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Jun 12, 2021

Rieu To Start Touring Again In Autumn!

 Rieu To Start Touring Again In Autumn. First Dutch Show To Be In December!

Photo: Hollandse Hoogte/ANP Kippa

The Limburger - André Rieu will go on tour abroad again in the autumn. The 71-year-old Maastricht violinist and orchestra leader is expected to play with his orchestra in October and November amongst others in Chile, Uruguay, Israel, Austria and Germany.

He announced that on Instagram on Friday.

The first performances in the Netherlands which Rieu will be given since the corona lockdown are in Mid-December in Maastricht in the MECC and early January in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. At the moment, there are a handful of performances for which ticket sales started on Friday. If there is a lot of enthusiasm, there may be additional concerts, his manager informs.

When the corona crisis broke out in March last year, the Limburg violinist was busy with his long-awaited American tour, which he had to cancel prematurely. Rieu will catch up with these concerts in April 2022, followed by a large series of performances among others in the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Thanks John for the article and translation

Jun 11, 2021

André Rieu Relaxes in The Orangery of His Castle

 This Is What I Love 

André Rieu Relaxes in The Orangery of His Castle


Photo: Marcel van Hoorn

de Limburger by Rob Cobben, June 9, '21Every week a well-known Limburger tells L-magazine what he or she loves. This week: André Rieu (71), who normally travels the world with his Johann Strauss Orchestra. But the pandemic has kept him at home for over a year.

Waffle stand on the Vrijthof

"Because I travel a lot – in normal times – I like to cook when I'm at home; I cook for Marjorie, myself, the children and friends. I don't have a favorite restaurant or café. But I can't resist the temptation of the waffle stand that is on the Vrijthof during our concerts."

Favorite store: none

"I do not have a favorite store either. I'm someone who sees something nice and buys it, impulsively. That could be in Maastricht, or somewhere abroad. When I see a nice cardigan for Marjorie hanging in a shop window in Vienna, I buy it. The size is always right. And I know her taste."

My place: Orangery in the garden of our castle

This is what I love: André Rieu relaxes in the orangery of his castle.


Photo: Marcel van Hoorn

"Without a doubt: the orangery in the garden of our castle in Maastricht. That conservatory is filled with exotic plants and flowers. Butterflies and tropical birds fly around and koi-carp swim in the pond. It's the perfect place for me to relax."

Romeo and Juliet, a beautiful film

"He's my idol. Franco Zeffirelli is a fantastic opera, theatre and film director. Everything he does is done with an incredible sense of beauty and romance and with a lot of attention to detail. His productions are true works of art. My favorite movie is Romeo and Juliet, also because of the beautiful music of course."

Crazy about riestevlaoj(Rice

 vlaai/pastry)

"I love Mestreechse riestevlaoj . During the pandemic I baked a cake almost every day for the entire street and for Pierre and his family, who live next door to us." 


Comic books to learn languages

"As a child I loved to read the adventures of Tintin. I even have all the comic book hero's books in Spanish and Portuguese. During the corona pandemic I read them a lot. It's a way for me to learn those languages. My son Pierre also gave me wooden statues of Tintin as a birthday gift. Very nice!"


Appen with the children and grandchildren

"When we're on tour, I watch new videos and photos of my children and grandchildren every day. That is fantastic. I think I have about 500 phone numbers in the smart phone and 5,000 pictures and videos. I send more than fifty messages a day via WhatsApp.''


Thanks to Ineke for the article and John's translation

Jun 8, 2021

André Rieu Back in The Studio With Orchestra!

André Rieu Back in The Studio With Orchestra!

The Limburger - For the first time in more than fifteen months André Rieu has reunited with the musicians of his Johann Strauss Orchestra. In the Rieu studio in Maastricht, rehearsals for a new CD started yesterday morning ( Jun 7, '20), which will be titled 'Happy Together'. Rehearsing together has not been possible since the beginning of 2020 due to the corona measures.

Thanks to John for the article and translation

May 6, 2021

Another slap in the face for waltz king André Rieu

 Another slap in the face for waltz king André Rieu

Due to the corona pandemic, the annual summer concerts at the Vrijthof in Maastricht will not take place again for the second consecutive year. That's what the orchestra leader recently announced.

André Rieu thinks the risks are still too great, especially since the traditional concert series in his hometown also attracts  a large audience from abroad.

"Unfortunately, we are not far enough along with the vaccinations worldwide for us to sing, laugh and dance together in Maastricht in July, being carefree and happy", says Rieu, who has since already been vaccinated.

"That's why we're moving the program to 2022. It is very unfortunate that the traditional open air concerts with my Johann Strauss Orchestra are not to go ahead."

