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Nov 21, 2021

André Rieu on Cancelling Shows:

 

CHRISTMAS  CONCERTS CANCELLED

André Rieu on cancelling shows: 'Going partying now is morally irresponsible


Photo André Rieu Productions

He could have waited for the next press conference by the outgoing cabinet. And maybe then the signal could have gone green for the Christmas concerts in the Maastricht MECC. "But," says André Rieu, "that is morally irresponsible. You can't have 36,000 people partying, while a hundred meters away people in the ICU are fighting for their lives and healthcare workers are in danger of falling over."

de Limburger, by Robb CobbenThe three planned Christmas concerts of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra on 17, 18 and 19 December in the Maastricht MECC will not take place. Just like last year, they are cancelled due to the corona pandemic. "The rapidly rising infection rates do not make any other decision possible," says Rieu.

"It was with pain in my heart that I made this decision. Because actually, after nineteen months without concerts, we would like nothing better than to jump on stage and play. But the way I feel, this is the only good thing to do now."

What we do for many people's lives is the icing on the cake of. Andre Rieu 

The outgoing government will come up with a new press conference on 4 December. And just maybe possibly less restrictions might be possible after that date. "But," says Rieu, "to let the concerts go ahead is morally irresponsible. You can't have 36,000 people partying while a hundred feet away people are fighting for their lives in the ICU. And healthcare workers are in danger of collapsing."

That is why it was decided yesterday to postpone the three planned Christmas shows to December 2022. The tickets sold – for the three performances with a capacity of 12,000 spectators each were almost sold out – will remain valid for the new dates.

For Rieu, the cancellation means a financial dilemma. "Actually, it is very bitter, because we are in a situation where we cannot afford this at all. We haven't been able to give concerts for nineteen months. And therefore have no income. But if the decision for us is not made, we will do it ourselves."

Large amount

How much money he will be missing out on by cancelling the three Christmas shows, he does not want to say. "But you can be certain that it is a very large amount." The orchestra leader hopes that the government will come up with new support measures. "We are very grateful to have a government that has spent billions in supporting businesses. Without that help, we wouldn't be existing today. We have 130 permanent employees. We assume that new support measures will follow, because otherwise companies will vanish. Then the support for the first period of the pandemic would still have been in vain."

Not only the shows in Maastricht have been cancelled. Rieu and his orchestra would have given concerts in Bratislava, Vienna, Cologne and Leipzig starting next week. Those performances too will also not take place. "The situation there in terms of infections, is just as alarming as it is here."

 Lisbon

The only four shows which are scheduled from 1 to 4 December are in Lisbon, and remain on the agenda for the time being. The corona-virus pandemic seems to be under control In Portugal. "We hope that those concerts can take place. We are all very eager to get that energy boost. Making people happy with our music, that's what we do it for."

The orchestra leader and violinist is convinced that the 'hunger' for his orchestra and music will remain. "What we do for many people is the icing on the cake of a lifetime. They look forward to our concerts, sometimes look forward to those for a year and enjoy them immensely."

Thanks to John for this article and his translation

Nov 13, 2021

André Rieu Doubtful About His Christmas Concerts In The MECC

 André Rieu Doubtful About His 

Christmas Concerts In The MECC

1Limburg, by Jo Cortenradt, Friday 12 November

André Rieu's Christmas concerts at the MECC in Maastricht may not take place this year.

"We will be considering the situation in the coming week," says the Maastricht orchestra leader. He does not want to draw a definitive line through the concerts yet and wants to keep all options open.

Uncertain

Although the measures announced by the outgoing cabinet initially apply for three weeks, there is still uncertainty about a possible extension. "Based on the new rules, the three concerts cannot take place," says Rieu. The concerts are scheduled for 17, 18 and 19 December.

Corona

In 2019 André Rieu started his Christmas concerts at the MECC. He invested a lot in the décor and hoped to be able to earn it back in the following years. But in 2020, the concerts had to be cancelled due to corona.

Thanks John for this quick article.

Sep 30, 2021

Sanne Mestrom, saxophonist with the Johann Strauss Orchestra,

 Sanne Mestrom, saxophonist with the Johann Strauss Orchestra, and about joy and music.

