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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.


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.

"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."

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.

"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.


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.


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!

Jul 22, 2017

Beauty in Maastricht

International Beauty in Maastricht During André Rieu Concerts

Chapeau Magazine Tedje van Gils Wed. July 20, 2017 Wonderful that attendees look so well groomed and beautiful. This year ten concerts will be performed at the Vrijthof square. People from all over the world travel to Maastricht to attend an André Rieu concert and you'll notice that going through Maastricht. Not just by the dozens of international buses parked all over the town, but also by the people who walk around. Last weekend it was busy, busy, busy in Maastricht. Hotels are fully booked, restaurants are running well and shopping streets are crowded. Not only people from England, Germany and France came to the city of Maastricht to experience a fairytale evening with André Rieu, but also people from Brazil, Australia and America. Eighty nationalities are present, that's what Rieu himself told Chapeau's chief editor and interviewer, Jo Cortenraedt
The concerts attract about 11,000 visitors per night: 8,000 at the Vrijthof square and another 3,000 on the terraces. You notice it and you feel it all. I myself am not going to André Rieu this year, but it is on my bucket list. As a Maastricht resident, you must attend this spectacle at least once in your life.

What I'm doing this year is enjoying all the international beauty which walks around the city on the concert days and the evening rituals. People look very well taken care of which is especially noticeable with the somewhat older international visitors. Stylish clothing, beautiful jewelry and nice makeup. I really enjoy it! It's nice to see how much attention people spend on their night out. And no, that's not superficial, because preparing yourself for a concert is also a form of relaxation. Extensive shower, prepare clothes, treat yourself well with a good body lotion and then apply the makeup. And for the men it starts with a shaving ritual and ensure the hair is neatly combed and styled. Plus they wear their most beautiful suits, ties and shiny shoes.

And it's great to see how everyone looks forward to the concert. I imagine how everyone gets ready for the evening in the hotel room. A final check in the mirror, another touch of favorite perfume and they are ready to go out and enjoy a memorable evening with André Rieu.

 Thank You to Ineke for the Translation

Jun 27, 2017

Rieu is Not Amused About The Fine For "Child Labor"

André Rieu is Not Amused About The Fine For "Child Labor"

André Rieu is not amused that his production company has received a huge fine for child labor. The violinist does not share the opinion of the labor inspection.

"The children had the time of their lives", Rieu told Shownieuws. "They even went to the Efteling” (Holland’s best entertainment park).

The fine was imposed for violations from 2015. During Rieu's traditional summer concert at the Maastricht Vrijthof square, the Romanian pan-flute virtuoso Gheorghe Zamfir and his music- and dance company performed as guests. Among the company was a group of young pan-flute players, under the age of 16.

The Dutch law has strict rules for children who perform "cultural work". 
"It's a fine of 3,000 euros per child per night. So it's a big fine, which I have already paid.
You can build a house for that amount of money. I'm trying to get that fine back now."

The orchestra leader never received a warning in advance.

"At the last concert someone from the labor inspection appeared and rebuked us at the same moment, which is very silly and absurd. But well, this is the way it goes in the Netherlands."

Thank you to Ineke for the article and translation

May 21, 2017

UPDATE: Fine Against Rieu For Improper Use of Drone

Fine Against Rieu For Improper Use of Drone

A few setbacks for André Rieu. After a massive fine by the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment for "the use of child labor" by juvenile Romanian pan flute players, the prosecutor for the ministry for aviation affairs has now sanctioned the Waltz king. The reason: illegal drone flights above the Vrijthof.

Limburger, 20 May 2017 by Laurens Schellen. After almost a year of waiting for a 'decision', André Rieu's much discussed and highly technical drone has been returned. The precious unmanned airplane, weighing just a few pounds, equipped with state-of-the-art film and sound equipment was seized last summer by the police after a series of performances by Andre Rieu and his Johann Strauss orchestra on the Vrijthof in Maastricht. 

Musical Film

Rieu launched the video robot in the air for the traditional Vrijthof concert recordings, for which he commissioned approximately thirty cameras. The musical film, which was also released on DVD, was shown worldwide via satellite connections as a premiere in almost two thousand theaters. Just in England alone, the film amassed in one weekend alone almost one and one half million pounds.

