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Jul 29, 2014

André Rieu in his "Hometown"

André Rieu in his "Hometown"

Chapeau Magazine by Ingrid Beckers - July 2014: This summer, André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra will play for the 10th consecutive year on the Vrijthof in Maastricht. Over a three weekend period, eight concerts will be presented, attended by an estimated 80,000 visitors. Estimates have it that more than half of the visitors are from outside the Benelux (Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxemburg) from more than eighty different countries. André Rieu has become a WORLDTRADE MARK, and his fans from all over, from Brazil to Australia, all come to see him perform, if only once, in this "Hometown". For Maastricht and the surrounding areas, it has an enormous economic impact. The hotels, restaurants and stores are doing as well in business as during the top art fair of TEFAF. Rieu is worth his weight in gold for the economics of his city.


Lights out - Spots on!!!!!!!
The André Rieu family

André Rieu and his colorful Johann Strauss Orchestra have been one big happy family for many years. This summer, they will once again be making a lot of music in their hometown. Lights out, spots on! Chapeau features 6 prominent musicians behind the world’s only real "King of Waltz. “Our lives revolve completely around André.”

“The cheerful atmosphere doesn’t cost me anything”
TEUN RAMAEKERS (59) Maastricht
Flutist, Johann Strauss Orchestra, since 1988

Flutist, Johann Strauss Orchestra since 1988: "Since the very beginning, I’ve felt at home with Rieu (like a fish in the water.) I'm not a classical musician per se and love to mix different types of music. I still hear people saying about André: ‘Whatever you do, you will never succeed.’ Consequently, it is marvelous to share his success all over the world. The public’s enthusiasm, their swaying, laughing, it's all part of it. The cheerful atmosphere arises spontaneously and doesn’t cost me anything. I have the most fun when I notice at a concert how grumpy men, dragged there by their wives, relax completely during the course of the evening. The concerts on the Vrijthof are always a feast – a party from the very first minute. Yes, for me, Maastricht with the whole atmosphere, the cafes’ verandas (terraces) around the square, is the highlight of the year. It is not for nothing that fans from around the world come here to attend André’s concerts in his hometown".

"The Schintaler is recreational to me"
ROGER DIEDEREN (44), PUTH
First trumpeter, Johann Strauss Orchestra, since 1992

"I did a lot of nice things with André and I’ve seen the world. However, experienced my finest moment with Rieu here in Maastricht. My 13-year-old son, Romano, is a talented trumpet player. Last year André involved him in our concerts on the Vrijthof. We were introduced as father and son and performed two solos together. Romano found it very exciting, everything went well. I was so proud! Later my son joined the Orchestra on a trip to Mexico for a private concert between genuine Mayan pyramids. Quite an experience for a young boy. In our region I have been playing in De Schintaler. This polka band disbanded in 2010, but regrouped again in 2013 and gives a few concerts a year. Often it is quite difficult to manage to perform at all the concerts. André grants me the freedom to do so, for De Schintaler provides a recreational outlet for me; pure relaxation on a high level."

All over the world with Maastricht's Carillon”
FRANK STEIJNS (43) MAASTRICHT
Violinist, Johann Strauss Orchestra since 1994

Apart from being a violinist at André Rieu’s, I am also the city bell ringer of Maastricht. The weekends when I’m home, I play the city’s historic bells (carillon) in the tower of the town hall on Saturday. It is two very different worlds, but I, as a classical musician, cannot do without either. André has brought those worlds together in a way that only he can. During the Vrijthof concerts in 2005, I played with the orchestra on the bells of the St. Servaas Church. The public’s response was so enthusiastic that André decided to have a mobile set of bells (carillon) constructed that we could take along on tours. I have played the emotional Concert d’Aranguez on that small carillon in 120 cities across the world; from Los Angeles to Vancouver. Since then I have become better known as a bell ringer in Shanghai than here in Maastricht, ha-ha. The way in which André promotes Limburg all over the world is praiseworthy. From my turret on the Market Square I still see tourists with cameras listening to the bells.”

"My girlhood dream came true"
TANJA DERWAHL (41) MAASTRICHT
Cellist, Johan Strauss orchestra since 1997

"As a girl of ten I saw André perform with his orchestra in Belgium. Everyone was so happy and then those beautiful dresses... fantastic! I knew right then that that was what I would like to do later! After my training at the Conservatory I was allowed to play with André. With that my girlhood dream came true. I like to sit on stage with great enthusiasm. During my time at the Conservatory I sometimes played the cello with other orchestras. Then I would think to myself: Have I been studying so hard for seven years to simply disappear in a dark orchestra pit? No, that was not for me. We present a classical entertainment show. My mission is to make people happy with the talent that I’ve been given. But it is very hard work; like sport at the top. Sometimes I miss my family very much while we are travelling. However, I feel privileged to be able to do this work. It still thrills me to see ten thousand people go home smiling, after we’ve played for three hours.