Where music sounds, you are at home

Adams A-magazine. Sep 2021- Especially during the iconic Boléro by Maurice Ravel and the famous "Second Waltz" by Dmitri Shostakovich, Sanne Mestrom has to work with her saxophone in the Johann Strauss Orchestra of André Rieu. Although she is mainly of service to the collective and flamboyant orchestra leader, the modest saxophonist still enjoys the spotlight that is occasionally focused on her. “The fun we have on stage is authentic. We enjoy the music and the enthusiastic audience that flocks from all corners of the world to experience André's show. Because that is what it is every time, for us, for André and for the public,: a unique experience.”

A conversation with a passionate musician who as a child was already captivated by the magic of André Rieu and his orchestra. “I found the combination of music with visual aspects (including the dazzling dresses) irresistible. Now  I've been a part of it for years. Music is pure joy. You see that, you hear and it and you feel it."

AROUND THE WORLD

Sanne Mestrom (1984) would have preferred it to be differently. Then this year she was once again crisscrossing around the world to convey the universal message of the language of the heart, evening after evening in André Rieu's orchestra. Corona threw, like so often, a wrench in the works. Never the less,  during the meeting at C-Mine in Genk, Sanne shows herself in a good mood and optimistic about the future. “We are definitely going to pick up the thread again. Everyone is eager to go wild. I myself by nature am quite impatient  and quickly bored. That's why I took singing lessons. In that sense I have used the time well to take my interest in singing again a bit more seriously. There is no point in sitting back and down. Whenever it is possible,  all of us are ready to go wild.”

MORE MUSIC

Sanne Mestrom has known that since she joined the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 2005, that music touches hearts and is boundless. Her proverbial playing field stretches from Shanghai to Buenos Aires and from Mestreech to Oklahoma. André Rieu has grown into a wear-resistant global brand. “Seeing merry people is the most beautiful thing there is. From the stage we are confronted with a large, cheerful crowd night after night. A greater energy boost is unthinkable. What could be more beautiful than seeing people having the time of their lives, being touched by heartwarming music? That never gets boring. In fact, you would wish the world's population much more music in their hearts.” There is no shortage of superlatives. André Rieu was not placed in the cradle in Maastricht for small potatoes. His career revolves around the grand gesture. Creatively, there  is never a lack of ideas. As a child, Sanne Mestrom was already mesmerized by the fairytale  atmosphere which surrounded André Rieu and his orchestra's concerts. “At home in Maasbracht-Beek with my parents and two year younger brother, I dreamed away in front of the TV, when I saw André with his orchestra. I absolutely loved seeing contrabass player Jean Sassen  the orchestra. I already knew him as the conductor of my marching band, who from my birth on has taken a central place in my life. I dreamed that one day I would be standing there too.”

FATHER'S BRASS LESSONS

The first sound Sanne heard must have come from the brass sounds of her father's students. “My father is a passionate musician. He was a brass teacher in the evenings. During the day he worked as an HR manager. My mother worked in the X-ray department of the hospital. The sound of the trumpet attracted me. And like any curious child I tried to play that trumpet. When I was five I took piano lessons with Gaby Devies. That went more playful-wise. At home we also had a piano, so I played on it. I also played violin for a while. People who love music also love each other. But my love for wind music really ignited when I came in contact with the sound of the saxophone. The saxophone section of my marching band consisted of the best saxophonists in the Netherlands: among others like Marlaine van Lier, Jean-Pierre Cnoops and my uncle Frank Meuwissen.” “Those people – all professionals – put me on the track of the saxophone. I am eternally grateful to them for that. Fortunately I could not escape their great sound and influence.. It was a luxury to have these people near me. Frank Meuwissen gave me my first lesson. He plays in the Glenn Miller Orchestra and occasionally with Rieu when multiple saxophones are needed. Nothing is more valuable than learning from the best."

BAND, AUDITION AND BOLERO

“It is extraordinary that a village in Central Limburg, in this case Maasbracht-Beek, has so much musical talent,” Sanne continues. “But it's also not for nothing that wind music, thanks to all those brass bands and marching bands is so good internationally. Our marching band has become champion no less than three times in the concert department at the World Music Competition. I still play in the marching band, when I'm in the area of ​​course. That bond is very strong.” Although the music was a factor of great significance, Sanne was not quite sure what the future had in store for her during her stay at VWO in Echt. "I honestly had little real interests. I've always loved making music, but I didn't take into account that I would really make this my profession. I went to the Conservatory in Maastricht. There I combined saxophone with Norbert Nozy and Arno Bornkamp and piano with Tonie Ehlen. I did not taste much of the wild student life.. I was always working and studying. Already in my second year of study I ended up with André in. Jean Sassen, the double bass player with André Rieu and conductor of my brass band, called my father to ask if I wanted to audition for André's Vrijthof concerts. Of course I went to Maastricht; the audition was right away the next day so there was little time to prepare anything. But it turned out well. Andre was very nice. But he didn't make it easy for me either. He tested my dynamics. From very soft to rock hard; I had to be able to play it all.” Laughing: “I was not prepared to play the Bolero and that was exactly what he told me to play. It went really fast. He thought I should immediately stay for the subsequent rehearsal. I have never left."

