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Apr 8, 2008

André Rieu Awarded The "Honor Medal in Gold" in Maastricht

After Eight Years, André Rieu is Again Being Honored in Maastricht

"de Limburger", 8 April 2008
By John Hoof

Last year the city decide to bring a halt to all their city distinctions, but André Rieu is the exception. Yesterday the orchestra leader and the musicians of the Johan Strauß Orchestra received the honor medal in gold for their exceptional merits.
Maastricht. In 2000 Philip Houben surprised André Rieu with the highest decoration Maastricht could bestow upon it's citizens: the order of Merit.
The then mayor, one who had quite a way with words and who could teach comedians a thing or two, always had something special up his sleeve. He was the one who changed the title of the well known French song, J'attendrai" to J'attANDRE. The orchestra leader and violinist thought it to be colossal. It was so immense to him that during the recent Ivo Niehe tv-program, while in front of his overfull trophy case, he pointed very proudly toward his most treasured award.

That was 8 years ago. Fast forward to 2008 where Maastricht surpassed the honoring degree of it's citizens:namely the "Honor Medal" in gold. Last night, Rieu and the members of his Johan Strauß Orchestra received this honor at city hall, voted upon by the city council, the only governing body authorized to decide the award.

A few weeks ago during a secret meeting, the council decided to honor the world renowned violinist and orchestra leader once more for the manner in which he tirelessly promotes Maastricht. The "Honor Medal in Gold" is presented to people who display exceptional achievements in promoting the city, it's social unity, cultural identity of it's economical fighting spirit, and have influenced these positively for several years. In addition, outstanding services for the future of Maastricht which are unsurpassed by any one are very seriously taken into consideration.

It is very infrequent that a selectee meets all the criteria for this award. André Rieu is the exception of the rule, according to the Mayor, the city council and it's aldermen. The highest city decoration is the only befitting honor bestowed upon the man, who seizes the programming of his own production in order to bring forth the "soul of Maastricht" and "joie de vivre" (joy of life).

Mayor Gerd Leers not only praised Rieu for his continued advertising campaign for Maastricht, but also for the economic values of his efforts. "That can not be under estimated". Millions of people throughout the world hear loving words from their idol about his birthplace and why a visit to Maastricht is well worth the effort. A VVV campaign is no match.


Thank you to John for translating and sending this to us!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks for posting,Sue and to John for his translation.
It's great to read of this well deserved honour for Andre.
cheers
Bermadette

Alice, Canada said...

I think we're all very happy for André. This man earned the honour and deserved the best this world has to offer! Now he can put that medal side by side with his favourite one from 8 years ago.

Anonymous said...

What's fascinating about Andre is not only his artistry and creativity but as well his leadership. I have not seen such an artist who is as well rounded as Andre. What an awesome but well deseved praise.

Martha

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