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Jan 19, 2019

André Rieu I Still Have Two Dreams in Life

I Still Have Two Dreams in Life

By: Katharina Schnurr
Photos by: Marcel van Horn and  F. Abraham

We rarely see the star violinist so personally. Instead of wearing a tuxedo and a violin, André Rieu shows up to  SUPERillu casually dressed, while revealing some of the details of his (musician) life.

His beloved castle in Maastricht (the Netherlands) has barely seen André Rieu, 69, in the last year. With his "Johann Strauss Orchestra", the star violinist has been more successful than ever before, touring all five continents. In SUPERillu, the Dutchman (with his current album: "Romantic Moments II") gives an insight into his life and offers pictures of a special journey.

Mr. Rieu, you are at home all over the world and you have recently performed in Israel!
The audience welcomed us so warmly, it was great. And truly, Arabs really danced waltzes with Israelis. One evening I invited my entire orchestra to Jaffa for dinner. They have wonderful fish dishes there! The Israelis really serve you like royalty, the food was so delicious. And our hotel in Tel Aviv was right on the Mediterranean. Many of my musicians were in swimming trunks or bikinis during the day, but in the evening, of course, in evening dress or tails.

For many of your musicians, you are more than just a "boss" ... 
Of course I'm the boss, but also a "father" to everyone. A good atmosphere is important for me and also that my orchestra feels good. We travel in the same bus, live in the same hotels, eat the same food. I have three cooks on tour with me, and every year there are Christmas gifts and a Christmas party in my studio for all employees. I enjoy caring for others and am very proud and happy about the loyalty of my orchestra and staff.


Son Pierre was in Israel, wanted to get to know the country of his maternal grandfather. He manages the company of his father.

Are there couples in your company?
Yes, many: 1, 2, 3 ... I believe 13 throughout the company. As to how many children were born from these unions, I do not know, I would have to count them. My drummer Marcel Falize alone has three adult sons who all have become drummers. Sometimes all four of them play in the orchestra, that's great!

Soon you will be turning 70. Others think of retirement. What is going to happen to the orchestra when you say goodbye to the stage?
Fortunately, 2018 was one of the most successful years ever for us, so I'm a long way from saying goodbye to the stage. But I have such excellent musicians that some would probably start their own ensembles or transfer to another orchestra. Many of my musicians have been with me for over twenty years, we are a big family.

You have 100 employees. Doesn't that at times feel like a burden?
Of course, I feel there is a certain responsibility, but it is not a burden. First and foremost, I am a musician, but also an entrepreneur, who sees more and more in opportunities than in risks. We make our living from the sale of the concert tickets, and I am not subsidized. After all, I have always wanted to travel around the world with my own orchestra. And I sleep very well at night, simply because I know I can count on my people - and they on me.


In a spice shop the musician makes faces smelling the spices

In 2010 you experienced a burnout. What are you doing to stay fit?
I do a lot of sports, proper weight training, eat healthy - right now I'm putting together a herb garden at home - sleep a lot and maintain a happy marriage. Besides that, I'm never bored.

With the herb garden you have fulfilled one dream. Are there any more?
Yes, I still have two dreams: one to play on the moon and two to play with Bruce Springsteen. I think those are super.

You always look happy. About what do you laugh?
My wife Marjorie and I laugh a lot together, we have the same sense of humor. It might be a program on TV, a sweet video of my grandchildren, a message we receive ... it could be anything!

On what do you notice you are getting older?
Actually, on positive things. I am more at peace. I am still impatient, but not like I used to be. Marjorie always said, "You are like a team of horses. You are either running or are asleep!"

Do you already have plans for your birthday?
Oh, that's only just in October. No, I do not make plans that far in advance. But we Dutch can celebrate rather very well. So it will be a nice break. On my wife's, my sons' and my own birthdays, I am always home, we do not tour then.


Thanks to Ineke for the article and John's translation

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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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