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Mar 31, 2015

Folk Music Star Karl Moik Dead at 76

The Austrian presenter and entertainer Karl Moik died in a hospital in Salzburg. He was treated there for several weeks due to kidney problems. Moik was 76 years old.

From André Rieu - "Karl was a wonderful artist, a great moderator and a good friend to whom I owe a lot. I thank him for great moments".

Mar 27, 2015

From André Rieu's Facebook: Today is ► Vereniging Keep Them Rolling's 'The Final Push' in Holland. A beautiful tradition to keep the memory alive of what the allies did for us, so that we can live in freedom now! I am so proud that my son Pierre joins me in memorizing these heroes. Tonight my Veterans concert will be broadcasted on Dutch TV. More info can be found at: ►

(Friday - March 27, 2015)

Mar 25, 2015

A long time André fan and friend to so many of us, George Harper, has passed away today. Our thoughts and prayers go out to his wife Sue and their family ... be in peace now George.

Feb 14, 2015

André Rieu is the most romantic man of The Netherlands

Thanks to Ineke for sending the newspaper clipping from the Telegraaf.

Feb 10, 2015

André Rieu Musician or Mountebank?

André Rieu Musician or Mountebank?
Martin Buzacott - He's a byword for kitsch, a shibboleth among the classical cognoscenti, but André Rieu is also one of those rare classical musician who can fill stadiums and reach an entirely new audience. Is he just a musical showman, or are we underestimating him? From Australia, Martin Buzacott explores the phenomenon that is André Rieu.

Thanks to Ineke for sending this

Feb 8, 2015

André Rieu earns more than ever before

Castle Out of The Scaffolding
André Rieu earns more than ever before

From Weekend January 2015, by: Boris van Zonneveld
Expensive restoration completed. A few years ago André Rieu avoided total bankruptcy, but now he is back fiddling in full swing. The gains of the Maastricht Waltz King have increased to roughly six million a year. That makes him one of the top earners in the Dutch showbiz. Nevertheless, sacrifices had to also be made. A portion of those millions was used to renovate his castle "Huis, de Torentjes" (House, the small Turrets) on a grand scale. Now it looks more attractive than ever.

More now than ever before André Rieu is the pride of the Netherlands in the music world. His agenda for 2015 is filled to the top with performances in places like Mexico, Sweden, Denmark, Romania, Poland, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, France, and Germany and of course he is not likely to forget the Vrijthof in Maastricht. Every year from all over the world, half a million people visit Rieu’s concerts there. So his concerts can be placed on the same level as those from big pop stars such as Elton John, Barbara Streisand, and teenage idol Justin Bieber.

And financially André Rieu is better off now. That was sorely needed, because six years ago he was on the brink of total bankruptcy. He had to borrow 34million Euros to stay afloat, mortgaging everything he owned in his business to the bank, including his very expensive Stradivarius and his name. With the repayment of his million Euros debt, all is well now, and since after he reorganized his company for the better, the violinist earns more now than ever before. He recently published his earnings for 2013, and that revealed a large profit of 5.7 million Euros. The year prior to 2013 his profits were 5 million Euros and the year prior to that 3.3 million. He has never earned more and to think this is all clear profit, even after paying all the taxes. To achieve this, Rieu really had to cut costs. So in the last few years he had to say good-bye to 21 employees, shrinking his workforce in three years from 115 to 94.

His Own Little Neighborhood

Previously the star violinist had a hand in doing the craziest things. For his performances in Europe an entourage of thirteen fully filled freight trucks followed him of which three hauled only the chandeliers and carpets. That was so as to create the proper ambiance in the concert halls. During his tour through America, a bus laden with only fitness equipment rode along. He also copied the Viennese castle "Schönbrunn. The dragging along of all those items not directly related to his music, took huge amounts of money, but that did not keep the violinist awake at night, because he never did it for the money. Under pressure from the impending bankruptcy, another critical look was taken at the spending pattern of the violinist and choices had to be made. The Rieu caravan primarily travelled around the world on borrowed money, and with the last one, he and his wife Marjorie financed that one with all their private possessions. They were buried under a mortgage of millions. He borrowed 2.5 million to build a new studio, and around his castle "de Torentjes" in Maastricht he purchased numerous building so as to create his own little neighborhood, including homes for his two sons.

 Now that the last few years’ business has again been profitable, and Rieu is earning millions like water, money also became available for his greatest possession, his castle, for a drastic renovation. That is very necessary every few years since "Huis, de Torentjes" is almost 500 years old. It dates back to 1526. Up to the square tower on top of the roof, the castle was encased in scaffolding. A few years ago they discovered that part of the St. Peter’s mountain, where Rieu resides, was at one time part of the sandstone pits. During sewer works on André’s street, remnants of a tunnel and railway tracks, an underground sandstone wall, a gutter, building components and two fragments of a gravestone from 1734 were found.

Vomiting Sounds

In 2015 the castle again appears in a spick and span condition, fully restored to its former glory. Since the castle is a monument, all the old details must be maintained every hundred years or so, thereby not changing the outer appearance. Of course this was taken into account with this large scale renovation. It is expected that the millions will continue to flood into Rieu’s company for the next several years. And then to think that in the beginning of his career it took him years to land a record contract. The young André was successful and performed mostly in the Netherlands, Belgium and Germany, but no one wanted to release his music. "It took me seven years to land a record deal" he once said. The first record boss with whom he had an appointment, asked him; "What do you play? Waltzes? Then he made a sound as if he had to vomit. He really did that" André told. But I kept going back to the record companies and after seven years, someone finally listened. The last record boss saw something good there, since in the meantime André Rieu has sold over thirty million records and DVD’s worldwide. 