“It is a way of life”
STEPHANY DETRY (40) LUIK.
Pianist, Johann Strauss Orchestra since 1997

I find it impressive time and again to see what André
does for his fans. With his music and image, he knows how to get people to connect and make them happy. It seems as if they do get to like one another more during a concert. As the pianist, I am one of the pillars of the orchestra; a great role to play. To perform with André is more than simply a great job; it is a way of life to which you commit yourself. I travel for half of the year which is not always easy with a husband and baby at home. Now that I am a mother, everything needs to find a new place. But other orchestra members have managed this before me, so I am sure I will also succeed. Fortunately André takes good care of us while we are travelling. We get good food, stay in nice hotels and have sufficient room to withdraw occasionally. I need that. No matter how close the members of the orchestra are, I occasionally need to be on my own.”

"Life may continue like this forever"
AGNES FIZZANO WALTER (34) MAASTRICHT
Violinist, JSO, Since 2005

'You're the smile behind André,’ said a fan in my native Poland. At concerts I sit right behind Rieu. It is a very special role: I'm always in the picture; everything I do gets noticed and for that reason many colleagues do not want to sit there. I, on the contrary, enjoy it and am proud to be in the spotlight. As a member of the Orchestra I feel like an absolute star. Many fans know us all by name. The whole atmosphere, the fun on stage, the travelling ... to me this kind of life may continue forever. The beauty of it all is that I can share this passion with my husband. He is video editor at the Rieu company. There’s been a spark between us from the very first moment we saw each other in the studio. We are now married, have been together for eight years, and yes, we like sharing our hotel room, ha-ha-ha! Children? Nothing will come of it. In our lives, everything revolves around André and his music!"

Translation by Entia

Jul 18, 2014


In Memory Of
Susan and Howard Horder are among the victims of the Malaysian Flight that was shot down. They were on their way home to Australia from the concerts in Maastricht. We are so sad and they will be missed by all of us ...
The photo was taken last week at the Fan Dinner in Maastricht.

Jul 14, 2014

Rieu Fan's Reunion Becoming Ever Busier

The 160 fans after their Friday-evening dinner on the boat. 
They concluded the proceedings with a heartfelt rendition of ABBA’s Thank You for the Music.

André Rieu Reunion Becoming Ever Busier
Concert Series: Couple from The Hague organizes dinners and picnics for fan club with eighteen nationalities

De Limburger, Monday, July 14, 2014 by John Hoofs: A lot of things happen in the ‘margins’ of the Rieu concerts. A fan group with members from 18 nationalities met for dinner for the tenth year running in Maastricht.

Dancing with a hundred year old nun is the talk of the day after Rieu’s Friday concert.
  
There was much giggling at the pond in the city park this past Saturday afternoon. And that’s not because of the huge fallen tree that’s been lying there – partly submerged in the water – since Thursday, but because of André Rieu’s concert the previous evening. The reason: André left the stage to help a hundred-year-old nun from her wheelchair, danced with her and even bestow three kisses on her cheeks. Just the idea of Rieu leaving the stage to dance with a fan is sufficient to cause havoc amongst his avid followers. "Facebook exploded with jealousy at that moment" laughs Ineke Elshout. "So nice" echoes her husband Ruud. The Hague couple is responsible for the gathering of roughly seventy Rieu fans in the park for a picnic to which you bring your own snacks and drinks.

Ineke and Ruud Elshout understand the fandom surrounding André Rieu. They have been following him since before his big breakthrough. Ruud estimates that they must have attended about eighty of his concerts. "More, at least a hundred," interjects Ineke. The couple has been part of the party in Maastricht since the very first Rieu concert on the Vrijthof. They have viewed and captured all the performances on camera. That is their hobby. Half-way through the show, images from Friday’s concert were already on www.andrerieumovies.com; complete with subtitles.

