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Dec 9, 2017

A Record of Twelve Rieu Concerts in Maastricht!


A Record Total of Twelve André Rieu Concerts in Maastricht

L1News: There will definitely be twelve concerts by André Rieu on the Vrijthof in Maastricht.
In August, the violinist then announced that he would like to extend the number of performances to twelve. That, now is final. The ticket sales for the extra concerts starts Friday morning. (8 Dec @ 10:00 Central European Time)

Sold out The sale of tickets for the first ten concerts has been a great success, according to the Rieu production office. They are now almost sold out.

New record With the expansion to twelve concerts, the stand-alone violinist has achieved a new record. Never before has he performed on the Vrijthof for twelve times in a row. The extra performances are planned for Thursdays 12 and 19 July.

Tel Aviv In addition, the maestro announced that he and his orchestra will be on stage for the first time in Israel in April. There is also a lot of interest for those concerts. A third performance in Tel Aviv is now also being planned. Ticket sales for these concerts have already started.

Thank You to Ineke for the article and John for translating it for us.

Dec 4, 2017

André Rieu Does Not Have to Pay a Fine For Child Labor

André Rieu Does Not Have to Pay a Fine For Child Labor
 
NU magazine: André Rieu does not have to pay the fine which the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment had imposed on him due to performance of minor pan-flute players.

This was determined on Monday by the administrative judge of the court of Limburg André Rieu does not have to pay the fine, which the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment had imposed on him for due to the performance  of minor pan-flute players.

The fine was imposed for violations resulting from a 2015 performance during Rieu's traditional summer concert on the Vrijthof in Maastricht, by Romanian pan-flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir and his music and dance ensemble, who were guest performers. A group of young pan-flute players were also part of the ensemble.

Two of them were younger than sixteen and had performed for the public after 11 pm. However, the court finds the basis for the fine insufficient. ARP (André Rieu Productions), the company of Rieu, is not clearly identifiable as an employer of children.

Rieu at that time said that he thought it was childish that he was fined: "It was not until the last concert that someone from the Labor Inspector's office came up and cited us right away, which is very cowardly and absurd, but well - that's how this country is."
 

Thank You to Ineke for the article and John for Translating it.

Dec 1, 2017

Portrait of Folk Violinist André Rieu

Portrait of Folk Violinist André Rieu

By Astrid Theunissen, from "The Financial Paper."
For thirty years André Rieu has been touring the world with his Johann Strauss Orchestra. And with success: he is one of the three best-earning artists in the Netherlands. Portrait of a perfectionist.

André Rieu in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam, January 2017. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Harold Versteeg

In addition to the sixty orchestra members , three pieces of all their instruments and three of their stage clothing (men's costumes, gala dresses for the ladies), their own washing machines also come along during a tour of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. After all, experience has shown that the quality of laundry elsewhere does not meet Rieu's requirements everywhere. Even Rieu's sofa bed accompanies him all over the world - only on that couch he wants to prepare and recharge himself for the concert. Furthermore, the decor, the front of a Greek temple, is shipped, a castle or anything else from 100 to 120 meters long, the sound system, which is identical to that of The Rolling Stones, and Rieu's Stradivarius. Someone who watches this precious violin also goes along. Then come his manager, which is his youngest son Pierre, Rieu's personal trainer, Rieu's doctor, the washing ladies, the technical staff, two chefs, and a mobile kitchen. "Those who work hard must eat well," says the violinist born and bred in the Burgundian Maastricht. Everyone always thought: "The" King of the Waltz "is coming," let's prepare a wiener schnitzel for him," he once said. "I was fed up with that."

Touring itself has not yet bored the 68-year-old musician. Every performance is a migration, a logistical challenge and an attack on the physical body, but touring is performing, and performing, says Rieu is "better than sex.". He cherishes his murderous agenda, with ten concerts in December and the same number again in January. And so it has been going on for about thirty years. In between he produces CD's and DVD's and he nourishes his plans, to become even more famous. Because his retirement age does not stand in the way of his ambition. "I'd like to be among them," he said during his recent tour of America, while strolling the Walk of Fame in Los Angeles.

Folk festivals

According to Quote 500, André Rieu is - after DJs Tiësto and Armin van Buuren - with 25 million Euros the most wealthy musician in the Netherlands. "His trademark: the creation of folk festivals of unprecedented proportions, in which highlights from operas, musicals, classical music and film tracks follow each other in rapid succession," according to professor Maaike Meijer, who, together with and amongst other cultural historians, Rieu's school friend Jac van den Boogard, studied "The phenomenon of Rieu," and defined him in the book "Rieu, maestro without borders." 'Rieu is like a wholesaler in musical climaxes", says Meijer, "and if you experience that live, it's quite crazy, fun and festive."

This approach to classical music may be called "disrespectful" by critics, but the formula is striking in both Australia, South America and Japan. "Rieu taps into a trans-cultural source and that is intriguing," says Meijer. "He always knows to play melodies which the audience knows from somewhere. That recognition touches and creates solidarity."'