Thanks to Ineke for the article and John’s ©translation 

Feb 5, 2015

Highest Carnival Award for André Rieu

Highest Carnival Award for André Rieu

Maastricht Feb. 5, 2015: A new - and at the same time a very high award from the Tempeleers - has been awarded to André Rieu on Thursday morning. 't Joonk Leech,( New or young Light) is what this jewel is called, and dates from an ancient tradition of the Momus Society, the forerunner of today's Maastricht carnival.

The comparison with the Trichter, granted by the municipality of Maastricht to individuals or institutions on social or cultural areas of particular value to the capital of Limburg, can safely be made.

With son Pierre in attendance, a contingent of Tempeleers, Garderizzjemint, Kachelpiepers (Stove Pipes) and a battery of photographers and film crews, all watched as Prince Odin hung  the decoration around the neck of the most famous Maastricht Citizen ever. Prior to that official moment, Tempeleer president Henk de Jong read André Rieu's merits. A long list of special performances and moments.

Rieu, who together with the Johann Strauss Orchestra, is ready to depart for Berlin, told the audience that as a Mestreechter citizen he was very delighted with 't Joonk Leech award. He once again emphysised the point that music brings people together. "You see that during my concerts, but just as well as with carnival." He added: "You can very easily compare one of our concerts with one of the basic principles of carnival. During both events, there are no ranks or classes. Everyone is equal and together everyone is enjoying the event"...

"It Joonk Leech" was the highest distinction during the Momus reign. At that time the Momus members maintained close ties with the Jesters Academy in Dülken, Germany, and the Momus Society incorporated
a variety of the Academy's symbols."

Thanks to John for the Translation

Jan 30, 2015

High Carnival Award For Rieu

High Carnival Award For André Rieu

 The Limburger: André Rieu is to receive 'T JOONK LEECH (a New Light) award, which is the highest award of the Maastricht Carnival Organization, "De Tempeleers" . This will be the first time that "De Tempeleers" will award this jewel. "t Joonk Leech" dates back to the time of the Momus-society, the forerunner of the urban carnival club. The award, a golden crescent moon, originated in the jesters academy in the German city of Dülken, with which the Momus maintained close ties. 

Rieu will receive the award for his services to Maastricht, its culture and the Maastricht Carnival (Mestreechter Vastelaovond), and in the case of the conductor, particularly in he field of music.

Thanks to John for the Translation

Jan 27, 2015

André Rieu - Holocaust Memorial Day

Today on Holocaust Memorial Day I'd like to commemorate my wife's relatives who died in concentration camps and all the victims of Auschwitz. Let's all make sure this will never happen again ... André Rieu

Jan 26, 2015

André Rieu: Love, Italy and a Holiday on Lake Garda

Interview With André Rieu
About Love, Italy and a Holiday on Lake Garda

Interview by Schlager, Germany: The great virtuoso André Rieu fills all the stages in the world and is currently on his great European tour in Germany until March and allowed us a brief interview in between concerts.

Dear Mr. Rieu, we are very pleased that you took the time out to speak with us and give us an insight into your relationship with Italy. Your new album is called "A Night in Venice". What would you do if you only had one night in Venice?
What would I do? ... I think everything that is romantic. Gondola ride, sitting on the Piazza San Marco - simply wandering along, strolling over the many bridges, admiring the buildings and just let me do my thing. And hope I would meet Commissario Brunetti somewhere and have a glass of wine with him! (laughs)

You are a Donna Leon fan? *** Oh yes, very much so. Marjorie and I never miss an episode.

You wrote the theme song for Donna Leon and there are also three original compositions by you on your new album, all of which are dedicated to Venice ...
Exactly. The Gondola waltz, a tarantella and really important song on the new album for me: Love in Venice.

The song "Love in Venice" you dedicated that on Face Book and YouTube to George Clooney and Amal Alamuddin ...
Yes! We had just finished that when the two got married. I wish them both all the best and hope it brings them happiness. My wife finds that the most romantic thing I've ever composed. We've been married 39 years, and I think we've done everything right together. Maybe they'll do that too, I hope so. (laughs)

What is so special in the composition "Love in Venice"?
I usually play my Stradivarius, but for "Love in Venice" I looked for a violin with a different sound. It should be softer, "more lovingly". I have tried many violins and found a really beautiful, very gentle one that fit perfectly for the piece.

What role does composing play in your life?
Mozart composed with his left hand and at the same time played billiards with his right, drank and made love. So that does not work for me. It is not easy to find time for that, because I often am on stage and we are constantly traveling. I compose together with my first violinist Frank Steijns, who is also an excellent pianist. The idea for "Bella Tarantella" came to me, for example, when I was with Frank in a taxi in Santiago, Chile. Suddenly there it was. That was a wonderful moment!

Could you have ever imagined not playing the violin, but another instrument?
My father was a conductor, and gave me my first violin at age five. I immediately felt that this instrument is like a voice. You can feel its vibration while you play. A piano is also a fantastic instrument, but there is no direct contact with the body. The violin, in this respect is unique in the world; it is very close to you. And that's what I like about it.

That sounds like a love relationship ...
Yes, that's right. When you spend hours each day with an instrument, you must love it. Otherwise it becomes anguish.

