Dutch TV show with Andre and Akim
Show host Ivo Niehe/November 4, 2005
Translation Ineke Cornelissen and Sonja
Tonight we have two very special violinists in our show Andre Rieu and 5 years old Akim Camara. But first of all
the Maestro himself. He is the first Dutchman to ever reach number one on America's classical chart. His
successes abroad seem to go on and on. He is the only real Dutch World-star: Andre Rieu!!!
(Andre's comes up and waves to the audience). In the meantime a film clip is shown about his touring around the
world, with subtitles: 120 employees ( 70 travel with him on tour, of which 50 are members of the orchestra), 14
trucks, 7 buses, 2 planes, touring through Europe, Asia, America.
Ivo: That film, that you made yourself, gives us an idea about what you are doing abroad. Are you
everywhere as successful?
Andre: Yes, it is very funny. Whether I play for Eskimos, South Americans or Japanese people, they all react the
same way. I always say: Music is for everybody! My show is the same everywhere. The only difference is that
we play a few extra songs from the country we are during the encores.
Ivo: You are nr. One on classical chart in the USA. What does that mean? How many sold Cd's.
Andre: I really don't know exactly, but it must be tens of thousands.
Ivo: Unbelievable! You are conquering country by country, is that your strategy? First here, than there,
later Japan, etc.
Andre: Well, once a British reporter asked me: “Why do you want to play in England?” I answered: “Why not?”
Because I want to play everywhere. It is a great pleasure to play for people.
Ivo: You do have an enormous circus around you. We did not realize that so much , until seeing your
Andre. Yes, when I started to play the violin at the age of 5 and later studied at the Academy for music, I could
never imagine I would have a staff of 120 employees by now.
Ivo: That can also cause a lot of worries.
Andre: I realize that. I do feel responsibility to my people, but I have an optimistic nature. I always have faith that
everything will go well.
Ivo: 120 persons. Do love relationships grow?
Andre: O, yes. We have some couples and a lot of children as well.
Ivo: Do these relationships also end?
AR: No, they just keep on going.
Ivo: Your father was a conductor of the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. He passed away, but he would
have been proud of you.
Andre: Absolutely! He did witness the early part of my breakthrough. But in the beginning, when I started to play
at weddings and other parties, he did not understand it. He thought I was wasting my classical training.
Ivo: You received a world class education: and you won the first price in your class in Brussels.
Andre: Yes, and most of my orchestra members have a similar education.
Ivo: There were lots of people who are of the opinion that you are dishonoring the classical music. You
get lots of criticism and maybe now also jealousy.
Andre: Yes, there are always people like that. But have you ever seen a statue erected for a critic?
Ivo: You used to play waltzes. I think your repertoire broadened a lot, for you play fewer and fewer
waltzes, is that true?
Andre: Many waltzes are already played on my Cd's. So we are looking for new music all the time. But during the
concerts we play at least 5 or 6 waltzes in every show. People call me 'King of the Waltz', or 'Mel Gibson of the
violin',”It is nice have those nicknames.
Ivo: Oh, I never heard the last one. You are more handsome.
Andre: Thank you, But he cannot play the violin.
Ivo: You possess an antique Stradivarius from 1667. It is unique is not it?
Andre: Every Stradivarius is unique. This was his 2nd violin. He made it at the age of 23 and I know he was in love.
I feel that. I have had a lot of famous violins under my chin, but in this one I felt the love and passion of Antonio
Stradivarius. I was looking for a violin with the voice of Maria Callas: both very high and very low. I think this violin
is the one I was looking for.
Ivo: How long does a Stradivarius last?
Ivo: What has been your best concert till now?
Andre: It may be a very boring answer, but I like every concert.
Ivo: Waldbuhne (Berlin) was special, Tuscany, Maastricht.
Andre: We did not play in Maastricht for 17 years. When we had our concert Flying Dutchman in Kerkrade
(Limburg, Holland) in 2004, the mayor of Maastricht was jealous! He asked me to play in Maastricht next year and
I did. In Tuscany I chose a small village named Cortona, which is situated on a mountain. Everything had to be
brought up to that mountain, and I think that Pierre cursed me quite a bit!
