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Dec 19, 2012

André Rieu: My Drive is Huge!


MY DRIVE IS HUGE

André Rieu refuses to slow down after his burn-out

Coldplay, van Halen and Lady Gaga all have one thing in common: they have stiff competition to fear from André Rieu. The king of the waltz refuses to slow down after his burn-out earlier this year, and is touring all over the world. "Being on tour is less tiresome than being at home. Here I only have to perform." 
Alemeen Dagblad, by Marlis van Leeuwen: André Rieu (63) barely gives any more interviews. With these sort of marginal side-issues, he much rather not be involved, that was the lesson he learned from his burn out. Definitely not on the days when he has a performance that evening. And given the fact that the agenda of the Netherlands’ most successful violinist is filled to the brim, makes acquiring an appointment for an interview quite a chore. In December, André has exactly one spot open between his performances in Ireland and Scotland, before his concert this coming Saturday (22 December) in the "Ahoy" in Rotterdam. "Is travelling tiresome? I do not think so. The orchestra always visits the city. I do not do that. I mostly see my hotel room" says André in the presidential suite of the Glasgow Hilton. The rest of his entourage – a total of about 110 personnel – sleeps in the same hotel. "It is a traveling circus." There is a prominent place in his hotel room, reserved for a treadmill. For the last few months now, this monster always goes along on tour. "I do not like to work out. I hate weight lifting, but then I think: Hey, this is nice! It is really true that when your body changes, so does your mind. I now weigh 12 kilos (26 lbs) less. I can still afford to lose a little more, but it feels so much better now. There is a world of difference now when I am on stage." Working out is the new life’s philosophy for the violin virtuoso (I would recommend to everyone) after he severely crashed earlier this year due to burn out, just like in 2010. "I became dizzy in the middle of the night. That’s scary. It just does not go away. My wife Marjorie was enormously shocked that this happened for the second time. I had to suspend everything for 3 months. I had again exceeded my limits. So I thought: "This will not ever happen again." "I no longer participate in frivolous things. The irony is that the Christmas special, which is now number 1 here in England, was the cause then. That was towards the end of last year and was extremely fun to do, but we did work until 4 in the morning. At a certain moment it all comes to a halt. Says your body: "You can continue on if you want, but I am going to quit. You cannot expect that from your body, especially when you are not in shape."

SUPER FANATIC
 
Looking back he might have to hit himself over the head in the fact that in last 4 years he hasn’t done anything physical. He is now super fanatic about his health. "I have a personal trainer, who often accompanies us on tour. He gives me tips and exercises, and then I secretly do more. Which could actually be a little dangerous," so says the Maastricht citizen.

"My drive is huge." As soon as Rieu was fit again, he started touring again at full speed. Brazil, Germany, Denmark, France and the traditional concerts on the Vrijthof in Maastricht. He won prestigious awards in places like Mexico and Great-Britain. Surpassed Coldplay in the British music top 40 DVD chart, and with his tours earned more than Lady Gaga and Van Halen.

Thanks to son Pierre, André gets to keep a little of that. That is important, because in 2008 the violin virtuoso almost went bankrupt due to a very enthusiastically and elaborate tour, with an orchestra of megalomaniac proportions and a copied Viennese castle. "So is that with Marjorie and I. We enjoy doing these things, but never with the intention of becoming rich. Pierre says: "It is a nice idea, but there has to be something in the end too. And in that he is right. Someday I will retire, and financially that is not too far off. Pierre taught me that I spend too much. Not that I buy Ferrari’s, but I put too much back in the company. I play in large venues which do not always present the most romantic ambiance. So, at the spur of the moment I had them make gigantic chandeliers. It looked fantastic" says Rieu looking back at it. "I can still see Pierre standing there, trying to figure out what that would cost us per year to hang them and drag them along. He told me that the audience had no idea that those chandeliers belonged to me. There wasn’t a note attached saying: "This chandelier belongs to André Rieu." He was right. Now those chandeliers are stored in a warehouse." Everyone around him, except Marjorie and sons Marc and Pierre, ask André if he would not like to slow down a little. Result: "Being on tour is less tiresome than being at home. Here all I need to do is perform. Everything is prepared, everything is arranged. My team, with whom I have been working with for years, does all that. The only thing I need to worry about is getting enough sleep, and that I am well rested when I go on stage. Then everything is OK!"
 
"At home I am always thinking: "What will I be doing next year. What is the next step? You have to be very creative, that is hard work. Discussing things with Marjorie. Even when I walk the dog, am I grinding along. Here, when on tour, I am actually on holiday. Of course every day, I work slowly towards a concert. But that is more tranquil. While on the road, he keeps as much contact as possible with his wife, who does not like to travel. "I live through my telephone. I wonder how I was able to manage that in the past. When there is on occasion, no wireless internet, I swear: " What sort of a backwards place is this?"

FAMILY
After this Saturday’s concert in the "Ahoy" André will disappear from the stage for a week. Between Christmas and New Year’s it is all about the family. Being home, in the castle in Maastricht. Christmas is very plain with us. No five course diner, those I have while on tour. Just being together. The boys do the cooking. We do not go out and visit people. I am always on the road and then it feels wonderful to just be at home with the family, with the children and grand children. Present? This year I’ll be home just in the nick of time, so I do not know whether I have time to buy presents. Anyway, the grandchildren will be inundated with gifts. As grandparents we are allowed to spoil them. What will 2013 bring us? The waltzking is full of ideas. In January he will be working with Jermaine Jackson, Michael’s brother. Maybe he might appear at the Vrijthof concerts. We get along very well with each other. To conquer China could very well be the next step. 
I do not have a dream. I just would like to continue in this fashion. To conduct concerts and to have a nice evening. Afterwards you read on twitter what people are saying, that this was the nicest concert they ever experienced. That is what it is all about. My work makes me happy. Really, I do not understand why people want to retire early." 
Thanks to Ineke for sending this and John Translating it. Photos by Jeanette 

1 comment:

Carol Harwood Malvern England said...

Thank you for bringing such a positive article to us. Andre is living his dream he knows how lucky he is. He has had such a wonderful year after the illness he so deserves the accolades. Thanks to all the team on the website you work so hard best wishes for Xmas and 2013.

Carol Harwood xx

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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)

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Maastricht 2012 ~ "André and Pierre on The Theater Steps" by Bee

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