André Rieu is in a league of his own. The flamboyant Dutch violinist has lost
count of how many CDs and DVDs he's sold (27 million and rising), and he
has women around the world swooning over his every note.
Now, 19 albums later, the man called the Modern King of Waltz is set to tour
Australia in a theatrical extravaganza to rival any mainstream pop concert.
Do you feel you live somewhat of a rock-star lifestyle?
It's a lifestyle, it's a way of making music my way. I want to open the door for
classical music for large audiences. A lot of people are afraid to go to the
classical halls so I said okay, we will go to a football stadium and play there.
Who are your fans mostly?
My fans are everybody; all educations and all ages. It's nice.
Do you have an iPod and, if so, what's on it?
Yes, it has all sorts of music. I'm collecting music to see what new programs we can make. I've got a lot of classical
compositions. There are always new things to find.
Even with all your success, are you still challenged by the violin?
When you play violin you have to practise every day. When you are young it's a chore but now I like it. I look forward
to that time alone, when I can retreat with my violin.
It can also be an expensive instrument, is that right?
I have several bows that are worth more than $20,000. Some of them are collectors' items but we use them, we're
violinists. Some collectors, such as the Japanese, keep them in a dark room untouched but I love to use them, to play
them. I always play on my expensive bows.
Have you ever broken one?
I have a broken bow, yes. It was not hugely valuable but at the time it was valuable for me. I insure them now.
Do you feel you were born with a gift for music?
I think I was born with the gift to be on stage and to perform for people.
Do you play other instruments?
No, I only play the violin. It's my love.
Andre's on top of the World, down under.
Australian interview/Thank you, Joy
This interview was continued online.