“VOLLE KANNE INTERVIEW”
(TV Breakfast program at 9 am, duration 1 ½ hour, with several different subjects),
ZDF, May 2006, Germany. Translation Ineke Cornelissen/Sonja
Andrea (the hostess) and André exchange greetings with 3 kisses,
which is considered to be Dutch….. (but it never was, as far as I know…).
Good morning André, it must be very early for you, I suppose.
Andre: Yes, I set my alarm clock to 5 a.m., but I woke up at 4.30
by the singing of the nightingale. (He was still suffering the jet lag).
Immediately I was wide awake and I felt like traveling to Germany.
I heard you are an SMS-freak. How many SMS' do you send per day?
Andre: O, hundreds.
Andre: Because I am on the road all day and it is a nice way to stay in touch with my wife, without
becoming a pest. When I call, she has to stop what she is doing to pick up the phone every time.
This is more relaxing.
Did you always wear your hair long?
Andre: Yes, I think so, I was born with it. Joking: First came the hair and than me…..
Marjorie has cut my hair ever since we met. I don’t like other people fumbling with me. With short
hair I guess I would have an egg-head.
André, you did not eat much from our breakfast table.
Andre: No, I already had breakfast at home, but I did take a bit of Muesli. He tells he does not like
sweets on bread, he prefers meats or cheese. In a later item about cooking a dessert, André
teaches the hostess the Dutch word “toetje” for a sweet dessert, which he does like! Lekker, lekker.
Do you cook yourself?
Andre: Yes, I like it very much because it gives me the nice feeling that I am home.
Do you do the cleaning jobs at home?
Andre: No, and Marjorie does not either.
What about your big show in Vienna?
Andre: ZDF (the second German channel) asked me to make a beautiful show,
to fill a late summer TV evening. We agreed on Vienna, the garden of Schloss
Schoenbrunn (the former imperial summer residence). The show will be aired August
5th at ZDF. It will be a wonderful show. Franz Josef and Sisi (the imperial couple
who lived in the 19th century in Austria), will come by personally, we’ll have the ballet
of the Austrian State Opera, a dancing school and of course the Lipizzaner
horses (famous white horses) of the Spanish Riding School (which is in Vienna),
and Karl Moik (a well known German talk host and a friend of André). André tells he
has a good cooperation with the producer of ZDF, they appreciate each others sense of humor,
they work together in a very pleasant way.
There was a question for the viewers. Giving the right answer, you could win 2 tickets for the
Where will the autumn special be recorded?
1. New York, 2. Los Angeles. 3. Chicago.
(which is of course New York).
In between the program was an item about dogs and Andrea asks André whether he is a cat- or
Andre: I prefer dogs. I do not understand cats, for they are so individual, with a mind of their own. I
have better contact with dogs. We always had dogs, also when I was a small boy. Now we have
one boxer left and a young poodle. We had 2 boxers, but one died recently. (He did not tell which dog
died. Is Xander still be alive? ).
Were you forced to play the violin?
Andre; Not really. I come from a family where everybody played music. So I thought it was quite
normal that everybody played an instrument. I started at the age of 5, encouraged by my parents,
of course. We visited my fathers concerts and at a certain age I saw people in the audience
change when my father conducted a waltz with the encores. Suddenly there was much more
happiness and the audience smiled and moved. I was touched by that. That is why the idea was
born that I wanted to make classical music more fun for a big audience. And I did!
Can you dance?
Andre: I prefer to play. I can dance a bit, but not very well.
You are known as a good employer. You are the boss, a friend, a psychologist, even a father figure.
You took care that there would be a washing machine for the crew, a doctor, a catering service, etc.
Andre: Yes, I drag my orchestra members and crew all over the
world. They have to miss their families. So I want them to feel as
happy as possible. Once we ate Wiener Schnitzels all week long
and some people became got food poisoning. That is why I
decided to do our own catering. In my orchestra there are about
15 young mothers. The children cannot travel with us all the time.
But when we rehearse in Maastricht for a whole month in summer,
we have a daycare, so the young mothers can bring their children
to work while they play in the orchestra.
What does your wife mean to you?
Andre: Without her I’d be unhappy. I cannot do without her. I met her at the age of 11. She was my
sisters classmate. I was 11 and she was 13. Later on, when I was 21, we met again and than it
was burning love. We have been married for 31 years.
But we never see a picture of you together, so the press and tabloids are speculating a lot.
Andre: O yes, I know. But Marjorie and I made a clear agreement: I am in the publicity all the time
and she is not. I know more persons who do it like this. But the press is fantasizing a lot: she should
be very ugly, mentally ill or passed away……. But I can tell you, she is doing fine, she is alive, lucky
The Rieu company is family-business. Your wife works in it and you have 2 sons.
Andre: Yes, we are always talking about work. Even when we walk the dogs we talk about the
concerts and shows. My youngest son is my production manager. He takes care of everything what
is on the stage. My eldest son is studying history of art. He has enormous musical talents, he has
an ipod in his head.
You are on the road a lot. USA, Japan. That is tiring. When do you recharge your batteries?
Andre: The tours feel like a holiday, because everything is organized. When I am home, everybody
wants something from me, for instance: Volle Kanne wants to have me at the breakfast table….
Do you never go to a tropical island for holiday?
Andre: No, I prefer to stay home.
In the meantime there is an item about plants and gardens and Andrea
and André go outside for a talk with the gardener. (André did not want to
stay all by himself in the studio). André tells he has a big garden and he is
constructing an orangerie (greenhouse), where he wants to grow tropical
plants and have hummingbirds. But it is not yet finished. When Andrea
is asking the gardener how plants can survive in the full sun, André
suggests: Give them water!
Back in the studio André admits he never plays CDs at home. Because there is always lots of music
in his house.
It is time for the questions by viewers.
- Sometimes you wear spectacles, but never on stage. Do you wear contact lenses on stage?
Andre: No. I need the spectacles for reading. On stage I can see everything. And I can play the
violin by heart.
- Do you feel chased by women?
Andre: Sometimes. A lot of fans are following me. But I am a free man, I do not want to be owned.
I consider my hotels abroad and my house in Maastricht my private places.
- How is your greenhouse?
Andre: It is not yet finished. I could construct it myself, because I can build a house. Except for the
electricity, I don’t risk that! But nowadays I prefer to delegate construction work for I am more
careful with my hands.
- Are you recording a new special some time in Germany, the way you do now in New York?
Andre: Maybe, we don’t know yet. When everything goes well, we are first recording in Mexico,
later on everything is possible.
Do you work out?
Andre: On tour we have a fitness bus with home trainers. I also
have one at home.
Do you want to play in a movie? Like the one about the cruise ship?
Andre: No, I cannot act. That cruise ship role, I was acting myself.
I cannot be anybody else than myself.
- A violin player was on the phone. She wants to play in your orchestra but she cannot reach
you. Your guestbook is one-sided.
Andre: O, she can write into the guestbook, we’ll see it. Or she can write to me. The mailman
knows the address. Andre Rieu, Maastricht will do.
Daycare for future musicians?