AREN'T THEY JEALOUS IN MAASTRICHT?
No, why? They know that I love Maastricht very much. There are my roots and I'll always stay there.
WHAT DO YOU REMEMBER FROM YOUR FIRST TIME IN NEW YORK?
That's a long time ago. I was there with someone from the record company, who was very impressed by the skyscrapers. Not me. I just thought all was "sjiek" (cool), as we say in Limburg when we like something. I immediately felt totally home.
WHAT IS YOUR MOST BEAUTIFUL MOMENT IN NEW YORK?
That of course was my performance in 2006 in the Radio City Music Hall. Many of the biggest stars on earth have performed there. Really exciting! It was a dream to perform there and have success.
WASN'T IT DIFFICULT TO RENT SUCH A FAMOUS HALL?
No, that is the great thing of New York! Anyone can rent the hall, even the local roller skating club, as long as you pay for it. And that is very, very much money!
Actually, you do not really make much with it, but there is other compensation for it
YOU ARE ALSO INVOLVED WITH THE CITY; YOU PLAYED ON GROUND ZERO.
That was four weeks after the attacks. I walked to Ground Zero, unpacked my violin and I played. I felt I had to do that. Later I composed a special number together with my brother Jean Philippe: Lost Heroes.
EUROPE, JAPAN, AUSTRALIA, AMERICA. HOW OFTEN DO YOU TRAVEL?
We tour at least 120 days a year, with the Johann Strauss Orchestra. That is why it is important that everyone feels fine on tour. Here in the States we tour around with our own three buses. (License plates: Rieu 1, 2 and 3. Red). You can lie down in them, connect your laptop, play games.
IS THERE ANY DIFFERENCE BETWEEN THE PUBLIC IN MAASTRICHT AND NEW
Not at all. Not even a little bit. Where ever in the world the public comes for the same reason: a while to forget the worries and have a joyful evening. I give that by playing music, my show, my enthusiasm. That's how I create a bond with my audience. My big example is Toon Hermans (a Dutch entertainer and comedian, already passed away) who could do that like no one else.
IT SEEMS TO BE ONE BIG DREAM.
Yes, I am living my own dream. One of my secrets is to learn to listen to what other people want to hear. I present classical music to people, in my way. "My way", yes, Frank Sinatra. I played it in the Radio City Music Hall concert. I'll never forget that. Neither does the audience. They went crazy!
DO YOU STILL HAVE DREAMS?
Sure! I am almost 60 and I want to become 120. So I will keep going. I'd like to perform in South America and to give a concert underneath the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin.
But the best will come next summer! A concert on the ice of the North Pole! We'll go there on two ice breakers with an audience of 100 persons. We'll make music there in the middle of nowhere.
DUE TO ALL OF THAT, WON'T YOU FORGET THE NETHERLANDS A BIT?
O, no, never. We have a lot of performances this year. Have a look on our website. The Vrijthof in Maastricht, the Amsterdam ArenA, Gelredome in Arnhem, Thialf in Heerenveen. And the rest of the time I love to be home in my Maastricht.
FIVE TIPS BY ANDRÉ.
1. Chrysler Building.
Wonderful skyscraper with top of stainless steel. Here is our New York Office.
2. Radio City Music Hall.
For me: the moment of success in New York. If you are there, look who is performing and join a concert.
3. Central Park.
Here the New York citizens meet. I'd love to perform there some day.
4. Grand Central Terminal.
This station is the monumental heart of trains and metros in Manhattan. The backdrop in many film classics. In the metro you see a cross section of the New Yorkers.
5. Brooklyn Bridge.
Wonderful to walk in the wind, far above the water of the Hudson and a great view on Manhattan.
Translation by Ineke/Sonja
Translation may not be re-used without permission.
An interview with André Rieu in the August 2009 edition of the Dutch Automobile Organization magazine.
MY NEW YORK
NEW YORK is like Andre Rieu:
everything is possible and everyone is living together with everyone. Of course Maastricht will stay his number one favorite, but the Big Apple is a close second.
Is the NY public different than the Maastricht public?
"Everyone comes to have a nice evening".
WHY NEW YORK?
When I arrive here, it is like coming home. It is a city where everyone lives together next to everyone, where everything is possible and allowed.
That is exactly the way I think and do.
People here are 50 years ahead in mentality. I always say: "I don't ever want to move from Maastricht, except for New York".
Second home for André Rieu