André Rieu: It leaves me cold what critics think about me.
Article by: Yvonne Hob Translation: John/Sonja
Andre Rieu’s eyes well up with emotion when he sees how much work is being done for the premier of his stadium
tour, which commences on 14 December in Toronto. “When I, together with my son Pierre, look at the progress of
the décor, I get tears in my eyes.
This new show, which will also be presented in the Amsterdam ArenA, the 28th of June next year will be so
beautiful. Two ice rinks, a dazzling lightshow, many chandeliers, white horses from Vienna and even a debutants
ball will be imitated”. With the Andre Rieu World Stadium Tour—A Romantic Night in Vienna—the Maastricht
citizen hopes to bewitch the public again. He has the urgency to always achieve something and face challenges.
Is there ever time for relaxation? “I relax when I am working, day or night, away or at home. I can not sit still, always
think in music. It is the same when I am at home in Maastricht. My wife, Marjorie, knows it and understands. With
her I can share everything, discuss all my thoughts and problems. We have been married for thirty-three years, and
still have a lot to talk about. We understand each other, even without saying anything. And if I say something, most
of the time I already know her response. That gives you a certain serenity and a very nice feeling. Together we grew
to where we are now. Just the feeling of sharing with one another, gives you energy. If the home front had not
been as cooperative as it was, I would never have achieved this. You do it together, even though it is not always
visible to the outside world. I know it, and Marjorie knows it, and that is what counts”.
Put your shoulders under it.
The, in the meantime world famous, violinist and orchestra leader, knows that he sometimes can be opinionated and
stubborn. “But my employees know me thru and thru. They know that I will do anything to make things better for
them. Sometimes I tell them that I think so far in the future, to ensure that they will still be able to pay their mortgage
thirty years from now. I do not want to know anything at all about work councils and unions. With union meetings,
there normally is a lot of lackadaisical talk with very few results. I can not and will not work that way. Come on, put
your shoulders under it and get busy.
I am a perfectionist, always have been. With me, it has to be done correctly, otherwise do not bother. That I
sometimes can drive people to despair, I understand. I try to have the best for my people, and have the best in my
people surface. After a concert, we always eat together, sit around and talk, relax and just be together”.
It leaves me cold
Despite his world wide success, there sometimes is criticism about the manner in which André presents classical
music to the people. “In my own way I try to amuse the people with classical music; nothing wrong with that, is it?”
“The people appreciate it, look and see how they react. It leaves me cold what those so-called critics of classical
music think of it.
Even my father, whom I always respected, could not always appreciate my music. He
never shared in my big success, and I do not think that he was waiting for my music.
He was not an easy individual and lived for classical music, was an exceptional
musician with an enormous talent. Of course I inherited that from him. It is in the
genes. My two brothers and three sisters are all musically inclined. But the musical
interest of my father—he was a Wagner person—did not agree with my musical
interests. I only played one year with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra under his
leadership. That was not the best time for me; me, the son of director ANTONIE RIEU,
the big leader of the orchestra, who was definitely not loved by every one and did not
make life easy either. He did come and watch me perform once, but really pleased,
he was not. I never received his approval. Oh well, you can dream about how he would have liked it now, but that
does not help. I live now, in the present, and that is what really counts”.
Andre Rieu SR