JETLAGS AND SCALES

She completed her Conservatory studies between the various tours and jetlag. In the meantime she has now crossed the world a number of times with the orchestra. That never goes on autopilot, the impressions are too great for that and the magic of the music and the crowd too overwhelming. “It touches me every time to see how big André is abroad. Traveling can be exhausting at times but we always make it a party. Fortunately I can sleep well en route. We are on the road day and night. It's nice that we always eat together. That sense of groups community is important. I am especially grateful to be a part of that musical family. In addition, I have been given the opportunity to develop within the orchestra.. For example, on André's advice, I also started playing the bassoon. Music offers endless opportunities to continue learning, to develop yourself. I dare to say that we as an orchestra have become better and better in recent years.” She is still in love with the sound of her soprano saxophone. “Andre also has something to do with the sound of that instrument. He especially likes the classic timbre.  I also need that sound for our repertoire as well. But the instrument is so versatile that it also comes into its own in the pop genre and in jazz. In fact, the sax forms a beautiful bridge between the traditional wood and copper. To improve my skill I still play almost every day. Yes, scales too. 

PATER FAMILIAS

“Every member of the orchestra is equally important. It's more than a team, it's family. That mutual bond is essential. In my experience you can hear and see that we trust each other. That bond has only grown stronger in recent years. Of course, not everything is unicorns and clovers. We also have had hard times.  Especially when our orchestra member Ruud Merx suddenly passed away. That is an indescribable loss and a pain we still feel. But we also continued in his spirit and grew further.  At times when it is difficult, André is there as a father figure, a Pater familial. And this corona time is of course also difficult for us. I think people are craving to see us back at work again. Music in these difficult times is more important than ever. We are ready for it,” says Sanne resolutely. “I have been living back in my native village Maasbracht-Beek for a while now. That's nice. Especially if you're on tour so many times. A good home front is of great important to me. Sometimes I teach. Then I receive students at home. It's nice to share knowledge, especially with young people. The survival of musical  culture is close to our hearts in the orchestra and André in particular. That's why it's so good that Adams, who I've been visiting since I can't remember when , is helping to get projects off the ground that will help children into contact with music.

HOME FRAGRANCE

Sanne's world consists of music, that much is clear. “I still play in the marching band. That's kind of a home fragrance that I experience there. In that aspect, the marching band can easily be  compared l with the Johann Strauss Orchestra. There too, I experience that same familiar bond. Music does so much for people. You should know how many couples I have seen fall in love again over the years during our concerts. People who love music ultimately love each other too. That is the message we are bringing,  wherever we are in the world. Where music sounds, you are at home.

AMagazine van Adam’s Music Center: Author: Ludo Diels: Photos: Hugo Thomassen: Styling/hair/make-up: AgAtelier

Thanks to Ineke for the article and her and John's combined translation

Sep 16, 2021

Rieu Aims For Ten Full Concerts at the MECC For Christmas

 Rieu Aims For Ten Full

 Concerts at The MECC

 For Christmas

1limburg, by Jo Cortenraedt: André Rieu is relieved that now it is allowed to play in front of full venues again, provided that there are allocated places. In December he hopes to welcome 120,000 visitors to ten Christmas concerts in the MECC.

He celebrated the news about the relaxations of restrictions on Wednesday morning with champagne for the entire orchestra in his Maastricht studio.

Lost Millions

"This means that the Christmas concerts in December in MECC Maastricht can continue with a hundred percent occupancy of 12,000 people per evening," says the orchestra leader. "We have an option on a maximum of ten evenings. We haven't been able to play for a year and a half now, that has cost me millions. But I'm happy that we can do it again and everything will be fine again."

Evidence

Rieu has no problem with the fact that all concertgoers must show a vaccination or test certificate. "I understand that we don't always want to live like that, but this is the only way, for the time being  to get back on track. The fact that almost all corona patients in the hospitals have not been vaccinated says it all."