Flying a drone above an inner city in the Netherlands is prohibited. In addition, Maastricht is located underneath the arrival route of the airport in Beek. (Just north of Maastricht) After the seizure of the drone, it was stored in a secured depot of the National Police at Schiphol. After a lengthy investigation by the police and the aviation oversight department, the dossier was transferred to the national prosecutor for aviation affairs in Haarlem.


The latter has now made a settlement proposal in the form of a fine, which spokesperson Marleen van Fessem of the parquet of North Holland confirmed. "He has already paid the fine and in doing so prevented an appearance before a judge." Van Fessem did not want to divulge the amount of the fine. Sources estimate the fine to be roughly eight thousand Euros, currently the maximum for these sort of offenses in the Netherlands. In the meantime the public prosecutor's office has returned the drone to the Maastricht Police. "Rieu may pick it up there" says Van Fessem.

Vice president and son Pierre Rieu confirmed that the fine has been paid. He also does not want to release the amount of the fine. "But the drone is back in our possession." Rieu junior emphasizes that the drone was not flown above the people on the Vrijthof. There was in his eyes, absolutely no risk for a risky situation. Nevertheless, he says he 'understands' the actions by the police. Rieu: "We have now learned our lesson very well."

Recently Rieu also received another fine. According to the inspector for the Ministry of Social Affairs and Employment, minor aged musicians had to perform too long during the Rieu concerts on the Vrijthof in 2015.

Thank you to John for the Article and Translation 

May 20, 2017

Nice picture that can be used for Wallpaper in Full Size

May 18, 2017

The "Real" André Rieu (1917-1992)

The "Real" André Rieu (1917-1992)
From "The Limburger" - May 12, 2017 By Wim Doesborgh:

Today, May 12th, is exactly 100 years ago that André Rieu was born. Senior to be exact, father of the successful Waltz King. Where Junior shines in the light genre, senior was superior in the serious classical level.

André Anthony Rieu was not an easy person. Not for his 6 children and not for the members of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. In the archives of the orchestra the 'Rieu Period' (1949-1980) is described as "rich in conflicts", where the conductor besides friends also had strong enemies. Rieu was a professional with a huge knowledge of music, and set expectations of others very high.

In multiple interviews, Rieu Junior, the leader of the Johann Strauss Orchestra, told how he tried to get out from underneath the pressure of his father, because he did not, according to his father's will, wanting to become a violinist in the "heavy, serious music genre". In his experience the upbringing at home was emotionless, strict and old-fashioned. "My wife, Marjorie, with her faith in my ideas about music, finally freed me from Beethoven," Rieu once told a French newspaper.

Nevertheless, the music world scarcely benefits by Rieu senior when he is only remembered for his strict guidance. If he is to be remembered anyway, then Rieu Junior's crushing success almost completely blows away the "real" André Rieu. And that's not right.

Rieu senior (born in Haarlem and a descendant of a family who came to the Netherlands in 1831), was a big name in the classical music world. He studied piano and orchestra management at the conservatories of Utrecht and Amsterdam. He conducted the "Omroep Kamerorkest"(Broadcast Chamber Orchestra), came to Maastricht in 1949 and was connected to the Leipzig Opera for a while. With the later he conducted amongst others Debussy's "Pelleas et Melisande" and Wagner's "Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg". Because of his erudition and enthusiasm he was a welcome guest with other orchestras in the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany and Poland and he performed as a guest conductor with big orchestras in London, Vienna, Paris and Athens.

In 1957 along with some other prominent musicians from the Amsterdam music scene, he established the Amsterdam Chamber Orchestra. There he worked together with celebrities like Herman Krebbers, Gustav Leonhardt, Frans Brüggen, Albert de Klerk, Hubert Bahrwasser, and Hans Henkemans. Artistic tensions, like in Maastricht did not exist. Rieu performed there with musicians of the same high caliber and felt in his element. That can clearly be heard on the recordings available at that time and which in part are available again on CD. They let you hear Rieu in delicate piano concerts by Mozart (with Henkemans), lively organ concerts by Händel, exemplary violin concerts by Haydn, and the for that time very expeditionally played music by Vivaldi, Telemann and Emanuel Bach. And then of course the Bach-cantates, including the charming Jagd (hunting) cantate.

Just as important as Ed Spanjaard was as a conductor in the last decades for many premieres of newly composed works, so was Rieu in his time. For instance he performed "Francois Villon of Sem Dresden with the Dutch Opera. In addition works of Otto Ketting, Jurriaan Andriessen, Jan Mul and others were experienced under Rieu, some with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra, as their first performance.