Born: 1 October 1949 in Maastricht
1961-67: City Secondary school of Maastricht
1968-73: Maastricht Conservatory
1974-77: Conservatory Brussels
1978: Plays at Maastricht Salon Orchestra
1987: Founding of the Johann Strauss Orchestra
1994: Breakthrough with 'The Second Waltz'
2002: Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion
2005: First Vrijthof concert in Maastricht, beginning annual tradition
2011: Performs 'And the Waltz Goes On' in Vienna, a composition by Sir Anthony Hopkins
2013: Coronation concert on the Amsterdam Museum square during the coronation of King Willem-Alexander
2016: Composes the 'Windsor Waltz' for the ninetieth birthday of the British Queen Elizabeth
2017: Celebration of the 30th anniversary of his Johann Strauss Orchestra

His intuition for the needs of his audience Meijer calls that "phenomenal", but he prepares himself very well for that. Before he visits a country, he investigates old local hits, which he then performs. He also invites local musicians to his stage; young pan flute players in Romania, a military mega band in Chile. Nothing is crazy enough for Rieu. In the Netherlands, he had Father Abraham (Pierre Cartner)sing the smurf song, André van Duin doing an act and this summer David Hasselhoff appeared on stage in the car from his former TV series "Knight Rider", to sing his forgotten disco song "Looking for Freedom." It is a long way off from the stiff, elitist world of classical music, where it is not even allowed to cough," says Meijer.

There was a record player on which only heavy classical music was played.

And probably after his father, who stuck up his nose for all music which is not classically classical. André Rieu senior was conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and who demanded high musical expectations of his six children. At the age of five, André Junior received a violin and at the age of nine sang in the boys' choir of the Sint Servaas Basilica, just like Jérôme Minis, who still vividly remembers the rehearsals of nearly sixty years ago. Their musical development has had an ideal beginning there, he says, but they sometimes went "quite barbaric." We studied complete four-part masses of the masters from the Dutch Golden Age, Palestrina, Josquin des Prez, and Orlando di Lasso, and those who sang a false or bad note, had to continue singing on their knees or the conductor would asked your neighbor to smack you one. "Especially after those Wednesday afternoon sessions, the boys had lots of fun when they climbed many meters up the Servaas church using the down spouts on the Roman façade. "André is an adventurer," says Minis. "That which he now achieves, stems from his adventurous character."

Rieu did not wait until his orchestra was asked to come and play somewhere.

Jac van den Boogard, who was a Rieu classmate at the Maastricht City Gymnasium, also knows him as a boy who liked to go to the extreme. "André regularly skipped the solfège, the notes lesson, which he had to practice from his father." His father also demanded that his children attended all his concerts and to listen to Mahler, Bruckner and Wagner. "Pop music was forbidden", says Van den Boogard, who, just like cellist Mstislav Rostropovich and other prominent musicians, often visited the Rieus. "'There was a record player which always only played classic music."

A concert by André Rieu at the Vrijthof in Maastricht, the 6th of July 2013. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Otto Snoek

Longing for nostalgia

At the Maastricht Conservatory, Rieu put a striking conviction in his playing during examinations, according to fellow student Jérôme Minis, with whom he remained friends. Nevertheless, Rieu only starts to feel a passion for what he plays when he enters into a relationship with Marjorie, later on wife, as written in his biography "My Music, my Life." She brings him in touch with light salon music. Especially the waltz touches him, and when he starts to play for the Maastricht Salon Orchestra during his Conservatory study, he notices that this kind of music brings both lawyers and workers to dance on tables. And he sees opportunities to breathe new life into this drudging orchestra. "André has charisma and always has ideas, so that he literally and figuratively and in the shortest possible time played the first violin in that orchestra and made it a success," says Van den Boogard. Rieu did not wait until his orchestra was asked to come and perform somewhere; Under his leadership, the orchestra went and performed unasked in events, such as eating herring pieces on the Wednesday after carnival, and he started organizing Mother's day concerts, New Year's concerts and speculaas (brown ginger spiced cookies) concerts with Sinterklaas (St. Nicolas). "He expanded the repertoire with music which he picked up through a newspaper advertisement," says Van den Boogard. "During that time salon music was collecting dust in attics. André received garbage bags full at his front door."

Interior of the dining room in Huis de Torentjes, the residence of André Rieu. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Roger Dohmen Photography ... Rieu and his youngest son Pierre in 2008. Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Ineke Oostveen

"It appears that Rieu must have felt the spirit of the times very well," says the cultural historian. There was a craving for nostalgia. He dusted off that old music and caused a furor with a twelve-piece orchestra back in 1987 which he called "the Johann Strauss Orchestra." It took another seven years before he found someone willing to release a record with him, and that record was his big breakthrough. Rieu's interpretation and performance of Dmitri Sjostakovich's "The Second Waltz" was high in the charts worldwide for months. The following year he played that piece during intermission of the final of the Champions League, and with a rapidly expanding effect, flew around the world."'

