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Aug 12, 2017

More Rieu Concerts On The Vrijthof

More Rieu Concerts On The Vrijthof

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

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

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

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

Expansion

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

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

Policies

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

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

Aug 4, 2017

Happy 10th Birthday To The Harmony Parlor!!

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

Jul 24, 2017

Downpour In Last Rieu Concert in Maastricht


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

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

Thank you to Ineke for the Translation of the Article!

Jul 22, 2017

Beauty in Maastricht

International Beauty in Maastricht During André Rieu Concerts

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

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

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


 Thank You to Ineke for the Translation

Jun 27, 2017

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

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

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

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

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


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

The orchestra leader never received a warning in advance.


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

Thank you to Ineke for the article and translation

May 21, 2017

UPDATE: Fine Against Rieu For Improper Use of Drone

Fine Against Rieu For Improper Use of Drone

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

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

Musical Film

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

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

Fine

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

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

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


Thank you to John for the Article and Translation 

May 20, 2017

Nice picture that can be used for Wallpaper in Full Size

May 18, 2017

The "Real" André Rieu (1917-1992)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Thank you to John and Ineke for the Translation

May 16, 2017

Double interview: André Rieu and Jo Cortenraedt

André and Jo

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

PLAYING THE BOSS

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

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

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

CAN YOU HANDLE CRITIQUE?

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

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

TRAVELING

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

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

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

HOW IS YOUR MUSICAL INTEREST?

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

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


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

CULINARY

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

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

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


HOW IMPORTANT IS CLOTHING?

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

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

FUTURE

Where will you be in twenty years?

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

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


Thank You to John and Ineke for this long Translation! 

May 6, 2017

Child labor in the Netherlands?

In response to a Limburger article dated 5 May 2017, which basically states that André is being severely fined for violating the Dutch child labor law, when in 2015 he brought many young pan flute players along with George Zamfir from Bucharest to perform on the Vrijthof for his concert series. Jo Cortenraedt wrote the following editorial in his weekly blog for the Chapeau Magazine.

Child labor in the Netherlands?

The weekly Saturday blog by Jo Cortenraedt, chief editor Chapeau magazine


Saturday 6 May 2017: 
In what can a country be great? I think there are few other countries with so many rules as in the Netherlands. And so few countries with as many 'inspectors' as in the Netherlands. Because, naturally, those rules need to be controlled. And that's a big job.


In North Korea, everyone is his neighbor's inspector, and we are not quite so bad yet. But that the inspections occasionally go over the top, again proves the issue of so-called 'child labor law' which André Rieu would have allowed at his 2015 Vrijthof concerts.

I was there when a group of young Romanian pan flute players could play a few numbers during the successful concerts in Bucharest. The audience was enthusiastic, the musicians too, everyone was happy. So André Rieu spontaneously thought : "It would be nice if I ask them to play on the Vrijthof."

As always, the guest performers are well looked after, are not allowed to perform alone, but can also have a few beautiful days in a city where most of them have never been. Now again everyone is happy.

But then at that moment, the Calvinistic tricks of our society surface. No, those musicians did not come here for the fun, they were "exploited" as it were, and had to perform "child labor" in the eyes of the relevant inspector of the national labor inspection.

It is of course excellent that we fight child labor in the Netherlands. No starving children in quarries or in stifling sewing factories, as is happening, for example, in some Asian countries. But making music together, that's a party, and not work.

But the inspector in question was not to be appeased, and so a large penalty followed. With the result that André Rieu Productions has become a lot more cautious until the legal ramifications are completely cleared up. As a consequence, the Eijsden marching band Sainte Cécile, who performs every year at the Vrijthof in the evening around nine for about half an hour, has now only allowed musicians aged 18 and over to play for the last year. While that marching band is bursting with young members. But to avoid new fines, the risks are not taken. That means that young boys and girls from, for example, 17 years old, and love to play at the Vrijthof, cannot participate because of that overzealous inspector. While although at that age they are out enjoying themselves very well until well after midnight.

