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Bild Stars Magazine (1) December 2015
André Rieu, the waltz King. FINAL CHORD. DID YOU KNOW THAT....... he earned his first money during a holiday in France as a gas/service station attendant? in the earlier days he had a fitness bus on tour in which he and the orchestra members could work out? at 26 he planned on opening a pizzeria and the most expensive pizza would be the Pizza Paganini? he would love to perform just once with Bruce Springsteen? as a student he smoked 60 Gauloises (French cigarettes) a day, but at the age of 25 ground out a half smoked cigarette and never smoked again? as a youngster he only wore Hippie shirts and purchased a gray suit for his first performance? he tunes the instruments with each member of his orchestra before each concert? at the age of 24 he lived six months in Rio de Janeiro? as a child he played violin, piano, recorder and oboe, and all his brothers and sisters were also taught to play several instruments? he knows seven languages: Dutch, English, German, French, Italian, Latin and Greek? as a child he had two dogs, a parrot, a pigeon, fish, lizard, salamander, frog and a snake? he took a few flying lessons because he wanted to know how to land a plane? he can press 340 kilos on a fitness bench with his legs? he could build a house by himself, and would only need an electrician for the electricity? he once had his own tennis court in his storage hall, where he played tennis every morning? as a student he was a model for pants/slacks, but he rejected an offer to pose in the nude? and that his biggest dream is to perform a concert on the moon?
In the HARMONY PARLOR, From Bild Stars Magazine Chapter 3: “His Family”: Son Pierre, the manager. He is the most important man at his father’s side and he has a very remarkable hobby. Click HERE, or on the picture to go to the Harmony Parlor to read this interview with Pierre Rieu. Photo: Govert de Roos.
In the HARMONY PARLOR: From Bild Stars Chapter 3: “His Family”. Marc Rieu, the painter. Click HERE, or on the picture to go to the Harmony Parlor to read the interview with Marc Rieu
In the HARMONY PARLOR: From Bild Stars Chapter 3: “His Family”. Wife Marjorie: the soul. Marjorie Rieu makes an exception and talks to Bild Stars. (The big Marjorie interview) Click HERE, or on the picture, to go to the Harmony Parlor to read this chapter.
In the HARMONY PARLOR:   From Bild Stars Chapter 1: ”His World”: (the big André interview) André Rieu, his castle, his family happiness and his secrets. Click HERE or on the picture to read this chapter in the Harmony Parlor.
Bild Stars Chapter 2: “His Music”: The melody of perfection. Ode to the Boss. For the first time all the musicians from the Johann Strauss Orchestra speak. Read their declaration of love to the Maestro, to the Waltz and to the life in three quarter time. Because only a few sound studios comply with his expected quality desire, the Maestro dreamed of his own recording studio at the start of his career. "I never wanted to be dependent on others". 15 years ago André Rieu, who in the meantime was raised to a Waltz star, afforded himself his first sound studio in Maastricht. Head of the studio Martijn Volleberg, a skilled cameraman, remembers: "In the beginning everything was very modest. We were located in a big Tennis hall. One of the employees had his desk in a former freezer cabinet. Only the studio equipment was first class. But we all had the feeling that we were at the start of something great, something which would amaze everyone". During the course of  the years André gained more fame in all the continents. His company invested in a new sound studio, which belonged to the biggest and was the first in Europe. André Rieu: "My studio is located just a few minutes by car from my castle, which is a gigantic advantage". His head of the studio: "It can happen that André suddenly gets an idea and would want to try and carry it out with us immediately. That's why we cannot rent out the studio, despite the many requests we receive". The Rieu studio is a huge hall, which has been planned out into the smallest acoustical  detail. We apparatus here worth in the millions. Martijn Volleberg: "Many studios are like musty dark rooms. André's studio is bright, has big windows, full day light and a super modern air conditioning system. In other studios the air conditioning has to be switched off during recordings, because it is so loud. Not with us. Thanks to the Hightech Systems we still have fresh air when 60 musicians are rehearsing together for many hours". Eleven employees work in the studio to provide the perfect sound and the round sound mix. They record with André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra (called the JSO for short), all CDs, produce TV specials and promotional clips, and produce covers and Tour flyers. The DVD cuts/mixture are a top priority. André Rieu examines all the film material. The live concerts for the DVDs are recorded with 27 cameras, of which half will capture the reactions and emotions of the public.
Kremi Mineva, concert Mistress. “André was born with a mission. he wants to change the world, by making people happier with music. I enjoy having had the opportunity to join this mission”. Manoe Konings, clarinet, saxophone, bagpipe, singing,  guitar, mandolin, whistling, dancing, rumba balls and whatever else is expected from her. “I have murderous fun every evening. I would not like to change my job for all the money in the world”. Laura Engel, soprano. “To be allowed to perform with André and the JSO fills me with pride”.
Frank Steijns, violin and more. “One day after my final exams I started with André's as a violinist. In the meantime I work with him as a composer, arranger, piano player, carillon player, photographer and website host. So half way through my life, André has been my entire life”. Mirusia Louwerse, soprano. “I see André as my Mentor. I have to thank him for unbelievable much and I hope to perform with him for a very long time to come”. Donij van Doorn, soprano. “It is  a great privilege to stand night after night besides such a distinguished artist like André, and be able to touch so many spectators”.
The Maestro leaves nothing to chance. André describes himself as a control freak, or formulated in more positive terms: a high quality inspector. That probably explains why he climbed to the place of the most successful violinist of the world, selling 40 million CDs and DVDs. Countless music awards, golden and platinum records hang on the walls in the studio and the castle. He is particularly proud of one award: in 2010 the André Rieu Productions Company was elected in the Netherlands as the "Media Company of the Year". Head of the studio: "André is a good boss, who speaks clearly. I also understand him as to say when he speaks "between the lines". He has a vision and thus gains respect and admiration. André does not come from the TV world and he often comes with suggestions, which I have to think about. Then I wonder if his suggestion really makes sense, and what he imagines. The I think back and understand that he is right. TV- people like me have grown-up in the TV world and we think too often in predetermined tracks”.
Karin Hinze, cello “To travel with André around the world and to make people happy with music, is for me personally a small contribution to an understanding of making peace”. Ward Vlasveld, synthesizer “Even after 23 years I am still crazy about Strauss; on stage as well as working in the studio”. Madieke Schoots, choir “To sing with André is a big party, every day anew”. Judith Luesink, choir. “André asks much, without pressuring. He is a fantastic music teacher with the patience of an angel. Like a family father, he shares everything with us. We stay in the same luxury hotels, we eat together, we drink the same wine”.
Click HERE to go to Bild Stars Magazine, page 2.
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