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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 t-online.de, 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 t-online.de.

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

Nov 2, 2014

ANDRÉ RIEU THE WALTZ DEFEATS THE TANGO

THE WALTZ DEFEATS THE TANGO

'The Waltz defeats the Tango' - The Telegraaf - October 25th 2014 by Wilma Nanninga. The "Circus" of André Rieu turns Brazil upside down with a spectacular classical music show in São Paulo. Hundreds of Brazilians waltz in the aisles of the gigantic Estádio de São Paulo while André Rieu jokes and conducts as though he is performing on the Vrijthof – with a cheering, laughing and clapping audience. The rise of the Maastricht maestro throughout the world is unstoppable. After a spectacular start in Mexico, he now has the whole of South America at his feet.

A crew of 50 people, consisting of technicians, stage- and décor builders; 60 members of the orchestra and choir as well as 4 sets of decor, instruments and costumes travel across the world.


André sits in the Lotus position in the window sill of the Hilton Hotel's presidential suite in São Paulo, where he landed with his entire crew consisting of 110 people. "Everyone deserves a good bed, Wi-Fi to connect with home via social media, good food and medical care. We have breakfast and lunch in the hotel, have our own chefs prepare the dinner in the stadium and have a doctor travelling with us. We travel 160 days of the year. Then you have to make sure of your comfort. That is our way of life."

Rieu turned 65 on the airplane en route to São Paulo. "This age does not mean anything to me. I have a free profession; I will continue until I die. In any case, nowadays 65 is what 55 used to be. My personal trainer, Ruud, travels with us and I work out every other day. He and the doctor keep a close watch on my health. No, fortunately I got rid of the virus which kept me from working for several months. Everything is okay now. But I don't do silly things any more. This lifestyle is similar to that of top sportsmen."


In his suite there is a treadmill, weights and mats on the floor in front of the gigantic windows which overlooks the famous hanging bridge of São Paulo. André Rieu speaks openly about his life on tour: "During such a tour I hardly leave my hotel room, except to perform. I sleep, have breakfast, work out, eat, sleep again, go to a performance, the sound check, eat, sleep again, the big performance, receive guests, sleep..... and that has now been the routine for the past 9 days."




When André leaves his hotel in the afternoon to go to the concert venue, the Estádio (stadium) in the Iberpuero quarter, we witness the extent of the Limburg Waltz King’s popularity in South America. Everywhere there are fans who would like to have a photo taken with him. About ten impressively armed motorcycle police officers, who escort him through the traffic, assist in organizing the photo shoots. Later on they stop the traffic and smoothly guide the buses through the enormous traffic jams which are a daily occurrence in a city with 22 million inhabitants.

Limburger Frans Neus and his team are responsible for the organization of the tours. He maintains contacts with authorities and local promoters. "São Paulo is a crazy city. Skyscrapers as far as you can see and in between ... slums. It is not safe to walk the streets by yourself. We are grateful for the support of the police. A 32 minute drive to the airport could easily take 5 hours without their help." Outside the arena Frans points to about 15 helicopters, circling like dragonflies above this part of the city. "They transport businessmen who hop from heli platform to heli platform on the roofs of the skyscrapers. It saves time and is safer. São Paulo is the financial and economic heart of Brazil."

At the stadium the corridors are filled with André Rieu travel containers – proof that the Maastricht maestro has really taken over the stadium. In the venue you may also notice the difference between poor and rich. Downstairs, on the field, are hundreds of stylishly padded seats for the upper economic classes. In other parts of the arena are plastic seats for the Brazilians who, for most of the time, had to save money for months in order to be able to buy a concert ticket.


Frans tells us that the stadium has improved a lot. "They would like for us to return in December 2015. That will be in their summer. We mentioned air-conditioning as a prerequisite for that. Currently it is spring and we already have to perform in 35 degrees Celsius. They agreed immediately. But we will have to reconsider that carefully, since we usually perform in the UK in December."


In 2013, the first year that André Rieu performed in Brazil, 180,000 tickets were sold. A short tour was added this year, with 60,000 tickets being sold. When the show begins at 9 PM, Rieu fever breaks out. Cheering Brazilians chant his name when André and his orchestra, dressed in baroque costumes, enter from the catacombs. A Brazilian lady is wiping away a tear: "Tonight my dream comes true. Are you from Holland? André Rieu is as fabulous as Johan Cruijff."

