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Aug 8, 2009

Under The Spell of Maestro André Rieu

Under The Spell of “Maestro André”

The Limburger: Maastricht was “Rieu city”. Fans from all corners of the earth flocked to the city to participate in the 30 year Musical Anniversary of the maestro.

Since from the first time they saw people on the Japanese TV dancing in a concert hall in Tokyo to the music of “The Blue Danube”, they have been enchanted by the music of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss
Orchestra. “We had never seen that before and all those beautiful girls”, says Hideo Kogavva mischievously, who comes from Higashi-no-Urayasu, close to Tokyo. Whenever and wherever possible Hideo Kogavva and his wife Mihoko follow the Maastricht violin-virtuoso. “Two years ago we went to the New Year’s concerts in Cologne. Fantastic, it was like a fairy tale”, says Mihiko Kogavva softly.”The combination of classical and pop appeals to us very much. Dancing? Yes, delightful. But here we are a little apprehensive. But you can never tell. Maybe my wife will grab me by my arm, and then we will be dancing in the aisle, just like last year here in Maastricht” confesses Hideo.

They travelled for a week in order to attend the jubilee concerts in Maastricht. “We can only attend three concerts. We would like to have been able to attend all five, but I could not be off any longer” says the friendly smiling Kogavva, advisor to the Japanese computer giant NEC. His wife, dressed in the traditional Japanese dress, her feet in white socks and slippers, nods in agreement. They could not have been happier when Marijn Aarts, director of the Kruisheeren Hotel, where they are staying, presented them with a CD, autographed by André Rieu. They posed proudly with the CD and the Rieu banner, which they also received. “We just returned from a picnic in the city park attended by another eighty or so Rieu fans.

We know each other via the internet and decided to meet there. There were Americans, Germans, Danes, and Australians, from all over they came. For that real ‘André-feeling’ you have to be in Maastricht. Today we also saw the house he was born in. And tomorrow Marijn will also show us the studio and the school of ‘mister André”, says Hideo excitingly. But it is primarily for Rieu’s musical message for which the two Japanese people come here. “His music exudes love for the world and fellow man. Music, in the course of history, cannot change, but his beautiful musical message really touches us” according to Hideo. “When Carmen Monarcha and the children’s choir sang Michael Jackson’s “the Earth Song” that really gave me goose bumps” says his wife.

The same happened to me, according to Gerard Kropmans. “When those 400 brass players played Ben Hur that gave me cold chills” says the Rotterdam citizen, who has been a Rieu fan for thirteen years. Gone for a little while, is the anger about an unpleasant experience with the electronic ticket sales company ‘Ticket for One’. “I paid 150 Euros for one ticket, and found out later that they were only 70 Euros. Scoundrels. I would much rather the musicians get my money than such a dishonest ticket place”.

William Schepens, from Gronsven, his girlfriend and another couple received free tickets to the Vrijthof. “We received the tickets from Joost Groen, who has been André’s gardener for the past eighteen years and also takes his dogs out. It is not my kind of music, but the ambiance and the stage I like” he says while gulping down this third bottle of beer. And the happy Gronsveld citizen admits that he is proud too. “Rieu is dedicated to the city of Maastricht. And that is nice to experience. Yes, I am proud of all that he as a Maastricht citizen has been able to accomplish. Goose bumps? Yes, of course, just now with “Ben” from Michael Jackson. Super how they just played that. Jackson was sometime some kind of “weird” but he has done a lot for music. Fantastic, that tribute to Jackson”. Even governor Leon Frissen has had several goose bump episodes. “Especially when 400 brass players played the Limburg anthem. That really touched me”.

Anky, who is trying to sell Rieu CD’s to the public, is still waiting for “her big goose bump moment”. “I have just finished my studies at the conservatory as a singer. A position in the Rieu choir, that would certainly give me goose bumps”.

►Thank you to Ruud for sending this and John for ©Translating it!

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much, Ruud, John and Sue for posting . That was a lovely article.

Cheers
Bernadette

Anonymous said...

Ditto, this was a lovely article and such a lovely couple Mr. and Mrs. Kogvva.

Martha

Alice said...

I think they've picked a perfect couple as you could tell from the nice kimono that Hideo and Mihoko san were from Japan, well presented Fans Around The World. Wouldn't it be interesting if we all dress in our traditional outfit?

InekeHolland said...

Yes Alice that would be nice! Maybe next year? In that case I have to borrow Mireille's Dutch cap!!
Ineke.

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