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Dec 2, 2010

André Rieu, "If I don't do crazy things, all will be fine."

"If I do not do any crazy things, everything will be fine."
Initially he was too sick for an interview. He seemed to have just recovered from a virus infection on his equilibrium, when food poisoning felled him. But half way through four sold out concerts in Mexico City, André Rieu has strengthened enough to take stock.
How did you survive the last three months of forced inactivity? "It was as if there was no end in sight" To be ill – for a very long time I did not know what that was. Yes, every now and then I had a cold, but that never prevented me from performing. In August I experienced the first symptoms. To stay home, not doing anything that was the only thing I could do. It started with the cancellation of two concerts in the Netherlands. But fairly soon there was nothing else to do and cancel an international tour".
Did you do a lot of thinking? "Actually it wasn’t too bad. As soon as I was horizontal, the body said: "Sleep!!" As soon as I see my bed, I am gone." Son Pierre, who is in the background pipes up and says: "Well Dad, you did receive two beautiful children." Says Rieu senior: "But that was a long time ago."
Now that they are indirectly referring to your wife Marjorie: where is she? "At home. She hates to fly. Actually she is afraid to fly. And I do not want to subject her to sit in a hall every evening and have to listen to the same repertoire. Marjorie only comes along if the distances from Maastricht are not too great and are easily achieved by car or train. Early next year in Cologne she will be there again, note pad in hand."
Notepad? "Marjorie writes all my mandatory texts for my shows. She knows exactly how I say things. That is not too shabby: we’ve been together for thirty-five years already. These last years I placed a lot out on contracts, but in the beginning Marjorie was involved in everything. I can still see the both of us cladding the stage chairs. Ever since I was a boy, I was convinced that I would marry someone with whom I could work with very well."
How business like are you? "I am very businesslike, but different then my bookkeeper. I think large, travel with an enormous circus all over the world. I do not watch my pennies then. I find it to be a wonderful life, and all my employees, 120 in total, are also allowed to partake in that. So: nice hotels, luxurious busses and enjoy good food and drink."
But your company almost went bankrupt two years ago. "Looking back you can say that I went a little too far for my international world tour by copying the Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna. But I thought that I could not expect people who paid top monies for a seat in the second or third category to accept a décor that they could otherwise also see in a small hall. It is true that I did not assess the risks associated with that too well. A blessing in disguise was that the bank had sufficient confidence in me and was willing to extend a loan."
According to the news we are talking about fifteen million Euros. "Fifteen million? Wish that were true: forty million I had to borrow. Hence there was no other way than to put everything up as collateral. Even my violin and my name. In my opinion, the negotiations went reasonably well. I needed money to place matters back in order: the bank knew that bankruptcy would turn out miserably. One thing would lead to another and no monies would further be received from the concerts, CD and DVD sales, merchandizing, and so on."
Do you still worry? "That time has passed, and as long as I do not do any crazy thing anymore and my health will not let me down again, everything will turn out alright. I know that for sure. I have had them screen me from my top to the bottom. According to the doctors, I am healthy to my core. But they also pointed out that I am no longer twenty years old and I have been relatively lucky with a mild warning from my body."
Thanks to Ineke for sending this and John ©Translating it.

3 comments:

Richard said...

Thanks Andre for a frank and revealing interview. You are now listening to your body and are wise to take things as they come.
never forget though that what your fans really come for is to see and hear you and the JSO perform and entertain. What you do in Maastricht is the best ever format
Thank you so much

Barbara said...

Oh my goodness Andre i did not know you had food poisoning, what next. You need a Guardian Angel to pin to your lapel and it will protect you. You have a very wonderful family and beautiful grand children and maybe you are doing too much. Try taking more time for yourself. All your fans love you and want you to stay healthy for many more years. Love you blue eyes. Barbara Gilliss from Waterdown Ontario Canada.

Mary Webster said...

I too didn’t know about the food poisoning and I agree with everything Richard and Barbara has said, only thing is he now wants to go to Brazil. If André does go I hope he doesn’t squeeze it into next year, his schedule is pretty full on. Love, rest and take care André.

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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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