Together with the hotel management, Ruud Elshout was instrumental in having a webcam with sound installed next to the balcony of their suite in the Hotel Du Casque; the semi-permanent abode of the couple when they are in Maastricht. Every movement on the Vrijthof is recorded and sent around the world. The images are even seen in New Zealand. Why? Because the Elshouts have been organizing a fan dinner since the first Rieu concert on the Vrijthof. They started ten years ago in D'n Ingel on the Vrijthof with fifteen people, mainly Dutch. Thereafter, Charlemagne on the Onze Lieve Vrouwe (Our Dear Lady) Square, became the following stop. With sixty diners this venue soon became too small. Thus the fan dinner moved to one of the party boats of the Rederij Stiphout (shipping company) on the Maas Pier, where last Friday at 4:30 PM, 160 fans from eighteen nationalities – a record number – gathered for a buffet dinner.

The British were in the majority, but were joined by fans from Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, South Africa, Malta, Ireland, Sweden, USA and, the latest members, a mother and a son from Estonia. "For us the Rieu Concert series is a great reunion, which starts on Thursday afternoon on the terrace of our favorite hangout, the restaurant Gauchos, on the Vrijthof, " says Ineke Elshout. Strangely enough, they have never met André Rieu in person. "He likes to keep some distance between himself and his fans and quite rightly so. We understand why. Allow him to give beautiful concerts, and then we will organize everything around them. We admire André’s musical talent, his charisma and his jokes, which we all know by now – all of them, of course."



Thank You to Ruud and Ineke for sending the newspaper and Entia Translating it

Jul 13, 2014

"Amira" Realizes Her Dream With André Rieu

Holland’s Got Talent Winner Amira
 Realizes Her Dream on The Vrijthof

July 12, 2014 Laurens Bouvrie: During Friday’s concert, Andre Rieu granted the audience more time than usual to return to their seats on the Vrijthof after the intermission. But that was not without good reason. The (wonder) girl from Nijmegen, Amira Willighagen, made an appearance on-stage. For those who do not know: the then 9-year-old girl dominated last year’s edition of Holland's Got Talent which she eventually also won. And she did not win by performing the song of a contemporary pop star. She had the whole of the Netherlands entranced with her rendition of Puccini’s O Mio Bambino Caro. Last night, just after ten,
Amira’s dream of performing with the world-renowned Maastricht artist came true and will be repeated on Saturday evening. Once again, just as during her performances on the talent program, the child star pulled out all the stops with her performance, which earned her a standing ovation.

►The nightingale from Gelderland has already had a previous professional meeting with Andre Rieu. Earlier this year, he invited her to participate in a master class in London. For the past week, Amira – who created a sensation late last year with her brilliant performances in Holland’s Got Talent – has been rehearsing at Rieu’s studio in North Amby. Today, just as she did yesterday, she will stick to performing one aria. According to Radio Gelderland, the child prodigy will leave for Switzerland with her family next week. There she will participate in a music festival for children from all over the world.

Three mayors and a prince. They have already met once before at the Struys (the Vogelstruys pub), but then it was four former mayors and thethen Henri Hochstenbach. Jan Mans was also present at the opening of Jack Vreeke’s exhibition at the Carnival in 2012, while he was the acting mayor of Maastricht. Current mayor, Onno Hoes (r), Philippe Houben (second from right) and Gerd Leers (third from left) were all invited to Friday evening’s concert. It was Rieu’s way of thanking the city of Maastricht for its support during 10 years of Vrijthof concerts. To the left of Gerd Leers is his wife, Genoveef Leers, and Hoes's partner, Albert Verlinde. 

Guus Meeuwis (singer and song writer), the pride of the province of North Brabant, is also visiting worldstar Rieu the most famous “Maastrichtenaar” of all time. 

But Rieu did not only have one surprise for the public. He invited - as a gesture of appreciation to the City of Maastricht – the three mayors during whose terms of office he not only made a name for himself, but rose to stardom – a fame which is still intensifying across the world. This year marks the 10th anniversary of Rieu’s summer performances at the Vrijthof. Philip Houben, Gerd Leers and Onno Hoes sat together amicably in the first row. During the intermission they enjoyed a bottle of wine with the now former “stadsprins”, Henri I, who is also the manager of the café, In den Ouden Vogelstruys.

We will publish a comprehensive report on last night’s Rieu concert later today. Extra attention will be given to the fans of the Maastricht world-star.
Translation by Entia

Jul 11, 2014

Maastricht 2014 Fan Dinner
Photo by Al Girard
(The 2014 fan dinner: 160 people of 17 nationalities)

Friday Night Concert on The Vrijthof
Two highlights of tonight's concert were (Left) André coming off the stage to dance with the 100 year old Nun who he had surprised at her 100th Birthday Party and told her he would dance with her on the Vrijthof this year. On the (Right)  9 year old Amira Willighagen, winner of this years Holland's Got Talent, singing 'O Mio Babino Caro'.