Now I hear you say that because of such inspectors, we can also forget about the World Music Competition in Kerkrade and the Oud Limburgs Schuttersfeast (Old Limburg Marksman competition), because just about every participating marching band, fanfare or marksman organization has--fortunately-- a lot of young members.

And now here is the point, there it is allowed because it's all about amateur music. While the concerts of André Rieu are being seen as being commercial. And apparently with culture, money cannot be earned. I detect a hint of jealousy here. Maybe André Rieu is perhaps too successful and should be reined in?

I think we in the Netherlands and as well as abroad should really try to help children who are seriously in jeopardy. For example, victims of child pornography. But also the many children who, even in our own country, are being abused. Let all the inspectors chase after those problems, and when they do, then they are really doing something useful. There is still a lot of work to be done in those areas.

But young people who happily make music, you leave them alone and allow them that pleasure. And only enforce the rules just as they were actually meant to be, namely to prevent serious and abusive situations. A festive musical evening does not belong in that category.

Thank You To John for the Article and the Translation of it!

Mar 31, 2017

Rieu Vocalist Mirusia CapturesThe Netherlands

Rieu Vocalist Mirusia CapturesThe Netherlands

Chapeau Magazine: by Maarten van Laarhoven - Friday, March 31, 2017 Many know her from her performances with André Rieu, who discovered her at a young age and with whom she traveled around the world. The Australian-Dutch soprano Mirusia Louwerse, who was born exactly 32 springs ago in Brisbane, Australia hails from Dutch parents, and is currently engaged in a successful theater tour throughout the Netherlands, with its title "From the Heart." During her performances, one hears the same music as from her earlier this month released CD, which carries the same title.

Mirusia, who at the tender age of 19 is the youngest winner ever to claim the famous Dame Joan Sutherland Competition Award for opera singers in her homeland, and has now been singing the stars from the sky on major international stages for more than ten years with Rieu and his famous Johann Strauss Orchestra.

On his official website, André Rieu speaks about how he came in contact with the blonde soprano after she received that award . "Her aunt, who still lives in the Netherlands, emailed me about the exceptional talent of her niece in Australia. Of course I was curious. I listened to Mirusia's voice on her website, and immediately phoned her and two days later she was in my studio singing."

The world famous violinist describes how tears filled his eyes when, in his own words, he had the always cheerful young singer sing an established aria by Mozart. "With her beautiful voice and her blonde curls it was as if I heard an angel sing."

The Australian born has built a successful solo career with albums which are quite successful with a wide audience. She has a varied repertoire, and alongside her own songs she also includes known materials from pop music, musicals, films and popular classical music
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Even her own new studio album contains a mix of styles. "Geef mij je Angst" (Give Me Your Fear) by Hazes and "La Vergine Degli Angeli" by Verdi peaceful coexist on the new CD, which has become a very personal album to her. Some songs have directly to do with the love for her husband Youri. The famous "Memory" is a tribute to her grandmother and "Als je niet van mij Houdt" (If you do not Love Me, by Boudewijn de Groot) is dedicated to Ruud Merx (trombone player with André Rieu) who died last year of a cardiac arrest during a tour through England

Chapeau Magazine has received five CDs from Mirusia's management to give away. 
What is your best memory of Mirusia during the concerts of André Rieu?
Send your answer to: events@chapeaumagazine.com. The participants with the best five responses will receive the latest Mirusia CD!

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

Mar 26, 2017

Refugee Brought Rieu Success by Marjorie Rieu

Refugee Brought Rieu Success

Maastricht March 20th: From the "Limburger" By Casper Cillekens and Ruud Maas -  What is happening to Maastricht? Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann (69) cannot comprehend it. Why is the PVV (Freedom Party) the largest political party in her birthplace? Why are the largest part of the Limburg citizens so against refugees? To this newspaper she writes: "Thanks to a refugee, for the last thirty years André Rieu can now make millions of people worldwide happy with his music." The refugee she is referring to is her father Edgar, who in 1936 fled from Berlin to Maastricht, because he was a German Jew. The only thing he could carry with him was his collection of records, which inspired André Rieu many years later. Marjorie is telling her story in the castle "House of little Towers" where she and André reside. She thought long and hard about the following statement: "I am not climbing on the barricades and kick someone in the shins. I only want to plead for the refugees. I do not like people who say that refugees are bad people. For the past two years I have had the feeling that I need to do something. I can become quite angry the way refugees are being thought of."