André smoothly performs his program on stage. He invites the audience to waltz to the Blue Danube. The Brazilians don't hesitate for a moment. Within five seconds the aisles are filled with dancing couples. The cameraman notices a lovely older couple dancing somewhere far above. The images are shown on the big screens and the audience goes wild. The Samba is forgotten; the Waltz reigns.


The next morning, in his suite, André refers to the discovery of South America as incidental. "We often performed in North America and once in El Paso (Texas) near the Mexican border. To venture across the border seemed logical. To our astonishment we were hugely successful over there. Now we perform everywhere in South America: Buenos Aires in Argentina, Santiago de Chile, Belo Horizonte, Rio de Janeiro, and São Paulo in Brazil. In the meantime we have the entire world on our program: New Zealand, Australia, Japan." He says laughingly that "The Japanese people are not good at waltzing. They hop up and down in similar fashion to the "Teletubbies." The Chinese people can waltz. We have just been to Taiwan by invitation and then we also performed in China. That is not yet profitable for us, but I would like to conquer this part of the world as well; maybe next year."


He murmurs to himself and for the first time I notice how dead silent his hotel suite is; no softly playing violin ensemble, nor any other background music. Is that incidental? "You are right", he says pondering. "Outside of my job I never listen to music, because I do not find it relaxing. Music touches me too much. I always give an opinion or would like to re-arrange. Listening in a relaxed way is not possible for me. That is probably the only disadvantage of my profession."



FRANK STEIJNS: the bell player of São Paulo
Frank Steijns is one of the violinists of the Johann Strauss Orchestra. Frank is also a carillonist and is very fond of carillons: "It is our national instrument." Frank discovered a basilica with a neglected carillon in Sao Paulo, which was put there a long time ago by two Dutch monks. "It had seized up completely and was played for the last time in 1962. I supported the renovation and the Brazilians did not know what they were hearing when I touched the bells for the first time. We have now devised a plan to educate a Brazilian musician to play the bells; and that is how André and the Johann Strauss Orchestra bring back music to the churches."


MARC RIEU: painter in the wake of his father
André Rieu has two sons. Pierre is in the company and is partly responsible for his father's triumphs. André says: "I dream and he makes it possible." Marc is a painter and he joined the group with his paintings in shipping containers. During the first tour to Brazil, he sold all 17 of his paintings. This year he sold 13. Just like the real Dutch Masters, he specializes in cloudy skies.


Translation by Ineke and Entia

André Rieu Watlzing All Over The World

Waltzing All Over The World
Composer André Rieu regularly travels the globe, but insists that there's no place like his home town of Maastricht. He 
reveals his favorite parts of his native city. 
Though he travels for work, he prefers to be at home when he has time off.

The Early Fans of André Rieu

Bill and Margaret Oliver Who Live in The UK

How I became a Rieunatic - My name is Bill Oliver and my wife Margaret and I have been married for 39 years to date. I was born listening to Hank Williams as my father used to get the MGM singles dispatched over from the USA. My tastes range from Amadeus to ZZTOP. Music has always pumped through my veins and a day has never passed without it.

It was New Year's Eve (not in the graveyard before you say it) 1997 and the usual dross was being offered as entertainment by the UK channels, so I started to channel hop around the European stations. I have a satellite dish covering Europe and Scandinavia. The German channels always have music variety shows throughout the year and were a good place to start. Luckily enough I landed on a channel just starting a concert with an interesting looking character playing violin and conducting. They were so colorful compared to the deadly serious looking orchestras we are used to, and I was intrigued. The show was so brilliant that we were dancing and singing along (the perfect New Year scene). From that moment we were hooked on Andre Rieu and his orchestra. We constantly searched TV listings even though we couldn't speak the language and taped any music program they just might appear in. We were so successful at this that we built a library of video clips and shows from France, Germany and his home Holland to enjoy time and again.