Ivo: You have fans from all over the world and they came to Tuscany! I heard from Alaska and Australia.
Do you have such faithful fans?
Andre: Yes, I have real groupies!
Ivo: Also men?
AR: Yes, everything.
Ivo: And now lets talk about your unique performance in Kerkrade with 3 year old Akim. How did you
Andre: Every day I get mail from parents who recommend their talented child. But this mail from Berlin was
different. I sent a camera team to Berlin and when they returned I immediately knew this was unique. I invited them
and two weeks before Kerkrade I met Akim, his parents and his grandmother. Akim played for us in the studio and
all the orchestra members were astonished, asking, “How is this possible?”
I asked Akim if he would like to play with us in Kerkrade and he wanted it very much. He loves to perform! On the
day of the concert I was very nervous, because I did not know how this would turn out. There were 18 thousand
people in the audience. Maybe he would stand there on stage crying for his mother. But not al all! If you could
have seen him entering that stage!!
Ivo: Did you teach him to play that piece of music?
AR: No, he plays everything by heart. His memory is enormous. I have never seen that before. I think such a
talent appears once in a lifetime.
Ivo: That boy, Akim, is here. Akim, where are you?
(Akim comes in, wearing a new black smoking. Andre seats him, puts his violin on the table, and puts the
microphone on the right height for him).
Ivo: (in German): Hello Akim, do you have a new suit? (Akim nods yes). What is your age by now? (Akim
puts up 5 fingers). How many hours a day do you study? (Akim says 1 hour a day). What do you love best to
play? (Akim says: the newest!). Do you say Mr. Rieu or Andre? (Answer is Andre).
(Akim seems to be a little bit shy).
Ivo to Andre: Is it sufficient, to study 1 hour a day?
Andre: For him it is. He loves to do it. It is not a must.
Ivo: It is a big responsibility to care for such a precious talented boy.
Andre: I know. I am aware of my responsibility. I took him out of anonymity. After the Kerkrade concert all German
TV channels wanted to have Akim in their programs. We had to hide him for a while. This is the first time for him
back TV and I only do that for you, Ivo. In the meantime I arranged for a good teacher for him and for someone who
keeps an eye on his other education, for he has to stay a nice boy. I pay for his lessons and I follow him. We are in
contact every week. I feel that as a duty, he is an incredible talent.
(A film clip is shown about Akim's water trick in Kerkrade).
Ivo asks Akim: Who taught you that trick?
Ivo: Yes, Otto is a funny man (the German comic on the flying Dutchman DVD) who is telling jokes all the
Andre: Otto did that back stage on the same day of the concert and Akim imitated him. We thought it was so funny
that we decided to do it on stage.
Ivo: Where does Akim originally come from?
Andre: He lives in Berlin. His father comes from Africa and his mother from Berlin. Together they made this
Ivo: Akim is going to play for us, together with Andre and the orchestra. Akim, is this your instrument?
Andre: Yes, I gave him a bigger violin, but it is still too big for him. He has to eat more French fries, for that is what
Ivo: Not everybody of the orchestra is here, for our stage in the studio was too small.
Andre: Oh yes, everybody is here! We squeezed them all onto that small stage!
Ivo: Really? I did not know that, that is wonderful! The whole orchestra is here tonight.
They are going to play for you with Akim as soloist, Concertino in A mol.
As encore the orchestra (with Akim playing in the orchestra) plays Butterfly.
This translation was done for me by Ineke Cornelissen, a friend I met through Andre's music. She lives in
the Netherlands in the city where I grew up. She not only did the translation for us, she also sent me a tape
so I was able to see the program and several others.
I took the pictures from the TV, so they are not the best quality. I have a video player which converts PAL
to NTSC but you do lose some quality of the picture so when you take pictures they do not come out that
well, but you can get an impression of how Akim has grown. He also has grown as a violinist and it
Practicing at home