 Abroad

The Maastricht stand-alone violinist not only expects many visitors from the Netherlands, but also from Belgium, Germany, France and England. He hopes to be able to perform in Vienna with his orchestra before December, where concerts are scheduled for the end of October. "For now, that looks good. Israel was also still on the program, but then you have to quarantine with the whole group when you return. That's going to be difficult."

Thanks to John for the translation

Aug 23, 2021

André Rieu: 'Four people wanted to save my Stradivarius!'

 

World star has his back against the wall, but ...

André Rieu: 'Four people wanted to save my Stradivarius!'

Telegraaf, 21 August 2021. By Harrie Nijen Twilhaar: André Rieu has not had any sleepless nights yet, but even his beloved Vrijthof remained, again, dead quiet this summer. "I'm getting extremely nervous about how it will now proceed," he told Privé (part of "de Telegraaf") today. "This is unsustainable." But his great pride, his Stradivarius, which he considered selling, is safe...

World star André Rieu can't wait to go back on stage with his orchestra. 

"We want so badly to perform again, but the situation is very uncertain."

André Rieu (71) has never concealed his great concerns over the past year and a half. Together with a number of successful DJs, he is the only Dutch world star, where the entire machinery which has been built up around him in recent years has been at a standstill for a long time. And for him too, with various corona measures worldwide, the end is not yet in sight.

At home in his Maastricht castle on the Sint-Pietersberg, the king of the waltz tells us that as long as testing has to be done, he will not board a plane or enter a stage with his orchestra.

In place of performing on the Vrijthof, the maestro was 'forced' to stay in his studio to produce a new album and a special 'for cinemas only' program called "Together Again" – which will only be shown in numerous cinemas on 28 and 29 August only.

"In order to be able to do something for our fans, we have put together a compilation of the most beautiful performances – from Sydney to Mexico City and from Istanbul to New York," says André. "My orchestra and I want to perform so badly again, but the situation is very uncertain. Fortunately, vaccinations give more and more freedom, but as long as international lockdowns or other protective measures are in force, we cannot go in anywhere."

It's been over a year and a half since you last performed.

"Due to the advancing corona pandemic, we had to return home at the end of February last year. And that was it. Never imagined it would take so long! Hundreds of thousands of fans have bought tickets. Those dates have all been changed. I estimate that it entails as many as 140 concerts at home as well as abroad. In addition, we also have to make up for our concerts in Chile in 2019. In October of that year, all hell broke loose there because of political uprisings. Everyone feels like things are going in the right direction, but for us, as an orchestra, that uncertainty is murderous. Tomorrow may be different. That makes me extremely nervous.



Is that uncertainty debilitating?

"Absolutely. As long as there still is a hassle around testing and the requirements which are set abroad, and for the time being, I'm not going to travel with the orchestra That's just not possible. Then you create a lot of misery all about yourself. This means that we are reluctant to plan. We cannot, especially now, spend millions of Euros on airline tickets, hotel costs, insurance, while we do not know whether concerts will take place. With a lockdown, you know where you stand, while the circumstances are completely uncertain now. In the Netherlands, the policy almost changes weekly. You can't rely on that."

You are critical when it comes to testing.

"That has to stop sometime. We will always find a virus when you test. I can only continue when all the misery is behind us. That's why, for the time being, I will not get on a plane or stage. First, it has to be over and done with all the hassles around it. My fans are letting me know that they are patient, even if it takes another five years. They continue to stay loyal to me."

How long can you keep this up financially?

"The bank and I have been together to speak about this situation. They also know that I am dependent on whether or not concerts will take place, in the near future. They immediately expressed full confidence in me. The bank determined that I have a super healthy company and let me know that they are willing to help me. In addition, we still receive government assitance, but that is by far not enough. They only pay eighty percent of the salaries and a little for fixed costs. No matter how you turn it, it continues to cost a lot of money."

Did you ever think of throwing in the towel?

"No! Never! I once said that I would sell my Stradivarius. When I announced that, immediately there were four rich people in the Netherlands who, independently of each other, told me that that was not going to happen. Mentally together with my wife Marjorie and sons Pierre and Marc we can handle it. Together we have made this family business big and we are not going to let it be taken away by a pandemic."

Your fighting spirit is boundless.