Rieu was at the top of the charts thirty times . He sold an estimated 40 million CD's and DVD's, and in 2016 alone sold 364,000 entry tickets. Fans follow and travel after him, but prefer to experience a performance in his hometown of Maastricht. On the Vrijthof, the medieval square where André Rieu and Jérôme Minis played soccer as children, he has traditionally since 2005 given a series of summer concerts for ten thousand people. Per night. "It is then a madhouse in Maastricht," says Erik de Jong, director of the Museum at the Vrijthof. "Everywhere fans walk around with banners, there are umpteen TV teams from all over the world and access roads are being closed."

His audience is already swaying after five minutes. Many artists cannot copy him in that.

But Maastricht is happy with the chaos, says ex-mayor Onno Hoes. "André Rieu creates huge publicity for Maastricht. In addition, every Rieu evening brings the hotel, restaurant and hotel industry an income of around six million Euros and the concerts are a great relationship event. "The latter is not only true for Maastricht; Rieu's eldest son Marc, an artist and painter, has for eight years used the opportunity to exhibit his works in the Theater on the Vrijthof. With success, because everything that has Rieu on it is cherished by his fans.

Loss of millions

"André's greatest strength is enthusiasm," observes Jérôme Minis, himself a flutist in a baroque ensemble. "After five minutes his audience is already swaying. Many artists cannot copy him in that." Jac van den Boogard shares that opinion. "Then you hear him say: "Everyone from South Africa is here ...! "André always uses superlatives."

"The joy which his audience experiences must be greater than grand," says Maaike Meijer, and costs and effort are not spared. "For the filming of a Christmas DVD in the middle of a sweltering summer, he had a whole garden sprayed full with artificial snow. He almost went bankrupt when in 2008 he copied the famous Viennese Sissi castle. The replica of 125 meters long with two ice rinks of 600 square meters was dragged all over the world. Just the erecting and the dismantling cost a fortune. "Because of this delusion of grandeur, Rieu's company suffered a loss of millions. His instruments were forced to be pledged to the bank, and he gave his name as collateral. But André Rieu is not afraid of a little set back. With extra performances he solved his money problems and a year later, in 2009, Rieu was ranked the sixth best-selling artists in the world, ahead of Britney Spears and Beyoncé.

"We never see Rieu grumpy, but of course just like everyone else, he can be."

His financial department is now paying more attention to the expenses of André Rieu, but according to him, everything must still be the most beautiful and the best. "A while ago he exchanged his 1667 Stradivarius for a 1732 Stradivarius," says Jac van den Boogard. "That seems to be an even better year, which makes the violin even sound better."

Rieu sets the bar very high, even for himself. Every evening has to be unique and be an unforgettable evening for his audience. That perfectionism is at the expense of his health. In the beginning of 2012 he rested for a few months, downed through burn-out. Since then he has been training with a personal coach and has adapted his exuberant bourgundian lifestyle. He now eats rye bread with smoke-dried meat and sniffs first at the French cheese to know whether it is worth it to gain weight. But he lets his own catering always serve an excellent cheese. Of course. That is what they are told. By Rieu himself.

The first concert by André Rieu in the Amsterdam Arena, in 2008, with the theme 'A romantic night in Vienna'.Photo: Hollandse Hoogte / Marco Okhuizen

An unabashed piece of PR

"Nothing happens without Rieu being involved. Everything around him is tightly controlled," says Maaike Meijer. Also the marketing department. The two books which he sells on his website were written by his loving wife Marjorie, and the films on his website and the reality series "Welcome to my World", on British television, are manufactured by his own team. "Rieu also knows better than anyone how to generate attention for a new song", says Meijer. "Just prior to the wedding of George Clooney and Amal, he celebrated a song to them via YouTube. Through that gesture it seemed like they were good friends, while they do not know each other personally. This is how his status as a celebrity rises, and at the same time he advertises his new CD."

The numbers
$ 32.1 million The Gross income of Rieu in 2016.
364,821 The Number of tickets sold in 2016 for 60 shows in 46 cities.
67. The listing between 100 artists who sold the most tickets for their shows in 2016.
12. The number of members with whom he started his Johann Strauss Orchestra (now 50 members) in 1987.
7. The number of times that Rieu won the Buma Export Award.
16. The number of weeks that the album 'Strauss & co' in 1994 stood at the number 1 in the album top 100

"It is Rieu himself who thinks of such 'unabashed samples of PR," says Meijer, but he runs everything through Marjorie. She is also actively involved in his activities; she writes the texts he speaks during his performance and participated in the exhibition about her husband at the Museum on the Vrijthof in 2015, "Rieu's love for detail." However, Marjorie remains consistently in the background. She avoids the press, according to museum director De Jong. She does not want to be the woman. Understandable. But it could also be strategy. Perhaps the female fans find it nice to have André seemingly a little bit for themselves."

André Rieu anxiously guards his own image. Everything that becomes public has to be perfect. During a concert there are eighteen cameras to take images for YouTube movies, DVDs and his soap opera. "André is always present at the cutting and editing," says Van den Boogard, who sometimes sits with him in the studio. "André checks all the images, chooses the best pictures, even of himself. "He always appears to be laughing," Meijer adds. "We never see Rieu grumpy, but of course he sometimes is just like everyone else. Rieu becomes grumpy about criticism, even about alleged criticism. He is very sensitive to that."

