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Bild Stars Magazine (4) December 2015
March 2016. Now in the Harmony Parlor: The most spectacular stage ever! The Viennese castle replica became a triumph and a nightmare for André Rieu. 20 metric tons of steel were needed to erect the Castle. Wow, what a stage was that! Ruud and I saw it in full size in Toronto in 2007 and later on we saw it erected in the Amsterdam ArenA (a little bit smaller because it was too big for the ArenA). It was amazing!! Read this story, which is the last story from the German Bild Star Magazine. With this last story we have translated and published the entire 100 pages of the Magazine in the Harmony Parlor and the movies website! Click HERE or on the picture to go to the Harmony Parlor to read this article.
Toronto 2007. A group of happy fans in a hotel room with a view on the 20 tons of steel.
The Viennese violin doctor. Like a star it is cared for and protected: André Rieu's violin. Twice a year the Stradivarius goes, under strict safety measures to Vienna in Austria to the German Organization "TUV" (Technical Inspection Association). The legendary Antonio Stradivari (1644-1737), considered as the best luthier of the world, built  around 1000 instruments. Currently one guesses about 300 of his violins are still in existence in Europe, 250 in the USA and 50 in Japan. One of them is being played by André Rieu, who would have paid around 2 million Euro's for the instrument. "I should say: I bought the Stradivari, and it belongs to me. But I don't see it that way. It is such a valuable cultural inheritance, built in 1732. I have to take care of it, so that the next generations can also enjoy her". A reliable employee constantly guards the noble Stradivarius during the tours. Twice a year the first violinist of the Johann Strauss Orchestra, accompanied by a security guard, flies with the valuable string instrument from Maastricht to Vienna. The worldwide demanded German born luthier Marcel Richters (58) performs the TUV technical inspection. "A violin has it tough" says Marcel Richters. "The temperatures on stage are way too high, due to the lighting. Over time the violinist's perspiration damages the wood. And then the violin also travels to exotic places". Marcel Richters, who learned his trade in England and has been a violin maker for almost 40 years, praises the Dutch world star expressly: "Mr. Rieu is very clean, careful and conscientious in handling his Stradivarius. You should know: not every Stradivarius has the same quality. Mr. Stradivari made André Rieu's violin towards the end of his life. This instrument contains all the Master's knowledge and experience. The result is a very special, wonderful sound". When André Rieu's violin is placed on the "operating" table, Marcel Richters touches it with the hands of a surgeon. After an extensive purification process he restrings it with new strings. He loosens the bridge, strings, string holder, fingerboard, fine tuners and chin support. Then the varnish is applied with a tiny brush. Sometimes the violin is with the doctor for weeks . Good strings, bad strings: six years ago André Rieu almost lost his beloved Stradivarius. Back then the violin was seized by the bank, while Rieu was in a financial crisis. "The bank wanted me to sell it. So I placed my Stradivari for sale, but completely overpriced, I am not totally stupid! As soon as I was back in the black again, I removed it from the market".
Marcel Richters (58): The Viennese violin doctor.
ANTONIO STRADIVARI, the man who built the most famous violins in the world. There are still around 600 of his violins worldwide. One would have to pay up to 11 million Euros for one Stradivarius violin. Stradivari was probably born in Northern Italy in 1644 and died on December 18, 1737 in Cremona, Italy. He left behind 11 sons. What are the causes of the magical sounds of his instruments? Several experts develop new theories all the time. Is it the wood? The wood probably came from Venice, from trunks which had been lying in the water for months, sucking up salt and minerals. Or is it the varnish? Stradivari applied two layers. The first one with oil and the second one with oil, pine resin and pigments. Or is it the shape? He carved so long on the smallest details until everything finally met his expectation.
A waltz by Anthony Hopkins. Fifty years ago the Oscar award winner (Silence of the Lambs) wrote a work which the golden-violinist premiered. Very few people know this: the Hollywood star is an educated musician - and loves waltzes. Just like Hannibal Lecter in the movies. (Silence of the Lambs). "I am a great admirer of André Rieu," says Anthony Hopkins. "He fulfilled one of my greatest dreams." Flashback: As a 27 year old, Hopkins (now 77) composed in his English home "And the Waltz goes on". I was never able to listen to my work. When, a few years ago I saw André Rieu on American TV, I thought: "This great musician and his orchestra must play my waltz." Hopkins then called the Maestro. He says that he should send me the scores. André Rieu later: "Anthony's waltz is unbelievable beautiful. Thrilling, romantic and cinematic." In July 2011 he invited Hopkins and his wife Stella to Vienna. In the Belvedere Castle the movie star's waltz is premiered for the first time. Afterwards it receives standing ovations in the jam-packed marble hall. Hopkins is moved to tears.: "When I heard the performance, I could not believe that I had written that."
The Harmony Parlor posted an article from Bild Stars Magazine about the Catering of the JSO/Crew On Tour. Marko Schmidt (a German chef) with his team of five cooks, is responsible for the fresh and healthy food, when on tour. Click on the picture to read the article in the Harmony Parlor.
Click here to go back to page 1 of the Bild Stars articles.
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