Margaret was watching on the internet to see if they were doing any shows in the UK and her diligence paid off when the Royal Albert Hall date was announced. She sat at the phone holding until booking opened at 9 am and secured front row seats for us, much to our excitement (It'll never happen again). The show was more than brilliant and we were overjoyed when we saw the concert appear on Paris premier a couple of years later, which we recorded but subsequently bought the DVD when it was released.

Since then we have seen them at the 02 in London twice (first time sadly Andre was ill and postponed but tickets were honored in December).Twice at Maastricht 2012/2013, what an atmosphere there, and the people we met on the coaches were great fun. The 2012 outing found us wandering around Maastricht in the rain all afternoon, diving into pubs to escape the elements (my excuse) but the clouds parted as the concert began. The 2013 concert the reverse applied and we were all in our ponchos throughout, but our spirits weren't dampened. We went to the Brussels concert in 2011 also and we have fond memories of this outing. There were so many coaches from the UK and elsewhere that the police escorted us all through Brussels, closed the junctions to let us through and allowed us along the tram tracks.

Our loyalty hasn't waned in all that time as you can see by my enthusiasm and my postings on The Parlor on Facebook.

Thanks for reading, Bill Oliver

Nov 1, 2014

A Couple More of Our Earliest André Rieu Fans


Teresa Priest Who Lives in The UK

I first discovered Andre & the JSO in 1995, when my elder son gave us a satellite dish/receiver, set it to watch programs from Holland and Germany: RTL, ZDF etc. Lots of good variety shows: Musikanten Stadle with Karl Moik. And there on the TV was a handsome young man with a lovely smile, playing violin, and the orchestra members all smiling. We said: "This is very nice, what is his name.... ANDRE RIEU".

We recorded all the concerts on video tape, and because we could not buy his CDs in the UK, we had a good excuse for a short holiday to Holland, where we could buy André's CDs in Amsterdam.

When my husband became ill after a brain hemorrhage, he often did not know me, but he always recognized André, and the only way to help him feel calm, was to play the tapes of André's concerts. Such is the power of music!

The first Live concert that I attended was in June 2004 at the MEN Arena in Manchester, UK. A wonderful concert, but not very well attended, because not enough publicity.

After I obtained a computer, I got to know Sonja and her Translation site, and she encouraged me to travel to Maastricht, where I have enjoyed many concerts and made lots of friends. Now that André has finally become well known in UK, all of my friends and colleagues who used to say "ANDRE WHO "? now know who I was talking about 18 or 19 years ago!


Mireille Jourdan

Mireille is from France, she lives half the year in Paris and the other half in the Provence (south of France).

I have known the music of Andre since 1995 (only CD). The first live concert I attended was in 1997 in Olympia of Paris France. Since then I am addicted .... and I attend all Andre concerts I can and wherever I can!

My first photo with André was in Cortona (Italy) in July 2003 (DVD Live in Tuscany).


Oct 30, 2014


Enlarged this photo to post on here, because I just love it! It looks like a painting.

Oct 25, 2014

Oct 24, 2014

ANDRÉ RIEU Love in Venice

ANDRÉ RIEU Love in Venice Takes Fans On A Romantic Journey
New Album Will Be Released on November 4
DVD and BluRay Available on Nov 11


LOS ANGELES - Classical phenomenon André Rieu will release his latest album - Love in Venice – on November 4, 2014. Brimming with Italian vitality and romance, Love in Venice features a selection of popular tunes performed in Rieu’s unique and unforgettable way.

Love in Venice CD 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. Additionally, for the first time ever, Rieu’s own compositions - the title track, “Bella Tarantella,” and “La Gondola” - have been recorded and included on an album release. Two other Rieu treats, “Azzurro” and “Mama” are also included.

This year’s open-air concert was held in the romantic Dutch square, the Vrijthof in Maastricht, under the title "An Italian Night." André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra captivated more than 80,000 fans from across the world taking them on a journey to Italy.

The DVD/BluRay is testament to those unforgettable nights in July when André Rieu turned Maastricht’s main square into a Venetian "piazza grande."

As always, spectators were in for an almost three hour treat including gondolas, world class soloists and a long list of Italian classics and Rieu favorites. Two hours and forty minutes of a musical and visual extravaganza has been edited to BluRay and DVD.