That could explain why (former) orchestra members, (former) employees and also family members such as his sons and youngest brother Jean-Philippe, who composed for Rieu for six years, do not want to talk about Rieu. Only Kerstin Cornelis, his former personal assistant, once made the cautious statement in one of the many internet films: "We are one big family, very disciplined. He's the boss." Meijer, who regularly visited Rieu in the midst of his orchestra members: "If you go along with him, he is generous, warm and cheerful and is very interested in your personal circumstances. He becomes annoyed and impatient when you go against him. He decides. And when he says that the bus leaves at 3 o'clock, it does not depart a minute later."





No star allures

On the other hand, criticizing his music does not bother him anymore. "André has the mission to make as many people as happy as possible with the music for which he feels passion," says Jérôme Minis. "And you know pianist Liberace's comment, right? When this showman and pianist was asked if he regretted no longer playing classical music but instead entertained, he said: "Oh yes! I'm crying ... all the way to the bank!!"

Rieu has won all the major music prizes, has about 480 platinum records, and has received important awards in several countries. Yet he has not changed since his success, claim Jérôme Minis and Jac van den Boogard. He may drive a nice car, own a nice little castle and sometimes takes a private jet, but no, André Rieu has absolutely no star allures. Van den Boogard: "He does his own shopping at the supermarket, butcher and baker." Minis: "He always makes a cappuccino for me." André likes to pamper others, they say, and does not boast about himself but is very interested in others.

"In his work everything has to be great, but at home André enjoys Marjorie, his two boys and five grandchildren," says Minis. "And the renovating his little castle."The so-called "Huis de Torentjes," (House of the little Towers) at the foot of the Sint-Pietersberg, is being restored by the violinist himself, with some help from Minis' brother. "If André had not become a musician, he would have been an architect," says Minis. "He himself has laid out his garden and designed a great orangery (Greenhouse). There we are drinking wine, between the exotic flowers and butterflies, the size of two hands, which André had flown in from Nicaragua as cocoons . Fantastic."

Rieu does not yet allow himself much time for relaxation. He is again going to expand his Vrijthof concerts to twelve shows, which he recently announced. He has established a media company which streams his shows to cinemas around the world. And he has brought a new tradition to live this year. Every first Saturday of January he will give a New Year's concert in Amsterdam, inspired by the New Year's Concert of the Viennese Philharmonic Orchestra. But then, of course, a size bigger. He does not play, like in Austria, in a concert hall with three thousand seats, but in the Ziggo Dome, which can accommodate seventeen thousand people. At the kick-off, last January, the concert was staged with no less than 150 dance couples and an innumerable amount of snowflakes. His fans will be wondering what Rieu has in store for them this year.


Thanks Ineke for this article and John for his translation

Nov 18, 2017

André Rieu: With Discipline and Love To Success


André Rieu: With Discipline and Love To Success
In a good mood, star violinist André Rieu joined NDR Plus reporter Karsten Sekund for an interview.

He looks great sitting there with NDR Plus reporter Karsten Sekund: a red jacket, curly hair, athletic figure - orchestra leader and waltz king André Rieu is already 68 years old. "When you are in the 60's, not everything works by itself anymore," he says during the interview." Now a days I have to pay more attention to what I eat and that I get enough exercise." One, two kilos less might be more to Rieu's liking, but his fans - mostly female - love the musician exactly as he is. He simply explains this adoration as: "My music is made for the heart, for romance and love."


An album for a romantic evening

In general André Rieu is very important to the topic of "love". It is the thread that runs through his 30-year career. "Amore" is also the name of his new album, which was released on November 17th. It has become a collection of beloved popular tunes which Rieu presents in his very own style. The musical spectrum ranges from Louis Armstrong's "What A Wonderful World" to Edvard Grieg's "Morgenstimmung" to the tender sounds of "Love Me Tender." An album made for a romantic evening.

André Rieu in front of his orchestra

The master is in front of his orchestra: Around 110 people belong to his team, with whom André Rieu will go on tour again in January. But before that, André Rieu enjoys being with his family during the Christmas holidays, before going on tour in January together with his 110-strong team. Christmas at home is sacred to him, he says. He is not concerned with the lavish foods and huge fuss, but to simply have peace and time with his loved ones, and not having to think about anything else. "I've already been offered so much money to perform at Christmas, but that's out of the question for me," says Rieu. Even on New Year's Eve, nothing is happening with him." At some point you have to relax."

"My team is like a well-oiled machine"

It's easy to imagine that it's no picnic going on a big concert tour. Performing in a different city every night, changing hotel rooms every night, long journeys, and to always give everything for the show, can only work if you have people you can rely on. "My team is like a well-oiled machine," the Waltz-King praises about his orchestra, the technicians and all those behind the scenes who ensure that everything runs smoothly. But that only works because he has the gift to be able to form a team. "I have a vision, a dream in my head and I can implement that without making detours about others," explains Rieu about his recipe for success. Dutchman André Rieu explains what happens when there is no boss with a clear vision with an example of the Dutch national soccer team, which once again did not qualify for the World Cup: "They are all soloists and they think of themselves as being too important, and so no functioning team can emerge."

