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Maastricht 2018 Our media appearance
In the past years there always have been some media attention, mainly from local broacast stations and news papers. This year it is all different. André is performing a record number of 13 concerts on the Vrijthof, which attracted attention from the main Dutch broadcast company NOS. For now this resulted in four live radio interviews (two on nation wide radio stations, one on a local station from our hometown The Hague and one on the L1 station from Maastricht) and a main item in the Telegraaf, one of the larger morning newspapers in The Netherlands. Furthermore there was an item in the main NOS nation wide news bulletin of Wednesday July 4th, an item on the local L1 television station and on the website of the AD, another nation wide newspaper. Please see the videos of these bulletins below. We like to thank Sonja Harper (USA) for her assistance with the English translations, while John and Bobbie de Jong are still cruising Europe on vacation.
NOS News, July 4th, main broadcast at 8 PM.
L1 local Limburg news, July 4th.
AD newspaper online, July 6th. Kyle Craft (from California, USA), played the music.
July 5, 2018: Article in the Telegraaf, by Koen Nederhof. Translation by Ineke, edited by John. Photo: Marcel van Hoorn.
Have a look in our hotelroom. The lady of the houskeeping taught me the movements of the Macarena, the light version!
13 concerts on the Vrijthof, Maastricht 75 musicians and choir members on stage 300 people at work behind the scenes 1000 moving lamps light up the Vrijthof 11.000 attendees per night The 850.000th attendee is expected at one of the          concerts this year.          
Married couple from The Hague are André Rieu's most loyal fans. All concerts, first rank. André Rieu not only travels all over the world with his orchestra to treat people to his festive waltzes. In the meantime, and when it is their turn, his fans now come from far and wide to the Vrijthof in Maastricht, the birthplace of the orchestra leader, to attend his concerts. This year there are no less than 13, a record number! Just a day out to André Rieu? Make that three weeks, in the case of Ruud and Ineke Elshout-Cornelissen. All three weeks they are first rank in their hotel room with unobstructed view of the stage. Ineke laughs: "The hotel rates go sky-high when André performs. We are bankrupt after this. And then there are also the tickets for the handful of concerts that they attend on the square. Another  € 109 per ticket." Yet the couple comes here every year. The entire concert series were experienced and viewed from their hotel room on the fifth floor with a clear view of the stage and the atmospherically enlightened square. From start to finish; the couple from The Hague stays in Maastricht for three weeks. The room breathes Rieu: there is a program booklet, a fan scarf, and two Dutch flags are hanging from the window sill. To see everything better, binoculars are ready and a tripod for the camera is also available. We place parts of the video on line the next day, on our fan website andrerieumovies.com. We saw André for the first time in Carré in Amsterdam in the nineties. Afterwards he toured mainly abroad, but in 2004 we bought tickets again for the Roda-JC Stadium concert (DVD: the flying Dutchman). He played for four hours and our jaws dropped, Ineke said. She is still full of it. Since that show they are first rank in Maastricht and they have become a kind of source of information for other fans, says Ruud. Via Facebook they came in contact with other Rieu fans from all over the world. Ineke: "Sometimes we combine a holiday with a visit to them and attend a concert. In Australia we stayed a few days with fan friends, went together to an André concert and next continued our Australia trip with a camper.” She takes a few A4 sheets. An agenda for the coming weeks. Then a "meet and greet", then this guest comes by, than another. Friends and family are more than welcome. "We drink a glass of wine together, very cozy, we have fun. Ruud adds: "In the meantime it has become 40% music and 60% social contacts." Still they have never met André in person. Only some greetings. He keeps his distance and that is okay too. He is the boss of everything that happens. During the sound check on Tuesday he drove around the square in a golf cart. Everything has to be right. In the meantime they know that everything always turns out well. Time and time again. Classical music has to be for everyone. By Esther Kleuver With concerts in 21 countries on 5 continents, 2018 seems to have grown to the most successful year ever for André Rieu. From the beginning it was evident that the in the meantime 68 years old violinist and orchestra leader had found a golden formula. While you barely don't dare to sneeze in traditional classical concerts, Rieu invited his audience to leave their seats and dance to the sounds of (often) Johann Strauss. It quickly bestowed him the title of "King of the Waltz." "Classical music must be for everyone" was his point of view. He wanted to get rid of the serious, often solemn image and tried to lower the threshold. The criticism he received from that, he just let that slide off him. "Together with my musicians I want to bring the humor back into music. Why would you only quietly be able  to enjoy music in a concert hall, where you yourself are afraid to cough…. "After sex, music is the best thing there is" he once told the Telegraaf.  And just that loose approach is what appeals to the world. In 1987 Rieu started to perform with "only" 12 musicians on stage. Last year he celebrated his 30th anniversary with the orchestra, which has grown to about 60 musicians. André Rieu Productions (ARP) has, despite a time that the creative ambitions of the orchestra leader were higher than the financial means, grown into a real empire.
Roughly 80 nationalities will enjoy André Rieu's waltzes in the coming days. Photo: Zulma Casanova comes from Uruguay and Nora Casala comes from Argentina.
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