"I have a huge fighting spirit to keep going and I will not let myself get defeated. Even if it takes another five years! We're going to continue. Despite the fact that the situation is still so uncertain. Then I think: "Come on guys, dear government, there finally must come a point where we can agree on and that we can move on. It will be of no use to us if Prime Minister Rutte or some foreign government tonight shouts: 'Tomorrow you can do everything again." We have to prepare our concerts months in advance.


Together with my wife Marjorie and sons Pierre (photo) and Marc I made this family business big. 

We will not let this be taken away from us by a pandemic."

Starting October you would want to start your World Tour.

"It depends on the situation. Concerts are planned in Tel Aviv, Santiago, Vienna, Bratislava and Lisbon."

And that's is all about hundreds of thousands of tickets?

"Roughly about 700,000 tickets, to be exact. We did receive that money, but we cannot give a concert in return. Everyone has to be patient until we can perform again. I still need to play for those financial reserves! In addition, a large part of the receipts (the entrance fees received, ed.) is tied up in local banks abroad."

Do your musicians still have faith in the future?

"They have one hundred percent confidence in me that everything will turn out to be okay. Most of them have been with me for over thirty years. They are top musicians and they really don't – should I go bankrupt – run out of funds. But I have already placed that doomsday scenario aside, because I am certain that the situation will one day return to normal."

You look for alternatives, with those cinema concerts.

"In July we primarily filmed on the Sint-Pietersberg, to show that we are getting back together again as a Johann Strauss Orchestra for the first time. Before the film, a compilation of performances, is shown in cinemas, the viewers are presented an interview with my son Pierre. Incidentally, those cinema concerts do, of course, yield something, but it is a pittance if you compare that with the actual merits if there had not been a pandemic. Still, we want to do something for our loyal fans, which I miss terribly."

Are the summer concerts on the Vrijthof in 2022 feasible?

"Of course I hope to be playing there again. But we can't plan anything right now. Around January, we should know if 2022 is feasible. Hopefully we can also give Christmas concerts in the renewed MECC in Maastricht in December, just like two years ago. But for that too, time is running out for that too!"

 

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

Aug 20, 2021

André Rieu Continues To Count On Support Packages

André Rieu Continues To Count On Support Packages

de Limburger, Editorial Staff: André Rieu hopes that the government will not suddenly stop with the corona support packages. If the financial support happens to disappear, the curtain will definitely fall on his orchestra, the world-famous violinist fears.

The 71-year-old Rieu is receiving support because there has not been any turnover since March last year. With that, he pays the salaries of his orchestra members and "some fixed costs", Rieu told the RTL 4 talk show Humberto on Tuesday. Whether he will make it is still the question. "It's going to be difficult, too. I believe that in October the aid officially ends. If they still say: "You still can't perform"... yes, that would be a bit unfair. Plus, then all that money is thrown away."

Rieu tries to keep up the courage. "One day it's all going to be fine again," he says. "How do I keep my good mood? Because of the music and my attitude. I don't play a role on stage. I'm really like that. That helps."

Thanks to John for this article and his translation.

The Story Behind The Hit: "The Second Waltz"

 The Story Behind The Hit: 

"The Second Waltz"

illustration Katinka Hanselman, photo Mitchel Giebels 

Golden grip: performance during Champions League match

The Limburger by Rob Cobben: They achieved high ratings in the charts, are a fixed value in the Top 2000 or Limbo Top 100, or are etched in the collective memory. In this section we tell the story behind the success numbers of Limburg soil. Today: "The Second Waltz" by André Rieu.

Sometimes one song can change your whole life. Take The Second Waltz, composed by the Russian Dmitri Shostakovitch (1906-1975). André Rieu adapts it in 1994 with his Johann Strauss Orchestra and scores a world hit with it. Suddenly everyone knows who the violinist and orchestra leader from Maastricht is. The album Strauss & Co, on which The Second Waltz gets a place, has sold almost a million copies in a year." Just as much as Michael Jackson's Thriller", says Rieu not without pride in the guest room of his castle in the Maastricht district of Sint Pieter. "But it took him two years to do that..." Rieu already knew in the nineties that he has gold in his hands with his popular renditions of classical music, he says. But he initially fails to enthuse record companies. "Very frustrating. We went door to door in Hilversum. But they wouldn't put a label on us. We were not producing pop and we were not making classical music either. They just didn't know what to do with us."

Marjorie and I went every day to V&D (Huge department store chain) to see if there were still CDs left on the shelves. That was usually not the case: all sold out.