André Rieu says, "I'm asked in almost every interview I do whether I'm a romantic. Of course I am! Venice, La Serenissima, is for me the epitome of romance. For many years, my wife and I have taken our own personal trip once a year to Italy - I'm a big fan of the Italian way of life. And so my new album is a declaration of love to Venice and the fantastic music of this country. And I hope that it will bring back the happiest of memories for you, the listener."

A native of Maastricht, 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 1.3 million Facebook fans.

In the UK, André 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. No other violinist has made such an impact on the charts.

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.

Check Out The CBS Sunday Morning Interview With André

►BLU RAY and DVD Tracklisting:
1. Azzurro 2. Funiculi Funicula 3. Second Waltz 4. Granada 5. Non Ti Scordar De Me 6. Nessun Dorma 7. Snowwaltz 8. Besame Mucho 9. Vieni Sul Mar, arv_14 10. The White Horse Inn 11. O Mio Babbino Caro 12. Gold And Silver 13. Nitsch Jaka 14. Those Were The Days 15. Caro Nome 16. Intermezzo Sinfonico 17. Tiritomba 18. I Belong To Me 19. The Beautiful Blue Danube
20. Ode To Joy (All Men Shall Be Brothers) 21. Radetzkymarch 22. Strauss & Co. 23. Barcarole, arv_14  24. Storie Di Tutti I Gironi (Dromen zijn bedrog) 25. Buona Sera 26. Buona Notte Bambino 27. Marina 28. Maastricht Anthem, arv_09 29. Maastricht, City Of Jolly Singers 30. Volare 31. Adieu, Little Captain Of My Heart 32. Marina.


►CD Tracklisting:
1. O sole mio 2. Volare 3. Les Gondoles à Venise 4. Bella Tarantella 5. Santa Lucia 6. Azzurro 7. Love in Venice 8. Mama 9. La Gondola 10. La Danza 11. Maria, Mari 12. Tiritomba 13. Lagunenwalzer 14. That's Amore 15. Vieni sul Mar 16. Serenata, Toselli 17. Barcarole
18. Buona Notte Bambino

Oct 22, 2014

Three More of Our Earliest André Rieu Fans






Cathy Camarda, Boston, Massachusetts

I saw Andre for the first time on PBS one Saturday morning in 1997. I thought WOW, this guy is nice looking and I love the music too!! I knew in advance he was coming to Boston PBS station to promote his upcoming Boston concert since I was a volunteer at the station and I was able to be there that night. 

I know that many fans always want something from celebrities. So I thought instead, I would bring him a present! I wanted something that would remind him of his trip to Boston, so I brought him a print of a painting that hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts called Boston Common at Twilight (photo attached). I put it in an 8x12 frame and I took it with me to the studio.

When he arrived, I said Hello and he said Hello and when I had an opportunity during a break I said to him: "I have something I think you will like" and he said: "You do???".  And I showed him the picture. He immediately took it from my hands and while he was intently looking at it I explained that it was a picture of Boston Common where Strauss held his first American concert. He said: "Yes, it was called the $100,000 concert because 100,000 people attended and they paid $1 to attend".

He thanked me and I asked him if he wanted me to put

it in the green room and he said yes since he had to go back on air. I took it back there and placed it right on his violin case.

He stayed at the studio for 3 hours. At the end of the evening he brought along programs that he signed for all the volunteers and in mine he wrote "To Cathy, thank you for the picture". I asked if I could take a picture with him and he said yes. I have attached the photo (in a frame).

That was the first time and I had spoken with him, there were other times and with a picture taken, but that's story for another time!




Inge Cosette, from Germany, lives in Montréal, Canada

When did I meet André for the first time? I was in Baden-Baden (Germany). My mother was dying and my friend invited me on a Sunday afternoon in May 1997 for coffee, she said I would have to see that André Rieu. All of Germany would stand on its head because of him. He was at the time on TV every 4 weeks and I watched with her.

What impressed me most, was that he played finally something for my age group and music I loved since I was a child and my mother took me to the first Operetta "Land of smiles" from Léhar. I also liked that he was good looking and his whole ambiance. He was then still a little shy. After I buried my mother I went back to Canada and saw him advertised for Montréal. My daughter was supposed to get tickets and she forgot. When she finally went, it was sold out. It was his first concert here because Quebecers love Johann Strauss and all the Viennese music, so he was a hit with the French Canadians right away.