André Rieu passed away in 1992. Barely two years later his son André finally broke through with the Second Waltz and so took down the fame of his father.

Thank you to John and Ineke for the Translation

May 16, 2017

Double interview: André Rieu and Jo Cortenraedt

André and Jo

Chapeau Magazine May 2017. Double interview:
André Rieu and Jo Cortenraedt about enjoying life. By Ludo Diels, Chapeau Magazine.

A double portrait of the good life in Limburg: André Rieu and Jo Cortenraedt They have been friends for years. One performs as a super star on world stages from Melbourne to Buenos Aires, the other knows how to connect the pleasures of life in journalistic productions with Limburg. Divergent careers, different characters, but with many shared passions. Especially for the 20 year jubilee of the Chapeau Magazine, André Rieu and chief editor Jo Cortenraedt openly speak about their lust for life, their fear of death, enjoyment, care and health.

Visiting André Rieu at home in Maastricht. When the castle gate opens, you step into a different world. His world. The trees, flowers and borders are perfectly maintained, just like the buildings, the green house and a Mediterranean cloister. The water sculptures and the castle breath the mind of a dedicated owner. A man for whom, according to his own words and as he likes to say, details are most important in his life. André Rieu invites us into the reception room. Coffee and vlaai (Limburg pastry) are being served. The Maestro is only ready for the conversation after the guests have been cared for. He is a Pater Familias (head of the family) and apparently not only on stage. And a boss as well. The photographer immediately loses his artistic freedom when he makes some suggestions for a good photo moment. Rieu takes charge. He is used to that. "I carry the responsibility for a hundred coworkers. I love doing that, I enjoy it."

Jo Cortenraedt is at home at André's castle. Their relationship goes back to the beginning of the 90's, before Rieu's official breakthrough with the Second Waltz in 1994. Beginning with his professional interest in the emerging phenomenon, a strong bond of confidence arose. "Jo is the only journalist with whom I also talk about subjects other than only my work", says the famous stand-alone violinist sitting at the head of the table.

"I met André at a birthday party in the 1980's. We have always remained in touch. That's how I experienced his rise to stardom from very close by. He worked very hard to come to where he is now. It is nice that he still realizes where he came from. The success did not go to his head. His family, including Marjorie, are keeping him down to earth", Jo says laughing. "There certainly is a matter of respect." "Mutual respect, for sure", André adds . Jo's child, Chapeau Magazine, has been created with a careful eye for detail. The magazine radiates warmth and beauty. Loving your work, that is what matters. That precisely makes the difference which mediocrity exceeds.

Speaking about crossing over. Do you believe in Heaven? Or to put it differently: "Are you religious?"

André Rieu: "I believe in the here and now. The idea of a Heaven does not work for me. My orchestra and I make music for the here and now. I want to make life more beautiful. To make people happy, even make them crazy with my music. That's why I am on earth. I have a wonderful job. I am an atheist. But at the same time I am also sensitive to the atmosphere of my Catholic roots. I am exalted when I see the sunlight coming through the stained glass windows. Church music and the buildings also speak to my imagination. I was raised in Maastricht so the church has been a great influence in my formative years. The Holy Masses in the Saint Servaas basilica are engraved in my mind.

Jo Cortenraedt:
"As a young boy growing up in Eijsden, I was also an altar boy. In the meantime I have freed myself from the church dogmas, but the experiences of the church theater has definitely influenced me for sure. The church has and gives a meaning. But for me the church is a private matter. I associate it with something festive. In my opinion religion and politics have nothing to do with each other. If one religion were to be teaching us one important thing, then that should be to have respect for the other. That's why I am worried about the development in certain countries where religion determines daily life and politics, where no individual freedom prevails. We have to cherish our secular values".

Both of you are becoming older. Does the sense of finality not become more emphatic? Afraid of a death without a heaven?

Jo Cortenraedt: "I cannot deny that I am becoming older, sometimes I feel a certain hurry. I still like to do so many things, but you never know if there is enough time. Although I feel some cracking every now and then but in the meantime I have traded my running shoes in for walking shoes and a bicycle, nothing wrong with that. I feel fit and vital. Not only my work, but also my family with two growing children demands from me a certain discipline not to depart yet. I also enjoy working in the garden. That is a nice way to stay busy with earthly things. I can really enjoy nature. Maybe nature is a sort of a religion for me. But I am afraid I will not be able to escape death. I am realistic enough to know that I probably will not reach 120."

