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Nov 4, 2011

André Rieu: I Would Prefer to Play in My Own Country

André Rieu in Arnhem For His Christmas Concert
"I would prefer to play in my own country"

November 3, 2011: André Rieu’s popularity continues to expand. After Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, Mexico, the United States and Canada, it is now Great Britain’s turn. Invariably his concerts attract sold out venues, which makes Rieu one of the best selling artist in the world. Currently one can find the Maastricht World star primarily abroad, but in December he and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will return to the Netherlands for a unique Christmas Concert in the Arnhem Gelredome. Our reporter interviewed the "King of the Waltz".
►The Christmas concert promises to be a spectacular and impressive evening. Could you just lift a corner of the veil for us already?
"Just like every year I bring a new program with lots of surprises. What the concert precisely entails, I will right now keep that to myself. I can tell you though that the Viennese dance school Elmayer, the Soweto Gospel Choir, the Harlem Gosper Choir and the "Trio St. Petersburg" will be performing. That in itself should be enough to look forward to".
"This I never dared to dream"
►You achieve significant global successes which cause you not to be in the Netherlands as often. What is it like to occasionally perform in your own country"

Throught the year we perform all over the world so we indeed have few opportunites to perorm in our own country. No matter how fantastic those concerts abroad are, nothing is more beautiful then to be able to perform on ones own soil. And then it does not matter if it is in Amsterdam, Arnhem or Maastricht.
►With your popular classical works by for instance Johann Strauss, you have been loved by a wide audience for the past 25 years. Now you are one of the best selling artists in the world:
That's right. Just incredible. I am extremely proud. "It is so very nice to see that the public appreciates you and that after all is who you do it for. 
►You are being appreciated by name to the fact that you are making classical music available to a wide audience. What do you think is your strength?
"I find it important to give the public the feeling that there is interaction, by for instance, looking them straight into the eyes. In addition, my orchestra and I have a lot of fun on stage and that radiates out. There is a definite interaction when the audience is entertained, and they in turn entertain us. And without a doubt the reverse is true also. In addition I find it important that people can show their emotions during a concert. Classical music is extremely beautiful and can bring a lot to the surface. That’s why there is dancing, laughter and tears during my concerts. Moreover, we pay a lot of attention to the appearance of the concert. Not only for the ears, but the eyes want something too. All that together makes the public feel good and enjoy themselves.

►You have millions of fans all over the world. One of them is the world renowned actor Anthony Hopkins who composed the waltz "And the Waltz goes on" with the request that you and your orchestra specifically perform this waltz. Last summer you played his composition for the first time in Austria. Why did you react to his request?
"I am an enormous Anthony Hopkins fan. When a celebrity like him - maybe one of the world’s greatest actors – asks me to execute a waltz, I do not have to think about that for one single minute. Ironically I immediately fell in love with it the first time I heard his piece."

►What does Hopkins’ appreciation do for you?
"I find it to be very special. And the nice thing is that the appreciation and respect are mutual. We clicked immediately when we first met. Hopkins is a very passionate man, besides being a fantastic actor and talented composer. In the meantime through our cooperation a wonderful friendship has evolved."

►You also landed on English soil this year. With your music DVD’s you reached first place, ahead of Justin Bieber and Michael Jackson. A new mile-stone?
"Of course. England for us is a new market. That we achieved a number one placing there is an enormous honor and gives us a fantastic feeling. Especially when you see how tough the competition is."

►The more popular you become the larger and more spectacular your shows. It seems that every concert surpasses the last one. Is there a limit?
"I do not think it can be any crazier or surpass the concert of 2008 in Vienna with the Schönbrunn Castle. That was a gigantic project. Maybe financially it was not the best decision we ever made, but commercially it was the best promotion worldwide we could have ever wished for. So we strive every time to come up with something new and original. And it does not need to be bigger or even more spectacular. But if you have been on stage successfully for more than thirty years, you cannot keep coming up with the same things all the time."

 ►Where does you inspiration come from every time?
"There is an enormous amount of beautiful music out there, so inspiration is not the problem. The trick is to come up with a fascinating and surprisingly varied program time and time again. That is something that my wife and I have been very busy with for many years. She, for me is the driving force behind the scenes.
"I was born with my violin and will die with it."
►You describe your relationship with the orchestra as kind of a marriage. Please explain.
We are one large family. Together we perform more than 120 concerts in a year, so we spend a lot of time together. There are times when I see my colleagues more than my own family. I am very proud of the bond we all maintain. That does not only pertain to the members of the orchestra, but to my technical people as well. Only with such a tight-knit group can you work closely together in harmony and respect."
►With your violin you also have a lifelong love affair. You have been playing this instrument since you were five years old, and in the meantime you have surpassed sixty. Do you have any plans to ever lay the violin down next to you?"
I do not think so. I rise with it and go to bed with it. You could say I was born with a violin in my arms, and undoubtedly will die with one too." 
►Ever thought that as a violinist you would be so successful?
"I have always been convinced that the manner in which I make music and attract people to my concerts would be successful. But that it would assume such proportions, I never dared to dream. That I, together with my Johann Strauss Orchestra, am allowed to experience that, that makes me the happiest man in the world.
Thanks to Ineke and Rini for sending this and John for Translating it.
Special Thanks to the artist who sent us his paintings of André and Limburg.

7 comments:

Moira Darroch said...

Just read the latest lovely article on Andre. However I would like to say that the heading "I Would Prefer to Play in My Own Country" is misleading and would certainly give the Maestro's critics something else to hang on to!! Words are powerful and this heading is actually NOT what Andre said. What he DID say is "Nothing is more beautiful than TO BE ABLE TO PERFORM ON one's own soil". Quite different from giving the public the impression that he DOESN'T want to play anywhere in the world except The Netherlands?
Just an observation, but I know you do have to be careful on how people's words are printed. It is fine for us who all deeply love the World's most magical and wonderful Maestro.............but bear in mind those who would jump on any little excuse to complain!!

Sue Berry said...

I will let John answer this Moira as he translated the article.

He did translate in the article itself, ("No matter how fantastic those concerts abroad are, nothing is more beautiful than to be able to perform on one's own soil".)

But the Headline to the article was different.

Anonymous said...

wHere's the source for this article? I'd like to check it out myself. Thanks.

Craig.

John said...

The article's origional headline in Dutch reads as follows:

"IN EIGEN LAND SPEEL IK HET LIEFST"

I know this differs from what is written in the article itself, but there again, I did not write the article, I just translated what was written.

To Graig, send me your e-mail and I will forward you the article.
Mail me at john0675@hotmail.com.

InekeHolland said...

ytoI think John translated exactly what was written. But we all know that journalists can be very inaccurate in their written reports. Sometimes it happens that interviewed people cannot even recognize their interview in the written reports (mainly in gossip papers). This article is not that bad, but I think Andre meant to say, or had said, what Moira wrote down.

Anonymous said...

Okay John, I sent you an email. Thanks a lot mate.

craig.

Anonymous said...

I feel that there is a lot of criticism in the air universally and anger. This energy can effect us in many ways and certainly at the unconscious level. We all know the good intentions of Andre, he is very, very authentic, so in todays climate any miscommunication reported or otherwise can make that one seem to look discredited in someway. Andre is no exception, unfortunately artists like him who perform for the people and not selfish pride would get the brunt of this skepticism. Nice article and thanks for the translation and posting.

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!"

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