There can be no love without broken hearts. Could heartache also be found in your music?
I think that sadness and love belong together, like sadness and joy. I do not think that there can be love without heartache. They belong together. If I love a person, it is for 100 percent. But you can also find heartache in my music.

Azzurro, Volare, That's Amore, O sole mio ... many songs on the new album are about yearnings.
Precisely and about romance. The song, "La Gondola", for example is very melancholy. In every waltz by Johann Strauss you will find joy, love and grief, like in the "Lagoon Waltz." And you also find it in literature. Look at one of the most famous books by Thomas Mann "Death in Venice". Venice is actually an epitome of beauty and romance - but also of transiency - actually a little more opposed to the other cities of Italy.

Rome for instance?
Yes, Rome is quite different, but also fantastic. I could spend hours in the Coliseum – had I not become a musician, I would have been an architect.

Where does this love for Italy come from, so many Northern Europeans have it?
That is due to the sun and love. Marjorie and I both love the country very much; we are big fans of the Italian "way of life". Marjorie speaks perfect Italian, and we go there privately once a year for a week.

So we could find you during the summer at a campsite on Lake Garda?
Haha, no! We mostly travel to Rome and not during the main holiday season. Otherwise I could not move around undetected, that would not be a holiday for me.

In January and February 2015 you and your Johann Strauss Orchestra come to Germany, Austria and Switzerland for twenty concerts. What can the audience expect?
A completely new program with many Italian hits which will make our audience hopefully forget the winter, but also waltzes, operas, operettas and film music. Also the Berlin Comedian Harmonists are with us on the 2015 tour. And at the end we all have a big party. I'm really looking forward to all of it.

*** Donna Leon (aka Commissario Brunetti) is a German television series based on a series of crime novels set in Venice by Donna Leon. It has been produced since 2000 by the ARD in Germany. This TV series is also shown in Spain and in Finland by Yle. Music: André Rieu.
Thanks to Ineke for this German article and John for Translating it for us

Jan 18, 2015

André Rieu My family is The Center of My World

André Rieu
My family is the center of my world

He is the most famous Maastricht citizen on earth, sold forty million CDs worldwide, lives on top of the Sint-Petersberg in a castle, but André Rieu does not see himself as the Sun-King of Maastricht. "I want to make people happy especially with my music."

Nouveau Magazine - Interview by Marion Florusse: This coming summer, André Rieu will again change the Vrijthof into an open air concert hall in which thousands of people can enjoy his romantic concerts. The maestro, who since 2007 has been touring the world with an entourage of over one hundred personnel, still intensely rejoices himself about a new production. As a boy he fell in love with the waltz: light music for the experienced ears accustomed to the heavier works from the classical repertoire. But for him it was a revelation, which eventually would lead to world fame. Together with his wife, Marjorie, they live in "House the little Towers", a sixteenth century castle located on top of the Sint-Petersberg. Their sons Marc (1978) and Pierre (1981) live with their families on the estate and are employed with the Rieu firm. The Rieu firm is huge and for instance they bring their own catering business on tour with them, but also many decors to transform each location into a romantic place. To the public concerts of the passionate violinist and his Johann Strauss Orchestra are colorful musical tales.

As a child I already dreamed of making people happy with music

Soon you will be playing another home concert on the Vrijthof. How do you like being on that familiar place? "That is fantastic. We tour the entire year around the world and enjoy all the concerts, but on the Vrijthof in Maastricht we indeed play especially well. It is the most beautiful square I know. Really!! Where else can you find such a large square, surrounded by beautiful historical buildings, which does not have a public garden, statue or fountain in its center? Here thousands of people can enjoy my concert, and in turn my orchestra and I enjoy them of course".

How do you explain the enormous success of your musical formula, the Johann Strauss Orchestra, the music, the entourage? "I think that is because we ourselves have so much fun with the music and that radiates itself out. It seems to be contagious".

After his studies at the conservatory in Brussels, the violinist performed with the Limburg Salon Orchestra, but it was always a dream to make classical music attractive to the general public. Eventually he succeeded.

What was crucial for you to take that step? "At a certain point my wife told me: "Just leave that orchestra because you are very unhappy. You have a dream, make it a reality, so I will go and earn a living for a while." And that she did. By that time in my life I also realized that making choices was very important in order to be successful and happy. You can continue your entire live and complain that you are not happy. But you have to do something about that!"

In 1987 André Rieu founded the Johann Strauss orchestra. Initially it consisted of twelve members, but currently sometimes more than fifty members occupy the stage. In the birth year of the orchestra André and his wife started their own business: André Rieu Productions.

You live in a castle, are world renowned, wealthy and beloved. You feel that way too? Laughingly: "No, such aspirations I do not have. I am lucky if I can make the sun shine during the Vrijthof concerts. Ha, ha! Other than that, that equation is totally wrong!"

What were your dreams like when you were a little boy? "I always dreamed to make people happy with my music and I am very happy to have been able to make that dream a reality. When I see how the people enjoy our music evening after evening and how such joy and happiness exudes from the Vrijthof, then I am not only happy but also a little proud."