With his own, perfectly functioning team, the successful violinist will again come to northern Germany and will play next to the obligatory waltz classics also the titles of his new album.


Photo: Orchestra boss André Rieu (r.) With NDR Reporter Karsten Sekund © NDR Photographer: Marie von Baumbach
Thank You to John for the Translaton!

Nov 11, 2017

Alice & Friends: Here I come, Tacoma!


Alice & Friends: Here I come, Tacoma!

As André often says, “Music brings people together”, this is exactly what I experienced as André Rieu & JSO had their US Tour over the past few weeks ... It's been over 4 years since I last wrote a “novel” on Harmony Parlor. I thought I was due for some updates, but now that I attended the Tacoma concert, I didn't know how to write my report...just so much happened over the weeks...before I even got to Tacoma! This report is not about which pieces were played in the concert, but more about how André's music unites people.

Nov 6, 2017

Kyle's Rieully Musical Adventure

Kyle's Rieully Musical Adventure

A month before the concerts, I received a message from Ineke. She told me that Mike Wiseman, the producer from "Welcome To My World", contacted her and she told him about the fan dinner and me, how I am a huge fan, have tons of memorabilia and that I play violin. She added: if he is interested in you, he will approach you. About 3 days later, I received an email from him at about one in the morning ...


Nov 5, 2017

André Rieu - "I'm a Very Strict Boss."


Pforzheimer Newspaper Interview With World Famour Violinist André Rieu!

"I am a very strict boss."

Interview with the world famous violinist André Rieu about tour rituals, noise and the reason of his great success in recent years. {From the Pforzheimer Zeiting (Germany)}. October 2017.)

André Rieu is the violinist of excellence. More than 35 million records sold, 600 platinum and gold awards and one million concertgoers yearly make the 68-year-old Dutchman the most successful violinist in the world. In 2018 he will again unpack his sinfully expensive Stradivarius dating from 1732 and on her will interpret the most beautiful waltzes of his idol, Johann Strauss.

PZ: Mr. Rieu, in 2017 you and your Johann Strauss Orchestra played in the USA, Chile, Mexico and England. Beginning January you will tour Germany and Austria. Do you bring something with you from every country?

André Rieu: I always bring gifts for my grandchildren! Otherwise, I keep all my experiences in my head and in my heart. This is the fourth or fifth time in Chile. Before that I always look in my archives, so that we do not play the same again. This time we had five sold-out concerts in a row. The Chileans are crazy about our music.

PZ: What cannot be missing on a tour?

André Rieu: My red couch! On tour we have a rhythm: At four thirty we arrive in the hall and have a sound check. Subsequently I will withdraw and sleep on my couch. I will not go on tour without it. I bought it in Münster, Germany. Everything you see on our stage we have four times. That's why I have four of them. We also always take the same German chefs with us on tour. It's almost like home.

PZ: What on your stage is forbidden? 

André Rieu: On my stage it is strictly forbidden to not play with one hundred percent input. But that does not happen. My musicians know that, and I cannot stand it when someone is not wholeheartedly involved.

PZ: Is it really possible to tell if a musician is really and emotionally involved? 

André Rieu: I hear it and I can tell whether a musician really and emotionally involved. or if he's doing something just because he has to do it. It is very important to be existential involved. Because that's exactly the reason for our success.

PZ: The German Bundestag recently decided the female quota for supervisory positions. Does your orchestra have a female quota? 

André Rieu: Yes, but not consciously. In my orchestra, about 70 percent are women. I enjoy working with female musicians because they are often faster, more honest and better than men.


PZ: What in particular do you pay attention to when looking for a new musicians for your orchestra? 

André Rieu: First of all, there are hardly any changes in my orchestra because everyone wants to stay. Namely it's a dream job to play with me. I'm proud to say that. It's a lot of fun to be on the road with these musicians. But when there is a change, I pay particular attention to the fact that he or she is wholeheartedly involved. Because then someone has the chance to survive with me.

PZ: Does it sometimes happen that a musician runs astray on tour? 

André Rieu: No, that has never happened before. I have to say, I am a very strict boss. But also a very good one. You have to follow the rules in my orchestra, but may sound like I'm a dictator. That's not me! For example, when traveling with such a large group, you have to be on time at the bus. Out of respect for the others.

PZ: You play on a 1732 Stradivarius. Do you have someone on tour who only cares for this precious instrument? 

André Rieu: Yes. When traveling there are many instances when I do not have my violin close to me. But I do not want her lying around somewhere. Such an instrument is not only worth a lot of money, but it also has idealistic and emotional values. I would like for the next generation to also be playing on it. I bought this Stradivari, but I feel more like its father than its owner.

PZ: Does your Stradivarius have moods like a diva?