From then on I booked my flights around open air concerts in Germany and also through PBS here we got tickets in Montréal. At the beginning he came every 2 years and then every year until 2011. After that PBS forgot about him. I think it had something to do with the Gold Membership. Before they always said that he was their biggest money maker. That station is strictly dependent on donations.

I have never been photographed with André, but I took my first picture from him in 2OO2 at a music store here in Montréal, where he signed books, CDs and whatever people put under his pen. For me it was the book from Marjorie. Later, when I sent pictures to the lady that was in charge of the tickets from Mountain PBS, (Television Station) to show her what I did in miniature, she never said a word. Then one day I got a call from Paul Larson who interviewed André in Maastricht and he told me he had a surprise for me, he wanted to come and film my Mini JSO. I said yes and he brought me an Album from André signed. 




Virginia Baker, Portland, Maine


One night in 1995 I turned on the TV and there he was playing "Meditation". It was a close up of his face and I went... "who is that." I was mesmerized. The next morning I went to the largest music store in New York and liking to do things myself I looked under Andre Rieu, JSO, European Orchestras, etc. before I finally broke down and went to the clerk. He said: "Yes, look under violin". And there it was. From Holland with Love! In another record store I found the VHS tape. I was obsessed. There was a woman named Julia who started a site which she eventually gave up. But I followed that.

In 1997 André made his first tour of North America. He was not coming near me in NYC, so I went to Montreal, Canada. My niece was going to college at McGill in Montreal. As in the USA, there was nothing anywhere announcing that he was coming. I called the booking office in Montreal and was assured he was coming. Sent my niece to the box office early and she said there was no sign anywhere, but there were some "old ladies" standing there. She got front row tickets and was worried that it would be a show for elderly people. Nothing showed up in print anywhere, but the arena was fairly full. There was a review the next day in the paper. I don't know if it was that one, or another one where it said, "The women's dresses were a cross of Cinderella and Salome." (Remember these were the first ones). It was essentially the "From Holland with Love" concert.

Since 1997 I have been to at least one concert every year, sometimes more, but I lost count. I only went to one Meet and Greet in Manchester, NH. I guess by now I have spoken to just about every orchestra member. Had a long conversation with Frank at a concert in NH. Some years I go only once because there is nothing near us and can't keep spending to travel.

I have been to Maastricht 5 or 6 times, can't even remember. Stayed at a little hotel down the street from the square, same room every year except this year because I had my niece with me and needed a larger room. My neighbors in NYC heard me the day I got the first CD playing it over and over and two came to my door: "What is that music?" And that got them started. We went together a few times in NY.

Worst moment: Standing in the basement of the hotel in Toronto (Canada) in a too-tight bathing suit waiting for the elevator. The door opened and ... yes, there he was). And so it continues ...

Oct 4, 2014

From The Limburger today ~ Translation by John

André Rieu (65) Finally AOW (old age pension)


André Rieu (65) Finally AOW (old age pension)
 
On the eve of a concert tour and the release of his new album "Love in Venice" André Rieu is celebrating his 65th anniversary. "Finally AOW (old age pension), finally out of the financial worries." At the invitation of the violinist/conductor, the European press went en masse to Limburg.

The waltz may have somewhat a stuffy image, but I am not ashamed of it.

Missing is a Turk. "Where is he then? In Istanbul? "André Rieu inquires." And also an Argentinean? Oh well, we’ll forgive him."

The Limburger: More than sixty journalists and camera crews gathered together in André Rieu’s music studio in Maastricht. There the violinist and his Johann Strauss Orchestra play a few extracts from the new album "Love in Venice" which will be released November 3 worldwide, and of course is made of 24 carat Romanticism.

"O Sole Mio"," Serenata"," the Lagoon Waltz", That's amore ... gondolier Rieu takes his audience on an idyllic cruise through the Grand Canal, under the Bridge of Sighs, direction Dogan Palace. The maestro is bathed in a sea of flashes. He raises his hands to heaven and smiles benignly. Eyes twinkling behind the horn-rimmed glasses. The stand-alone violinist and conductor is visible in his element. "When I see a smile on the faces of my musicians, I know that we can go ahead and record," as he explains the process of intensive rehearsals to record a perfect recording. A German journalist writes this all down with his mouth wide open.