I enjoy my grandchildren tremendously, they are darlings, all four of them

What was your childhood like growing up in Limburg? "Everything at home revolved around music. My brothers, sisters and I all played several musical instruments, so it was somewhat of a mini-conservatory at home. When my mother was not playing the piano, my father was practicing scores. When we were dressing there was always a record being played. Classical of course, anything else did not exist in our home. We divided humanity into two categories: musicians and the rest. My father was the conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and every week all of us, my mother with six children, would go to his concerts. In addition, I along with my brother Robert spend our entire childhood in the St. Servaas choir."

What affected you in the music?
"The atmosphere which made the biggest impression on me and which definitely was the basis for my musical career, were the Midnight Masses on Christmas in the St. Servaas, which I found colossal as a choirboy. The church was then beautifully decorated with flowers, there were lots of candles, incense, a large nativity scene and the people sang Christmas carols with the choir .... Almost as beautiful as the Vrijthof concerts, ha, ha ... !!

Which music do you like to play in your spare time? "When I am not rehearsing, studying or recording a CD, I do not play music. I much rather play then with my grand-children."

What does Limburg, and in principle Maastricht mean to you? "I was born here and with the exception of my studies in Brussels, have lived here my entire life. Maastricht is a wonderful city, it has everything you need, but it is small enough that I can go by car from my house to my studio on the other side of town in five minutes—but don’t let the police know! Maastricht is also a beautiful city with beautiful historic buildings that define the appearance and atmosphere. I love old towns. Moreover, there is coziness, especially in the summer with all the cafe terraces on the Vrijthof."

What do you miss most of Maastricht when you are on tour? "My family first and foremost and everything else that I just mentioned."

The castle where you now live, was previously not a favorite place for you, what changed your feelings about "House the little Towers"? Since we have lived here, we have done many changes and restorations. It has become much lighter. Earlier it was dark and gloomy."

How is it to live in such a place? "Truly magnificent. It lies on the outskirts of the city, with the front facing the river Maas (Meuse). In the rear, our garden starts at the St.Petersberg. As far as I am concerned, no human being can live nicer than that. Is there a Hollywood boulevard that can top that?"

What does it mean for you that so many people have an uplifting experience when they attend a concert by you and your orchestra so that they speak of another life through this experience?  
"Is that a fact? I have actually never heard that before. But if they are happy with my music, I'm very happy of course."

What is the main driving force in your life? "The pleasures I and my orchestra have in the music."

Is the man André Rieu a different person than the celebrated musician?
"No, not at all, I am the same person on stage, only in rock costume. At home I prefer to wear jeans."

How would you like people to remember you later on? "Oh, I would rather not think about that. I still enjoy life to the fullest and the music."

What is the most important lesson you have wanted to give your two sons? "I do not think that I consciously have wanted to give them lessons. They are both great boys and have a huge heart. They care for other people, and that makes me proud, just like my grandchildren. Very proud. I enjoy all four immensely, they are darlings."

Did your family have to make sacrifices for your career? "I do not think that Marjorie and the boys look at it that way. When the boys were still small I played with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and was often home, maybe more frequent than most fathers, since my afternoons were free.

What does family mean to you? "Very much. My family is the center point of my world. That is where I get all my energy."

You have known your wife Marjorie since you were eleven….What is the secret of your marriage? "Secret??? I would not know why! We love each other and together we have a lot of fun in music and our work."

Your wife is your toughest critic, what does her judgment mean to you? "Her opinions weigh heavily on me and I always listen very seriously to her critique."

Is Marjorie the secret force behind your success, the wings on which you fly? "Marjorie and I fly together, I believe, that is nicer than alone. We both gain strength from that."

What makes your really happy, besides music? "Since I have become a grandfather, I believe I enjoy that aspect of my life the most. But when I am standing on the Vrijthof, and see all those people in front of me enjoying our music so much, then I am also very happy,"

You are now 65, but still not nearly ready for your pension. How do you experience getting older? "I am not too involved in that. Of course you notice that you are getting older, since for instance, you cannot run as fast as you used to and you have more ailments than when you were younger. But actually I am not really bothered that much by that. And I do everything I can to stay fit and healthy."

What does all that entail? "I have a personal trainer under whose supervision I do weightlifting three times a week. He also accompanies us on tour so I do not have to interrupt my training schedule. He also advises me on foods. I do not smoke, have an occasional glass of red wine, eat healthy and varied and above all, not too much. And fortunately an occasional little piece of Limburg vlaai (pastry)."

What, when you look back on your career, has been the most remarkable change in your life? "I was brought up with classical music. I really never heard about the "Beatles" nor the "Rolling Stones". Yes, their names maybe, but the sort of music they played, I really never knew. Something like that was not allowed in our house. And I was not allowed to go out, so where would I have heard that. Only though Marjory I learned to know lighter music. Not so much pop-music, but operettas, waltzes and dance music. I immediately found that to be beautiful and that has caused a major change in my career."

What is your best memory? "I have many beautiful memories in my career as well as in my private life. The first concert on the Vrijthof ten years ago was very special. To be allowed to perform there, in my own city, in front of thousands of –especially then—Maastricht citizens: an experience never to be forgotten. But still now too, again every year, when people now come to the Vrijthof from all over the world, my orchestra and I immensely enjoy playing there. It has a unique atmosphere, which we will never forget."

How do you look to the future?
"Mostly, and although the politics do not always indicate a positive - optimistically I hope to be able to continue in doing what I love to do for a long time to come, namely making music and having people join in the fun.