Grand Entrance to Vrijthof

Jul 9, 2014

André Rieu in “Duck City”!

André Rieu in Duck City” After Visiting Many Metropolises

MAASTRICHT: The world-renowned Maastricht star has been enriched by yet another new experience. After countless trips around the world, interviews with all the major newspapers and encounters with the greats, he has, since this morning, had the honor of being a temporary resident of Duck City.

In a special issue of Donald Duck, which launched this morning in the Rieu-studios in the Withuisveld in Amby, the world-famous duck does not play first – but second – fiddle. The true star, however, is a dog from Maastricht, called André De Reu.

As a simple coin polisher (“muntjespoetser”) Donald stands in the shadow of the great orchestra leader André De Reu, whose violin is stolen. We don’t want to reveal more at the moment, but Donald Duck would not be Donald Duck if he does not ultimately land on his feet. It’s nice to know that in Duck City the Dog does not start with a march, such as the Radetsky in Maastricht, but with The Donald Waltz.

It is with good reason that this special honor was bestowed on André Rieu. The cheerful weekly wants to motivate children to strive to attain their dream jobs. Each month a celebrity in a particular field ranging from biologist, to actor, astronaut, fashion designer - and now also the conductor and orchestra leader, André Rieu, is featured in a playful way to provide inspiration.
Translated by Entia
(Below Entia has translated what is being said in the video)

 Click HERE To Watch Video With André

AR-DD video translation: News reader: Monique Smit (singer), Sven Kramer (Olympic long track speed skater) and Georgina Verbaan (actress and singer) have all featured in Donald Duck. However, the latest star is André Rieu. The first issue was presented to the world-renowned violinist in Maastricht.
Interviewer: Did you have any say in the story?
André Rieu: No, not at all. I only saw it after completion.
Interviewer: What is it about?
André Rieu: Briefly, it is about my violin being stolen and then found again. Is that correct? That is a short synopsis.
Interviewer: Let’s have a look at the (comic) strip itself……you seem to resemble an animal?
André Rieu: Yes, closely. Very closely, don't you agree?

Maastricht A Predictable Party But a Gem Nonetheless

A Predictable Party ~ But a Gem Nonetheless
Attended: André Rieu on the Vrijthof Maastricht 2014 ~ When: July 4th

The Limburger by Ruud Maas: He has been standing on this spot for exactly the past ten years; exactly twenty years after he rose to the top position of the charts for ten weeks with his performance of a hitherto barely known waltz , which would keep him in the top ten for a year.

The success of André Rieu has since increased enormously, and his ranking amidst the world’s top performers was once again validated on Friday night by the 64 year olds impressive performance. During a concert lasting nearly 3.5 hours, he gave his Johan Strauss Orchestra, but especially his soloists, ample opportunity to excel.

The Australian singer Mirusia Louwerse’s rendition of I Belong To Me (from the musical Elisabeth) and Caro Nome (from Verdi’s Rigoletto) by Carla Maffioletti rivaled each other for the distinction of being highlight of the evening. These two voices are just about the most beautiful that have ever been heard on the Vrijthof.


Critics agree that what Rieu is doing in 2014 does not differ drastically from the format employed for the first time in 2005 at the Vrijthof. There were the customary winks, feeble jokes, shenanigans of orchestra members and almost cult-like costumes and stage sets that give a distinctive Rieu flavor to so many concerts. After all, why would you deviate from a successful formula?

The orchestra leader ‘preaches’ that the world would be very different if we all sang together, and alleges that even doctors prescribe his music because, according to them, Rieu's DVD's are the best medicine for healing. But that is perhaps taking it a bit too far. However, that the violinist with his concerts instills an appreciation for popular classical music in a large portion of the population is undeniable.

What then distinguishes the 2014 edition from that of previous years? The presence of the Belgian-Italian singer, Rocco Granata, who turned the Vrijthof into a crazy dance palace with his biggest hit, Marina, after a beautiful rendition of Buona Notte Bambino, is one such aspect. The sound of a lot of Italian music, because Rieu is bringing out a new CD – Love In Venice – is another aspect that added a distinct Venetian flavor to this Vrijthof concert. From a musical point of view the theme could have undoubtedly been further extended, just as the extensively decorated St Servaas Church and the Old Military Building could have been incorporated into the concert to a much greater extent. Musically speaking – from the tear-jerkers to the polonaise pieces everything was predictable, but the same cannot be said of the technical adeptness, which was in a class of its own.