Christmas concert

In March, Rieu reported that there was little chance that the Vrijthof concerts would go on as planned this year, despite the global vaccination program.

The Christmas concerts scheduled for December in the MECC Maastricht have not yet been cancelled. The orchestra leader also hopes that the planned concerts in Chile and Uruguay will take place in October and Israel in November. "In that country we sold a thousand tickets in one day. Almost everyone has already been vaccinated there."

Loss of millions

The failure to proceed with the Vrijthof concerts is another huge loss of many millions for the orchestra leader. "Every summer, about 150,000 visitors from 90 countries make for a huge party at the Vrijthof. It is not possible with the one and a half meters required distance because during the concerts there is always plenty of singing and dancing. That is why, unfortunately, we have taken the decision today to cancel the concerts. Safety is our highest priority."

Not only is it a huge loss for the world-famous orchestra, but also for the owners of hotels in and around Maastricht who are also missing out on a lot of revenue now that the summer concerts have been cancelled.

Government support

Thanks to the support of the government, Rieu has previously indicated that he can survive the crisis. His company has 120 permanent employees, of which the government takes over a large part of the costs. "We have worked hard in recent weeks to re-schedule all concerts for 2022."

The new dates will be posted on André Rieu's website. The first concert in a series of fourteen performances is scheduled for 7 July 2022. Orders and travel arrangements booked through André Rieu Travel will automatically remain valid for 2022. Fans will be able to download the tickets with the new date starting Friday via the original order confirmation..

Happy Together

Plans for the summer are there already. There's going to be a new CD. And André also wants to reveal the title: "Happy together". He hopes that thanks to the vaccinations, rehearsals are allowed beginning June.

 Thanks John for this article and translation

 

Apr 12, 2021

ANDRÉ RIEU ABOUT HEALTH AND ENERGY

April 7th 2021- From: Envida Magazine: Gezond Thuis (Healthy at Home)  

OPTIMIST BY NATURE

He is 71 years old and prefers to travel around the world with his orchestra. How does he stay so fit and enterprising? A story with a world-famous Maastricht resident who gets energy from making music, who learns Spanish with the help of Tintin and who grants himself a a little transgression every day.

ANDRÉ RIEU ABOUT HEALTH AND ENERGY

The interview with André Rieu takes place in the early spring. Due to the lockdown normal life has come to a halt, also for this world-famous Maastricht resident.

 How are you right now? And your health?

"Fine, I am healthy, I feel fit and have luckily stayed clean away from the corona so far. But I am very happy that there are vaccines now and that the over 70ers are eligible for their turn of an innoculation in the foreseeable future. As soon as I am notified, I let myself  be vaccinated”.

PATIENCE IS NOT NORMALLY MY STRONGEST CHARACTER TRAIT, BUT THIS IS GOOD PRACTICE.

 Your life of making music and travelling suddenly come to a standstill, that has to be tough. How do you deal with that?

"Fortunately I don't experience it as arduous, only very annoying. It's a question of being patient. Normally patience isn't really my strongest trait, but this is good practice!”

Are there also bright spots?

“Of course! I see my children and grandchildren every now and then and those are the best things there is. My orchestra members also surprise me regularly with flowers, photos, cards, gifts, homemade cookies or other sweet treats. We have an enormous band together and I realy notice that now since we are not allowed to tour.

What do you do to stay optimistic?

"I don't have to do anything special for that. By nature I am an optimist and am convinced that things will be fine again”.

Normally you perform night after night and travel the world. Where do you get the energy for that?

"The concerts with my orchestra don't cost any energy, they're full of energy! It is really fantastic to play wonderful music night after night and make people happy with it. Everyone in the orchestra is 100% commited every every night and we get so much in return. When you see all those happy people beaming, laughing, dancing and clapping in front of you, then you are completely happy”.

On paper you are 70+, how old do you feel?

“I'm 71 and I'm fine. I am fit and happy and full of energy”.

What do you think is the cause?

YOU SHOULD TAKE LIFE IN YOUR OWN HANDS AND NOT WAIT TO SEE IF SOMETHING MIGHT BE DONE FOR YOU.

"On the one hand, I think, it's my nature. I'm not a person who gives up easily. On the other hand, I do everything I can. "Jeder ist seines Glückes Schmied," (everyone is the blacksmith of his own luck) said Goethe (German author). You have to take your life into your own hands and not patiently wait to see if anything might be done for you."

How would you describe your own lifestyle?