André Rieu was born in 1949 in Maastricht in a musical family where father André Senior was a conductor, with two older sister, two brothers and a younger sister. He was given the names of André Léon Nicolas Marie, and studied violin at the conservatory in Brussels and where he received lessons from amongst others from Herman Krebbers. In 1994 he scored a world hit with "The Second Waltz" by Dmitri Sjostakovitsj. With his wife Marjorie, whom he married in 1975, they have two sons, Marc (1978) and Pierre (1981). He has one grandson and three granddaughters of which two are twins. Since 2002 the violinist has been a "Knight in the Order of the Dutch Lion." With his Johann Strauss orchestra he performs mega concerts all over the world.

Thanks to Ineke for the article and ©Translation by John 

Jan 13, 2015

There are not enough words to thank John for all the hours he puts into The Harmony Parlor to bring all of us the News of André in English with his German and Dutch Translations! We hope all your wishes come true and the coming year is filled with Health and Happiness John!

Jan 2, 2015

André Rieu very rarely listens to music in private

André Rieu very rarely listens to music in private

André Rieu, the most successful violinist in the world begins his German tour in January with the program "A Night in Venice" and will also be on stage in Berlin. After his world tour this year, the Dutch Waltz King will again set off on a journey through German arenas and concert halls and presents his new program. On February 5, he and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will play in Berlin's O2 World. The musician André Rieu knows no boundaries. And does not make music just for the fun of it.
Berliner Morgenpost: 

Which audiences or whichever city in particular are you looking forward to in 2015?
That is very hard to say. Every city has its own peculiarities. The German audience knows the music we play very well and they have been coming to us for years. That’s wonderful. In June we will also be in Romania for the first time and conduct open air concerts there. To go to a new country for the first time is always something very special. I believe it is the mix of tradition like we have in Germany and in new countries such as China, Taipei and Singapore in 2014, which makes my job just like always fulfilling and exciting.

Which personality in the music industry in 2015 are we still going to see and hear?
I hope many talented young violinists.

Do you listen to a lot of music at home?
Not really. I rarely listen to music in private, and never in the car. I relax a lot better by cooking, reading, or playing with my grandchildren.

With which music did you grow up?
Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Wagner. My father was a conductor. The Beatles totally passed me by. No sex, drugs or rock 'n' roll. At home, only classical music was played. My siblings and I all learned one or more instruments. Music was work then, and not fun.

Is there a style of music which you cannot get along with? And if so, why?
Yes, there is. For me, music has to have a tune and harmony. With contemporary classical music, I can do very little, others should do that. It also does not interest me, since it just is not mine. And rap or heavy metal I would definitely not play, it just does not fit. But good pop and rock music, why not?!

What is the status in principle to the classics, what does the future hold with respect to classical music?
I hope a lot of new, young audiences. The classical music world needs time to descend from its high pedestal. Why not speak with the audience during concerts? Bernstein did that, he had the audience and many young people involved. Why does everyone have to look so serious, as if someone had just died, no matter what kind of music they play? I have 120 permanent employees, and my orchestra is the largest private orchestra in the world. No one is crazy enough to afford his own orchestra. I do not receive subsidies - I have to sell tickets and CD's to keep the business running. And I do that, amongst other things, by playing classical music. And it works. You just have to try to make the people go home happy.

Do you have something like a ritual before your performances?
Not necessarily a ritual, but a steady routine. Before each concert I take a nap, we eat together with the orchestra, and I tune the instruments with everyone individually.

What do you associate with Berlin?
Lots. My father-in-law lived in Berlin before the war up until he fled; my wife's family is Jewish. He was a very great Charleston dancer and at that time could only take his record collection with him. Marjorie and I both love the city very much, we "still have a suitcase in Berlin", in the truest sense of the word. Always longing to return. In 2015 the Berlin Comedian Harmonists will be going on tour with us. A tribute to the years of the 20s and 30s of this city.

Is there anything with which you cannot go without on trips? 
Apart from my Stradivarius I would say that I cannot travel without my phone, without photos of my family or without my red sofa.

What would you like to read about yourself in 2015 in the newspaper? 
I have no idea ... anyway I never read any article about me.
Thanks to John for the Translation

Dec 18, 2014

Rieu Exposition In The Vrijthof Museum

Rieu Exposition In The Vrijthof Museum
Exhibition during concert series

De Limburger, by Ruud Maas: Maastricht-Violinist André Rieu will have his own exhibition at the Vrijthof museum next year. The exposition named "Attention to Detail" will open in June, just before the orchestra leader starts his yearly concert series on the co-located Maastricht square.

Museum director Erik de Jong states that the exhibition is organized in close cooperation with the Rieu family. "We’ve been carrying this idea around since February, and we would like to honor André in this manner. The motto of our museum is: "Made in Maastricht" and Rieu is of great importance to the city, both culturally and economically. We feel we are indebted to him."

"Attention to detail" highlights will include the musical creative process of the 65-year-old Rieu and his Strauss orchestra. In addition, sets, costumes and worldwide tours will also be featured. The principle areas are details which visitors to the Rieu concerts only are able to see for a distance, de Jong says. "Now you will be able to see how André was inspired by five dresses he saw in a movie of which his costume makers came up with as the final ultimate dress."

The exposition can be visited from June until September, not coincidentally, around the Vrijthof concerts. "Of course we hope that many visitors, who attend André’s shows, will also visit us. Normally as a museum we stand with our nose in the wings, the podium is right in front of our building. In that aspect we hope to be less unnoticed in 2015."

