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Dec 8, 2021

André Rieu Now I Am Living My Dream Again


Violinist André Rieu Now I Am Living My Dream Again


With his Johann Strauss Orchestra , André Rieu (72) normally travels all over the world and he draws full halls everywhere. For almost two years, the Netherlands' best-known artist was forced to stay at home. A huge task for someone who cannot sit still. Optimistic as he is, he's never lost hope. "Fortunately, Marjorie and I can put things well into perspective." 

Plus Magazine, December 2021, by Margriet de Groot.

 I used to be a dreamer and fascinated by everything you could make with your own hands. When I passed a construction site on my way to school, I could just forget about the time and stay there watching it for hours. My brother Robert and I had built a soapbox together, which we would forever tinker with. Whenever we had the chance, we always played outside and were being little hooligans, but I wasn't given much freedom as a child. Home felt like a monastery. My father was conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. My two older sisters, two younger brothers, my youngest sister and I all had to play an instrument. Not for fun, but as part of my upbringing. I found the violin by far the most beautiful instrument; that full string sound and the way all the bows in an orchestra moved up and down at the same time ........ wonderful. As a youngster I liked the second movement of the violin concerto the best, which is where the piece usually becomes soft and sensitive. I still and especially like melodic, romantic music which brings people to tears. Finger-snapping note-acrobatics does not do anything for me. As a five year old I received my first violin lesson. From that moment on I had to practice every day for at least an hour.  I would rather prefer to stand in front of the window dreaming away and just play beautiful music just by feel. Then the voice of my mother from downstairs sounded, and she commanded I practice scales and etudes. There was no appreciation for my musicality. My father was never interested in me or my music. In fact, when I started the salon orchestra after the conservatory, he disapproved of my choice of music. He has actually only been once to one of my concerts, and left half way through.


My Father has never been interested in me

My mother has never been. I followed my heart and feelings and that is against the classical music rules. It is considered a mortal sin when you, just like me, play only the nicest pieces from a symphony. My father not only disowned me as a musician, but also as a son. It was never right between us. Even on his deathbed he barely wanted to see me. My mother never mediated between us, she was even worse than he was. She never believed in me. I had a very strict and loveless youth. That I now can feel and express love myself, I think is because for the first three months of my life I was raised by a very sweet and warm neighborhood nurse. After giving birth, my mother was in the hospital with severe anemia. Your punch card is made for you during the first three months of your life. I owe a lot to my brother Robert, we formed quite a bond. I also had a special bond with my youngest sister. There is a 10 year age difference, and to me she was always "my doll" and I was sort of a father figure to her. Robert has really suffered due to the situation at home. He still has difficulties with it. I was able to put it behind me, thanks to therapy. And I can really recommend therapy to everyone. Together with my wife we spent four years in therapy. She too did not have a nice upbringing. We wanted to get rid of all that baggage before we would think about having children. The most important lesson is that you can't change the past nor the other person. Looking back doesn't do any good either, you have to keep going. Marjorie has been my salvation. When she entered my life, I went my own way. I still remember very well that when I said at home at the table that I was going to stay with Marjorie. It was as if I dropped an atomic bomb. I was already 24, 25 years old! I knew Marjorie for quite a while. She was in the same class with my  now deceased sister and came to our house frequently. Back then we already liked each other. Later, when I was studying at the Brussels conservatory, she visited me once and we started writing each other letters. Very long letters. She studied German and Italian and gave me a book as a gift by the German writer Thomas Mann. To impress her I wrote letters in his style. Nine months after her first visit, we were married.


Now I am living my dream again To play together with a tight bunch of musicians is what I have always wanted. My entire life. The atmosphere, contact with the public...all of the sudden corona took my dream away. Horrible!!! Everything I worked hard for all those years, stopped abruptly. We just kept moving tours around, or calling them off. Was it for just six months? One year? Two years?  No idea. But being very lucky that all my orchestra members are in permanently employment. They kept their wages and I had their guarantee that in the meantime they would not seek other employment.  The uncertainty of how long it would last was the worst. I am an entrepreneur and always think in terms of solutions. When there is a problem I am used to solving that. Now the problem was outside my control and I could not fix it. I am an event. My company costs me a million per month. When it runs, everything goes fine and there is no need to worry, but without Government subsistence we would not have made it. 

