And The Waltz Goes On
MAASTRICHT - The Rieu days are over. The Vrijthof is cleaned up again. André Rieu, a prominent and successful Maastricht citizen, of which is a thing or two can be said, broke through
in 1994 with his rendition of The Second Waltz by Dimitri Shostakovich, and since then has adorned various world rankings in terms of music sales. Rieu is apparently interesting enough for four (Maastricht) scientists to do research on his success. We can expect the results in 2015. But since the results will take some years, I will try and analyze his success here and now.
It is not my kind of music, but I have seen enough raving women floating to the Vrijthof these past weeks. Rieu is, from the perspective of many baby boomer ladies, an attractive guy who appeals to the Sissi kind of feeling. For ladies who grew up with Romy Schneider, the performances of Rieu speak very loudly to their imaginations. With the beautiful dresses and the lush scenery they consider themselves young again and relive again in a certain fairytale like atmosphere. His music and all the fuss surrounding it, speaks to many’s imagination.
In addition, the music produced by the waltz sounds is easily digested by the person who has not been brought up with classical music. Strauss enjoyed playing melodies which were constantly repeated. That was easy on the ears, and the people could sway along a bit. It is "feel good" music. Another success factor is that Rieu is just plain good at what he does. His performances beat any other performances. The concert goers get their money’s worth. Indeed, a full show is presented. What Rieu incidentally also so smartly does, is that he often enough has a local star or a currently well-known singer/songstress incorporated as a supporting act in his own show. With this he immediately reaches a wider audience and makes his performances for many even more interesting. And he can be seen in prominent locations where Royalty is also seen, just like in 2010 when Queen Beatrix celebrated 125 years of the Tourist Board in the enchanting caves of Valkenburg or more recently, during the throne exchange on the beautiful Dam in Amsterdam. This man knows what he's doing.
Not only does Rieu play well on his violin. He is also very good in marketing. He supports everything with multimedia. He sells masses of DVD’s and CD’s, and also knows all too well how to seek publicity. His idea to build a Rieu dome in Maastricht where some 5,000 visitors can be housed is one example. After a statement like this the international press of course is massively interested, with the result that the Vrijthof will again be totally filled a year later.
Rieu is not simply one of the best-selling artists in the world. He is also undoubtedly the star of Limburg, a top marketer who has the knowledge of image building, which also must be accompanied by a necessary portion of self-glorification. He knows how to sell himself. In 2011 during an open air concert for Anthony Hopkins and his wife, Rieu presented "And the waltz goes on ", composed by the great Hopkins himself. This created enough media attention and sales skyrocketed. In short: André Rieu combined a number of things very well: he takes advantage of the demand in the market (Sissi romance), delivers a good product (top show) and uses a strong marketing concept. I think this will be the result of that research.
And we, the Maastricht citizens should be grateful to him, because wherever he is, he speaks highly of 'his' Maastricht, thereby placing our city on the map every time. And his Vrijthof concerts always ensure for full hotels and restaurants, full at a time when the tourist season is normally very slow. So he also brings us economic support. In this manner we also profit from his success. Did we send him a "Thank You" for that already?
Thank You To John For The Translation of This