Not withstanding the criticisms, Rieu’s celebration of ten years on the Vrijthof is a party not to be missed or you will sorely regret it. And did the absence of Andrea Bocelli and Zucchero detract from the spectacle? It is questionable whether even they could have contributed more to a brilliant evening.

Translated by Entia

Jul 8, 2014

Without a Ticket in The First Row

Without a Ticket in The First Row

The Limburger July 7, 2014: If André is performing in your front yard, you don't need a ticket. Residents of Maastricht’s Vrijthof have been treated (whether they like it or not) for the last ten years, to the concerts of the famous violinist in his hometown. Others have to pay a fortune for a hotel room with a comparable view.

According to hard-core Rieu fans, Ruud and Ineke Elshout, two of the best tickets on the Vrijthof will cost € 190. They estimate that a hotel room with a phenomenal view of the Vrijthof square costs € 160 a night. But it is not the cost aspect that motivates the couple at the start of the tenth concert series to watch it from their room, no. 410 of Hotel DuCasque. Definitely not; the couple has booked a hotel room for each nights of the concert series. Furthermore, they have also purchased concert tickets. They have been doing this for the past ten years; they have never skipped a single concert in Maastricht. After the first concert weekend they go home, only to return again on Thursday to check in for another 12 days. The Rieu Hobby is definitely expensive!

On the other side of the Vrijthof Square, Monique Thelen and her sister-in-law, Andrea, are sitting in the window sill of her apartment on the Vrijthof. The high windows are wide open with pillows to sit on in the window sill. They also have a magnificent view; they can watch the swaying mass on the square as well as the people having dinner on the terraces. And if you lean a little forward, you can also follow the concert on a big screen. The sound is perfect and it is free. "Just to see the people outside in the street on the terraces is a treat for me. And the concert is an extra bonus. Everyone is working so hard. It looks like one big Rieu family." Monique Thelen has also never missed a Rieu concert, although to her it is somewhat obligatory. If she wants to skip a concert she has to leave her house. However, she has no problems with the violinist occupying her front yard for almost a month. "Of course I don’t watch every concert from beginning to end, but enjoy a part of it every evening." Her husband, Piet Nelissen, is rather more critical, mainly because of the accessibility of their apartment. When he wants to have visitors during the Rieu concerts, he has to obtain visitors passes for them to ensure access to his front door and he only has ten per evening. "If I want more, I have to submit a request with valid reasons." The Rieu concerts have drawn many guests to their home during the past couple of years. "Initially we sometimes had sixty or seventy guests: friends, relatives, business acquaintances. But Monique found it too much. Nowadays we take things calmer. And demand has also slowed down. At some stage it does become somewhat repetitive." On this Friday evening it is quieter; only four guests on the balcony and the window sill.

Back to the hotel where Ruud and Ineke have an excellent view of the stage from their balcony. They can follow everything perfectly; not only the concert, but also the preparations, rehearsals, sound checks and cleaning sessions. This is the real reason why they prefer the room to the folding chairs on the square. Their video camera, fixed to the edge of the balcony, is recording all the time. The videos will be posted on their website for fans all over the world to enjoy. Ruud and Ineke know the program and Rieu's jokes almost better than the violinist himself. They know exactly when the fireworks are set to appear. "If I tell you that in two seconds the first rocket will soar into the air..." And yes….. No matter how many times they watch Rieu's concerts, it never becomes boring, says the couple. Every concert is different. However, over the years, the performances became less important, whereas the contact with the fans from all over the world took precedence. "Sometimes I just feel like a tourist office", Ineke adds. Fans from all parts of the world know where to find them; their room is always open to visitors. Cheese and nuts are served on plastic plates. They like it this way, even after all these years. When they check out of the hotel, the first thing they do is to make a reservation for the following year.

