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Jun 28, 2009

The Parlor is Going To Be "Quiet" For a Few Days
Betty and I are off to Maastricht this Wednesday, July 1st and it's packing time now!! BUT ~ I will be taking my 'Baby Laptop' with me this year, so I will be able to put pictures on for you all to see while we are there!! And to all of you going this year ... Safe Travels and See You Soon!!! ... Sue :)

Jun 27, 2009

Frank Steijns, Violinist for André Rieu, Breaks His Leg

From "De Limburger" By Franks Buschman

The Maastricht city carillon player Frank Steijns, did forego the American Tour with André Rieu in favor of the European Carillon Festival. And now he is at home with a broken fibula.

For the past fifteen years he has been climbing up in the church towers, including the Saint Servaas basilica in Maastricht. He has climbed thousands and thousands of steps, sometimes through narrow passages into the crest of the churches. Never did anything go amiss.

But, in the transportation of his mobile carillon from Maastricht to Weert on Wednesday, something did go amiss. Right there in the street, in a very insignificant manner, Steijns, (city carillon player for Maastricht-St Servaas and city hall, Weert and Heerlen's St.Pancratius church) and since 1994, violinist in André Rieu's Orchestra, had just loaded his portable carillon into a small truck. Six frames each of 200 kilos (440lbs) with 41 bronze bells.

"There is a specific way in which you can safely load them. Everything went just fine again this time. Everything was loaded and I jumped off the tailgate. I landed wrong." With the fall he also scraped his nose and chin. A passerby called the doctor who arrived shortly on the scene. Steijns could not be admitted to the hospital in Maastricht right away, so he decided to drive on to Weert.

"I drive an automatic, so I did not need to use my left leg. I thought that I had severely twisted my ankle, and it would be alright. Above all, I definitely wanted to go to Weert so I would not miss the first day of the Eurocarillon Festival". After all, he is the head man of the festival organization. "I had to let the tour through America with André Rieu go by the wayside. I wanted to experience this Carillon Festival where players from all over Europe will be attending. We have a beautiful program with performances in squares and churches in Maastricht, Weert, Heerlen, Achen, Hasselt and Neerpelt."

But the X-ray in the St. Jans Gasthuis (hospital) in Weert showed that Steijns had broken his leg (fibula) just above his left ankle and that same evening he underwent surgery.
Also that evening he spent a lot of time on his laptop changing the programs of the festivities and asking other carillon players to substitute his performances.

"Rieu, who was one of the first to send me a text message from Las Vegas, always says: "The show must go on", and so it must. I do not want the festival public to notice that I myself will not be able to perform for a while. They should be able to just enjoy the other carillon players."

Translation © by John

Jun 25, 2009

Photos of André Rieu's California Concerts!

Good Friends and Andre's Concerts!

John, Bobbie, Sonja, Ruth, Mary Ann, Betty and myself just spent a few wonderful days going to Andre's concerts in Ontario and San Diego. I have added a few of the pictures we took for now. I will add more pictures in a couple of days.

John has some AWESOME pictures as he always does of the concerts with some really great close ups of Carla, Mirusia and Andre!

For me, the highlight was the San Diego Concert ... WOW! It was just amazing!!! And we had our "Meet and Greet" with Franco, Bela and Gary!!! Then there was the after parties in our hotel rooms talking about the concerts and just being with good friends, laughing and having so much fun. It really did end all too soon, but we know we'll all be seeing each other again in just a couple of weeks in Maastricht!Below is John's rendition of our wonderful weekend!

Click on Link Below for "NEW PICTURES" added now!!
Photos of Fresno, Ontario and San Diego


Our weekend started out a little bit earlier than planned. Although we had not planned on a concert in Oakland, we managed to obtain a few tickets at the last minute, so off we went to Oakland for our first 2009 West Coast concert on the 16th of June. We met with Kay Berman and her daughter Jennifer for a late lunch, and then left for the venue. Since it was early when we arrived, the venue gates were still closed. We were first in line and after the gates opened were able to park close to Andre's busses. We made our way into the venue, where we met Julie Spengler, whom we had not seen in a long time. After a nice chat with her it was on to enjoying Andre and the JSO's music. We had a wonderful time, and according to some of the JSO members we spoke with after the concert, the best audience participation so far. (No need to go into details, since Kay has already written a wonderful report on this concert). We arrived back home rather early in the morning, but still on our Andre cloud.