From Chapeau Magazine

Wednesday December 17: For the first time next summer we will be able to see an exhibition about André Rieu, namely in the Museum on the Vrijthof. Under the title of "Love for detail" attention will be paid to the way the music is chosen and translated by André Rieu and his Strauss Orchestra. The museum calls that "musical creative process."

In addition, attention is given to the costumes, the decors and the attributes. And finally, his worldwide tours will also be represented, accompanied by the different decors and the entire logistics. A brochure will also be produced in which the exhibition is being explained.

The exhibition is being produced in conversation with the Rieu family. The initial opening of the exhibition is being planned a few days prior to the 2015 Vrijthof concerts.
Thanks to John for Translation

Dec 16, 2014

André Rieu Postpones Birmingham Concert

  • Due to illness, André Rieu will be postponing tomorrow’s show, rescheduling on Tuesday 23 December 2014.

    Statement from the promoter:
    “Due to a severe bronchitis, André Rieu is unfortunately forced to postpone his concert in Birmingham, which was supposed to take place on Wednesday, 17th December 2014 at the LG Arena. A new date has already been set: André Rieu and His Johann Strauss Orchestra will return to the LG Arena Birmingham only six days later on 23rd December 2014 at 20.00. All tickets remain valid for the new date. Audience members who wish to return their tickets will be refunded and should return them where they were bought. All other remaining concerts in London, Manchester and Glasgow will go on as scheduled. André Rieu sincerely regrets any inconvenience this may cause and hopes to see you all on December 23rd!”

Dec 11, 2014

André Arriving at Bucharest Airport ~ Brrrrrr ...

Dec 10, 2014

Rieu Sold-Out Bucharest Concerts in Record Time

Rieu to perform on a square in Romania
Lady Gaga and Elton John were predecessors
Bucharest -- André Rieu will give an outdoor concert in Romania on 13 June. He made this announced yesterday during a visit to the country. It will be a concert based on the annual Vrijthof concerts performed by the violinist in Maastricht.

The venue will be the Piata Constitutiei in Bucharest, the capital of the country. The square is right opposite the largest parliament building in Europe. In recent years several great artists have already performed on that spot. Since 2010 AC/DC, Elton John, Shakira, Roxette, Sting, Bon Jovi, Lady Gaga, Leonard Cohen, Iiron Maiden and Roger Waters have successively performed there.A month later Rieu will perform his annual Vrijthof concerts in Maastricht. These are planned for 3, 4, 5, 10, 11 and 12 July.

Update: André Rieu sold-out concerts in record time, a third performance fixed

Violonist André Rieu announces he will perform a second and a third concert in Bucharest on June 12 and June 14, after the tickets for his June 13 performance were sold-out in just three hours since they have been put for sale. More precisely, 12,500 tickets have been sold for the concert due on June 13, and other 10,500 tickets for the second concert fixed on June 12.

Tickets for the second concert on June 12 were available in Eventim network for prices ranging from RON 172 and 864, but they were soon sold-out on Wednesday as well, so the organizers set a third concert on June 14.

“Dear Romanian fans, I am overwhelmed by the warm reception you gave me yesterday (on Tuesday) at my arrival to Bucharest to announce our first concert in Romania. You welcomed us with open heart and we shall open our hearts to you. I am looking forward to seeing all of you in June, in Constitution Square for some magical evenings, full of music, dance and romance in the starlight!”, Rieu told Romanian fans, as quoted by Agerpres.

Nov 20, 2014

A Role For André Rieu in "Code M"

A Role For André in "Code M"
The Limburger - Sittard: André Rieu will be playing a role in the family film "Code M". The violinist will appear in this film as himself, just as he did previously in "Flikken Maastricht." Additional actors are Peter Paul Muller, Derek de Lindt, Nina Wyss, Senna Norsato and Joes Brauers.

The recordings of this film by producer Dennis Bots are in full swing.

In code "M" the historical story of D'Artagnan, musketeer on the court of Louis XIV, fuses with a contemporary exploration of a "still unknown piece of Dutch history."

Course materials will also be available with the film, and there will be a two-year exhibition at Castle Hoensbroek about the history of d'Artagnan, who after many missions in Europe was killed in Maastricht. Ineke Mahieu is editing the screenplay into a juvenile novel.
The film is co-produced by Roermond citizen Elbe Stevens. "Code M" will premiere next year in June.

Thanks To John For The Translation

Nov 17, 2014

André Rieu Fan Al Girard Enjoying Retirement

Al Girard Enjoying Retirement

What a great time to thank a fan who has done so much for all of us on the Harmony Parlor bringing us photos of so many concerts and everything in Maastricht ...

Al Girard as most of you know as our Harmony Parlor Photographer in Maastricht, was interviewed by Edmonton, Canada Television! All the Maastricht Fan Picnic and Fan Dinner photos he has taken for us, not to mention the many Maastricht Concert photos! Great interview Al and thank you for all your work for the Harmony Parlor! Click HERE To Watch Al's Interview!

Nov 16, 2014

Classical phenomenon André Rieu lands at #2 on Billboard

Classical phenomenon André Rieu lands at #2 on Billboard’s Traditional Classical chart with Love in Venice, marking the 20th time that Rieu has earned a Top 10 album on that chart.  The album also debuted at #5 on Billboard’s overall Classical chart.