"Healthy, both psychologically and physically. I take good care of myself and I also like to take care of the people around me. I cook healthy every day, very varied, and at four o'clock I make something tasty. Not a lot, not a big piece of whipped cream pie, but a nice snack. This afternoon I had made a mini portion of Kaiserschmarrn (Austrian pancake dish). Delicious, with a dab of butter and icing sugar. According to dietitians, this may not be healthy, but for the mind it is! And yesterday a mini veal croquette after on a recipe from Cees Holtkamp. I don't smoke or drink alcohol, so every now and then a nice little transgression should be possible!"

Do you have a special diet?

"No, just healthy and varied. That can be a decent Dutch meal, such as red cabbage with minced meat, but I also like to watch foreign chefs on YouTube and sometimes copy their recipes. For example Greek moussaka. Or I make myself a pizza, from homemade dough and only healthy things on top. My trainer's advice is: little red meat, fish twice a week, twice white meats such as chicken, fruit and vegetables every day. Low in sugar and fat and especially no trans fats. And a protein shake every day, especially for my muscles.

What is your favorite food? And - in this area- your  guilty pleasure?

"I don't have a preference, I like almost everything”.

How important is exercise to you?

'Very important. I train three times a week, together with my son Pierre, for an hour and a half with a personal trainer. That is pretty tough. We do everything: bench press, leg press, weightlifting, squats and so on. After that I am exhausted, but I still have a wonderful feeling. Furthermore, I walk every day with my wife Marjorie and our dog, and I walk on the treadmill for 1.5 hours on days when the trainer does not come.”

 What about when you don't feel like it for a day?

"I can still hear my parents say: You better succumb to it, ha ha! As a child you hated that when your parents said that, but of course they were right. As an adult you no longer ask yourself whether you feel like it or not. Sports MAKES sense, that's what it's all about! "

Just a walk or a bike ride is there for you even as a celebrity?

“Of course it is! We walk around here in the neighborhood and have a chat with people living in the street. At a distance of a meter and a half, of course. I'm not famous here, just a local resident."

Do you ever feel the need to clear your mind completely?

"Clear my mind? I'm glad there is something in there! Imagine if it was empty. No, an empty head doesn't seem like anything to pursue. I like to think about everything, to fantasize and dream, to hatch new ideas, to think of lovely people, of my children and grandchildren, of beautiful and fun things. I imagine what it will be like when the pandemic is over and we can perform again. When I can hug friends again, go and stand wherever I want. "

Other ways to relax?

"In the evenings I like to watch TV shows with Marjorie, such as" Pride and Prejudice ", or "Die jungen Ärzte" (The young doctors: German TV program). I relax well with that. Doom and gloom and romance, wonderful. I like to cook and bake and find that very relaxing to do. But I am not consciously looking for relaxation, that comes naturally after exertion. For example, I am now using the time to learn Spanish, but I do so in a very special way. I am reading all the Tintin books in Spanish and write the new words in a notebook. When I've read all thirty, I'm going to read them in Portuguese. Not that I necessarily want to learn to speak those languages, I just see how far I can get with them. I especially enjoy doing it”.

Which things give you energy?

"First of all, that's my job. So making music, rehearsing, giving concerts. Those are the things that normally give me energy and which are now not allowed, unfortunately. I do practice the violin every night”.

Which people or things inspire you? Do you have any examples?

“When I'm on tour, I have too much adrenaline in my blood in the evening after a concert to go straight to sleep. Then I often go to You Tube and watch baking movies, for example by Cees Holtkamp. Ever since I was forced to sit at home, I've started baking all those pastries he inspired me to do. A very nice new hobby.

What will you do first when we can largely let go of the corona measures?

"I hope to go back into the studio with my orchestra as soon as possible to rehearse and record a new CD. Marjorie and I already have the ideas for this for the most part and I am eager to implement them. Making music together, both in the studio and on stage, is what I miss most at this day and age”.

Let's assume you turn 100. What do you hope your life will look like then?

"As soon as corona is over, I hope to be able to resume my life from before March 2020, and that is so wonderful that I want to continue with that for as long as possible. Until now we have given about a hundred concerts a year. Maybe when I'm 90, it'll only be 90, haha! We'll see. Robert Stolz was still conducted when he was 95. Johannes Heesters still sang with 104 and still had a very strong voice. So I'm just going to keep going."

Did you stay in touch with friends over the past year? Perhaps on the other side of the world?

"Most of our friends live nearby, in the broader sense of the word. I mean in Maastricht, the Netherlands, Germany. We are in regular contact, via WhatsApp or telephone. Last summer we also met in the garden, 1.5 m distance. I am really looking forward to being able to hug everyone again. We also love to go on trips and excursions with friends, to Germany or Rome. Marjorie and I miss that very much now”.

