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Feb 21, 2011

Interview With André and Pierre Rieu

Interview With André and Pierre Rieu
We keep each other focused ... by Marieke van der Heijden

The resemblance is stunning. The same flamboyant personalities, boundless energy and an eye for fun. Pierre Rieu (28), resembles his father André (61) in every aspect. Even his passion for classical music is shared with the Waltz king. In the Docu Soap "The World of André Rieu" they allow us a glimpse behind the scenes.
"Can we lower the lights a little? Thank you. And can the piano play a little less prominent? Yes, precisely so. Nice!!" Even though yesterday’s show came off without a hitch, there is again a sound check today in the Mexican Auditorium.
Pierre: "My father is without a doubt, a perfectionist. Everything is adjusted pleasantly until it is exactly as it should be. We have two hours before the doors are opened to the public. There is not a bit of stress on anyone."
Pierre: "We are now going have a bite to eat, after which my father will lay down for a thirty minute nap, and then it starts." Once back stage, the smell of the food aromas is nothing to sneeze at. We brought our own catering. That might sound a bit decadent, but everywhere we went, they served us schnitzel. Well meant, but obviously that gets to be boring, and that is not the only thing the orchestra is presented." Private jets, limousines and ultra luxurious hotels. As a true leader and family man, André takes care of his traveling entourage, which consists of at least 120 persons. Under the guise of, he who demands the best from his people must also give the best. That caring consideration leads to a strong and familiar unit."
Pierre: "It sounds cheesy, but the "us" feeling is enormous. If the sound crew has a problem, the rest will not turn their backs. We solve that problem together. It cannot be any other way. The next day we have to put on a show again."
A MANDATORY TIME TO SIT STILL
The Rieu family has a clear mission. To conquer the world in a sensitive manner. And that, until recently, was never fast enough for these gentlemen.
Pierre: "We performed 120 concerts in a year on a tight schedule, six concerts in a row, one day off, then again five more concerts and then home for two weeks." Australia, New Zealand, the United States, Germany and even Africa, they waltzed each of them into the ground one by one. Until the "craziest violinist in the world", as he sometimes jokingly refers to himself, was forced to take a step back last year. The eternal optimist appeared to have contracted a virus of his equilibrium. Two months of complete rest was the result. All concerts, including two totally sold out performances in the Ahoy, had to be cancelled.
André: "I could not go on stage any more. Horrible!! Normally I am always busy doing something. Being idle is nothing for me. Sightseeing while on tour? I would rather be studying in my room. Vacation? No time. And having a cold? I take an ibuprofen and off we go. But now I just could not do anything anymore. Even if I stood up for a moment, I would become quite dizzy. For weeks on end, I was flat on my back."
"STALKING" OPA
The rest period was full of blood, sweat and tears, our debts were running high into the millions, and also reconsideration.
Pierre: "It was nerve wracking. My father’s condition changed continuously. After a relatively good day, the next day could be totally amiss. It was waiting, waiting and lots of talking"
André: "Everyone kept repeating the same thing, first recover and then we’ll see how to continue. That was fantastic. In a certain way it brought us even closer together as a family."
Pierre: Since last year, the proud father of daughters Linde and Lieke. “As soon as he could stand a little on his own feet again, he would come over to just play with the twins. At home we called him “the stalker” because not one day would go by without a visit by Opa. Secretly we thought that was very nice, knowing that later he would be gone away again a lot from home. It’s unbelievable. The innocence ...”
MEXICO
Super Opa or not, four months later the “Flying Dutchman” was again waltzing through the streets of Mexico. And is closely being followed by a camera crew which will record his life on and around the stage for this Docusoap without a script because there is always something going on according to Pierre. Those are not only just words. When André visited the National Museum of Anthropology early that afternoon, where because of unknown reasons from the local police, filming was not allowed, he is immediately attacked by a horde of screaming female fans. André’s flowing Dutch hair is being surrounded by Mexican temperament, a nice sight. And yet, if it had to be done, he would have given up everything.
André: "I felt myself slowly getting better again and then it started itching."
Pierre: "We did not go full steam ahead. Fundamentally it had to be different. Together we had to ensure that we could do what we wanted to do. The entire system had to be revamped."
André: "Previously I wanted to know everything and would always say “Yes” to everything. Consciously we put the brakes to that. I delegate more. This will never happen again. You can put that in stone!”
Pierre: "I only bother him with very important things. The rest is mine. This way he can focus on what is really important, to put on a fantastic show."
André: "For the first time in five years I’ll be going on vacation again. Hopefully with my entire brood. I am looking forward to that. Really, I have never felt better. Even on stage I feel better.”
GOOD MARRIAGE
Pierre: “The first time I went on tour was when I was nineteen. I found everything fascinating and thrilling! But in the beginning it was a matter of getting accustomed to it. As technical production manager, I had fifty people working for me and I was responsible for the entire life of the show. I can still remember the first time very vividly: just prior to the sound check my father naming me the things that were not done properly in a bossy tone. That went on for three consecutive weeks. That’s when I made it clear to him with trembling knees that things really needed to be different. At home we communicated so well together. He immediately acknowledged that he was wrong. Since that time we’ve never had words again. Some people find that to be implausible and believe that in a good marriage there has to be discord. And there again, I have never had a fight with my wife. When you can communicate well with each other, that is not necessary."
André: "We are not really the only ones. I once spoke with a psychologist and she said, “You can count your blessings. And so it is.” Of course we have differences of opinions, but that does not mean that we start throwing things."
THE END?
The applause still rumbles on long after André has left the stage after a three hour long concert. The face of the Maestro is adorned with a huge smile. Pierre, who spent the majority of the evening in the hall “to soak in the ambiance”, enters shortly thereafter. The same smile of blissful satisfaction. Again a memorable evening and definitely not to be the last one. But again, everything has an end.
André: “Who, me retire? My wife Marjorie and I speak about that every day, but I can’t see myself standing between the elderly for a long time to come. Seth Gaaikema still performs three times a week, and he is 71!”
Pierre: “As long as we can ensure quality, we will continue.”
André: “We can keep each other focused on that, and I will be the first one to admit that it has been fun.”
Pierre: “For me there will always be enough things to continue on with. André Rieu is a strong trademark, which will continue to exist. My task is to manage it and prevent the wrong people from milking it.”
André: “I do not like to think about it too much. There are many countries waiting for us. Let me just conduct another "boring" concert. No matter how much I miss my family. And no, you‘ll never get used to that. It makes you stronger? No, it only gets worse. Luckily I now have a web cam on my lap top with which I can watch my grandchildren 24 hours a day. A present from Pierre. As soon as I am on the road again, I think: "This is fantastic. The stage, the energy: this is what we do; this is what we live for!!”
Thanks to Janny van Wingerden for sending this article and John for ©Translating it.

5 comments:

GillWeb said...

That's wonderful to read. Thank you so much for all the work in the translation and in presenting the interview for us to share.

Mary Webster said...

What a lovely interview, thank you all so much for sharing it with us.

Barbara said...

I think Andre and his family are just fantastic, I love all his interviews and road soaps not to mention their great sense of humour, they are truly a wonderful family. Barb.

Chris T. said...

Another great interview. Nice to hear from you, Janny!

Anonymous said...

A fantastic interview, this is the reason why I love Andre so much becasuse he is a real person so down to earth and a very loving spirit for life so beautifully out played through his music profession. All professions in my book should have a this type of momentum to give to humanity. This should be the main reason why we want a profession. Thank you John for your translations.

Martha

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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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