Dutch TV program 28 October, 2005
Host Peter van der Forst
Translation: Ineke Cornelissen /Sonja
Millions of people love André Rieu. He is our most important export product abroad. He has built a
huge emporium. He showed it to me when I went to see him in his castle in Maastricht.
(Peter standing in front of the gate before the castle)
On a rainy day I traveled to the southern part of out country, to Maastricht. Here lives the King of the
Waltz in this lovely castle called “The little Towers”. I have heard that he does not like to be called 'The
King of the Waltz', so I’ll not mention that name in the interview. He sold more than 20 million CD’s
worldwide. He has lots of success and he knows how to touch the hearts of his fans. There he comes!
(André is coming down a few steps from his garden, under an umbrella for it is raining, and he opens
Andre: Hello Peter, welcome, come in.
Well, lord of the castle, how is it to live in a castle?
Andre: Very nice! I always wanted to live in a castle. When I was young, I loved to read the strip books
“Kuifje” . They lived in a castle and I thought: That would be so nice!
You earned it all by yourself, by making music.
Andre: That’s true.
How was it before you got famous and successful?
Andre: We had no money at all. We lived a poor musicians life. Working hard, earning nothing.
(Peter in general to the viewers)
Now André Rieu is doing very well. He is not so often in Holland. To get out of the expenses, he has to
perform in concert halls that hold at least 7000 persons and those are mainly abroad. Everywhere he is
successful. In Italy they do the polonaise to his music, in Japan they swing on the “Smurfenlied”,
in the USA he recently became nr. 1 on the classical charts. But the disadvantage
of having international success is not being home in Maastricht very often.
Andre: We have been married for 31 years. I think the secret of a good marriage is
that we are not always together.
How often are you on tour?
Andre: Half of the year.
Do you contact home often?
Andre: Yes, of course, every day. He have extremely high telephone bills.
Being abroad, do you miss her?
Andre: Yes, what do you think? That’s why I always dreamt about having my own orchestra. I hate to be
You win a lot of prices but the rumors and critics go on that that you should dishonor the
(Peter and André are having coffee and “vlaai”, (click for more info) and they drink their coffee from the
cups with violin design, which are for sale in André’s boutique).
Andre: I never pretended to play heavy classical music. With some people I seem to evoke fury. But lots
of other people love my music. Some people even call me an emetic.
That’s not nice.
Andre: No, but it is not my problem. They have to vomit, not me!
(both are laughing and Peter says “Let’s eat our vlaai now”!).
Peter in general to the viewers (showing the same film clip again):
André Rieu built up an enormous emporium. 120 employees, of which 70 on tour, of which 50
orchestra members. 14 trucks, 7 busses, 2 planes, his own catering service.
I do not know of any World Star who has that!! But you have got it!
Andre: Well, the planes are very useful, as we have to move quickly from one country to another.
Concerning the catering: When we started a couple of years ago, we still played in theaters in Holland.
Restaurant owners thought: André is coming, we’ll serve Wiener Schnitzel. The next day again, and the
next day again, so we ate Wiener Schnitzel the whole week! That was when we decided: we will do it
Peter in general:
Close to his home he built his own Studio.
Here he makes up his own CD’s and DVD’s. Andre: Yes, we are doing everything ourselves.
Everything is ready to use. We can do the recording any time we want, for instance tomorrow we can
start immediately. We do it for the fans. Everything for the fans.
Some people said to me: Don’t you hate it when the audience starts to clap their hands when you are
playing the Radetzky March? No, not al all! I like to see them react.
I love that. When Strauss composed his waltzes, he wanted people to stand up and dance.
Success also has a bad side. Recently there was an attempt by Polish men to kidnap you.
Andre: Yes, that was a nasty experience. That were people with wrong intentions. That is not nice.
Fortunately it turned out well.
You don’t like to talk about it is n’t it?
No better not. The saying is: Don’t awaken sleeping dogs. Recently it happened again to someone else.
It can always happen.
Do you have security?
Andre: Yes, I am a realist. After the attempt we took measures for security.
But I don’t see any bodyguards.
AR: They are not here.
On our request André went to get his famous Stradivarius.
A typical Dutch question: How much was it?
Andre: A lot!
I heard about a million. But what? Dutch guilders, Euros, German Marks, Dollars?
Andre: English pounds!
Do you keep the violin in a safe?
Andre: No, some people keep such an instrument in an airtight or damp proof area, but I just play on it!
Can I touch it for a moment? It belongs in a museum! (Peter touches a string).
Andre: No, wait a minute, that string is about € 2,50. (Now Peter touches the wood of the violin).
Andre: Yes, that is better, now you did it.
You’ve been called the King of the Waltz, but I think you don’t like that, is that true?
AR: Oh, I can live with that nickname (and he starts to play the violin: the Second Waltz).
Both are whistling the melody. Peter cannot whistle that well, and he says it is because there is still
“vlaai” in his mouth.
Thank you André for this interview. I loved looking around here and touching the violin.
In general: A very special man, that André Rieu. Next year 2006, there is only one performance in the
Netherlands. On July 15th in Maastricht. If you want to see him life in Holland, this is your only chance!
Kuifje is a Dutch strip
cartoon. He is also
known as Tin Tin
The Smurf song was written
by Father Abraham who
also wrote; 'Het kleine cafe'