How important are friendships to you?

 "Friends are, next to your partner, children and grandchildren, the gravy of life, the connection with the outside world, a blessing for your soul. So indispensable!"

What is your wish for people in need of care?

"I'm glad you asked that. Care must be there for everyone, professionally, thoroughly and lovingly. The people who work in healthcare are worth their weight in gold. They deserve great respect and that should also be reflected in their salary. We cannot reward them enough for their wonderful work! For the people who need care, I wish they receive optimal, professional and loving care. I also hope that with our music through the media I can occasionally bring them some happiness.

 Thanks Ineke for the article and her and John's Translation    Brought to our attention by Jean Ramaekers of Maastricht.

Pierre Rieu Continues To Work on War Museum

Pierre Rieu Continues To Work on His War Museum

Pierre Rieu at the first house build for his experience center   Photo by Harry Heuts  

In a warehouse in Maastricht, Pierre Rieu is working hard to realize his dream: an experience museum about the Second World War. Especially for the youth.

 de Limburger, by Rob Cobben - You have war museums of all shapes and sizes, says Pierre Rieu. And he should know. The 39-year-old son of the famous violinist and orchestra leader has visited many of them. Quite a few. Because he has a fascination with everything that has to do with World War II. But the museum that he and his group of friends – Fifty Shades of Green – have been quietly working on in Maastricht for a few years now is going to be different, he says. Target group: children. Key word: experience.

Rieu: "Of course I don't have a museum background, but I have been working in the entertainment industry for twenty years (he is managing director of his father's company, André Rieu Productions, ed.) and know how to attract and hold people's attention. I use these experiences for this initiative."

He proudly shows a white model with fifteen rooms. Visitors will soon be guided from room to room by a guide. Each stay covers a different aspect of the war. For this, Rieu uses audiovisual productions and characters who played a role in the war. Like the American pilot Charles A. Dimmock. The second lieutenant of the 53rd Fighter Squadron from Pennsylvania was shot out of the sky over the Parkstad on

 November 7, 1944. His remains are in the American cemetery in Margraten. Rieu: "Dimmock symbolizes the fifty million people who died during the war."


Photo by Harry Heuts

Bomber

To increase the experience, technical tricks are being used, such as moving floors. As a visitor, you stand in a bomber to see how the hatch opens underneath you and the bombs fall out. Then all of a sudden you see other planes flying eerily close to you. The décor consists of items that come from the war years and the time of the reconstruction. "We received a lot from a collector from Kerkrade," Rieu says, showing the first house that has been recreated and copied. "But we could still use a lot. So if people still have something from that time and want to get rid of it..."

The story of the resistance is also discussed, and that of the Jews and people in hiding. "It has to be a matter of going through it, without it becoming an amusement park." His experience centre should be ready in two years. "We have been delayed due to corona. Normally we come here every Wednesday with 25 friends and tinker with army vehicles and build the museum. But because of corona, of course, that has not been allowed for a long time. I can work here on my own, but the strength of our club is to do that together. Over the years, Fifty Shades of Green has become a close friend's club with a shared passion. The company is very diverse – from an ENT surgeon and goldsmith to a mechanic and welder. There are also five fathers and sons among them. Really special!"

Photo by Harry Heuts

Fascinated by the war

Pierre Rieu became interested in World War II as a teenager. Primarily through his grandparents. His maternal grandmother was married to a German Jew and was in the resistance. "She is my great hero and inspiration!" His grandfather lost almost his entire family in the camps. At the age of sixteen, Rieu became a guide at Fort Eben-Emael, the former defensive works of the Belgians near Maastricht which was captured by air by the German troops. In 2004 he met Mattie Tugendhaft in Israel. Who turned out to have been helped in the war by Rieu's grandmother in hiding: "Goosebumps to hear this story and discover this connection between our families." Because at the end of the day, when it comes to talking about the terrible war, it's not about material, it's about people, says Rieu. "Mattie's wife Myrna talks about her stay in concentration camps in schools. How her mother died there, but with that had no emotion at all. Because her mother was so bad off that she stopped noticing the difference between life and death. Then it's dead quiet in class."

Ambitions

It will be a private museum, where you can go only by appointment, says Rieu. "In the first instance, we mainly focus on school classes and families with children."

But the ambitions are great. Should the initiative be a success, he and his friends club also want to create a mobile version, which will go all over the world. "But that's something for later..."

The experience museum is currently taking shape in a large warehouse in Amby, next to the office and close to the studio of André Rieu Productions. The visitor centre will be located on the first floor, which has been expanded for this purpose. On the ground floor are various vehicles and other materials from the Second World War which Rieu has collected since he was nineteen. And that collection is large, including a GMC truck (load capacity 2.5 metric tons), a Diamond Wrecker (truck with crane to transport broken vehicles), a DUKW (an amphetical auxiliary vehicle) and an Achilles Tank Destroyer.