Hey, there's Pierre Rieu, Andrés son and Vice President of the Rieu organization. "At least, that's what my business card says, "he says laughingly." "I'm here to relieve my dad and that is necessary, since he was overworked. Now he takes his rests, jogs and trains in the weight room."

The Stalker
Whether Pierre, father of the twins Lieke and Linde (4), also watches his own condition? "We're going on tour to Brazil the day after tomorrow. But I can come back earlier to celebrate the twins’ birthday. That is possible since I know the boss very well. Incidentally, my father hates it that he will not be in the Netherlands then. He is crazy about his grandchildren, he’s a great grandfather. At home we call him 'the stalker'. If he finds the time, he comes over."

Pierre is delighted with his Dad’s Venetian adventure. "His Abba record from last year, following 40 years of Waterloo, somewhat affected him in a way. Fine album mind you, but "Love in Venice", that's my father."

After the studio session, the entire entourage travels to André Rieu’s castle at the foot of the Saint-Pietersberg. There is champagne, exquisite Italian pastries, Italian espresso and Italian ice cream cart. Extras in colorful Venetian carnival attire stroll across the inner courtyard.


In the extensive gardens, major German TV channels are waiting patiently for Rieu to come in front of the cameras and speak about "Eine Nacht in Venice – the new Album. The organization is perfect. The international media circus from Poland, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Austrians and Turkey (who just arrived) is split up in blocks split up so that Rieu can be asked questions about his Italian production. ("As is always the case with my wife Marjorie when she joins me on the couch) "'I still want to waltz all over the world, " he says." "The waltz may have a somewhat a stuffy image, but I'm not ashamed of it."

The 'King of the Waltz, "who broke through 20 years ago with the album "Strauss & Co.", has built a powerful empire with the sounds of his 1732 Stradivarius violin. He sold over 40 million albums, won 411 platinum and 100 gold records.

Ambition
With his concert tours - his next Dutch tours will bring him on the 13th (Ziggo Dome) and 14th of November (Ahoy) to the Netherlands - seems to be no end. In fact, when everyone was merrily waltzing on all continents, Rieu had his sights set at the North Pole and the moon. That ambition, to perform in cold regions, ended up in the refrigerator.

"My stadium tour with the completely copied Schönbrunn brought me to the brink of bankruptcy. Here, in this room, Rabobank wanted to pull the plug. "Well, I said there is no pulling the plug." But I realized that it was too big for me. It was in excesses which distracted from the music."

Making music is his passion and his life, the waltz interacts with his existence, but "I'd like to go into politics. To bring back respect for each other. Marjorie forbids me that. "I cannot keep my mouth shut," she says.

"What I am very concerned about right now, is the extinction of the elephant. There, I have to do something. It surely is inexcusable that I'm here to talking about it and not lend a hand. " ... Elephants? Suddenly in our minds we hear "The Elephant Song (1975)" by singer Kamahl. In three –quarter time, of course.


Translation by John

Oct 2, 2014

André Rieu ~ Emotions in The Editing Room

Searching For The Most Beautiful Emotions 
In The Editing Room
 
André Rieu records his concerts with twenty-seven television cameras. Thirteen of them are aimed at the Orchestra and fourteen of them permanently on his public. They are continually searching for the most emotional and romantic moments within the audience. A laugh, a tear ... Facial expressions are very important.

"You can create emotions," explains Rieu. "It takes days to view all those recordings, but it is quite fun to do. My wife Marjorie and I always slide together when we create a DVD and I have the best movie editor in the world." Since he also is a musician, he knows exactly when to cut the image. The recordings of an album can be quite costly. "Most orchestras record their instruments separately. We never do that. The entire orchestra gets together to record a piece in one setting. It is more expensive, but the sound is so much nicer."

Keyboard specialist Ward Vlasveld plays an important role in that. He is one of the veterans of The Johann Strauss Orchestra and sits in the studio's control room behind the mixing panel.
Translation by John

Oct 1, 2014

At Home André Rieu is Just Grandpa


Orchestra leader reveals new album "Love in Venice" in Maastricht to 75 journalists from 12 countries

At Home André is Just Plain Grandpa

André Rieu turns 65 today and it was 20 years ago that he broke through with "The Second Waltz". During an early birthday party for the international press in Maastricht he presented his new album "Love in Venice."