The following day, Sonja and Ruth joined us, as we prepared for a short drive to Fresno on Thursday. There we were met by Kay, her husband Howard, and Jennifer. Joan, her friend Thelma and Joanne also joined us for a very early dinner, before going on to the Save Mart Center. A few of the ladies did not have a ride to the venue, so we all piled into one car. You should have heard the cackling!!!! Every one was having a super time already, and spirits were high in anticipation of what was to come. But first, a Meet and Greet organized by the Fresno PBS station. Lynn, Hanneke and Nicole were the JSO members attending. The Fresno concert was again, just like Oakland, fantastic. Although it is the same music, every concert is a little different. The audience's participation, little things that you missed at a previous concert and so on. We had a great time again, but like always the ending came too soon.

Next day, off to Ontario. After an uneventful day's drive, other than missing a rest stop where Andre and the JSO were taking a break, we arrived in Ontario. First things first. Off to Sue's house where we were first met by Sue's pets, Sassy and Honey, and then off to dinner and reminiscing.

The next morning we did have some time to visit the Ontario Mills shopping center, before leaving for the concert. The venue in Ontario, the Citizens Bank Arena, is fairly new, and a wonderful place for yet another super Andre concert. There we met, Joan Levitt, Nino and Elke Freitag from Germany (wonderful to see them again) and also Jorge and Marisol Orihueta from Argentina, whom we had met last year in Atlantic City. (Nice to see them again too) And yet, another fantastic concert, a great audience, but it too came to an end too soon.

Then on to San Diego where Betty and MaryAnn joined us for sight seeing and our last West Coast concert. The weather was with us. Beautiful sunshiny days and pleasant temperatures. Lots to see and do, but not really enough time to take it all in.

On to the concert in Chula Vista, which was to be Andre's second outdoor concert in the US. Houston, TX being his first. And what a concert it turned out to be. It was by far the best of the West Coast concerts we've attended. Great music, a fantastic audience that did not want to let Andre go, with lots of encores. But, alas, that too had to come to an end, and left us with wonderful memories of a few fantastic concerts and a wonderful time we all spend with our dear Andre friends. ~ John

Jun 24, 2009

My "Special" Flowers From Bobbie

After reading John's report, it reminded me of the flowers that Bobbie brought me when they arrived at my house on Friday. They weren't
just ANY flowers ~ They were the flowers that André was given on stage the night before at the Fresno Concert!! They are a week old now and still as fresh and beautiful as they were that night!!

I saw that Kay had a picture posted of André holding them at the concert, so thought I'd put the two pictures of them on here ... Thank You again Bobbie!! The picture is Ruth, Sonja, Bobbie and John.

Jun 18, 2009

André Rieu US/Canada Tour Starts June 12th!

It was a GREAT Tour!! Now it's on to Maastricht!!

©Photos of André and San Diego by Heather, Graphics by Sue

André Rieu ~ A Concert Like No Other!

Two hour and forty-five minute set has audience cheering for more!

Vancouver Canada June 18, 2009: What made the concert work so well was Rieu’s obvious passion and love for the music he makes. His orchestra is top notch and all its members seem to share his enthusiasm for their craft, expressing a genuine enjoyment that would be impossible to fake. They played with such expertise that it was impossible to not be impressed with the calibre of the musicianship.

This is one of the Best Review's I've read on André!
Click here to read the FULL REVIEW:

André Rieu's Oakland Concert With Kay ...

Is there anything left to say? I think I’ve run out of adjectives. Each concert I see I think is the best one so far…until the next one. What made this one so special is that we (daughter Jennifer and I) met John & Bobbie for an early dinner prior to the concert and were able to visit with them both before and after the concert. They know many of the orchestra members and singers so they introduced to us some of them.