André Rieu: (laughing) "I doubt that too Jo." "If at all possible, I would very much like to reach 160. In Melbourne I met the renowned professor of gerontology Andrea Maier. She does groundbreaking research into the aging process. This past summer she was a guest at the "Sommer Guest" program. She suggests that you can delay aging by living healthy. I have taken that wisdom to heart, and do everything within my power to reach 160. Twice in my life I have been stressed out. After the last time, five years ago, I have made dramatic changes. From that time on, sports have become a definite part in my life. "A way of life" as they say. I started a different routine. I do cardio and weight training. Learned more and better to listen to my body. Sufficient rest goes with that too. And not to forget healthy food. Before not too long we'll have a new kitchen. I am looking forward to that."

André: "I was raised in Maastricht, so the church definitely has been a huge influence on my formative years.
The Holy Masses in the Saint Servaas basilica have been recorded in my memory"

Nevertheless, death has reported itself a few times unannounced in your immediate circles. That would, for someone like you who loves life, be hard to digest?

André Rieu: (Looking seriously) "Recently my sister passed away. Of course that hits you. Towards the end of last year, we were suddenly confronted with the sudden death of our trombone player Ruud Merx. That happened right in the middle of our England tour. We were completely in shock. And still now. Not only was Ruud a talented musician, but a fine human being and a good friend. We immediately stopped the tour. We could not do anything else. I am a little more sober about my own death. I will not be there. So in that sense I do not think about my funeral. Because by then I have relinquished my control. Of course I hope my music will continue when I am no longer here. But I do not think about that too much. I am alive now. Mimicking Einstein I say: "Everything is here and now. Live every day. That is what it is all about."

Jo Cortenraedt: "I too believe in life. Since I have had an active lifestyle from an early childhood on, I have kept the thought of death at a distance. Nevertheless, fate also did enter our family. My youngest sister who passed away at the young age of two, due to the indifference of a substitute weekend physician who finally decided to come by hours after we had called. His wife needed to go to the high mass first. After a tonsillectomy something came lose in her throat. She made it to the hospital, but died just before the operation was to take place. I still feel that loss under my skin. After that my mother was never the same. And my father passed away younger than I am now. Unintentionally he left a desperate family behind. I was still in secondary school. My mother was completely broken and was admitted to the psychiatric department, which caused me from the time I was sixteen, to run the family along with my sister. Looking back I do not even know whether that was difficult or not. I just did it, I had no choice. As far as I know, it gave me a persistent character. I am, I think, persistent. Maybe, because of this I have become a little bit of an obstinate little character. After my studies I moved to an agglomeration of cities in Netherlands. Limburg had become to small for me. I wanted to see the world. I started as an apprentice-journalist in Amsterdam and afterwards moved to the ANP(General Dutch News agency) in the Hague. After roaming around for years, I rediscover Limburg again. I was then working for "de Limburger" (Newspaper), afterwards "de Telegraaf" (Newspaper) and the NOS. Since 1997 I work for "Chapeau" (Magazine) and "L1" (Limburg Television) in addition to all sorts of other projects. I feel good here. A place to enjoy "the good life."

Jo: "I like to work from my feelings, my intuition.
Throughout the years I have amassed a small group of people around me whom I trust.

You both are often in the spotlight. Do you also draw attention to yourselves in the pub?

André Rieu: (laughing) "I have not been in a pub in years. In the past, yes. After a concert we all went to the pub. That was fantastic and was casual. But now a days it is not so easy. Now there are always people who would like and autograph or have a picture taken. This year Jo and I went to the TEFAF (Yearly arts exhibition) together. That was very pleasant. Privately I have withdrawn myself earlier, so I am definitely not the center of attraction. I feel comfortable with my family. In addition we have several old friends who we knew before we moved into a castle. It is very important to have such a fine group of people around you. I am all for harmony. Confidence, friendship and family are essential to me."

Jo Cortenraedt: "My wife Som always says that I am always standing in the background of a party. I enjoy seeing how others are having fun. That gives me a good feeling. Privately is that totally different. I notice that people often have a different image of me . Every now and then it comes back to me that according to them, I throw parties all day long, eat caviar and drink the best champagnes. "What a life" they then say jokingly. I am certainly not sorry, but my team and I have to work extra hard to run the media company which Chapeau in the meantime has become by now. People see me on TV sipping on a glass and visiting exceptional restaurants or attending a festive affair at home or abroad." (Laughing) "But they never see me in the middle of the night working hard trying to meet a deadline. Imagination is just what I'll call it, which I understand very well."