André Rieu: Absolutely. It consists of centuries-old wood. Sometimes you play it in a cold, sometimes warm, damp or dry room. Not only does the violin react to that, but also the bow. Add to that also how you feel right now. Are the fingers loose? Is one rested? Everything works together and that generates a wonderful feeling.

PZ: The Stradivari also played on your latest album "Amore". What was so especially important for you with this record? 

André Rieu: If you listen to the record, you should be able to say: "My heart was touched!" For me that's the most important thing, that is what I want to convey with music. When I go to the studio with my orchestra to record a new CD, we always have a whole list of songs in our heads. But only 16 or 17 find their way to the record. On the first day in the studio I am always very nervous. It is, like having a baby. And then we begin, to shape the baby. When the individual pieces reach the heart, I've done my job right. I not only want every piece to be beautiful and perfect, but also a diamond.

PZ: Are you as a musician, really sensitive to noise? 

André Rieu: Yes, that's true. We recently played the opening music at the Televizier Ring Gala in Amsterdam. Afterwards there was a party, but I do not understand why there has to be so much noise. Dreadful! When I'm at home, sitting in the office with my co-workers, I'm the first to say, "Hey, the computer has to go! It makes me too much noise ". I like total silence since it promotes good health.

PZ: On tour, do you search for hotels that are very quiet? 

André Rieu: Yes. I always ask to turn off the noisy heater before moving into a room. I prefer to use two extra blankets. The first thing I do in a venue is take a tour. I want to see, hear and smell the venue.

PZ: If you work on something at home, do you listen to classical music? 

André Rieu: No, at home I definitely do not listen to any music at all. My wife says I'm like four Lipizzaner stallions. I am either running or sleeping. I never relax. But if I do, then I am asleep.

PZ: What did you personally learn from music for your life? 

André Rieu: That music is the most beautiful and valuable thing there is. For all forms of art, music touches the heart the deepest. On television, a man once told of the terrible things he experienced in his youth. And then he sang a song from before. You could see in him that music had a healing effect. I've seen people come to the concert hall in wheelchairs and walk out on their own two feet. While they were simply dazed by the music. Doctors wrote to me that my music has made their patients happy again. That's a big compliment for me.

PZ: Does your music have its own sound? 

André Rieu: Certainly. I am very proud that you immediately recognize, when listening to my CDs, that's André. I always play the music just as the composer meant it to be. Herbert von Karajan once was asked how he knew what the composer meant. He then said, "Listen, the composer composed it and is dead or gone now. But I'm the one who has to do it. Without a musician, there are only black lines on white paper. The musician has the responsibility and, hopefully, the knowledge to make these black lines on white paper come to live. And that's what we do."

PZ: Was it important for you to pass on your musical knowledge to your sons Marc and Pierre? 

André Rieu: I cannot say that I really wanted that. Had they asked me to show them everything, of course I would have done that immediately. But that was not the case. I gave both of them violin lessons, but they were not too enthusiastic about that. So I told them: "Do what you like to do," and that is what they did.

PZ: Did your sons rebel against you during their puberty and fill your house with loud techno, heavy metal or hip hop? 

André Rieu: Of course they did. One of my sons had bright white hair from one day to the next. Of course he did that to shock us. And it even looked good on him! My sons were allowed to listen to other music at home, but my father only allowed classical music. The Rolling Stones and The Beatles were not allowed in by us.

PZ: As a teenager, did you rebel against your parents?

André Rieu: Hardly. Later on I lived out my puberty together with my wife, who also had a very strict father. Three weeks were enough.

PZ: How do you place yourself in a creative state?

André Rieu: I think I'm pretty creative by nature. I do not have to place myself in a certain condition. It works on its own. You think I'm Dutch and smoke marijuana all day? No, I do not do that!

PZ: Have you ever seen a coffee shop from the inside? 

André Rieu: No, never. I do not care about that stuff. And neither do my sons.

PZ: What is typically Dutch about your art? 

André Rieu: We Dutch are relaxed and humorous. That's how we are on stage. That is perhaps the reason for our success. We can combine humor and seriousness without lowering the standards.

PZ: What can you say about your tour?

André Rieu: You can look forward to an unforgettable evening. With a lot of fun, tears, dancing and singing. Normally, with a classical concert, you first look at the program, which orchestra is playing, which conductor and soloists are performing. In my case, people only know that André is coming with his orchestra. Yes, we have to go there!

Author: The interview was conducted by Olaf Neumann.Thanks to Ineke for this article and her translation with John's assistance. 

Oct 29, 2017

Young Pan Flute Players Create Headaches For Rieu


Young Pan Flute Players Create Headaches For André Rieu

Roermond, the Limburger by: Jan Cuijpers. André Rieu wants to be released from the roughly 100,000 Euro fine place upon him by the Minister of Social Affairs and Employment (SZW) for violating the child labor law.

This Tuesday morning, lawyers Mr. Sander Lely representing André Rieu Productions (ARP)and Mr. Van der Oord, representing the Minister, will appear together in the administrative court of Justice Rutten in Roermond.

