How mobile is...  Andre Rieu?
                                                                   "De Kampioen"  
                                             Interviewer Job Ligteringen   Translation Sonja   

                                       Name                        Andre Leon Nicolas Rieu
                                      Profession                 Musician
                                      Marital status             Married to Marjorie
                                      Children                    Two sons.  Marc and Pierre                                    
                  Favorite vacation destination                At home
                                      Car                             Mercedes 600

Violinist André Rieu plays on a 17e-century Stradivarius.  He performs 100 to 120 concerts a
year and is continuously on the road with his valuable instrument

What is the value of your Stradivarius?
A great deal!

Are you not afraid she will be stolen?
Yes, and therefore I have guards with me who look after my violin.

Is that not excessive?
No, it is bitter necessity.  The Netherlands is still a fairly safe little country, but don't talk to me about
the South of France.  In Marseilles if you don't watch it, they will steal the clothes of your back.  And in
America it is even worse.  (Depends on where you are in America, or for that matter where you are in
Holland!!!   Sonja)

In which countries have you performed your concerts?
In all Western-European countries,  in all the States of the USA and in Japan.

What mode of transportation do you choose when you travel with your orchestra?
When we have to travel further than 450 kilometers (270 miles) we go by plane, for
shorter distances we take our touring buses, also known as the Strauss-mobiles.

Consequently you sit for hours in a miserable bus?
Yes, but it is not as bad as it sounds.  I had extremely comfortable chairs installed.  When you put
them in the lounge position, not only does the back of the seat recline, but the  seat part does too.  
Therefore you do not have the feeling that you constantly slide out of  them.  They really sit perfectly.

So you arrive rested?
Well, not exactly.  It remains tiring.  Go and ride in a bus for four and a half hours.

What do you then do to get back into condition?  Stretch exercises?
No, we do those in the morning.  We have a bus which is equipped as a gym with us..
It has exercise bikes, treadmills, weight machines and a rowing machine. We park this bus by the
hotel, so everyone who wants to can exercise.

That is rather extravagant!
I don't think so.  I want my people to stay healthy.   For that reason we also bring our own cooks.

To prevent unhealthy fast food?
Exactly, they take care of a responsible healthy meal. And we just eat those in our buses.

What happened before you did that?
Before we brought our caterers we would eat in restaurants.  But no matter where we came, the chef
cook always thought: Andre Rieu?   Let's surprise him with a Wiener schnitzel!!! In the end we could
not stand the sight of another Schnitzel.   The main reason that we now take our own cooks was that
our whole orchestra became sick because we all had eaten spoiled food.

Did you give the concert anyway?
Yes, including belly cramps and darting away.  That was quite a wretched state of affairs..

You own two airplanes?
Yes, a Citation Jet (seats about eight passengers) and a Fokker 27 (seats about 50). I use the
Citation when I have to travel to Paris or Hamburg for promotional Business we use the Fokker when
we travel with the whole orchestra.

Two years ago you were sentenced to a 2500 guilder fine (1250 dollars) and a three months
probationary suspension of your driver's  license, because you were caught driving 230
kilometers. (145 miles)  The media made a big deal about it.   Did you think that was justified?
Alas, when you are a celebrity in the Netherlands they will immediately try to tear you down.  But that
is their business.  

Why did you drive so fast?
The highway was completely deserted.  I think it should then be allowed.

The next time you will lose your driver's license?
Therefore I now leave the driving to someone else.  I am not only irritated by the speed limits.  
Nowhere in our country can you drive normally.  I am convinced there is a man in Den Haag (The
Hague) with a drawing compass whose only duty it is to put in as many rotundas and traffic lights as
possible.  When he discovers 100 meters (300 feet) of roadway without any obstacles he changes it
lickety split.

Your fans are used to festive Strauss-music from you.  But on your latest CD Dreaming the
music has mostly melancholy, almost sad numbers?
Yes, I like to take my fans by surprise.  They know my cheerful side and now they get to know an
André Rieu who likes nothing better than cry music.

Is there a number on it that they may later play at your funeral?
No, Then they have to play a merry waltz.