement of it all.The whole weekend was so exciting beyond any fantasy even and a lot of it is still coming back to me in "flashbacks". :)Of course you all know that the night continued with us going down to the Tun Tavern in the hotel and so many of the JSO there.I think the funniest of the whole weekend though, was when we all got on the elevator to go back to our rooms and the elevator doors opened and there stood Franco! The look on his face!! Kind of that "deer caught in the headlights" look. :)I can't imagine if I went to 100 concerts there would ever be one as exciting and perfect as that weekend was. And to top it all off, getting to meet so many of the fans ... it was "Fantastic!!"
Sue :)




Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht












Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013




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

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

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

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