And then there are countless uniforms, helmets and other war attributes, which have been stored elsewhere for the time being because of the recent burglaries at some war museums. They're all going to get a place in the museum. As an entourage upon entering, Rieu explains. Because the focus is on the stories that are told and made tangible. "When children come home after a visit and tell them that they had a fantastic day, if they are impressed by all those soldiers who have volunteered for our freedom and realize that we must do everything we can to prevent wars in the future, then my mission is successful..."

 

Rieu shows the mock-up of his future museum. Photo by Harry Heuts

If anyone still has items from the war years and wants to give them up can contact us via info@fiftyshadesofgreen.nl

 

Thanks to John for this translation

Mar 23, 2021

"Chances of Rieu Vrijthof concerts are very small"

 André Rieu is somber: 
"Chances of the Vrijthof concerts continuing are very small"



The chances of the Vrijthof concerts continuing next summer are "very small". According to André Rieu, the corona virus is too erratic and the vaccination campaign is far too slow. That is why he is now focusing on the Christmas concerts in the MECC. "We have booked ten days. We hope that this series can continue!"

No, he can't make it any more beautiful than it already is. And as much as he wants to, says André Rieu. The world-famous violinist and orchestra leader is still walking with his soul under his arm. He has not been around and performing with his Johann Strauss Orchestra for more than a year now. "And that's what I and all my musicians love to do," he says.

The fact that the twelve Vrijthof concerts last year could not take place was bad. That more than likely he will not be performing in his hometown this coming summer – where twenty concerts are planned -  he calls that a "downright disaster." "Not just for all  our fans, but also for us as musicians. And also mostly  for me as the owner of a big company with 120 people on the payroll. The government pays a part of the salaries and I am very happy with that, and let there be no misunderstanding about that! But the fact is that every month we have to add money to that, while there is no income."

He does not want to go into details about his company's financial situation. But the bank has already called, to which he added: "And that's normally not a good sign."

Is the moment closer that André Rieu will have to sell his very expensive Stradivarius?

Emotional

Rieu confesses he is also struggling emotionally. Sometimes the tears are closer to him than laughter. But he's trying to cling to the many positive messages he receives from his fans from around the world. "There are people who have emailed that they are going to set up "crowd-funding campaigns" for us. Other people e-mailed us that they want to buy my Stradivarius!" Rieu previously said in interviews that he would rather sell his 300-year-old violin - estimated value: several million Euros - than let his people go.

He also draws comfort from the fact that hardly anyone who bought a ticket for one of his many concerts in 2020, has asked for the money back. "And we are talking about 700,000 (!) Tickets. The fact that people choose to keep their tickets and wait is heartwarming to me."

Decision

The final decision on cancelling the Vrijthof concerts will likely be in May, Rieu said. "Or very strange things will have to happen. No matter how bad we want it, it is not going to happen. As long as the one and a half meter requirement remains in force, we can't do anything." And when will travel be possible again?" he wonders out loud. "More than half of our guests at the Vrijthof concerts come from abroad. And here at home, vaccination is far too slow. Marjorie and I still haven't had a call for the vaccination and we're already beyond 70..."

Christmas

We're just only in March, but in his head André Rieu is already in the fall(autumn). "I think we need to focus on that now. We have concerts planned in Israel (Tel Aviv) and they are already very far advanced with vaccinations. And also in Chile and Uruguay."

And then of course there are the Christmas concerts in the MECC in Maastricht. The first performances, in 2018, definitely tasted like more, Rieu says. "We have now reserved ten days at the MECC for this year. We can receive 12,000 visitors per show. We hope that that series can continue..."

 Thanks to Ineke and Rob for this article and John's translation 

Mar 7, 2021

Rieu Flag Not Quite Yet Flying After News Of Faster Vaccination

Rieu Flag Not Quite Yet Flying After News Of Faster Vaccination

L1 Radio by Maura Laarman

Despite hopeful news from Minister De Jonge about a faster vaccination rate, the flag at André Rieu's will not quite yet be flying. That's what his son Pierre revealed on the Newsshow on L1 Radio.

Statements We Can Use

Corona Minister De Jonge revealed this week that the expectation is that at the beginning of July all Dutch people who want a corona vaccine will already have been inoculated at least once. However, that does not mean that the flag will be flying yet at Pierre Rieu's, spokesman for his father André Rieu. "I didn't hear him say: "From July 1st, we're going to get back to life like it was a year ago. So it is waiting until we receive statements with which  we really can do something."