During the seven summer concerts in 2015 on the Vrijthof, Rieu let twelve Romanian pan flute players perform until mid-night.  This violation of the SZW law was noted during the last concert by an informed inspector of the SZW.

At this point, it appears that Rieu has tried to resolve the case behind closed doors as quickly as possible, and in the meantime the Minister has now reduced the original fine of 233,100 Euros to 100,000 Euros to advance a decision. "We are just now appearing before the judge since nobody really want to be associated with child labor laws," says lawyer Lely. During the meeting he asserts that Rieu has worked with minors from the very beginning, and always asked and received exemptions. "Rieu does not have any labor relations with the children. He was under the impression that the Romanian guest musician and pan flute player  Gheorghe Zamfir was the employer of the young pan flute players in his group. Had he known that he was being viewed as the employer, he would naturally have asked for and receive an exemption," according to Lely.

Waving

The lawyer also mentions that the only work the children performed after eleven o'clock was waving to the public during the finals of the concert. "That, apparently, is being viewed as work." Before eleven they performed for about four to six minutes. It also rubs Rieu the wrong way  that the inspector informed him of the violation during the end of the last concert. "Had Rieu been advised of this during the first concert, he would have taken that into consideration for the next six concerts," according to Lely. Because of this, ARP does not view the reduction of the fine as an advancements towards a decision. Rieu feels that he should only be held responsible for one concert, and not six. Van der Oort reported after the meeting that the inspector for the Limburg region was on vacation during the concerts, but received a tip that something was amiss with Rieu's concerts. From whom he received this tip, he is not allowed to say. It could have been an inspector from Friesland (Dutch province) who attended the concert, or  it could also be someone who has a vendetta against Rieu.

Van der Oort stated that the SZW attaches a lot of importance to this case because a country that is taking other countries to measure because of child labor laws,  cannot allow the same to happen in their own country. He is not sensitive to the argument that performing is a lot different than to sewing shoes together under adverse conditions. André Rieu himself was not present  during the meeting. He is currently on tour through the United States. A verdict will be released on December 4th.

Thanks To John for the translation

Oct 21, 2017

Tickets for Rieu Were Wrongly Declared invalid

Tickets for Rieu Were Wrongly Declared invalid

The Limburger October 21, 2017: About one hundred tickets for the André Rieu concerts next summer in Maastricht, have been wrongly declared invalid. It appeared that it was about buying tickets, says Pierre Rieu, son of the orchestra leader.

Purchased
"We are struggling with the growing problem of ticket scalping, whereby people buy large quantities of tickets to sell them for a lot of money. That creates problematic situations. So we heard about two elderly Austrian Nuns who thought that for 800 Euros each they had acquired a fantastic VIP arrangement, but come to find out that somewhere in a restaurant behind the podium, they received no more than a glass of wine and some snacks. That was not the restaurant's fault. And so, there are hundreds of these kind of stories. And then you hear about scalpers who have students buy up tickets all day long. We are quite fed up with these practices, so we not only warn about these practices but we also will withdraw tickets of suspicious transactions."

Reviewed
Something went wrong this time. Anyone can order six tickets per transaction, but whoever orders them three times or more times in a row, lands in a separate bin in the system. These transactions are then reviewed.

Rieu
"We found out that the parameters in our system were not properly set . That's a lesson for us and we need to solve that. We promise everyone that this error will not cost them money and, more importantly, that their places have not been given away. It may take a while, but we will solve it."

A British fan who contacted this newspaper hopes to quickly be worry free. She mentioned a fan page on face book (The Harmony Parlor) and said that complaints there were pouring in. This fan bought a single ticket for herself and four for friends for another show. Because of all these goings on, I had to withdraw additional funds from my bank account. I feel that André Rieu Productions needs to compensate me and the other affected fans, primarily for the time lost and the stresses these actions have created. Maybe these could be rectified later in Maastricht by for example, providing a program book, or a drink for free at the concert. None the less, apologies would be desirable. Any way "Luckily it is only his organization that dropped the ball. André Rieu remains an amazing performer."


Thank You to John for finding this for us and Translating it.

Sep 25, 2017

André Rieu's Happy birthday Bruce Springsteen

André's Facebook Today 
Happy birthday Bruce Springsteen! It would be nice to perform together one day. I'm sometimes jealous of that man's energy. He is just a week older than me (photo credits Marcel van Hoorn)

Sep 21, 2017

Rieu 2018 Vrijthof Concerts and Mexico

Rieu Announces Dates For The 2018 Vrijthof Concerts

De Limburger 21 September 2017: André Rieu announced the first dates for his concert series on the Vrijthof in Maastricht for 2018: Friday 6, Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 July. The other performances in the series have not yet been confirmed.

Last summer Rieu performed 10 concerts on the Vrijthof and has announced that next year he would like to at least perform twelve times. Rieu is currently on his world tour in Mexico. Next week concerts are planned in Mexico City, which was hit with an enormous earthquake last Tuesday.