 Translation by Entia

Jul 7, 2014

Here's our John and Bobbie!
In front of the Theater Steps in Maastricht
(Photo taken by Doro)
And Here is Ineke and Ruud!
On Their Hotel Balcony in Maastricht

Jul 5, 2014

NEW VIDEO ON THE MOVIE SITE
Dress Rehearsal July 3rd, 2014

Today not one but two rehearsals, one at 5 PM (sound check) and one at 8 PM. During these rehearsals, the crew can setup the microphones, light, background etc. See how Andre is involved with all details, a microphone level set incorrectly: he stops and have it checked/adjusted. Regularly he walks away from the stage to a point halfway on the Vrijthof, to hear what the audience will hear. This year there was a surprise visit by the mayor of Maastricht, Mr. Onno Hoes. Happy viewing! The video below will last 50 minute ... Ruud

Jul 1, 2014

André Rieu Receives His First City Guide

André Rieu Receives His First City Guide

The first copy of the first André Rieu Maastricht City Guide is accepted by André Rieu.
It was awarded to him by Jo Cortenraedt, editor of Chapeau Magazine, where the guide was produced. This English language booklet guides foreign visitors to the upcoming concert on the Vrijthof and around in the city. There are also personal tips from the famous Maastricht musician. The guide has a circulation of 15,000 copies and is distributed through, inter alia, the hotels, restaurants and shops in Maastricht.

Jun 30, 2014

Rieu Concert to Go On Despite the Netherlands Soccer Match

Rieu Concert to Continue Despite the Netherlands Costa Rica Match

Maastricht Dichtbij-June 30: According to what André Rieu’s son, Pierre, told Maastricht Dichtbij, the concert on Saturday the 5th of July on the Vrijthof in Maastricht will still take place (as planned) despite "Orange" playing against Costa Rica in the Brazilian town of Salvador on the same night, and half of Maastricht (and the rest of the Netherlands) being caught up in the boisterous spirit of this match.

Pierre says that Saturday’s concert will be performed according to the usual format. “We will go according to the events of the moment. Should a goal be scored during the concert and the moment is fitting, I could well imagine that Hup Holland Hup will feature.”

According to Pierre, the soccer match will start at 10 PM and André's concert will commence exactly one hour earlier. “The concert will still be in progress after the match has been concluded. Hence, there will be sufficient opportunity during the encores to pay attention to the outcome of the match, especially in case of a victory, which is what we are all hoping for.”

Apart from that, the Rieu company has already sacrificed one concert in the series, namely the Sunday July 13th performance, the day of the final World Cup match. "That is the reason why we won’t perform on this date,” says the younger Rieu.

Thank you to Ineke and Entia for translation

Jun 29, 2014

'André Rieu Square' With Venetian Bridge Begins

Preparation of 'André Rieu Square' With Venetian Bridge Begins

Zien-Maastircht: A 14-meter-high scaffolding wall will be erected against the "Hoofdwacht" building. An Italian scene will provide a new backdrop during the Rieu concerts and a Venetian bridge will be constructed, linking the stage and the building. Will there still be space for the world famous Waffle Stall? We'll see next Friday.


Still a week to go and then André Rieu begins his series of annual hometown concerts on the Vrijthof. On Friday, July 4th, the world-famous violinist will start the concert series which will stretch over three weekends. The "Stehgeiger" (Standalone violinist), the Johann Strauss Orchestra, soloists and guests will perform eight concerts in total, the last of which will take place on Sunday July 20th. As far as we know, tenor Andrea Bocelli will be on the program as a guest of honor.

A Venetian bridge will appear between Rieu's stage and the "Hoofdwacht" building during the days to come. It will contribute to the creation of a more romantic, classical image on the Vrijthof during Rieu's concert series.

Today (Saturday) the construction of the annual André Rieu Square (we may call the Vrijthof this for the coming three weeks) commences. From the first moment of construction to the last second of the concerts, the square will draw many viewers daily. Today and tomorrow (Saturday/Sunday) the builders will have a hard task constructing the stage and all the other elements needed to provide a perfect setting; ensuring that all scaffolding work will be completed by Monday.

On Monday the actual decoration of the André Rieu spectacle will start. New elements this year will include the Venetian bridge, slanted between the stage and the Hoofdwacht. Fourteen(!) meter-high scaffolding will clad the former military building and sport Italian scenes to be admired by all. Passersby will be able to see how the new decor will fit into the overall picture.

Thank you to Ineke and Entia for the translation
Jeanette S. posted this on our FB Page. 
She took the photo at Wembley Arena Dec. '13. 
I loved the light coming down on him.

Jun 26, 2014

Jun 23, 2014

Posted Today: André Rieu & His Johann Strauss Orchestra performing 'Hup Holland Hup!' in his studio in Maastricht in support for the Dutch football team. At the end of the video André says in Dutch, "Good luck tonight boys" to the Dutch Team -  And in Spanish, "Adios amigos", to the Chile Team. (Holland won - 2-0!)