Maybe Marjorie started writing again since she read the letter her father wrote while he was in hiding. He wanted to mail this letter to his also refugee friends after the liberation. "In a typed fourteen page letter he wrote about amongst others, how valiant Maastricht citizens risked their lives by helping them and providing them with addresses where they could hide. " Marjorie wrote that the letter was typed between August 1942 and the liberation of Maastricht in September of 1944, and because she is thinking about publicizing this "time document". He writes about his family and friends, and knew they would not be coming back.

Edgar Kochmann first hid in Arnhem and Nijmegen, and later in Maastricht. He was lucky to have been tipped off by two cousins, telephone operators, of his friend Nelly who would later become Marjorie's mother. Edgar's parents, who had already fled to Maastricht in 1933 and had started a small factory in hat liners, also went into hiding. His father passed away while in hiding due to pneumonia. Horst, one of Edgar's brothers and his wife Friedel did report to the gathering place in Maastricht from which Jews were transported to the transit camp Westerbrok. Friedel died three days later in the gas chambers is Auschwitz, and Horst passed away in a work camp Blechhammer.

She feels she needs to make a statement.

Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann is annoyed about the way refugees are being treated in this country. Her Jewish father had to flee from Germany but was afforded a chance to build a new life here in Limburg.

Thrilling

Marjorie heard little from her father about the war. "He only spoke about funny things. I never heard about the bad ones. Those were thrilling stories. How he, in the attic walked in his stocking feet - balancing himself with his hands on the wall - over the skirting as not to make noise." Her father consciously did not speak much about that time. "That's just the way he was. He said: "That is past, period!"

Her father was born in 1907 in Berlin. As a young man he experienced the 'golden 20's' in that city. He was a branch manager of a shoe store on Alexander square. He loved dancing, in particular the Charleston. He also liked light music and operettas. "Tauber, Caruso and the Comedian Harmonists. He owned a few hundred records. Those were the only things he could take with him from Berlin. Much later I realized how big the transition must have been for him from a world metropolis of Berlin to a small provincial town like Maastricht. He was amazed that mixed swimming was not allowed here." In Maastricht Edgar made his living as a wholesaler in lady's hats. He met his future wife at a dance in 1936. Laughingly he said: "They did too do mixed swimming. In Visé (Belgium) just across the border."

"For two years now I feel I need to do something. It makes me so angry the way people think about refugees".

Marjorie Rieu-Kochmann

Wall

Her father continued to treasure everything German. He did not mind, contrary to some in his environment, that his daughter studied German. "My father said that he did not suffer under the German people, but through the Nazi's. We continued to shop across the border and continuously visited family in Berlin. A very special note: I was there when the wall was built, August 13, 1961."

Father was very interested in the politics. "I had to be quiet when on Sundays he would listen to G.B.J. Hiltermann who would give his views of the world on the radio. I loathed that. That might be the reason why I do not care much for politics." After her German studies in Nijmegen, Marjorie taught for seven years. "I did not really care too much for that at all." When she and André became parents she stopped teaching. She was by then already, very much involved with the newly organized Maastricht Salon Orchestra. "André was still searching for his own distinctive repertoire. I let him listen to several of my father's records. He did not know that kind of music, but was immediately sold."

She knows for certain that without that inspiration, born from those records, Rieu would never have become so successful worldwide. Even at times when doubt struck Rieu, it was Marjorie's father who helped André persist. "My father was raised with the Prussian discipline of never giving up." Edgar passed away in 2000, at 92 years of age. "Luckily he was able to enjoy Andrés break through."

Barbeque

Because of this family history there is a lot of understanding for the refugees in the Rieu house."When it became known that an asylum center would be established here on this street, André spontaneously said that - whenever it would be established - he would organize a barbeque for those people."