Are you the boss? You come across as being demanding.

André Rieu: "Demanding and caring, that is how I would like to characterize my relation with my colleagues. My colleagues are also my friends. We are always together, day and night. I know everyone. I like that. I believe that I can honestly say that privately as well as in my profession I am "pater familias" (head of the family). I am the boss, and with my wife we determine everything. Together we play the "first" violin. And with pleasure I do take on the associated responsibilities. I am also very caring. To care for something gives you satisfaction. I also like to care for my dogs, my koi fish and my aviary. I love animals. As well privately as in my profession I like to please people. That not only applies to my public, but also to the people in my inner circle. They keep me on my toes. I leave the people be. Most of my orchestra members and colleagues have been with me for over twenty years. That says something, I think."

Jo Cortenraedt: "In my line of business the confidence sphere is totally different. I work with a permanent team and with free lancers. Everyone has his or her own role and responsibility. I make sure of that. I am the boss. That does not mean that I am not up for discussions. I like to be convinced that I am wrong. I like to work from my feelings, my intuition. That, I think, I share with André. Throughout the years I have amassed a small group of people around me, people whom I trust, with whom I share love and suffering or with whom I discuss and philosophize about new subjects and life. They also know where to find me when matters in their private lives arise. And of course there is my family who keeps me well-grounded with both feet. Especially when my work demands too much of my time, they'll let me know. I like to set my goals high. That also means that I expect a lot from my colleagues. I am never in a bad mood. Why would I bother my fellow man with a bad mood? I consider a good mood to be a social duty."


André Rieu: "That depends on the person and the manner in which it is delivered. I noticed that bad criticism bothers one more than good criticism. That is because I give the people every time whatever I have in me in order to provide them with something unforgettable. You cannot perform a single concert on auto-pilot. There are a thousand and one things going through my head when I am on stage. It is a concentration battle. Only details matter. Every element is equally important with every concert. I am a perfectionist. I want to see and hear everything. I want to continue to grow with my orchestra. Not becoming larger, but in quality. You hope that your public and the critical press see that too. When you give everything you can give, critique can sometimes hurt. But in the meantime I can handle it. All over the world I see happy people in my concerts. A bigger equal does not exist. In general I find humor and self-esteem very important. That places matters in perspective. We laugh a lot, which is important. Especially in these times."

Jo Cortenraedt: "When it has the basis for constructive criticism, I can handle that. Where I had difficulties in the past, was the shameless copying by some colleagues. In the meantime I am convinced that the copier is only interested in what benefits him. I view it, maybe a little exaggerated, as a compliment. Throughout the years I have had to endure a lot of criticism. And often it was directed at the person himself. Never the less, I have never let it bother me much. Stoically continuing is my motto. Dogs bark and the caravan goes on. Positive energy is more important than quelling a long time about the negative. Those were also my intensions with Chapeau as well as Limbourgois; I want to emphasize the good in our province. That gives us energy. That however, is something totally different than blindly accepting something without criticism."


You travel a lot. How do you do that privately, outside the business travels?

André Rieu: "With the orchestra we always stay in good hotels. The care has to be good, because we are on the road for months out of the year. We even bring along a doctor and three cooks. "The show must go on." We cannot afford illnesses caused by bad food. We learned through the school of hard knocks. When on tour I maintain a good sleep schedule. I always bring my own sleeping couch along. I have accumulated four of them already. The same is true for all the instruments and clothing of the orchestra. We have four of everything so we can travel and be flexible. Privately I travel incognito and discreet. Marjorie and I never go on vacation any longer than three days. We like to be at home and I am already gone so often. Privately for instance we'll book a family hotel in the Sauerland. Every year we go to Rome for a few days. There I can still walk around undisturbed. I am not a real museum person."