Vaccination Rate

Previously, the government thought it would take until the beginning of autumn for anyone who wants to be at least partially vaccinated. But based on the experience of recent times, De Jonge is now more optimistic and thinks that they can be this far along by the end of the second quarter, provided that the deliveries now expected continue. He expressed that expectation Tuesday on the television show Op1. According to De Jonge, it is a "realistic assessment that we are heading for a fairly normal summer".

Cry For Clarity

Preparations for André Rieu's Vrijthof concerts in Maastricht have now cautiously started . "We'll continue towards July until we hear a counter-message," Pierre Rieu said. "But it is about time we hear something. The entire industry is crying out for clarity for this summer."

Reality

He does not know whether it is realistic to expect the concert series can actually to continue in July. "That would mean that in four months we would have to be back to normal. That all measures have disappeared. Of course, we all hope that it will go really quick, but is that realistic? I don't know."



One Hundred Nationalities

André Rieu's concert series attracts many visitors from different countries to Maastricht every year. And that makes it more complicated. "We have about 100 different nationalities," explains Pierre Rieu. "Is it possible for all those people from all these countries to come to Maastricht? Or are we going to have a half-full square every day? Of course, that's not what we want."

Postponement By One Year

"If we're going to postpone, it's going to be next year. Then it will be July 2022." According to Pierre, shifting the festivals and events to September creates another big problem. "You get in trouble with the stage builders, suppliers of light and sound, the catering and freelancers. Not all of them can organize all festivals in one month."

He is proud of the public's trust and their unwavering enthusiasm. After the cancellation of the concert series last year, according to Pierre Rieu, 82.5 percent of visitors have held onto their voucher for this year. "And we are very proud of that."

Vaccination  Certificate Or Rapid Test

According to Pierre Rieu, it is all up to the politicians now. They can provide clarity, for example by deciding that events can continue if visitors can provide a negative test result or a vaccination certificate in advance. "Then we will be the first to start planning immediately. Because that we can get sorted out."

"And if it's not July, we'll be there in December. Then we'll start with the Christmas concerts in the Netherlands," he suggests optimistically.

Thanks to Ineke for the article and John's translation

Dec 21, 2020

Christmas With André Rieu

Christmas With André Rieu

Exclusive interview

"Now I am primarily in the kitchen"  

Weekend Magazine, Dec 2020, by Emelie van Kaam

Photos by Marcel van Hoorn and Instagram

André Rieu's castle is completely in the Christmas atmosphere. The violinist likes to be in the kitchen,  some place where he spends a lot of time. He speaks to "Weekend" how he deals with temptations, that he does not speak with all his brothers and sisters and how he dealt with the passing of his mother. "I did not have a relationship with. I did not attend her funeral either."

How are you doing?

André Rieu: We are healthy, and that says it all. The rest is horrible. I should be performing for full venues. I see it on my calendar all the time. Last week we would have been in Belgrade and this week in Lisbon. I would much rather be doing that. We are now very busy to again reschedule all performances.

From 19 December until 3 January people will be able to watch you via a virtual concert, named "Magical Maastricht." Together with your wife Marjorie you have selected your favorite performances from the last fifteen years. Which one touched you the most?

When you see the crowd of 12,000 people on that square being carried away by us and the happy music and now you think that's no longer possible, than that's really horrible and painful to see. It better not be lasting too much longer and we should return very quickly to normalcy. Every morning Marjorie and I ask at breakfast: "How long can we sustain this?" Then we start counting and doing some math.

I am a crier with Christmas movies

Around this period 46 years ago, you entered into a relationship with Marjorie. Because of that do the Christmas days have a romantic touch for you?

"Every year we talk about that. The very first Christmas we were both very much in love, lying underneath a Christmas tree. Back then I had to play during the Mid-night Mass, to which I really had to force myself and tear away from her, ha, ha. I did that nicely, but afterwards said: I'll never do that again. So now with Christmas I am always home. They can offer me as much as they want, but I will not do it."

Do you both watch romantic Christmas movies at Christmas?

"Yes, of course, all those crying films surface again. I have so many favorites, such as "Miracle on 34th Street."  I can definitely shed a tear, but  then I'm such a cry baby, ha, ha."

What does the Christmas menu show this year?

"What am I going to cook? I don't know yet. I decide that day by day. What is my specialty? Just tell me what to fix, Indonesian, Italian, stew, and I can do it all. For a few years now we have a new kitchen and I always cook. Marjorie did not want such a large kitchen, but I really wanted one. So I promised then I would cook, and I have kept that promise."

