Andre and Pierre Rieu
‘ Stars und Melodien’
Austria June 2002
translation by Sonja
His company is becoming more and more a family business. Besides his brother Jean-Philippe, is since the start
of this concert season, his son Pierre also one of his employees. Stars and Melodien talks to father and son
about crises, starting over and changes.
Pierre, you have studied law, why are you listening in?
I actually enjoyed the study of law, but I discovered that I find the work on tour even more fun. And now I
manage the production by my father. That is my dream job.
What exactly is your job?
I have the responsibility for the entire show and I am responsible for managing the building and dismantling.
Andre: He is responsible for 46 people.
Mr. Rieu, your company is getting more and more a family business. Your brother Jean-Philippe
directs your shows and your videos.
......and do not forget my wife Marjorie. My cooperation with her forms the basic groundwork of my career. For
eighteen years she helped me develop this company. The boys were still very small. Babies as it were, and we
made everything together. We had not sold any CDs yet, and I only toured in Holland at the time. When our
success became bigger, my wife withdrew more from the public eye.
Her ambition was to get me on TV broadcasts, without that anybody knew me. To place me someplace where
actually nobody wanted me. The work to build my career has brought her much pleasure.
Does she no longer work for the company?
Yes, but less and exclusively as an advisor behind the scenes. For instance, just now we have a very important
meeting in Hamburg about the future, and of course she is here for that. Besides somehow or another we are
always working. Even when my wife and I are going for a walk we talk about music.
Are those conversations about new projects?
It is more about the big picture, which music will we record for the new CD, in which shows shall we perform.
What my wife thinks about that, is very important for me.
Are you really involved in everything which happens on the stage?
Everything that I do on stage has been planned by me ahead of time. I get involved with everything. I want to
see everything. And I check on everything.
Pierre it sounds as if your father is a perfectionist. That must be very demanding?
Yes, but I also understand why. It is his show. He has a certain picture in his head and he wants to see that
Pierre, has your father been strict with you?
No, I do not really think so.
Andre Rieu: You really do not think so?
Pierre: No, you are much stricter as a boss”.
Pierre, when you are on the road with your father, is your mother completely alone at home?
With my dog. (Laughs) Clearly that is not usual for her, since otherwise I still live at home. I actually do have
my own house but I am never there. I do not like to be alone.
But then it must be very lonely for your wife at home now?
I have to reach somewhat back. There was in our past a point at which it suddenly seemed rather difficult. I had
never been gone overnight; I had always gone back to Maastricht after every performance. Until I was gone for
three weeks, that was very difficult. We both had worked so hard on the career and we felt like suddenly we
were being punished for that. However we have come to grips with that, after all someone has to take care of
the family at home.
Pierre: But now I am also gone for two hundred concerts a year. She does not have to take care of me anymore.
Then your wife can come along with you....
Marjorie is already planning something in that direction. It does not have to be always, but she will come with us
Pierre: She now has the time for it, too, and I would love it if she would be there all the time.
Andre: Just a minute, all the time. That would not work. She has a totally different rhythm and she will not totally
change her life. But from time to time would be very nice.
Why not all the time?
I know that from my father, who was conductor. When a big star soloist performed with him it was always the
same scene. The great artist would come from the stage, and his shadow would be four meter behind him, that
would be his wife and she would be carrying his violin case. I do not want such a picture of my wife. I do not
want a wife who is my shadow.
Pierre, Your father gets constantly accused of having affairs, How did you live with that as a child,
when you heard or read about something like that?
The most important thing about that was that we knew the truth at home, the way it really is. That not everything
you read is true, and if someone would ask me about it that would really say more about the questioner than
about my father.
Do you see the resemblance?