MAX and CATHERINE,
November 15th 2005 (daily life Dutch TV program)
Translation Ineke Cornellisen/Sonja
This evening we have a world famous guest: ANDRE RIEU!
(André comes in with a little skip. He shakes hands and gives Catherine 3 kisses. He is wearing a black suit with
his small royal decoration in his button hole. He looks very relaxed, says: It is nice to be here).
I think you have never seen this program before.
Andre: I sure have!
How is that possible, you are always abroad!
Andre: You are on the air around 5 pm?
Andre: Well, at that time I’m having dinner and see your show. Nice program.
I assume you have some criticism?
Andre: I just happened to talk to your producer. A little bit, but oh, no, it is nothing.
Well, you can be critical if it makes the program better.
Andre: For example: when you have the forum discussion you leave me alone on the coach and I don’t like that.
How do you know, for you’re here for the first time.
Andre: Yes, but you do that in every show.
Oh, okay, you mean later on in the show when I go to the other guests.
But than you can participate the discussion from the couch here.
Andre: Yes, if the soundman opens the sound….
Does it happen often that there’s no sound?
Andre: I saw it once. You see, I am keeping an eye on you!
Yes, I see that!
I like to talk about you and your home situation. Your father was a conductor. All your brothers and
sisters played an instrument.
Andre: In our family we thought that was normal. In kindergarten I used to ask the children what kind of violin they
had. For I thought every child played an instrument. Later on I discovered that people who do not make music can
be quite normal too.
You started playing the violin at 5. Did the other children think you were a little strange? Were you
bullied by other children?
Andre: No, I have never been bullied. But during science lessons in college, if I did not understand the problems,
the teacher would say: Shall we try it with music notes or with conductors?
And did you understand it then?
No, that did not make a difference.
Was your father happy with your success? For he was a person of classical music. You added a certain
swing to the classical music.
Andre: In the beginning they were wondering: What is he doing? Playing at weddings and parties, that is not why
we gave him his classical education. Soon they discovered that I was very serious. Than they agreed.
I cannot imagine there can be people who don’t know what you are doing, but we like to show a film clip
from Berlin, where you play for an enormous audience. How many? 20 thousand! That’s just not normal!
It is great! So funny, every time I see it, my heart opens of pride. I already told you before, that I was
once in New York. Foreign city, far from home. Suddenly I saw big announcements “Next week, in the
Radio City Music Hall: André Rieu! I thought: Wow! That’s a Dutchman! The Radio City Music Hall, where
the biggest stars of the world perform! Do you still get a kick or do you think: O, Radio City Music Hall, I
was there for the 80th time….
Andre: No, I get a kick out of performing every night. In advance I’m nervous to death. As soon as I see the
audience, it is gone.
Yes, at the moment you’re nervous too, are n’t you? I can see it.
I don’t know why. I always have it before going on stage. Than I think: what a job, I wish I had become a gardener.
But as soon as I see the audience it is over.
(Catherine did not understand him correctly) repeated you wished you had stayed home?
Andre: Or stayed home.
Do you have any idea why people all over the world are touched by your performances? For that is very
Andre: I think people appreciate it that I am myself. I don’t play theater or act different from what I am. I am always
myself, whether I am here, on stage or at home. Always the same.
Can it be that inside you are still a shy little boy?
For sure. I am very happy that I can stand on stage.
For than you feel far away, kind of untouchable? Here I can touch you and that is scary, is n’t it?
There was a time when you were not so successful. Managers of theaters and record companies did not
like your music.
Andre: On stage we were successful from the beginning. But for 10 years nobody wanted to make a record with
us. Every year Marjorie and I went to Hilversum (In Holland the Radio and TV VIPS are in the city of Hilversum)
and we would ask: who wants to make a record with us? Nobody. They said: Go home, man, play those waltzes
for your grandmother in the south, but not here.
Did they really say that?
Andre: Really! At present there are still people who say that.
It must be a wonderful feeling, now that you made it! (chuckling) Can you mention a name, perhaps?
Andre: No, I have forgotten their names. I used to say: Come to the theaters (at that time we played in small
theaters in Holland) and listen yourself. Nobody ever had time. Finally after 7 years one person was willing to look
at our schedule. He saw “Harlingen”, that was his hometown, so he did not need to travel at all. He came. The next
day he called me and said: We are going to make a record. That was the Second Waltz.
After 7 years!
Andre: Yes, but now I say: It had to be like that! For in all those years I had time to build myself up and to surround
myself with experts. I have no manager who picked me from the market, saying: I am going to make a success out
of you, and… letting you down 2 years later. I did it all by myself and that’s what I’m still doing.
You already mentioned your wife Marjorie. You have known her for a long time, right?