You hail from a family with six children. You are very close with your brother Robert, who lives in Marseille. Will you see him with Christmas?

"No, I don't think so. They are very strict in France, there are many corona infections there. But we do have contact by phone."

Do you have a lot of contact with your three sisters?

"Not much. My oldest sister has been ill since she was eighteen.  It is very difficult to stay in contact with her, but I know she likes my music. I always send her the newest pieces. Through my youngest sister, who does have a lot of contact with her, I hear that she enjoys those. My second sister passed away a couple of years ago at the age of 69, she was two years older than I. No, I did not have a real bond with her. My youngest sister has five children and is extremely busy, so we don't see each other that often. But  they do come each year to a Vrijthof concert and then we always have a great time afterwards together in the catering."

You also have a brother named Jean-Phillipe

"I do not have contact with him either. We worked together for some time, but at a certain point it just did not click anymore. Let's just leave it at that."

For that same reason weren't you afraid to work together with your son Pierre?

"No, that's going perfect. But we speak very openly about everything, that's very important.  Moreover it  grew very slowly that way. He started at the tailgate of a truck when he was ten and worked very hard. He is now on the board and is our right-hand man. My entire life I felt that my son was doing great, but not my brother."

Jean-Philippe might be jealous?

"You would have to ask him that. Robert is not jealous at all."

A number of years ago you suffered a burn-out and an infection on your equilibrium, caused by stress. How do you watch your health now?

"I put things more into perspective and I exercise. Because of that, it will not re-appear again.  Since I was 62 I have been doing strength training three times a week with my trainer.  I think I had muscle cramps for three weeks after the first time I worked out.  I do it now to stay in shape, and that does me good."

Do you watch your figure?

"Yes, that is part of it. I eat very healthy, and for a few years now do not consume any alcohol. No, I find that not at all difficult. Half way through a glass I stopped. Suddenly I realized that I drank wine every day. Not much at all, but still every day. So I thought: this I don't think is good, and I stopped immediately. We just then had that new kitchen, with six wine cabinets totally filled with nice wines. Now our friends consume those, ha, ha!  My wife does not join in that either, she only drank half a glass once a year."

For the time being there are 20 concerts scheduled on the Vrijthof this coming summer.

"I hope they will take place, they are outside and still six months away. Science has worked very hard to develop a vaccine, so something does need to happen. I am going let myself be vaccinated, for sure. Right away as one of the first. I have never had a flu vaccination, but in this case I am definitely going to do it. Corona does not seems to be a pleasant illness. Yes, of cousre am I afraid of becoming infected with it, and I am doing everything to prevent that. I am not afraid to die, no, I just hope not to be in pain. I hope it will be a long time before that happens, because it is cozy here."

Violinist speaks about temptations and Jealousy

Do you sometimes worry that something might happen to Marjorie?

"Of course. And that is mutual. That would be a disaster. You are together for so long. If she happens to pass, I would not know how to go on. I don't know what would be left of André Rieu, because I ask her everything. We do everything together."

If corona rears its ugly head again this summer, won't you fear that that will be the end of the story for your company, as you said previously?

"It is all very exciting, but that is also relative.  We are healthy and live well. And if it all falls apart, we'll start all over afterwards. Did you think I was going to stop? We have had a few good years and fortunately I am have out of debt with the bank, which is to my advantage. So it just depends on how long I can survive this. The moment I nothing left, I'll need to let everyone go. But as soon as it is all possible again, I will call them all and we will all start again. It's just that simple.

Can you continue to live in your beautiful castle?

"I hope so. If I keep paying my staff, at a certain point I'll have to sell the house. Somewhere it has to stop, then there is no more money to buy bread. That would be the moment when I decide to close things up. At least I would be able to live for a few more years. Of course I receive support from the government, just like everyone else, but that is becoming less and less."

 If I want to continue paying everyone, I'll have to sell my house

Your last album "Jolly Holiday" is fortunately again very successful.

"We worked very hard and long on it. When it is finished, Marjorie and I invariably listen to it during breakfast. I listen to what she thinks, because she listens with different ears. My father was a conductor and he didn't care about anyone else's opinion. He didn't think you knew anything about it. While I feel: The audience is the one who listens. And my wife is my sounding board."

Do you ever dance with your wife to your music?

"No, we had a fight just once and that was when we were at dance class. I said I could dance well, but she thought she could dance better, ha, ha! That was the only fight ever. And that was when we first were together, during the first year. Furthermore, we always agree."

Marjorie has always been deeply involved in your career, did she also have to make sacrifices?