In 1994 he manages to convince the gentlemen of Decca (part of the record group Universal) and  was allowed to record the album Strauss & Co with his orchestra. The CD is almost finished when the Maastricht native walks through the corridors of the studio complex in Hilversum and catches fragments of a song from a room that immediately appeals to him. It turns out to be Waltz No. 2 of the Suite for Variety Orchestra, written by Shostakovitch. The composition is a modest hit in France, because there it has been used in an advertisement for an insurance company. Universal is trying to roll out that success in other countries as well.

Champions League

Rieu immediately adds: "I could use one more song for the CD," he explains. His wife Marjorie didn't like it at first, says Rieu, but he immediately saw the potential of the song: "It was nice to the ear, had a beautiful melody line with that accordion."

Because the original name of the song was not comfortable to the ear, Rieu's wife comes up with the title of The Second Waltz. A few months later – on April 19, 1995 – the semi-finals of the Champions League is being played in the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam. Ajax (soccer team)will host Bayern Munich. Universal buys airtime to promote the CD of the Maastricht stand-alone violinist during intermission of the match. There are two scenarios: if Ajax is trailing after the first half, a commercial is shown over the CD. But if the Sons of the Gods are in front and the ambiance is good, the violinist will play The Second Waltz live. The latter happens. Ajax goes into the dressing rooms with a comfortable 3-1 lead and Rieu and his violin can take a spot in the middle of the arena. "I had never been to a soccer stadium before," he recalls. "When I was playing in the subterranean passageways, Ajax scored a goal. It was as if the whole tent collapsed. Creepy though..."

Rocket

Millions of Dutch and Germans, who are glued to the tube, see a little later how the violinist performs The Second Waltz in the sold-out soccer stadium. In the days following the TV appearances, sales of the album Strauss & Co and the single explode. "Marjorie and I went to the V&D every day to see if there were any CDs left on the shelves. That was usually not the case: all sold out. At Universal, they didn't know what was happening. They had anticipated that we would sell about five thousand CDs, but by Christmas it was already a quarter of a million..." Rieu's career skyrockets like a rocket and he's in demand for TV shows. For example, he is allowed to perform during a benefit show one evening for the victims of the floods of the Meuse and other rivers. The top brass of the Dutch showbiz participates in the by Joop van den Ende organized TV happening. "When we came in, we were ignored by all those colleagues. But you should have seen those looks when Van den Ende asked us to play The Second Waltz not once, but twice...." Rieu has now been running a large company with 120 people for a quarter of a century and has sold more than 42 million CDs and DVDs. The Second Waltz is no longer a regular part of his shows, because "you can't play the same songs every time." But on special occasions he still plays it. Like in 2019, during the one hundredth concert on the Vrijthof. The magic is far from finished, as it turns out to be on that night. There is swaying  and humming along. There is no end to the applause afterwards...

FACTS

'Waltz No. 2' is part of the so-called 'Suite for Variety Orchestra', a collection of short works which Shostakovich wrote before 1956.

On December 1, 1988, the play was performed in London. That was the first time it could be heard in a Western country.

'The Second Waltz' by André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra was in the Mega Top 50 for thirty consecutive weeks. No one had achieved that feat until 1994.

But still, that didn't become a record. Marco Borsato made it to 34 weeks with his hit 'Dreams are cheats'.

The album 'Strauss & Co' was on the Album's Top 100 for a year, of which 19 weeks in first place. It became the best-selling CD of 1995.

'The Second Waltz' was in the Top 2000 from 2001 to 2014. The song reached the highest spot in 2007: 615.

André Rieu plays a Stradivarius dated from 1732.

He won the Export Prize of Conamus/Buma seven times.


Thanks John for the translation of this article.

André Rieu Sells His Golden Carriage

 

Ride for 100-year-old Marie in golden carriage which her famous son bought from André Rieu

Top entrepreneur and multimillionaire Hennie van der Most bought the sets with which violinist André Rieu with the Johann Strauss Orchestra traveled the world for years for his concerts. The set pieces depict the famous Viennese Schönbrunn Castle.

By Benny Koerhuis, de Stentor

André Rieu was able to build two identical castles, but possession of those was a huge financial drain. Van der Most relieved him of that heavy burden and wants to embellish Wunderland Kalkar with both sets. This afternoon he had Rieu's golden carriage already unpacked for his 100-year-old mother. 