Andre: She was in my sister’s classroom. I saw her for the first time in our house on a St. Nicholas party. She was
13 and I was 11. Lots of girls were at that party, but only one stood out with a lot of curly hair and that was
(a photo is shown of André and Marjorie, both with a son on their lap).
How long are you together?
Andre: 31 years. (their wedding photo is shown).
Unbelievable. That is very rare in your profession, and at present time. How do you do that?
Andre: By going on tour very often! (laughs)
Now I understand why you bought an airplane!
Andre: Of course! We are in business together. As a little boy I knew I wanted to marry a woman who could share
To have a person who can be trusted?
Andre: Yes, I intuitively felt that it is very important to share interests, to share a job. Look at couples who run a
grocery store. They never divorce.
No, but that has a practical reason! If they separate it means the end of the store. Maybe it is a little bit
the same with you.
Andre: Not a little bit! Very much! That does not mean that I don’t love Marjorie or she does n’t love me, but it is
good to also have another connection. And to realize that connection is also important. It is great to notice every
day that we think the same. It is almost absurd but we have always done so. About the color of the seats, the
curtains, the education of the children.
But there are differences too. I love to watch shooting films on TV. She loves old fashioned films. If it has Grace
Kelly, it is a good movie.
You are real soul mates.
Andre: Yes, I felt that right from the beginning. That is very important and very nice.
I hate to ask it, but I have to. Women adore you. The tabloids talk about love affairs.
Andre: Oh, sure, the tabloids invent their own stories.
You are not going to tell me that you never fell in love with someone else?
Andre: Oh, sure, but nothing special. There are so many beautiful women, I would not be able to play without
Is that true? Women are your Muses?
Andre: When Renoir (French painter) was 80, he got a new kitchen maid, Suddenly he painted more inspired!
And you thought I am not going to wait until I am 80?
Andre: You can enjoy looking at beautiful women. (he looks around, says: here are also beautiful women).
You Prince Charming!
You can hear your Limburg accent.
Andre: I am not ashamed of that! I love Maastricht. Did you see our last concert there?
Oh, yes, it was great!
Andre: It is a very special city. We enjoy life, to be noticed by the number of café’s. But we can also take life
serious. That is a very important combination. For instance: there is Onze Lieve Vrouwe Church with that
wonderful statue of Mary and all the people, burning candles in front of her.
Yes, Mary, Star of the Sea.
Andre: If you turn around and step two meters ahead, you are in the middle of the cafe’s center of the city. That is
You went to school in Maastricht. We asked a youth friend and classmate about you. Do you still know
him? Camille Oostwegel.
Andre: Oh yes, I’m very curious!
Camille shows André’s parental house in the “Begijnestraat” (white house on the corner of the street). Most of the
time we would sit in the kitchen, because in every room of the house someone was making music. And the
kitchen was the only place you could hold a conversation. (I heard Andre's mother still lives there.)
André's’ mother would ask how everything was going at school,
about the subjects, homework, teachers. She would have heard that we had to do better.
Our school was in the “Helmstraat” which is under construction right now (opposite Hotel DuCasque, near the
Vrijthof). We fell in love with the same girl, Edith Braspenning (Edith wrote in the guestbook from Max and
Catherine the day after the program was aired. She wrote that she had always followed André and that she had
been to several concerts), but she did not notice us, for she was in love with Paul Moscowitz, the eldest son of a
well known lawyer . He was brought to school in a Jaguar and wore custom made suits. We as nerds could not
overcome that. She talked with a little lisp and André had a sweet nick name for her and called her lispel. André
was very good in hiding cheat sheets into the sleeves of his sweater or jacket. He had a certain way of folding
these tiny pieces of paper. We used to sell these cheat sheets to Paul Moscowitz, he paid well for them. That
was good business during exam week.
Camille shows the former hockey field (with the historic Maastricht casemates in
the background and sheep crazing on the grass). André and Camille did not like
hockey very much. They would stay in the back and then the teacher would call
them: Rieu, Oosterweghel, come to the front…
André wanted to change the world for the better. We had our dreams. The world had to be free, we talked about
this kind of subjects. Halfway the 4th class we parted. We talked about the future. I wanted to be a vet and André
wanted to be a violinist. But he also wanted to earn money, and I said: You cannot earn a lot of money with a
violin, unless you become world famous and sell a lot of CD’s. André said: Watch me, I am going to become rich
with my violin. We could not look into future but André always was very convinced. He was stuck on what he
said. Also in class. I cannot say he was impudent, but he was a very self assured person. He knew exactly what
he wanted and he stuck on that.
Those boys with the cheat sheets reached good positions, Camille owns a number of castles of which
he made luxury hotels and restaurants.
Andre: I don’t remember the cheat sheets any more, but I do remember us selling test papers to Paul Moscowitz,
for ice cream. We went to V&D (a department store) to buy ice cream.
