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Mar 29, 2010

André Rieu Musician, Conductor, Entrepreneur

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Enterprise

Column written by André Rieu in Dutch Magazine March, 2010 A lot comes into play when you are running your own company, something that every Entrepreneur knows. And if you are also well known, you become widely publicized. In my case not only as a Musician and Orchestra Leader, but also as an Entrepreneur.

So I received the obvious questions when the results of my company appeared in the business ledgers. "Rieu Suffers Losses in 2008". And if one news media releases such news, the others will follow. Mostly blind without even asking the company involved about the facts. And usually a few other goodies are added to it. Before you know it, the news media has declared you to be bankrupt. In this regard I must say that I do not have much confidence in the objectivity of many news media.

To be an Entrepreneur sometimes means having to take risks and having to decide on policies for the coming years. And sometimes you have to invest a year ahead of time where you might not see the results until much later on. That happened with us in 2008. The Schönbrunn Castle, and all three of its copies, has really cost us a lot of money. Not just the castle itself, but also the personnel costs involved in building and transporting it all over the world. Apart from our own team we sometimes had to hire hundreds of other professionals. If you write that investment off in a year, as we have done, you immediately end up in the red. And with us it is not about a few thousand Euros, but more about a few million Euros. Just like someone else taking out a mortgage on his house and giving it to the bank as collateral, I too had to give part of my personal possessions, primarily my creative assets such as my Stradivarius, as collateral to the bank for my million Euro investments. And that is how those things work.

An Expensive Castle Written Off in One Year

Fortunately this investment worked out well, since our performances with the Schönbrunn Castle opened up new avenues for us. Partly because of that we have conquered Australia and New Zealand. We’ll go in April to South Africa and do ten concerts and in the autumn three concerts in Mexico. Strangely enough, by going to Australia, Great Britain has opened up for us, where we are currently number two on the classical charts. We will perform our concerts there in September. Our turnover has significantly increased, and 2009 has been very successful and profitable. Our expectations for 2010 and 2011 are also very favorable. So now you’ve earned back your investment and the bank returns your collateral. But I have to admit, the castle could have been a little smaller ...

My son Pierre is now much more involved with the efficiency progress. With a large company like ours having 130 full time employees that is an important facet and Pierre has demonstrated to have a huge talent for that. I can leave that responsibility with confidence over to him, since my calendar is booked solid. When I am on stage, no matter where in the world, I am never engaged in the business, I am giving my all on stage, and that is what my public expects. And I still have so much fun at every performance. When I see that later in the summer we will be on the Vrijthof for eight concerts, whereas we started with just three, then there is every reason for us to continue on for a long time.

I am very sorry that Gerd Leers could not continue on as Mayor of Maastricht. It touched me deeply that he had to leave. I understand that on that night there was hardly a debate at all by the city council. Maybe things would have turned out different had I been in the public gallery and was able to shout something in support of him, you never know, but I happened to be abroad. I hope he stays in politics, because there you find very few persistent individuals like him. I should know, because if he as Mayor had not been fully behind our idea of the Vrijthof concerts, they would not have been a success. I would never have been able to break through the city council’s rules. You have to venture as a city, and Leers accomplished that. For example, the TEFAF organization does that too. I find it clever how they incorporate the most important event in the world in this field here in Maastricht, and make it such a success. But Maastricht also puts forth its best efforts in this, and I say that without reservation. You are not some one anonymous here ... here the human dimension is still important. And it is always nice to visit a city like that, whether it is for beautiful paintings or nice music ...

André Rieu
This translation is ©copyrighted by John ~ Thanks to Ineke for sending us the article.

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

What an amazing person in every way. Love you Andre, Thank you Joh for the translation and Sue for bringing it to us.
Marilyn

Susan Ham said...

Yes, Andre, you truly are an amazing person. How you find time to do all you do with your music and concerts, and, write this column, I can not imagine. You write so well, too. Always very interesting and entertaining. Love you , Susan.

Margaret S aka Mother Superior said...

Thanks John for yet another great translation, & to Ineke & Sue for ALL your work.Interesting information.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Ineke,Sue and John for this interesting article.

Cheers
Bernadette

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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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