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Nov 26, 2013

André Rieu never wants to leave his castle



André Rieu Never Wants To Leave His Castle

By Johan Lok - Photos: Govert de Roos: For years André Rieu and his wife Marjorie have lived in a beautiful castle in Maastricht. Both their sons have since left their home, and that is often the time when parents decide to downsize. That is absolutely not the case for this successful violinist. He does not dare to think about leaving his castle.

"I had piano lesson here as a boy, and back then I already found it amazing"
  
"My home is my Castle" indicating a familiar expression that someone’s home is his little castle. In André’s case is this just the reverse. For years now he has been living in an old, but recently beautifully restored, castle, which overlooks the Maas (Meuse) in Maastricht. Proudly the violinist conducts a tour and poses in no less than 25 different rooms, such as for instance, the kitchen. Incidentally a very special kitchen; where at one time according to stories a very famous person sat at the table. None other than Charles de Batz de Castlemore, the Count of Artangan, who would have had his breakfast there the morning before he died during the siege of Maastricht in 1673. The actions of the Count would have been recorded by Alexander Dumas by which he later became known as D'Artagnan, the fourth and perhaps most famous of the famous musketeers. André Rieu is not quite sure whether the story is true or not, but it still is a good story. Currently André and his wife Marjorie occupy the castle. Both their sons have left, but obviously visit regularly with their families. Visits to which the violinist looks forward to with pleasure, because then he can again wrap his arms around his four grandchildren. Because of his touring with his 60 person Johann Strauss Orchestra, which leads him to all the corners of the world, he is often away from his grandchildren for a longer period of time.

BUTTERFLY GARDEN

The beautiful castle in which André and Marjorie reside is named "Huis de Torentjes" (House the Turrets). It is situated on the east side of the Saint-Peter’s hill, in the former village of Sint Pieter, which now is a neighborhood of Maastricht. André is especially proud of his "Orangerie" (tropical greenhouse) which has been transformed by the violinist into a beautiful butterfly garden which also houses many unusual birds. "Spending my money on that gives me more satisfaction than for example driving around Maastricht in an expensive Ferrari" says the orchestra leader. In the past many musically performances had taken place in the castle, so in that aspect, this is the perfect place for André to reside in. On an exterior door there is even a fitting Latin text to be found: "Only people, who love the arts, are allowed to enter."

An inside look at André

As a young boy André did already visit the castle. During that time he was receiving piano lessons there. "I can remember it was dark and damp. I already knew then that later on I would want to live here." But the lessons did not last too long. "My piano teacher was awful, so I also hated that instrument the same time," he once said in an interview. "My violin teacher on the other hand was blond and she was very pretty. So I very much liked playing the violin."

I am going to be 120

When André bought the castle, lots needed to be done to it. He bought it in two separate transactions. When the second part became available, he decided to buy that too, so that the entire castle "De Torentjes" became his property. He then had a French developer renovate it.

"I still want to perform a concert on the moon"


André never wants to leave his castle. "I will only stop after I have given a concert on the moon with my orchestra. I made an agreement with Richard Branson that he will build a hotel on the moon and I will then give a concert there. It will be a while before that becomes a reality. But that does not matter, because I have always said that I live to be 120. And as long as I am alive, I will absolutely want to continue living here."

In the meantime André has already been married 38 years to Marjorie. The two met each other when he was 11 and she 13. But actually dating did not happen for another 11 years. So as the violinist, as a little boy already knew that later on he would live in a castle, so he already knew in school that Marjorie was the woman he would later marry. Marjorie has always been the lady in the background, who is almost never seen, but is indispensible to André. He still remembers the time very well when son Pierre was born. "That was at 2 o’clock in the morning. Seven hours later she asked for a telephone and her agenda and she was back to work. In that aspect, we are very much alike." Pierre, who is 32, is the younger of their two children. Son Marc is two years older. He is an artist, while Pierre is now is part of the management of the company Rieu.

Granddaughters

The two boys have up until now produced four grandchildren. Marc is father to son named Ivan, who is 4 and a three year old daughter, named Fleur. Pierre has twins born in 2008. The girls listen to the names Linde and Lieke. And to André’s great fortune, the twins like nothing better that to play the violin. They have been taking lessons since age three. Other than that, he lets them do their own thing, because he knows better than anyone else that, when you force children, it can all turn out wrong.

At some point, the violinist would like to do something special in the castle’s garden. He is thinking about a convent, where nuns could go to pray. He himself can spend hours in the orangery - just watching the butterflies, the birds, and the coy in the pond. According to André there is no nicer way to gain new energy.

Thank You to Ineke for sending this and to John for Translating it.

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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