After we interrupted our American tour I had nothing left to do, so I started baking cakes at home. When abroad on tour I can never fall asleep right away after a concert. I find baking videos relaxing, and I have watched hundreds of them.  My favorites are those by Cees Holtkamp. Now I had the time, so why not get started? Every day I made a different cake to give away. I let Cees taste them and he informed me that I turned out to be quite a good baker. Everything I do, I do with pleasure, from playing the violin to baking cakes. It keeps me young and healthy. I always need to be busy and like to use my hands. What my eyes see, I make with my hands. I used to build everything from fences to houses, but since the time I almost lost my thumb, I've stopped doing that. Baking is safer for a violinist. I eat quite healthy, do not consume alcohol and work out three times a week  together with my son. During Corona I also started to learn Spanish, very convenient since we perform often in South America. 

The moment the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment) allowed us to rehearse together again, was unforgettable. Goose bumps!!  And the funny thing is: it felt as we had never done anything else. It is so nice for all us to be able to make music together again. That gives me quite an adrenaline kick. We immediately made a CD, "Happy Together". It was done within a month. We thought that it was such a shame so we decided to make yet another CD.  We didn't have anything else to do. It turned out to be a  Christmas CD for next year, just to get into the mood.

That I have not become depressed lately is because Marjorie and I can place things very well into perspective. We are both full of life and apparently reinforce each other. She is very wise, I tend to go by my feelings, but always give her my ideas first. Although I have to be honest and say that most ideas are hers, and I execute them. We've always had a close relationship. I need that. I wanted to marry someone with whom I could do everything together, no matter what. Marjorie herself does not play an instrument, but listens to music the entire day. She was used to that at home, music there played an important role. At a totally different situation than at our house. For us, music meant hard work, there they listened with their hearts and enjoyed all sorts of music.

Later on I look forward towards our first concert in Maastricht. The plan is to give three big Christmas Concerts in the MECC. What a special and emotional reunion that will be with the audience. Christmas itself we are at home. We celebrate exclusively with our two sons, daughters-in-law and the grandchildren. The tradition is, the children do the cooking, which they do very well. Preferably we like to end our Christmas meal with a walk to the St.Peters hill. Wouldn't it be nice if this year it would be covered in white snow.

 Marjorie is very wise, I tend

 to follow my feelings more

 We are a close family, our youngest son Pierre  works in the company and with his family lives on our property. We are crazy about our grand-children but we immediately said that we would not become babysitting grandparents. We are much to active for that. Due to Corona we were forced to back-off, but soon want to go full speed again.

Stopping has never entered my mind. My work is too much fun. I want to keep making music, for as long as I live. And if possible, I would like to become 140, which means I am just halfway now. With the technical possibilities and medical developments of today, a lot is possible. They are working on advanced contact lenses that focus themselves, temper the light and determine from your eye fluid whether you suffering from an illness. They are also experimenting with a kind of small submarines which are injected into your body and they can heal you. I warmly welcome developments of this kind. I would be the first to stand in line for them. In 20 years we will probably be there. I will then still be on stage and still living in my dream.


André Rieu

(Maastricht 1949)

Studied violin at the conservatories of Liège, Maastricht and Brussels.

In 1978 he founded the Maastricht Salon Orchestra, which he extended in 1987 and changed it into the Johann Strauss Orchestra. Up until 1991 he was also a violinist in the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, which his father conducted for many years.

In 1994 he broke through with

"The Second Waltz"

His name has been well established worldwide. Yearly he and his orchestra travel with sumptuous decors across the world to sold out concerts.

His next performances in the Netherlands are "Christmas with André Rieu" on December 17, 18 and 19 in the MECC in Maastricht and a New Years concert on 8 January in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam.

André is married to Marjorie and they have two grown up sons and five grandchildren.

Note: The Christmas Concerts n December and the New Years concert in January have all been rescheduled due to the Corona Virus.


Thanks to Ineke and Ruud for this article 

       And John's Translation.

 

3 comments:

Mercè Fité i Labaila said...

Gracias por su traducción.

Judi said...

I really enjoyed this article I knew that Andre's parents were horrible to him but didn't realize how horrible they were so glad that he and Marjorie have managed to overcome it with therapy

Antiques! said...

Marjorie Rieu: you could write a book, about ; how to create a happy family! I am Master if Education, been teaching languages, but I can not write it. I found my love very late in life, 2001 I married a man almost 30 years older than me, have no children and am widow. But I believe you could have lots to say to ” modern families”… please write, you are a good writer! Love, Aulikki from Finland!

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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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