Jo Cortenraedt: "In my youth we never went on vacation. We did not have the money for that. We also did not have a car. I did not miss it, since we did not know better. Due to my profession I have traveled a lot to all the continents. During a certain period I seemed to have gasoline in my blood. I enjoyed being on the road, searching for stories, challenges, adventure. By traveling you broaden your horizon. In the past years I have travelled less for my profession, since I am now responsible for an entire group of permanent and free-lance employees. There is so much to do. And I still have growing children. They want to be involved with me instead of via skype. After having seen all the continents, I prefer to travel through Europe. France, Spain, Italy. Not to the most busiest place, but a little away from the main routes. I always look for little out of the way restaurants in nice places or in little side streets. Just like in Venice. It is super romantic there in the winter, not so may tourists."


André Rieu: "My father, who was a director, did not like pop music. I might have been exposed to it once, but it basically and totally passed me by. I am however open to pop music. In my life it was the classics which were important. I rehearsed and practiced them for a long time. Now a days I do not play my violin the entire day. Very naturally my role as violinist is shifting towards the direction of conductor and arranger. Although I'm very proud of my stradivarius, I'm definitely not a fetishist. A violin is and remains for me an instrument. An instrument with which you can do very many wonderful things, really, but it still remains to be an instrument."

Jo Cortenraedt: "In my younger days I was not so into the classics. The Rolling Stones formed my musical horizon. But that has surely changed. Your life changes. Music is definitely important to me. I do not like music which impels itself, like in stores for instance. I like to really listen to it. In the car for instance. Now I listen more to classical music. Recently I bought some CD's with medieval Catalan music. Very pure. My taste, I think, is relatively broad."

André: "I like to look well groomed and elegant. You will never see me looking sloppy. 
Naturally I also find it important to look good on stage.


What are your preferences in the way of food and drink?

André Rieu: "In a three star restaurant I can really enjoy gastronomic delights, but at home something just plain like endive with bacon. As long as it prepared with love and the proper products. . I have become more and more aware of the importance of good, honest products in a meal. Personally I would much rather eat a good meal at home than in a restaurant. To sit there at a table for hours on end, that is too long for me. I can also enjoy a good glass of red wine, for instance a good Saint-Emilio."

Jo Cortenraedt: "Two to three times a week I am in a restaurant, mostly for business. Privately we also visit restaurants, but cooking at home is nice and relaxing. In a nice establishment I can really enjoy the appetizers: oysters, langoustines, coquilles, lobster. In the matter of wines, the European countries have my preference. Like wines from the Rhone valley for instance like Condrieu, Chateauneuf du Pape. With a little bit of pepper. Or the red Mondivin from Hungary, made by Erik Sauter himself. A nice white Graves from the Bordeaux area, or a white Santenay from Bourgogne, also pleasant. Or an Italian Vermentino. At home we cook a lot with our own vegetables and spices."


André Rieu: "I like to look well groomed and elegant. You will never see me looking sloppy. Naturally I also find it important to look good on stage. The ladies wear beautiful dresses." (Laughing): "They do that because I have to look at them. No, I like looking at nice things. I am very visually oriented."

Jo Cortenraedt: "I did not wear costumes during my "Hippy" years. It was customary in journalism to dress sloppy. You still see that in journalism. But now I have a large collection of suits and combinations, both classical and modern. Also depends on my television work. But I also like to dress casually depending on the situation. In the mornings I think about what is on the agenda and then dress accordingly. I realize now more than in the past that your clothing is important for your appearance. The fact that my wife has an aesthetic profession with her beauty salon and is always dressed perfectly for the day, has inspired me to pay more attention to that. I cannot look as nice as she, but I do my best.


Where will you be in twenty years?

Jo Cortenraedt: "I think that I will always continue to write, as long as possible. That gives me a lot of satisfaction. But I do not think that in twenty years I still want to be in charge of the entire media business. The younger generation can take that over, like my oldest son Xavier."

André Rieu: "In my profession and in my life I live in the now. We are currently working on a new CD. That is a labor intensive process. It takes a long time. To record such a CD is like a creation narrative in a nutshell. In twenty years I still expect to be making music. I never think about stopping. Why should I? I feel fit and have the feeling we just got started. I do a lot for music. Music forms my core. In order for me to be on stage I have to be resistant to jet lag. I have to be able to sleep in a strange bed and be able to eat other types of food. At the same time, I'm supposed to control my nerves, which I always have before a performance, and give everything I have in me. You could call that hardships, but I do not see it that way. It's my destiny. And I still have a long way to go. So I keep on going, with all my soul and salvation!"

Thank You to John and Ineke for this long Translation! 






Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht












Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013




"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