"You can use them to build two castles of 40 meters high and 135 meters wide," says Van der Most, who was born in Slagharen. "It's about two complete sets. For example, when André is performing on one set in Australia, the other was being built up in another metropolis at the same time. Together, those two sets fill up about a hundred containers. Which includes complete lighting installations, a kitchen and fitness room. I can very well use that stuff in my companies.''

Like an anchor

André Rieu - like so many artists - has a hard time keeping his head above water financially, now that performing as a result of the corona pandemic is not or hardly possible. About ten years ago, the Maastricht violinist and orchestra leader was already in trouble by reconstructing Schönbrunn Castle full size as a travelling backdrop. "We had 250 people on the podium, but also 250 to build up that castle every time. There was no money being gained from that. I ended up with a debt of 30 million Euros''' Rieu said in an interview with this newspaper in August last year. Next autumn he hopes to start on a new world tour.

To build near a nuclear power plant

"André is willing to lease his sets, light installation and similar items in the future," van der Most knows to say. "No, not for me." Because the 71-year-old entrepreneur already has a beautiful destination for the imposing-looking but 'flat' castles. "I want to use both sets for Wunderland Kalkar, so that a few ugly facades of that former nuclear power plant are hidden from view. We have already applied for a permit from the municipality.''

The controversial nuclear power plant, which never went into operation, was bought in 1995 for 2.5 million Euros by Van der Most who started the amusement park "Kernwasser Wunderland" with it, which since 2005 is now known as Wunderland Kalkar.

Golden carriage

Before everything is built at the German amusement park, Van der Most brought out the large 'golden carriage' belonging to the décor for his mother's 100th birthday. She took a trip through Slagharen and Schuinesloot, waved to many acquaintances and tourists, and enjoyed the royal ride.

Manager Pierre Rieu, son of the orchestra leader, confirms that Van der Most has bought the colossal sets. "Two months ago, the sale was concluded. For how much I'm not going to say. But how nice that Hennie's mother has driven around in the carriage. During a concert years ago at the Vrijthof, Jan Smit(Dutch entertainer) rode in that carriage between the audience to the stage."


Thanks to Ineke for this article and John's translation

 

Aug 13, 2021

André Rieu and Rowwen Hèze Together At Fundraiser

 André Rieu and Rowwen Hèze together at fundraiser Omroep MAX for Limburg

De Limburger and ANP

André Rieu was recently in Valkenburg to support the affected residents. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / ANP

André Rieu and Rowwen Hèze are participating in the fundraiser which Omroep MAX will presents on Wednesday 18 August for the victims of the flooding in Limburg.

On 18 August, moneys will be raised during three special live broadcasts, presented by Dionne Stax and Jan Slagter. In the evening, Op1 will also bring attention to the action.

According to Slagter, many Limburgers are still "pulling their hair out" and in urgent need of help. "MAX is happy to do its part, in the form of this national fundraiser. I call on everyone, including businesses, to donate on Wednesday, August 18th. If possible, of course. It can be a large or small amount. Does not matter. After all, every little bit helps," he says.

Huub Stapel

The broadcasts will be aired from the Theodoor Dorrenplein in Valkenburg, which was badly affected by the floods. Besides local residents, well-known Limburgers such as André Rieu and Rowwen Hèze will also be present. There will also be appearances by Huub Stapel, Lilianne Ploumen and André van Duin.

At the end of last month, the amount for the Giro 777 fundraiser for Limburg stood at 10 million euros. In total 190,000 contributers transferred money. The National Disaster Fund started the action on 16 July after heavy rains and high tides caused major problems in Limburg.


Thanks John and Ineke for the article and John's Translation

Aug 10, 2021

City Carillonneur Viral After Metal Band Shares Video:

 City Carillonneur Viral After

 Metal Band Shares Video:

 'Outside My Comfort Zone'

August 7, 2021 - It's not really the kind of music you expect to hear coming from a church. Yet, recently there was  real heavy metal music coming from the church tower in the city of Weert. City carillonneur Frank Steijns and guitarist Jitse Zonneveld showed off a fine piece of metal with the song 'Ace of Spades' by Motörhead. The performance was picked up by the British band themselves, who shared it on YouTube yesterday.

During the Torenfestival (Tower Festival) Weert, people could enjoy live music at a distance of 70 meters, where Steijns played all kinds of music together with guest musicians for a month long all this summer. "This was the first and only music festival which could take place corona-proof. The city was our concert hall and we were tens of meters up high," he tells EditieNL. (TV program).

Hardly any preparation.

Guitarist Zonneveld is a big fan of Motörhead and had submitted this request to Steijns.

