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Jan 2, 2009

The André Rieu Legend Continues


The André Rieu Legend Continues

Cameron Adams January 2, 2009

André Rieu is the unlikely success story of 2008. He's the licence to print money no record company or tour promoter wanted to touch.
With more than two million DVDs and CDs entering Australian homes in the past 18 months, and ticket sales of more than half a million on his November Australian tour, Rieu outsold "cool" artists such as Madonna, Pink, Kylie and Kings of Leon. His Live in Australia DVD has sold almost 300,000 copies in three weeks, becoming the No. 1 music purchase for Christmas.

Rieu is the face of the older demographic the music industry forgot or ignored. They don't illegally download music and buy CDs, DVDs and concert tickets. What's the secret to his success? It's simple, says record store owner Brian Harris, who championed Rieu years ago.
"He makes people happy. The media is full of negative stories of doom and gloom. When you watch an Andre Rieu performance you get wonderful music but you also see people being genuinely happy. "There's very little pretentiousness in his shows . . . people who go to them are not classical music fans. Indeed, the classical music fraternity don't like the guy. But he has added colour and vitality to classical music."

Mr Harris says Rieu's older fans get transported back in time at his concerts. Mr Harris, who runs Canberra's Songland records, saw Rieu's potential three years ago. He called him "the most important act the music industry has seen in the past 10 years". "People laughed at me, but I think I'm having the last laugh," he says.

Cable channel Ovation was first to give Rieu exposure. It played his live concerts, which led to DVD sales. It was word-of-mouth marketing in a time of hi-tech, expensive promotion aimed at people buying less and less music. "That (older) demographic is so poorly serviced by record companies and the media," Mr Harris says. "There are people in that demographic who still love music and are still inspired by it." But Mr Harris says Rieu's audience is getting younger.
"Are there 18-year-olds buying Andre Rieu? No. But over the holiday season you hear about families watching his DVDs, perhaps reluctantly, but going, 'That's actually pretty good'. So there's a trickle-down effect." Not bad for a man who was so spurned by record companies he embarked on a DIY operation.


"Nobody wanted to make a record with me," Rieu says. "I was ringing record companies, and they'd say, 'You play waltzes? Go home and play for your grandmother'. "I always said, 'When you make a record for me, it will explode'. And I was right. Nobody expects in a time of heavy metal and rock, there comes a violinist from Holland who sells a lot of music."

He not only pays for his music, he runs his touring company. Rieu financed his Australian tour, making up the $5.6 million he spent on each show with pricey tickets, paid meet-and-greets, merchandise, a pay-for-view special and CD and DVD sales. He pays for the recording of his own albums and DVDs, bypassing the method by which record companies usually make money. Rieu has a licensing arrangement with Universal in Australia; he provides it with finished CDs and DVDs, it produces, markets and promotes them. It's a lucrative set-up. Most artists make about $4.00 from the $25 or $30 price of each music DVD. Sources suggest he is pocketing at least $10.00
Record companies have a habit of chasing trends; the search for the next Andre Rieu is already on -- Helmut Lotti is being groomed for a Rieu-style push next year. And Universal will release three more Rieu CDs before April.
"It's simple," Rieu said. "There are millions of people out there who love this sort of music and love the way I play it."

Article From The Herald Sun ~ Photos from 'André Rieu Live in Australia' DVD

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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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