So the business spirit was already there, when you was young.
Andre: Maybe concerning the test papers. But I always had the intention to run a business. I never had a manager,
I had to learn everything myself. That learning process is very important. I’d like to advice young people not to be
persuaded to sign contracts, because other people tell them to do so. I never did! A lot of contracts were offered to
me. I’ll advice: do it yourself!
It is funny to hear you say that, for recently I worked for another TV program, where I met a lot of young
actors, who did not want to do anything without consulting their manager. I have never had a manager in
my whole life, but they had!
Andre: It is true. People let you believe you cannot do without a manager. I don’t believe that! For you need time to
and to make mistakes!
You have also performed in Japan. (a film clip has been shown). They really cannot move, that’s a pity.
There also is an opposite side to being famous. You have almost been kidnapped and you’ve been
stalked several times. Do they call you, send messages, give presents all the time?
Andre: Or they stand before your front door.
Do you hate that?
Andre: For sure! The first time such a thing happens, you get startled to death. Because that never happened
before in your life. After that, you take measures and find a way of living with it. Some people say: You are living in
a golden cage. But you get used to it. In Hollywood everybody lives behind gates. My brother (Robert?) lives in the
south of France, in Marseille. When he is here he will say: Oh, my car is still there, in Marseille it would have been
gone. In Holland we think it is normal that everything outside stays there. But I’m afraid it will comes here as well.
I hope not!
Now the moment has come that Catherine leaves him alone on the coach and she joins some guests for the
discussion about stalking. There is a woman that get stalked by her husband’s ex wife, a psychologist and a police
officer. André’s opinion: the best way to handle it is: to totally ignore it. For they want attention. The first time it
happened to him, he called a number of persons who had been stalked. They made the mistake to negotiate with
the stalker but that only caused more troubles. So André’s advice is: never react. Catherine: What do you do with
presents? For in the beginning you think: How nice, but when do you know it is going on worse?! André says that
he has people who unwrap (and read) mail and presents for him. The nice ones get a thank you message, the
others not. C: How do you know?
Andre: You develope a “nose” for that. But I’m sure the law has to offer more protection in serious cases. The
police officer advices always to give notice to the police. Stalkers often suffer from a mental disease. He shows a
little apparatus to keep into direct contact with the police office.
Andre says: Oh, it would be nice to press the button and let a stalker disappear at once!
Catherine. comes back to the coach. Andre sits in “lotus position”? (legs crossed under his bottom, on the couch,
his shoes still on!) and Catherine starts to sit like him, she kicks out her shoes. After a while she says: I don’t like
sitting like that, and Andre says: You should sit like this (hands on his knees, closed eyes, likein meditation)
Cathering. asks: Are you in that club? Andre: Oh. no.
How many people are working for you? 120?
(People in the audience start laughing, for Andre is pinching his nose and removing Catherine’s shoe). Both are
laughing and Andre. says: I was just joking….)
If you go on tour, a whole train starts to move. Unbelievable, own busses, own planes, what an
Can I ask you a very crazy question? What does it cost if I wanted to have you and your orchestra to
perform in my home?
A: I don’t do that! I only perform in self organized halls. You know, when the wall in Berlin fell down, I immediately
was asked to come and play in Russia for the upcoming mafia. Money was no problem at all. I asked: who is the
audience. They said: about 11 persons. To prevent this, I use to organize my performances myself. I go
somewhere, I hire a hall, I make the announcement that I am coming, and than I perform. That is our system.
People buy a ticket a year in advance and they are glad of it for a long time. I cannot imagine a more joyful job and
I even earn money with it.
Do you have any wishes?
Andre: That it may go on like this for a long time.
Till what age?
Andre: I am 56 by now, I intend to become 120, so I am not yet halfway.
We hope to enjoy you for a long time...
Now I am happy to announce Trio Vidalita. We would have loved you to play with them, but your
Stradivarius is in the container on the way to Toronto. But…we have another violin, do you want to join
Andre: No, I cannot intrude with those three beautiful young ladies.
Oh, you just said that women were your Muse, Today it is reverse world: Trio Vidalita is going to play for
Andre Rieu, a Csardas, which we rename: “Ode to Andre Rieu”. (Afterwards Andre applauds and calls
We loved having you as our guest. I heard you wanted to do the final proclamation?
Andre: If I am allowed to do so.
Andre: Ladies and gentlemen, you all watch the program tomorrow, for than MAX will appear for the first time, the
mystery guest, who ever that will be.
Andre, Max is always here, for that is the name of the broadcasting station.
(Max is a new station, broadcasting from September 2005. Max has the intention to air better programs,
also enjoyed by senior citizens. I guess Andre missed that!).
He ends up shaking hands and kissing Catherine three times.
Nice you were here,
Andre says: I liked it very much