"No, I don't believe so. Marjorie just doesn't want to be in the public eye. She dislikes traveling, flying, attention and luxury. I'm on stage, all photos are taken of me, that's just part of the operation. It is not that she is second place. She's fine with that. I think that's why we are still so happy with each other, otherwise it would be such a competitive battle. You often see that with famous actor couples, it almost never goes well. It's not possible, because then you become involved in a kind of a competition fight, something that is absolutely not the case with us."

In what else are you opposites?

“She always wants to watch different TV programs than I do, but we have more rooms with TVs, ha ha. In the great things of life, we always agree. We also think exactly the alike, which is almost frightening .”

Are you a womanizer?

“I am a man, enough said. I am a man through and through and I like that there are beautiful women. Isn't that healthy?"

Nevertheless, you only have one great love in your life.

“Yes, but that has nothing to do with it. You can also see good food and become hungry by that”.

You are adored by many women. How do you deal with temptation?

"That's right, but I can't sleep with all those women anyway, that would be a bit difficult, ha, ha. Apart from the fact if I would like to, of course. It's just wonderful that I'm a man. When the girls in my orchestra get to wear a nice dress, then I think the neckline should be a little lower. And they think so too. It's difficult making a nice dress with a beautiful neck line. I definitely get involved with that, yes, because I know how."

Is your wife ever jealous?

"No definitely not. She is also present during the fittings. A jealous woman seems horrible to me. Can you imagine. So I just look at another woman and then when I get home I receive a thrashing for that every time…No thanks... I'm not the jealous type myself either. Marjorie has many male friends. I think that that is also the secret: when you hold on to each other too tight and never let go, then you'll want to leave.”

You have 5 grandchildren, what kind of grandfather are you?

“I am a sweet grandfather, but I try not to spoil them too much. You notice they are getting older. Grandchildren start to disengage at a certain point. You can feel that. Now they think: “Here comes that old grandfather again, we are going to do other things”. They will be on their iPads. It seems difficult for parents nowadays having to deal with that. And what they are allowed to look or not to look at? I always used to go play outside with Robèrt, with the cart. No, I am not going to further get involved. Raising them is for the parents to do."

Did your grandchildren inherit your musical genes?

“Yes, but whether they will continue is unclear. Both my sons play an instrument. Pierre trumpet and piano, Marc piano. No, no one plays the violin, only me.”

Who will one day then follow in your footsteps?

 "I would not know that. But I don't mind, they have to want that for themselves. My father was a conductor, so we all had an instrument at home. I received a violin and had the talent, that went smoothly. I became a violinist. But did I really want all that that time, you never know afterwards. I am very happy that my children and grandchildren like my music. .

You just spoke about the iPad. What do you think of Social Media?

“On the one hand, I find that very annoying. It changes all of life. People start to think that everything they read and see there is true, that it is real life, but that is nonsense. The youth now says: “I have so many friends”… Social media friends are not friends at all, it's all fake. But social media is also a wonderful  way for me to stay in touch with my fans from all over the world. They write to me from Egypt, USA, Australia, Mongolia, South Africa. That is amazing!"

 Do you have many friends?

“Yes, especially from the past and they are not jealous at all. When they come by, we have a nice chat and have some cake which I baked. I have few well- known friends, and André van Duin is one of them. We don't see each other very often, but when we're together it always feels good. There is a click, and that's nice.”

He has had a tough year with the death of his husband Martin and best friend Corry van Gorp.

"Definitely! If he wants me to be there for him, then I'll be there. I recently saw him and then it's always fun."

Your parents never believed in your ability. You claim to have had a loveless and unhappy childhood. Where were you last year when you learned that your 98-year-old mother had passed away?

“I heard about it in the evening, after a concert. I did not have a relationship with her, so I wasn't too sad. I've hardly ever seen her in my life. No, I didn't say goodbye to her. I was in Vienna ”.

So her death didn't affect you, did it?

"No, not at all. I have processed that nasty childhood too! It does no longer bother me all day long. Again, it helps to put things into perspective. There are people who have had a worse childhood, I then think. Children are being born on scrap heaps. That's really bad! My childhood hurt me of course, but that is the way it is. I also made choices, for example by leaving the parental home more than 40 years ago. I didn't discuss it, I said: “Do your thing. It's such a madhouse here, I'm gone ” In retrospect, I think that was my best decision."

Finally: Have you ever been bothered by being a world star?

“I think it has more pros than cons. In Maastricht I can just take to the streets and they just say hello to me. In Amsterdam, Vienna or Paris is that totally different, there my name is immediately called out. That makes sense, because I don't belong there. Here they know: Oh well, he's home again. Just leave him alone .”


Thanks to Ineke for this article and her combined effort with John for the 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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