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Apr 12, 2021


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


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.


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”.


 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?


"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.


Grandma m said...

Beautiful. And inspiring.

ileana said...

Stupendo in tutto ciò che dici e tutto ciò che fai. Dio ti benedica per tutto quello che ci offri con la tua musica.

Mercè Fité i Labaila said...

Ánimo Andre, familia y Jso. Todo llegara. Un abrazo.

Unknown said...

Thank you Andre for all you do and say to inspire all of us. I pray for you and your family ever day. Stay healthy so we can enjoy more blessings to come🙂❤

Irena Pavlorková said...

Moc na vás myslím, doufám, že budu mít tu čest se s vámi sejít a pouslouchat váš koncert na živo.
Jsme v srdci Evropy ale situace na všech frontách je zatím špatný.
Uvidím jak na tom bude Slovensko, to bych neměla daleko, u nás v Praze bude až v roce 2022 ach jo. Jsem ráda, že jdu tento pátek na očkování proti Covidu 19.
Ještě jsem se nedívala, zda bude před Vánocemi u vás koncert (asi se ještě neví, nikdo nemůže odhadnout covidovou situaci.
Doufám, doufám, že nakonec vše dopadne dobře, zítra v Praze na TV Barrandov bude váš koncert.
Zatím s pozdravem
Irena Pavlorková

Charton MARIE-JO said...

Regarder... En rypley. Émission reportage. Découverte du. Dimanche 18 avril 2021 sur TF pense à PIERRE.. AMITIÉS RESPECTUEUSES. M JO CHARTON DIJON 21.000 🇫🇷.

Charton MARIE-JO said...

Émission aviation. Ancienne. C'est pourquoi. J'ai pensé à PIERRE, que nous Adorons. Amitiés TRÉS TRÉS sincères, et. RESPECTUEUSES. MARIE-JO CHARTON.




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