That handsome man from
the Netherlands
     September 21, 2002
Translation Sonja  

André Rieu and his Orchestra will perform this evening in the Ahoy Hall in Rotterdam.  
Rieu has fans, women, but men too everywhere in the world.  What is so appealing about
the Dutch violinist?  We asked five fans from Japan, the USA, South-Africa, Australia and
the Netherlands.                                                
Why do fans all over the world adore André Rieu?

Five years ago the Australian Mike Connely bought a CD from André Rieu through the
Internet.  He absolutely did not know who the violinist really was, until last year, when he
saw a video about him.  Since then he cannot get enough of the Rieu and his orchestra.   
Most of the inhabitants of Australia have never heard of the Dutch musician.  Connely
does not expect Rieu to come “down under” anytime soon.  He will have to make do with
the 7 CDs that he has collected in the past few years.  And with the 13 video tapes, which
Connely has imported from the US, Germany and the UK.  Not a day goes by in which I do
not listen to a CD or watch a video.  “Rieu really is a big part of my life”, Connely says.  
Last year through the Rieu website, he came into contact with a fan from the Dutch town of
Echterdingen, who has sent Connely al kinds of videotapes of their idol.  Thanks to Rieu
and the JSO friendships are developing around the whole world?

I even had the chance to touch him!
Pat Mallen did not like classical music until she saw André Rieu and the JSO on television
six years ago. “His way of playing is everything but boring”, the enthusiastic American fan
tells us.  Since she knows of his existence she has been to eight concerts.  She also
collects pictures and posters of the Dutch violinist.  Even her jewelry, since she discovered
him, exists for a large part out of chains with golden violins.  Mallen has met Rieu twice.  
The first time I immediately asked for his autograph.  I even had the change to touch him,
absolutely one of the most beautiful things that ever happened to me.  The second time
she asked Rieu to sign a picture, and asked him, of course how long it would be before he
would come back to the US.  People who look carefully at André can see that he puts his
heart and soul into his music.  He obviously really loves what he does.

That handsome man from the Netherlands with his heavenly music.
Drika van Heerden from South-Africa discovered André Rieu four years ago when she told
a friend about her big love for the waltz.  The friend gave her a CD of Rieu as a present.  
Through his heavenly music I completely get on cloud nine, the woman from South-Africa
said with a dreamy look in her eyes.  I was sold because of the way André plays his violin;
he does it with so much love and attention.  Van Heerden left no stone unturned to try and
find more of his CDs and managed to get his recording ‘Wiener Melange’ with some
difficulty.  On the CD cover are pictures of this handsome man and his orchestra
members.  She has never seen her idol live.  But four years ago on Rieu’s website
Heerden “met” a German fan, who she managed to persuade to sent video recordings of
Rieu and Company to her in South-Africa.  That way she can still be with Rieu and his
orchestra a bit.  But it is her biggest wish to be at one of his performances.  With that a big
dream would come true.

When I feel a little down I put Rieu music on.
When the Dutch Thea Buys heard the second Waltz on the radio she was completely sold,
her daughter immediately bought the recording for her which by now has been played so
often it has turned gray.  According to Buys her life has changed quite a bit since she
discovered Rieu. “Not a day goes by without his beautiful music”.  When I wake up in the
morning and I feel a little down, I immediately put Rieu on.  Then I close my eyes and
dream of a world were everything is beautiful.  What makes this violinist so special?  That
he just stays himself, he has a special aura and to top it of he is always in a good mood
when he is on stage. That also comes over through the members of the JSO, who also get
so much enjoyment out of the making of this music.  Buys biggest wish is to sit on stage
with the orchestra and wear a beautiful dress like the female members of the orchestra.

André, when will you come back to Japan?
Junko Masako is probably one of the biggest fans of Rieu in Japan. Two years ago she
bought her first CD of Rieu and soon she listened to nothing else.  Now she almost has all
of the CDs the Dutch violinist has for sale in Japan.  Masako succeeded in getting four
different videotapes through the Internet and he has through his website also bought the
Rieu calendar.  According to the Japanese is Rieu a musical genius and on top of that is
he a “great artist”.  Next month I will be going to a couple of his concerts in Tokyo.  If I
happen to meet him personally the first question I will ask him will be: “When will you come
back to Japan.
That handsome man from the Netherlands with his violin.
Mike and Annette Connely
Andre and Pat Mallen
Andre and Thea Buys
Andre and Junko Masako