We met and talked to Franco and Gary before the concert, then waited by the busses after the concert and watched them all file out of the venue, a few at a time. Gary, Franco, Bela, Vincenzo and Mirusia all came over to talk to us and several others waved and said hello. This was very exciting for Jennifer and me since we had never met any of them before. They’re all such lovely, normal, down-to-earth people. We even saw André walk to the bus. He was preoccupied and speaking with someone as he was walking so he didn’t come over to us, but he did look our way, nod and, I think I heard him say hello. I almost missed him. Jennifer had to nudge me saying “Mom…Mom…it’s André!”

The audience was very responsive and enthusiastic, especially after the balloons dropped. Another first for us was sitting in floor seats under the balloons. It was hard to walk while tripping on all the balloons as we made our way to the stage for the encores. The concert was the same as New York and many of the others. Even the same 8 encores were played, but André was a little more animated, jumping up and down and swiveling his hips during Marina (which drew quite a
reaction from many of the ladies in front of the stage!). Many people jumping, dancing and waving their arms…left me with a black & blue toe, but it was well worth it.

André has obviously been practicing throwing the Polaroid photos from the stage since in New York there were few that made it past the first row. Last night he threw them all past the first 8 rows. The lady sitting behind me caught
one, then handed it to me and wished me a happy birthday. Those of you who have seen this concert know that André asks who has a birthday today, and since I’d seen this before, I raised my hand even though my birthday was over two weeks ago. The nice lady behind me thought it was actually my birthday and wanted me to have the photo. How sweet is that!! I thanked her over and over and asked if she was sure she wanted to do that, but never had the nerve to tell her it really wasn’t my birthday. It’s an excellent photo of him. And his thumbprint is on it.

Tomorrow is the Fresno concert. Ten of us are meeting for a late lunch before the concert. Will this one be even better??? My feet won’t be touching the ground until long after Maastricht!

Jun 17, 2009

Strings Attached To a Gift From Andre Rieu

June 17, 2009 ~ CRANEBROOK grandmother Kate Young hasn't picked up a violin for 35 years. She was forced to sell the one she played as a child when her husband Jay lost his job in the '80s. That's where classical music sensation Andre Rieu came in.

Click On The Link Below to read the newest article on it and also a nice VIDEO with André, PLUS the audio of his phone call he made from San Francisco to Kate Young ...

Jun 16, 2009

André Rieu Gives Grandmother a $2,500 Violin

Wed. June 16, 2009
9NEWS Australia

Dutch Maestro André Rieu has made an Australian grandmother's day, giving her an expensive European Violin.

Sydney woman Kate Young brought the top-selling artist to tears last month when she wrote to 2GB's Alan Jones requesting he pass on her thanks to Rieu for his beautiful music.
Young's childhood ambition had been to become a concert violinist, but tough economic times and the loss of her husband's job forced her to sell her much-loved violin more than 20 years ago.

Rieu was so touched by her story that he decided to replace the violin she had to give up. "I have tears in my eyes. Having to sell your violin to buy things for your kids? I am giving this lady a violin," Rieu told Jones.

Rieu personally selected a $2,500 Otto Jos Klier violin made from aged Bosnian maple and Austrian mountain spruce and sent it to her as a gift. He also promised to check up on her progress when he returns to Australia for a string of concerts in October.

"I only hope that this brings you happiness and joy, no-one should be without music," Rieu told Young over the phone from the US.

Jun 14, 2009

André Rieu's Vancouver Concert with Alice

Alice’s Novel ~ André and Friends in Vancouver

"Vancouver was not on the tour map in 2008, but I certainly won’t forget my experience for 2009!" ... Click below to read all about Alice's Concert and MORE!!!

►Alice's Vancouver Concert and Adventure!

Vegemite Tasting On The Vrijthof !!!