US BILLBOARD: Released on November 3, 2014, Love in Venice features Italian classics such as “O Sole Mio,” “Volare,” “That’s Amore” and “Santa Lucia”; the famous “Barcarole” by Jacques Offenbach; the “Lagoon Waltz” by Johann Strauss; and the Toselli Serenade, all performed in Rieu’s unique and unforgettable way.  The album also includes three of Rieu’s own compositions – the title track, “Bella Tarantella,” and “La Gondola,” marking the first time the maestro has recorded and included his own compositions on an album release.

**Additionally, beginning Thanksgiving weekend, U.S. television stations will rebroadcast Rieu’s 2013 Christmas special, Home for the Holidays, featuring Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra, together with soloists and a choir, performing 26 holiday classics. Filmed in his hometown of Maastricht, Holland, this special was first broadcast in the U.S. last year to great fan acclaim.

Initial markets to schedule 2014 broadcasts include Atlanta, GA; Baton Rouge, LA; Chattanooga, TN; Chicago, IL; Cleveland-Akron, OH; Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX; Hartford & New Haven, CT; Las Vegas, NV; Little Rock, AR; Milwaukee, WI; Monterey-Salinas, CA; Montgomery-Selma, AL; New York, NY; Norfolk & Richmond, VA; Orlando, FL; San Antonio, TX; San Francisco, CA; and Tampa, FL, among others, with more being added daily. Check local listings for complete broadcast information.

A native of the Netherlands, André Rieu is the world’s best-selling classical musician and has brought about an international revival in classical music with his spellbinding musical extravaganzas.  André owns the biggest private orchestra in the world and has sold more than 40 million albums and DVDs.  This year marks the 20th anniversary of his breakthrough album Strauss & Co, which launched his stratospheric rise in 1994. Since then, he has received more than 400 Platinum and 171 Gold Awards, and he has more than 1.4 million Facebook fans.

In the UK, no other violinist has made such an impact on the charts. André first made chart history in 2010 when his album, Forever Vienna, reached No.2 in the UK Pop Charts as well as going straight in at No.1 in the Classical Charts.  Love in Venice has today made a monumental return to the UK Pop Album Chart as his new orchestral album enters at No. 4, competing with youngsters Ed Sheeran, Calvin Harris and only just behind Taylor Swift – an extraordinary result for an album of music mostly written in the 1800s. The album is also No. 1 in the Classical Chart.

Every year, André, his Johann Strauss Orchestra, chorus and international soloists travel across the world, performing about 100 concerts in front of an audience of one million people. His tours have been on Billboard’s Top 10 for the past ten years.

André and his Johann Strauss Orchestra embark return to the UK next month for an extensive arena tour, including two nights at Wembley.  His previous UK tour, November-December 2013, helped Rieu rise to the top of Billboard’s Hot Winter Tours chart, beating out contemporary artists such as One Direction, Mariah Carey, Jennifer Lopez and Phish for the #1 spot during the same time period.

Nov 11, 2014

Just For Fun ... Full Picture

Romantic André Rieu derives his power from women

Unveiling in the largest newspaper in France:
Romantic André Rieu derives his power from women

MAASTRICHT - First a revelation: André Rieu derives his boundless energy from all the wonderful women who are opposite him during his appearances on the big stage. That is what he revealed today in an exclusive video interview with Le Parisien, the largest newspaper in France.

And no, his wife Marjorie is absolutely not jealous of all those ladies who worship the stand-alone violinist: the great Maastricht violinist had not been to bed with all his female fans, he says while smiling shyly as he grabs his cup of coffee: "That would be a lot of work."

Le Parisien recently was the guest at "House de Torentjes" (House of little Towers), which dates back to 1452, and is the castle of André Rieu, located on the Lage Kanaaldijk in Maastricht. Quite a chore, the newspaper lets its readers know. For more than a year the reporter has been trying to organize an interview of an hour, but the agenda of the Maastricht superstar -the most famous and popular living violinist- has been totally booked full, according to Le Parisien, and this was something simply not very easy to achieve.

Le Parisien did not only receive an interview, but also was given a tour of the castle (called de Torentjes, the small towers), its garden (including the pond with Koi carp), the Orangery and the studio.

André Rieu is a romantic, he says in French. "Everything I do is romantic. A romantic is someone who thinks he can change the world. He thinks he can change everything, anything that is possible.
Thanks to John for the Translation

André Rieu: "The 'Musikantenstadl' is a ritual"

André Rieu: "The 'Musikantenstadl' is a ritual"

In Germany, Dutch "Waltz King" André Rieu has become well known through the "Musikantenstadl" program. In an interview with, the musician voiced his concern about the uncertain future of the show, whose existence for 2015 is very unclear. "I think it's a pity. The "Musikantenstadl" is a ritual, it’s totally indifferent whether a viewer is 35 or 70 is. Maybe all viewers, 50 years or older, should adjust their dues. "(Payments for viewing TV, which is common in many European countries)

All together the 65-year-old believes that music on German television is "too short". "Everyone is complaining that music education is neglected in the schools, but none of the broadcasters are taking the time nor are they considering how to make music accessible to all," says Rieu. In the Netherlands, his home country, music plays a very different role. André Rieu’s specials are broadcast there every year and reached by an audience of millions. "That's wonderful," says the musician.