(Pictures are from the Rieu-Kochmann Family)

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

Mar 8, 2017

WORLD PREMIER WEST SIDE STORY LIVE IN OPEN AIR

WORLD PREMIER
WEST SIDE STORY LIVE IN OPEN AIR

THEATER ON THE VRIJTHOF AND THE PHILHARMONIC "ZUID-NEDERLAND" 
ON THE VRIJTHOF IN MAASTRICHT

By Jo Cortenraedt: Chief Editor Chapeau Magazine The Theater on the Vrijthof and the philharmonic "Zuid-Nederland" are in ecstasy already. They are anxiously awaiting for their spectacular mega-production which will take place live on Monday July l0 on the Vrijthof in Maastricht. For the first time in the world the famous film West Side Story will be played outdoors by a large philharmonic orchestra while the audience simultaneously can watch the entire film above the stage. A synchronized combination of film and live music, and that in the middle of a large square.

This has been made possible thanks to the commitment of many, to begin with André Rieu, who 'just' happen to make his temporary stage and all the technical facilities available for this co-production of the philharmonic "Zuid-Nederland" and "the Theater on the Vrijthof". "This is fantastic and we are very grateful to André Rieu" said Jos Roeden, artistic programmer for the philharmonic. "That means that we are able to used "state-of-the-art" equipment both in terms of sound as well as many large digital screens around the square. This also fits entirely in our ambition to not always perform in the usual concert halls, but also to participate in major projects and events which brings our music closer to the people."

Peter Noten, program director of the Theatre on the Vrijthof, can hardly suppress his enthusiasm. "This is going to be fantastic. We can barely fit a thousand people in our theater and now for this concert we suddenly have a availability of 10,000 people. And all that with this film musical, which has worldwide fame.

It has taken quite some efforts to receive the rights for this production, because they are still part of the estate of composer Leonard Bernstein. But it all worked out. A special team from America will come over to assist us with the implementation of our production. And we had a choice of only a limited number of conductors who are allowed to perform these workings. That turned out to be Wayne Marshall who is very familiar with this musical and who will also perform in our theater later this year as a concert pianist."

Andre Rieu makes stage and equipment available

In 2014 Noten saw "West side Story" live, with an Orchestra in London which played in combination with the film. "That was in the Royal Albert Hall. It's very exciting because every note must be played exactly at the right time. The entire performance lasts almost three hours and you sit on the edge of your seat. "We consider this a highlight to our 25th jubilee year as Theater on the Vrijthof;" said Jean Boelen, director of the Theater on the Vrijthof. Obviously we are very lucky that we can combine this with the concerts ofAndré Rieu who so generously made everything available to us. If we had to build it ourselves, I am afraid our budget would not been able to afford this." Stefan Rosu, director of the philharmonic "Zuid- Netherland", says that the orchestra will be the largest with nearly 100 musicians and that the orchestra is being strengthened with extra specialists, such as five saxophonists, due to the technical challenges (e.g. the coordination of movie and music on the main square) we are very happy with conductor Wayne Marshall who knows these workings very well, has already done the film version and a good "jazzer". The big challenge is to at certain times to follow the exact rhythm of the film, so that the musicians themselves can look at the images of the film. They must therefore fully rely on the directions of the conductor. And of course there should be a substantial amount of rehearsing in order to get it all in sync."

The story of the musical and film West Side Story is about the romance between Tony and Maria, each belonging to a different street gang in New York. That creates heartbreaking moments. It's an engaging blend of story, song, clans, music and games. The film dates back to 196I and earned no less than Ten Oscars " The film is now completely digitalized so that the images are razor sharp," says Peter Noten. 
The presale for the musical starts March 8, and the prices have purposely been kept low. Seat prices are between 25 and 55 euro, depending on their location. There are also, just like with André Rieu concerts, combined terrace arrangements available.

Thank You to John for the Translation and Ineke for the article
 

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Pierre and André September 30, 2016 Maastricht

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Photo Taken at Mexico City Concert ~ September 2013

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

Soundcheck in Maastricht 2013 (RTL Photo)

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

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

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