Whether the Mexico City performances will take place is currently not known

Thank You to John for the Translation.

Rieu's Concerts Not in The Earthquake Area in Mexico

Rieu's Concerts Not in The Earthquake Area in Mexico

1Limburg, September 2017 The concerts of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra in Mexico will still be going on this week as planned. The Southern part of the country was hit on Tuesday night by a severe earthquake of 7.1 on Richter's scale. There is talk of dozens of deaths.

One Thousand Kilometer (600 Miles) At that time, André Rieu himself was already in the country; his orchestra members started traveling only last Tuesday evening. The first concert is scheduled for Thursday in Monterrey, about a thousand kilometers (600 miles) from the epicenter of the earthquake, after which the orchestra travels to Guadalajara and Mexico City.

Hardly any damage "As far as the news reports we receive, there seems to be hardly any damage to the places where we will be. "The cities might be used to quakes, but if there are aftershocks, the situation could be different." says violinist Frank Steijns from Schiphol airport.

Earlier quake Earlier this month the country was again hit with a powerful earthquake. Then nearly 100 people lost their lives. That was a particularly powerful earthquake with a force of 8.1, whose epicenter was well off the coast.

Thank You to John for the Translation
  

Aug 12, 2017

More Rieu Concerts On The Vrijthof

More Rieu Concerts On The Vrijthof

The 10 day record of Rieu on the Vrijthof is already looking towards 12.
Also the Hotel, Restaurant and Cafe industry. The orchestra leader is not the most affected but is striving for twelve concerts.

The Limburger, by Laurens Schellen: This year too they were hard to come by, tickets to the hugely popular Vrijthof concerts of André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. Ten performances in a row, three more than previous years. The almost 120,000 paying fans (on the square and on the specially reserved hotel terraces) were again head over heels, and the city council more than content.

The latter applies to the gender of inn keepers, restaurant and hotel owners in and around the inner city of Maastricht. Not at all that strange, since Rieu and his organization create continuous top earnings in the month of July.

Well now sources state that only the Horeca (Hotel, Restaurant and Cafe)industry alone earns approximately six million Euros per Rieu evening, an amount to drool over. According to a leading hotel owner in the city, the Rieu performances have become even more lucrative for the city than the "golden" ten day TEFAF exhibition, something that a few years ago was believed to be impossible.

Expansion

Enough of a reason for some Vrijthof entrepreneurs, including Henri Hochstenbag from the cafe "In den Oude Vogelstruys" to welcome the idea of expansion in advance during a recent interview with this paper. Everything indicates that Rieu will make this request a reality. Pierre Rieu, son and Production superintendent confirmed the request that his father wants to increase the number of Vrijthof performances next summer to 12, five more than last year. This year we deliberately choose to do only ten in Maastricht. Just to keep the pressure on. Our intensions are to indeed bring forth twelve Vrijthof concert in the summer of 2018. On the condition of course that ticket sales will go smoothly, according to Rieu junior. I believe as far as the Maastricht Horeca is concerned, we can do eighty concerts, he added with a wink.

In a first reaction to Rieu's request for additional concerts, Peter Debets, city councilman, said that the city will look at his request favorably. The great significance and value of André Rieu for our city are beyond any doubt. Of course, as a municipality, we must also keep in line with existing regulations and policy agreements. In short, we're going to get it started.

Policies

One of the municipal policies of which Debets is speaking is the so-called '60-day norm ' which is in force for the Vrijthof. This rule ensures that no more than 60 events will take place on the Vrijthof per year. In December, the city council will confirm the complete events program for 2018. The final approval will come in the course of next year.

Thank you to John for this article and the Translation of it 

Aug 4, 2017

Happy 10th Birthday To The Harmony Parlor!!

Wow !! TEN Years August 7th!! 
Happy 10th Birthday To The Harmony Parlor!! 

Jul 24, 2017

Downpour In Last Rieu Concert in Maastricht


Downpour In Last Rieu Concert in Maastricht
 
From The Limburg Newspaper: In the Downpour in Maastricht, Rieu's audience was fully hit. Music lovers who had looked forward to a nice evening with André Rieu, got a wet surprise. The weather Gods were not favorable to the waltz king and his audience. During the entire show the rain came pouring down. The crowd, who tried to protect themselves against the water with a poncho (provided by André), was fully hit.
 
Rieu tried to keep up the spirit: "I've heard the rain stops ..... Tomorrow," the violinist joked.
 

Some visitors had waited for a while, but left the last show of the Vrijthof concert series before the end. Bernd and Ilona Jürgen from Dresden also decided to seek shelter. They had traveled 600 miles especially for the Rieu show. "But this was really too tough. After an hour in the downpour, we just had to leave."
 
Although the rain came pouring down on Saturday night, Rieu said it was no reason for cancellation. "We only cancel if there is a danger to our audience, and that was not the case. Imagine that you have traveled from Sydney to Maastricht especially for the concert, you don't let down because of a few raindrops. By the way: The atmosphere was great, right from the start. It was a fantastic evening. "
 

Thank you to Ineke for the Translation of the Article!

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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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