Who is right ~ André or Mirusia ??? An invitation is issued to everyone to join us at GAUCHO's by the Vrijthof and "Judge For Yourselves" as plates of crackers with Vegemite will be served to all, followed by singing the Vegemite song. Printed sheets will be available for those not familiar with the words of the jingle! You can also watch the video below to see Mirusia singing it.
We look forward to seeing you all there!!! ... Sunday at 3:30
I would like to add my personal suggestion that you all order a drink of your choice at Gaucho's before tasting your Vegemite ... ;-)

Jun 13, 2009

André Rieu Photos of Vancouver Concert!

Beate sent a note with her pictures, but she is going to be posting more on her website when she gets home tomorrow ... so when she does I will add the link here for everyone to see them and read what she says. We thank her for sending these GREAT photos so quickly to us though!! We're waiting Alice ~ noooooooooo pressure!! ;-)

Click Here for Beate's Report and more Pics ►

Jun 8, 2009

Arie's Concert With Suzan Erens

Arie's Concert With Suzan Erens

BLAOSMEZIEK ”Music All Inclusive”
We, Ed Martin and I are fans of Suzan Erens. We agreed to meet each other in front of the Theater in Sittard. At 8:30 PM we entered the theater to find our tickets. The orchestra was a big brass band “Harmonie St. Joseph from Sittard, director Björn Bus.
We thought this is not an orchestra that suites Suzan Erens. But we were wrong, it was fantastic. Also the voice of Marc Clear who sang together with Suzan was beautiful.

The Music Program

Oil Barrel Beat Brass band Harmonie St. Joseph
Rise of The Firebird
Brass band Harmonie St. Joseph
Saga Candida Brass band Harmonie St. Joseph

With Suzan Erens
Don’t cry for me Argentina
from Evita
Suzan Erens soprano
Cabaret Marc Clear tenor
Doina Koen Cuijpers clarinet
The Phantom of the Opera
Suzan Erens soprano, Marc Clear tenor
Many songs from Andrew Lloyd Webber

*** Intermezzo ***

Rock March Rhythm group
76 Trombones
Rhythm group
Una Noche en Granada Brass band Harmonie St. Joseph
Over the rainbow from The Wizard of Oz
Suzan Erens soprano
Clapping Hands
Brass band Harmonie St. Joseph
“I Only Want To Say” from Jesus Christ Superstar
Marc Clear tenor
Anthem from Chess Suzan Erens soprano, Marc Clear tenor

"The Concert Was in Every Aspect Outstanding"

In the Lobby with Suzan ...

After the concert we met Suzan in the lobby. We, Ed Martin and me, could talk for a long time with Suzan. I asked her about “Where in Norway she will live?” She explained to me, near the Pole circle (Mosjøen) in the Municipality of Vefsn. 320 Km north of Trondheim.

From their house they have a beautiful view. And she can ski nearly the whole year through. Her boyfriend Mitch is from Sittard and is a Dutchman. They went there a few months ago and they liked it a lot. Now they want to emigrate to Norway. Mitch is a young man and bolt.
He was very busy at that moment and walking back and forth. Suzan said to me: “That’s Mitch.
I saw him, but I was not presented to him. My impression is he is a nice guy.
I asked her about the CD. She thinks the CD will be finished after a while, but yes will be released. I asked her about her singing in Norway. She answered me, that’s not yet determined.

But concerning André specials, “If André invites me, I am available.” So let’s start asking André to invite Suzan!!! ~ Arie

Jun 5, 2009

Netherlands: 225,000 André Rieu Stamps To Be Issued!

TNT Post to Bring 225,000 Stamps on The Market In Mid July
Bearing The Likeness of The Maastricht 'Stand Alone Violinist' Andre Rieu

MAASTRICHT (UPDATE on André Rieu Stamps)
TNT Post (Principal mail provider in the Netherlands)

There will be nine different images on the stamps of the famous violinist and the stamps can only be purchased in books of nine. The stamps are issued in conjunction with Rieu's thirtieth jubilee year of being on stage.
TNT Post does this in cooperation with the organization "Foundation Helps Largest Family of the Netherlands", and part of the proceeds will go to charities.
TNT Post also divulged that they have plans to issue stamps of another known Maastricht citizen. Who that person is, can currently not be revealed, a spokesperson said. Nor whether this Maastricht citizen is still alive or dead.