The Limburger/By Peter van de Berg: André Rieu does not have much time to reflect on his birthday today. After a quick toast in his private Maastricht studio with the Johann Strauss orchestra, the entourage departs for Brazil where in Sao Paulo nine concerts are planned. That was different last week when the stand-alone violinist was the focal point of interest during a party in the gardens of his castle "House the little Towers". No less than 75 journalists and camera crews from 12 different countries, even from Argentina, all came to the Netherlands to be present at the presentation of his new album "Love in Venice". And befitting a real world star, Rieu presented the launch of his new album in a grand style.

The Venetian carnival runs rampant within the walls of his domain, located on the eastern side of the St. Pietersberg. Extras in colorful traditional dress and with gleaming masks surround the "Kaiser" of the Waltz. He gives them a few small pointers as to how they need to stand for the photo sessions by the many photographers who jostle for the best possible picture.

Teun Ramaekers views the scene from a safe distance. "He just can’t leave it alone. Typical André. Always directing a tight ship," he says that with a smile. Flutist Ramaekers (60) from Maastricht has been part of the Johann Strauss Orchestra for 27 years. He has seen Rieu evolve into the most important musical export product of the Netherlands. "We studied together at the conservatory in Liège. I have been with the Johann Strauss Orchestra from the very beginning. André wanted to try something different and expand his Maastricht Salon Orchestra. I had a permanent position as professor on the conservatories in Eindhoven and Liège, which I gave up. André had an unshakable confidence that everything would turn out alright. The beginning was a huge adventure. Look where we are now. I have been extremely lucky." Ramaekers praises Rieu for realizing his dreams. He is really a special case. André has done everything himself and kept it in his own hands. He has never depended on anyone else." Mutual respect is the strength of Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra. "The enthusiasm one sees is not fake. We all profit from the success. That is why we work so darn hard" says Ramaekers.



Hence the reasons why all the orchestra members are present in the castle garden of their patron. Earlier that day they gave a preview of the new album in the studio, which incidentally will be released to the market on October 31st. Romantic melodies like "Azzuro" and "La Gondola". Rieu revealed some secrets of the costs of recording the CD and DVD, and afterwards the group departed in the luxurious orchestra busses for the ride to the orchestra leader’s residence.

"It is the first time that we address the introduction of a new album in Maastricht this way. Actually quite special," says son Pierre. "But at home André is just plain "Opa" (Grandpa) to his grandchildren. We do not emphasize the fact that he is famous." His fans do that. For the past twenty years, Rieu has performed almost everywhere. Last year he was in Turkey for the first time. This year in November there are two performances programmed. Hence the presence of a Turkish journalist from the paper "Hurriyet", along with promoter Selim Sefada". In 2013, ten thousand tickets were sold in no time at all. That is why we are doing an extra concert this year. Classical music is trendy in Turkey. Rieu is even loved in the Islamic culture. I think that music transcends every religion. He could therefore perform very well in Dubai or Abu Dhabi."

Back to the castle garden. In the meantime, he is steadily working the interviews with the international television teams. In the reception room of the castle the representatives of the press await their turn. Rieu knows that he owes everything to "the Second Waltz". "For years I had to peddle my music in Hilversum, no one wanted me. I picked up an album and heard "The Second Waltz." I added that one quickly to an album. If I had not done that, it would have turned out quite differently." Twenty years later, the record company "Universal" is very happy with the violinist. "It is not going to well with the companies, but I still have a contract with them, since my public still buys CD’s. They want to get their hands on a real CD."

Since André has turned 65 and is eligible for AOW (Old age Pension) that does not mean he is going to slow down. "My health is excellent. I changed my lifestyle. I do weightlifting, which helps me to stay fit. I divide my energy better. Normally I used to do all the promotion myself in all the countries. Now I bring everyone to Maastricht for a day. Moreover, I do not mind having the state pension benefits. Finally I no longer have to worry about money."

Thanks to John for this and the Translation

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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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