"I didn't know it at all. But if you wake Jitse at three in the morning, he can play it for you right away." One thing led to another and in no time he received the notes in his mailbox. The carillonneur had hardly any time to prepare. "We couldn't really rehearse, because then the whole city would hear it already," he explains. The two went upstairs about an hour in advance and briefly practiced on a fake carillon. "The first performance had to be flawless right away.

Comments.

Then the supreme moment finally there: "I was afraid I was going to be arrested, it sounded so loud all over the city. But everyone looked up with mouths open. That was really cool." After the performance, they shared a video on Face book. Soon a hundred thousand people had watched it.

" Jitse called me right away. He went completely crazy, because the band had shared our video on YouTube and other social media channels." Motörhead wrote: 'We really like this.'

Soon reactions came in from all over the world.

The Village People - known for the song YMCA - also shared the video.

Next edition?

The city carillonneur has been playing the carillon for 25 years and is also part of the André Rieu orchestra. He is trying to bring the music and the instrument closer to the people. Steijns has already performed with Blof and covered many songs. "But I've never gone this far outside my comfort zone."

Will there be a new edition? Probably. "There is a huge demand for it."


Thanks Ineke for the article and her and John's combined translation

Jul 15, 2021

André Rieu: "I cry for Limburg"

 Accidental luck for the Maastricht waltz king?


André Rieu:

"I cry for Limburg"


De Telegraaf, by Harrie Nijen twilhaar

Perhaps it is luck by accident for André Rieu, who also had to cancel his annual concerts at the Maastricht Vrijthof this summer because of the corona pandemic. Because if the series of performances had gone ahead, the "King of the Waltz" would not been able to keep it dry due to the amount of rain water. "It is truly unprecedented what is now happening in 'my' Limburg."


André Rieu on his beloved Vrijthof: "This rain chaos touches my heart" 

For André Rieu (71) it is also almost uncomprehensable for the record amount of rain that has fallen in South Limburg in recent days. In 'his Maastricht' even 87.2 millimeters (3.43inches) of rain fell from the sky. Never before has so much rain fallen oin this burgundy city in one day!

For the maestro, who is not in Limburg at this time, it is a strange sensation that for the second year in a row he cannot receive thousands of fans during his summer concerts.

Basically if there had not been a pandemic, André would normally have performed with his Johann Strauss Orchestra yesterday and tonight on a packed Vrijthof.

The famous Maastricht square, which lies adjacent to the St. Servaas basilica, has been transformed into a large lake due to the amount of fallen rain. The adjacent catering establishments also have to deal with flooded cellars.

Shocked by the situation?

"I saw it yesterday morning, the Vrijthof, completely flooded. Unbelievable! If we had been allowed to play, the sun would definitely have shone and it would have been dry! That's how I think."

How do you mean?

"In the fifteen years that we have played on the Vrijthof every summer, we only had to deal with rain two nights. Normally it is wonderfully warm and the thousands of fans enjoy our music. In total, we have given one hundred summer concerts in Maastricht!''

"Now you see what happens when we don't play. Then there's trouble right away. In short, let us play from now on and then there will be no raindrop in the air."

It is a catastrophe for the Limburgers.

Absolutely. It's very dramatic. I wanted to point out that the weather around mid-July is always beautiful when we play. Unfortunately, the situation is totally different now and an unprecedented amount of rain has fallen. It is horrendous to see that many Limburger houses  have flooded and roads have become impassable.

Do you remember 1995 when things went wrong then too...

"This for me is the second time that such floods have happened. I remember in 1995 we had to deal with a huge amount of flooding too. That was already 25 years ago. That's when residents in Limburg and in the river area near Tiel (City north of Limburg in Gelderland) were being evacuated due to the flooding of the Maas and the Waal. Not much remained of the campground near my house. The rising Maaswater created an enormous chaos. Caravans (camping trailers) drifted away due to the current."

Are there related problems with your 16th-century castle-like house?

No, we are high up on the east side of the Sint-Pietersberg. The excess rainwater from there flows down. Hopefully my wife Marjorie and I will keep our feet dry."

You are still being bothered by the flooding!

"That's right. I and my orchestra are now in the studio recording a new album. A number of musicians who live in the vicinity of Valkenburg and Kerkrade cannot come to the studio due to the water chaos. I hope that, for all Limburgers, this will soon be over and there will be as little damage as possible."


Thanks to Ineke for this 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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