►Note For those of you going to Maastricht who have been asking about purchasing the stamps ... there is a post office right on the Vrijthof just a few doors down from the DuCasque Hotel. It's a small, really nice Post Office and very modern inside. I'm sure they are going to be VERY busy with all of us on the morning of the 13th!! But my guess is that they're expecting that. :)

►Our Thanks to John de Jong for his ©Translation of this!!

Jun 4, 2009

André Rieu Admitted To The Order of Musketeers

Waltz King Dreams of Performing Beneath Eiffel Tower
De Limburger
André Rieu Admitted To The Order of Musketeers

From now on, André Rieu will go through life as Musketeer d'Armagnac. The Maastricht citizen was appointed by the French leader of the order "La Compagnie".

It was not coincidental that the ceremony took place in Rieu's Castle, de Torentjes, at the base of the St. Petersberg. Charles de Batz-Castelmore, better known as the fourth musketeer d'Artagnan, enjoyed here on 25 June 1673 his last breakfast, just before he breathed his last during a battle near the Tongerse gate.

In his acceptance speech, André pointed out the historical importance of his kitchen, which yesterday was filled to the brim with a camera crew from ZDF(German TV)

As Musketeer d'Armagnac, Rieu is expected, amongst others, to contribute to the culture of the Cascogne (a region in France). Rieu, in turn, hopes that the good contacts with France willhelp to fulfill a big wish: to do a huge performance under the Eiffel Tower in the heart of Paris, similar to the concerts in front of the Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna. Rieu, who will perform in France after the summer holidays, has sent letters to the Mayor of Paris and the Minister of Culture, but has not yet received permission. The waltz king was not the only Dutchman who was admitted to the Company of Musketeers yesterday.

The head of La Company, a descendant of D'Artagnan, came over especially for this occasion, and also welcomed into the ranks, journalist and program maker Jo Cortenraedt, lawyer Fernand Triple, writer Han Bergh, confectionery manufacturer Bernd Postma and sculptor Alexander Taratynov (known for The Night Watch and the statue of D'Artagnan in Maastricht). Worldwide there are about three thousand Musketeers d'Armagnac, including Prince Albert of Monaco. The Dutch squadron is commanded by Camille Oostwegel, Honorary Consul of France. ~ Thanks to John de Jong for this ©Translation and video!

Photos are from Ineke and De Limburger

Jun 1, 2009

André Rieu's Greatest Hits #1 on Billboard Classical

Andre Rieu's Greatest Hits Reaches #1 on Billboard Classical Chart

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 1 /PRNewswire/ -- Denon Classics, the U.S.'s #1 independent Classical label, is celebrating the announcement that artist André Rieu has reached the #1 position on Billboard Magazine's Traditional Classical Chart with the release of ANDRE RIEU'S GREATEST HITS CD. The collection, released on March 3rd, is a unique project consisting of performances chosen by his fans and collected from all of his best selling Denon releases.

A deluxe GREATEST HITS DVD was also released and was recently certified Gold in Canada, bringing his combined tally there to 7 gold, 5 platinum, 1 double platinum and 1 triple platinum certifications for DVD releases.

Rieu also landed atop this year's sales tally as the #1 selling Classical artist for 2008 according to Billboard. He's currently touring the United States on his unprecedented "Greatest Hits Tour" celebrating his 30th anniversary as a performer with more consecutive U.S. dates than he has ever scheduled before through June.

André Rieu has already earned the distinction as the #1 pledge drive artist for PBS and now the #1 Classical artist according to Billboard. Firmly established as one of the top performing artists according to Pollstar Magazine who ranked him as the #8 top touring draw of the year on ticket sales approaching $77 million (placing him in good company amongst the likes of Madonna, The Eagles, Bon Jovi and Coldplay), Rieu has won legions of fans worldwide and his success continues to grow with each new release and tour. Combining unparalleled showmanship with shrewd marketing, Rieu has built a world class musical career with sell out tours and increasing sales of his specials and recordings.






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