André Rieu Preparing for His Tenth Home Concert

André Rieu (64) Preparing for His Tenth Home Concert

Telegraaf, June 21, 2014: Does he ever consider quitting? At almost 65, and with more than enough funds stashed away for a rainy day, André Rieu doesn’t need a tenth of a second before answering: "Making music is what I love most and I will continue to do so until it becomes impossible". Soon he will – to his great joy – perform on his much beloved Vrijthof for the tenth time. Because despite Shanghai, Paris or South America... he prefers to perform in his familiar Maastricht.

I’ll carry on until I’m no longer able to.
As from the beginning of July, André Rieu will, on no less than eight occasions, be turning the most famous square in Limburg into a magnificent open-air concert hall. It will be a home game for the man who travels the world with his sixty-plus-strong orchestra not only to afford people enjoyment of waltz music such as that of Johann Strauss, but also to introduce people to this musical genre.

That André Rieu has now become one of the best-selling artists in the world, superseding artists like Britney Spears and Beyonce, is sometimes difficult to comprehend, even for him. His father, André Senior, was the conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra and introduced him to the violin at age five.

JOY André: "I remember that huge orchestra with the beautiful sound and all the bows moving in the same direction simultaneously. I loved it. But even then I was surprised by the somber atmosphere during the concerts. Everyone looked serious and nobody dared to laugh or cough, while to me the music was exuding so much joy!"

PERFORMING ON A PACKED VRIJTHOF IS NEVER BORING
The violin and the introduction to music proved a masterstroke on the part of Rieu Sr., as it was soon clear that his son had a natural talent. Now, almost sixty years later, he and his expensive Stradivarius from 1667 are inseparable and André Jr. runs a multimillion dollar company!

When paging through the agenda of the popular performer, one comes across an impressive list of places where he’s entertained people with the popular classic genre. In the month of May alone, he gave concerts in Austria, Sweden, Denmark, Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic. His visit to the Far East, where he performed for the first time in China, was impressive.

Jitters
It doesn't really matter where Rieu alights with his Orchestra. White or black, Catholic or Protestant, European or South American: they are all enraptured by the violinist. And how! Yet performing in his hometown of Maastricht gives the orchestra leader the jitters time and time again. "It's my city, hey, so that's an additional challenge. Maastricht is a lovely place and to me there is only one drawback to life here and that is the offensive odor caused by the incinerator of the ENCI factory (where cement is manufactured). What we are inhaling here on a daily basis is a mystery to everyone, but it definitely cannot be healthy. However, for the rest… I love this city and would not wish to live anywhere else".

Rieu lives happily in beautiful surroundings with his wife Marjorie in the famous castle, ‘Huis De Torentjes (House of Turrets)’. An additional advantage is that his grandchildren, Ivan, Fleur, Linde and Lieke, live round the corner. "And that," he says "is just fine. I’m often abroad, and, the moment I set foot again on Maastrichts’ soil, I cannot wait to see them again."

His rock in life is Marjorie, to whom André has been married since 1975. She prefers to remain out of the limelight and told PRIVE that she’s happy not to go through life as ‘Mrs. Rieu’. "I prefer to remain something of a mystery."

However, despite this, the Limburger does not miss any opportunity to praise his wife. "Marjorie made it possible for me to become the king of the waltz", says André. She freed me from Beethoven. I love it that she’s either in the office or with me in the studio. Her business acumen, coupled with lightheartedness and flexibility, provide a compass for me in the sometimes turbulent realm of business. She prevents me from erring, articulates ideas, shares my thoughts and was my pillar of support when I was struck for weeks by an inflamed vestibular nerve (equilibrium organ). We have already weathered many storms together."

Furthermore, although it is already the tenth time that Rieu will be performing on what the Limburgers refer to as the "Vriethof", he still hasn’t gotten used to it. And André Rieu would not be André Rieu if he wasn’t, once again, pulling a rabbit out of his hat this year. Last year he shared the stage with André Van Duin and Jermaine Jackson, and this year the honor will go to the Italian musician and composer, Rocco Granata.

Atmosphere
"This year the theme is Italy," explains Rieu. "Not surprising, because it is my favorite holiday destination. We try to visit Rome once a year for a couple of days with the family. The atmosphere there is wonderful and unique: the musicians on the streets, the ice cream on every corner, the countless coffee shops. Recently our grandchildren have also started to accompany us and that makes it even more fun."

