What binds them is the music for which André (60), Marjorie (62), Pierre (28) and Marc (31) all have a deep passion. But whereas violinist and orchestra leader André and production manager Pierre lead a life in the spotlight of publicity, Marjorie and Marc have chosen a more tranquil shelter in the wake of the multinational Viennese Waltzes. But consider ... Marjorie’s recently published children’s book, “Dreams come True ~Twins Visit André Rieu”. And artist Marc displays his artwork on a regular basis in large exhibitions and galleries in the Netherlands, Belgium and the United States.
December 30, 2009: It is a close family, the Rieu family ... Violinist and father André, with son Pierre (production manager of the travelling waltz circus) in the foreground. Marjorie (writer and mother) and son Marc (artist) in the sunny shadow. An interview with the two known unknowns.
“What we lack” says Marjorie, “is the inner turmoil which André and Pierre possess, always busy, running from one thing to the other. Sure, André has an inborn desire to entertain, but he needs an audience for that, that is a vital necessity”.
And Marc, “I did inherit the love for drawing and painting from my Dad, if he would just take the time and effort, he would produce wonderful things”. Of the talent that prevails in the Rieu family, they both inherited more than enough. In her book, Marjorie is observed as an author who has an eye for detail and is humorous, her husband is called a “dumb sewer violinist” by one of the main characters. In the English and German translations he is very unflatteringly called a “Fiddle Fart” and “Geigenscheisser” (a cruddy violinist), she says laughingly. But, she adds reassuringly, “it is not that I am making André out to be ridiculous”.
It took her a couple of years to complete, because “in this 24 hour a day business, I just cannot say ... oh, sorry, I am writing now. I still assist André with his TV specials, CD’s and financial matters”.
The practical involvement of Marc in the Rieu firm is limited to moral support. Some of his land, sea, water and cityscapes appear on André’s CD’s and DVD’s. “My parents are two of my best customers”. He shows a painting that was commissioned by his mother for André’s birthday, a ghost ship, (á la Flying Dutchman) setting sail on a sinister sea. His paintings, fiery immensely happy or melancholy, always have a touch of mysticism and are known to have beautiful colors. “I want people to look at them with their hearts”. No, he would never use his father’s fame to ensure a glittering career. “Early on I wanted to study Art History and Paint”.
Marjorie: “As a child Marc already loved nice things. When Pierre and he were playing with cars, he would make nice mosaics with the dinky toys. But not Pierre, he raced them and threw them all over, a totally different child. The exuberant and always active Pierre was already helping his father behind the scenes when he organized the Maastricht Salon Orchestra, remembers Marjorie. In a way, he kept himself involved with all the artistic contents" ... “Can’t Daddy play this or that?”
Marc: “I have had a wonderful childhood. Brought up with the idea that one has to be happy with ones work, and show respect towards yourself and those around you, and that your dreams are stimulated. That’s what made my father what he is today”. The brothers get along very well together, and in many ways, their lives run parallel. Pierre and his wife Eefje became parents of twins Linde and Lieke in October, Marc and his partner Andrea had Ivan in June.
Marc: “I am nuts about that little boy. It seems as though an extra engine in your life has started. Everything is much more intense”.
Marjorie: “We are crazy about the little ones. Even though I am an Oma (Dutch for Grandmother), I do not feel that I am. And André, he could eat them alive. He was totally out of it when the twins were born while he was busy on the other side of the world. Every spare moment he had, he would call or watch the video’s of his grandchildren via the computer”.
Marc Rieu is the Ambassador for "Art of Looking" in Maastricht, which includes a strong commitment towards his disabled fellow artists. When Mayor Leers of Maastricht approached him, he did not hesitate one second. “To do for your fellow man, was an important part in my upbringing, and that I want to pass on to Ivan”.
Marjorie Rieu who wrote André’s biography, “André Rieu, My Music My Life”, has written enough for the future and is currently focused on the stormy career of André who is in the process of conquering England (where he met Queen Elizabeth), South America and South Africa.
“Sometimes I think back to the simpler times. The time of the Salon Orchestra when everything could be overseen. I did not believe André when we were in Vienna in front of the Schönbrunn Palace and he told me that he was going to copy the palace for a world tour. He was successful. Next year he wants to go to the North Pole, and afterwards he wants to do a concert in space. And you know something ... that will more than likely happen”... Translation by John
Another Article made possible by the cooperation and team effort of Ineke, Ruud, John, Jann and Sue. This translation is ©copyrighted and may not be used partially or entirely without specific written permission.