André Rieu also appreciates other artists very much. This is what he says about the beautiful pop star, Helene Fischer: "She's a great artist, one of the very few who can really do it all, sing, dance, moderate - and he finds her of course very pretty and young.." About a famous violinist colleague Rieu says: "David Garrett is a great musician who does his own thing, he does what is fun for him. It is not easy to continue with your own concepts, especially since they are different."
Fitness program for the "Internet Junkie"

Currently André Rieu is back on tour and has a busy schedule. But the 65-year-old has a program with which he keeps fit. "Three times a week I do proper weight training and also have a personal trainer when on tour. Also, I try to eat very healthy and sleep one hour before each concert," says Rieu to

In addition to his classical music Rieu also has a very modern passion: "I am an internet junkie," he says. "I love apps, Smart phones and social media."

André Rieu starts his Germany tour on January 9, 2015 in Frankfurt am Main. But prior to that he would like to enjoy this year's Christmas properly when he returns from his concert tour in England on 23 December. "I celebrate at home surrounded by my family, with my sons and four grandchildren. That time is sacred to me! I'm really looking forward to that. For the first time we actually and really have two weeks completely free," says Rieu.
Thanks to John for the Translation

Nov 8, 2014

Another Story From Our Earliest Fans ...

Elke and Nino Freitag 
From Münster, Germany
Elke: Actually, I grew up with waltz music because my parents liked to listen to music, especially waltz music. And as they listened they sometimes danced. As a teenager I listened to German pop music and also later on English songs - especially Elvis Presley. I actually always have been involved with music – did reviews for a disc jockey‘s (yes, that was called back then) single records and wrote the weekly charts for our Münster's daily newspaper.

I did hear André’s music from time to time, until I happened to see André and his orchestra on a TV show. I liked that so much that I wanted to experience him live. In December 2002 he gave a concert here in Münster. Unfortunately, I had missed that performance. But I was lucky – on December 9th, André gave an additional concert, and I bought our first concert tickets. From our seats on the side I could see how harmoniously and friendly the interplay between André and his musicians was. The dresses of the ladies in the orchestra were beautiful, all the musicians had good-humored faces and played with full enthusiasm. André stood elegantly and proudly with his violin in front of his orchestra and conducted them with his body, his eyes and his gestures – I enjoyed it so much that I immediately knew that this indeed was our first concert with André Rieu and the JSO - but certainly not our last.

From then on, André Rieu itinerary’s interested me very much, and when there were concerts in the area of about 200 km, I bought tickets
We attended our first Open Air concert in July 2004 in the football stadium in Kerkrade, the Netherlands, and we enjoyed the great atmosphere there. The first time we experienced 12,000+ people. I was quite excited during the entire concert. Especially when after the concert we met Andre, the JSO, Otto Waalkes and John Sheahan of the Dubliners backstage. That is where my first photo together with André was taken – luckily my shaky knees cannot be seen in this photo.

Our desire was to experience André once in the United States – where he had organized a concert tour there. So it came to pass that we saw and listened to him in Las Vegas, San Diego and Ontario/Los Angeles. One of our experiences was our meeting – also called a Meet & Greet - with André and the orchestra before and after the concert in Ontario, CA. After a brief conversation with André a group photo was taken and we were given an autographed farewell gift.

The concerts in the USA were – just like the ones in Germany - perfect, and the audiences were full of enthusiasm. We especially like to remember the Open Air Summer Specials in Heidelberg and Mainau. Exceeding the atmosphere of the island were the two concerts in Vienna in front of the Schönbrunn Palace - an unforgettable atmosphere and, of course, entirely appropriate for André's waltz music. André and his team had spared no effort in presenting the audience with evenings so romantic and as dreamy as possible. And then – there was the concert at the Semper Opera in Dresden. This superb, wonderful setting – was a dream.

I would like to tell you about a very nice experience: A friend, also a Rieu fan, was married in April 2004 and wanted to attend an André concert in Leipzig on their wedding night . She had tickets for the first row and told me that she would wear her wedding dress to the concert. During a concert - a long time ago – I had given André a short note, explaining the situation, and asked him if it were possible to convey to the couple in the front row best wishes. I never thought that my letter about my request would be read. But guess what – when the concert was over, my friend called me excitedly and said: "Imagine André giving us a wedding cake from the stage!!". Now I was surprised. A great gesture by André - and for me the confirmation that my little letter was read. They were happy, just like me, that a photo of this unique moment was taken.

The open air concerts which André performs every year in July in Maastricht - are a must for every fan, and we have been there every year - always on all three days of each weekend. There you meet friends from all over the world, have much to talk about and enjoy the fan dinner on a boat on the Maas, which every year is perfectly organized by Ineke and Ruud, which together is enjoyed with an evening concert on the magnificent Vrijthof, which André and his staff turn every year again into a romantic setting.

For 12 years now we have been fans of André and his music and in that time have attended more than 120 concerts, of which we have not wanted to miss a single one. We are still very sad that in September 2003, due to scheduling problem, we were not able to attend the concert in Cortona, Italy. It must have been great. We know Cortona well, and can imagine that this romantic little place in Tuscany was perfect for a summer concert under the starry night sky.

It is a pity that André no longer performs the traditional New Year's concerts in Cologne. For us it was always a wonderful start in the New Year. We hope to visit many more beautiful André concerts, along with friends.

In our subsequent visit to Cortona, I noticed a beautiful drawing of the Piazza della Republica in a small art dealer shop on the Piazza, where André had given his concerts. I bought this drawing, had it framed and then presented it to André on November 27, 2003 in our hometown of Münster. For him it should be a reminder of the concerts in Cortona. Look at this beautiful picture - and did it make André happy?

Elke's story was translated by John from German












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