Thanks to Ineke for the article and Entia (who is filling in for John while he is in Maastricht) for the translation 

Jun 15, 2014

Journey From New Fan to First Live Concert

Journey From New Fan to First Live Concert

Hello! My name is Ulrica and I live in the southernmost part of Sweden. I'm going to tell you the story of how I discovered André Rieu and finally got to see a Live Concert in Sweden.

In April or May of last year I went to YouTube to search for a song, I can't remember which one - but I think it was Funiculi Funicula. The first suggestion that came up was André Rieu, from his own channel. I started to listen and I fell in love with this kind of classical music. On the side there was more music of André Rieu so I continued to listen. It was fantastic to see how he connected with the audience. One time I found a concert from Australia and at the end when he was playing Waltzing Matilda and had tears in his eyes. I wondered why ...

At that time I had also found his own website, facebook page & twitter account. On his website I saw that he will perform in Copenhagen, Denmark in May 2014, so I clicked on the little sign "tickets", only to find they were sold out.  I thought "all ready? It's one year left before the concert! ..." At that time I hadn't found out popular he was. So I thought "oh well, I have YouTube and I can order some dvds".


During my trips to YouTube I found a video clip from his tour in South Africa. In the end of that he was speaking in Dutch with his son Pierre about all the emotions, he cried a lot during that concert (I found out that later). Among the comments there was someone who wrote "go to Google and type in André Rieu Movie" - when I did that I ended up on a website called André Rieu Movies. I have to admit I was in heaven :D

There was a lot of info. about André. Roadsoaps, video clips and so on. All with English subtitles. :) Now I found out why he was crying when he played Waltzing Matilda and what he and Pierre were talking about. Also why he cried when Kimmy Skota sang Tula Tula and My African dream ....... At the end of that page there was a little symbol for Facebook, a little white F. So I clicked on it and found a Facebook group named André Rieu fan site 'The Harmony Parlour' and also the website with the same name. The rest is history. I have made so many friends in different countries and different ages. I can also read a lot about the king of waltzes. :)

How I finally got to see a Live Concert with André Rieu

Even though I had some DVDS & YouTube, I was dreaming about a live concert with André Rieu. One day at work I was reading a newspaper and suddenly I saw a full page ad that said "Andre Rieu will perform in Malmö 18 of May, 2014, ticket release 15 of June 9 am". I was so happy. The day the tickets went for sale I sat by the computer 15 minutes before 9 am. The bank account was ready, I had logged in to the ticket store. I was so ready ( and a bit nervous. ;) At 9:05 am I had my ticket saved to the computer.

In November 2013 I did the first countdown, 6 month and counting. I did that every month until the end of April when I started counting days instead. At the day of the concert, I didn't do much more than some cleaning, relaxing and eating. I went to the venue by car (it only takes 20 minutes from where I live) and went inside. The first thing I saw was the stage, it looked amazing. Then I saw something really good, "André Rieu will come back in May 2015" and I thought, "YES!!!"

Then it was a 30 minutes to wait - I prepared my camera - And boom, the lights went out and the counting started. I turned around and there he was :D . I took a quick picture, not knowing how it looked. The 76 trombones was playing and they all started to walk towards the stage, waving with their hands. The concert continued with all kinds of songs, all performed by André Rieu, the Johann Strauss Orchestra, the Platin Tenors & three new female soloist.


A 20 minute break and they were on stage again. André started to make fun of people who were late, as he always does ... The last piece he always plays is The Radetzky March and when they release the balloon's from the roof it means its time for the encores and people are heading for the stage. He ended the encores with Adieu, little captain of my heart and left the stage while playing Thank you for the music, from his ABBA cd ....... He played two Swedish songs at the concert. A little bit of Thank you for the music and a little bit of the theme song Pippi Longstocking, while the audience sang along with both of them.

It has now been a few weeks since the concert and I have all my memories and my photos to look back too. I'm also waiting for the ticket release to the concert in May 2015 ... And hoping that one day, I will go to Maastricht to see him perform in his hometown and meet other André Rieu fans.

Bela posted my photo I took of him on his Facebook Page with this note ....... FROM BELA'S FACEBOOK PAGE! "Someone showed me this picture that Ulrica Jönsson, a fan, took during the concert in Sweden this year. I like it so much, I thought I'd share it with you all. Thank you Ulrica, for this beautiful photo, and cheers to you!"
(All Photos are by Ulrica)

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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"Hello to all my fans on The Harmony Parlor!"

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André on The Theater Steps" by Bee

Maastricht 2012 ~ "André and Pierre on The Theater Steps" by Bee

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