Bild Stars Magazine (2) December 2015
Continuing pages Bild Stars Chapter 2: “His Music”: The melody of perfection.          Ode to the Boss.
Photos: Lin Jong, Diana Morsinkhof, Tanja Derwahl, Margriet van Lexmond.
Tanja Derwahl, cello André and his JSO: we are absolutely a perfect team on stage. With the slightest gesture by André we know exactly what he expects from us at that very moment.. Margriet van Lexmond, cello Traveling and music, for me the perfect mix. Music makes the world a better place. Kalki Schrijvers, choir. The 12 years in the JSO have just flown by. Now I look forward to my baby. Virgenie Wetzels, choir You can tell when I am singing with the JSO, I have fun. I enjoy the concerts, the traveling around the world, and working together with my husband René (Henket). Nicolle Steins, choir For André every musician is at least just as important as the music. Edith van Rijswijk: choir The music with André and the JSO as well as the reactions of the audience and the many wonderful travels together.… a real delight!!
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. André surprises us often with his unconventional approach. He never thinks inside the box like with pop and classic”. The star, who demands everything from himself, also expects a 100% effort by his employees. Martijn Volleberg: "Whoever takes things too lightly, can really make André angry. That is alright, after all we are playing in the Champions League here. When André criticizes, he never means it personally. His feedback helps the musicians develop themselves in a better way". A cello player says: "André is a very uncomplicated human being and always close to the group. Right from the very first moment, when it was not yet clear at all if I would work for him, he told me to call him by his first name. To audition and play for him only lasts a few minutes. "Then I know if the applicant is suitable in the group. We are a big family", says André Rieu. These words are not exaggerated. There are 13 couples in the orchestra/company. Most of them found employment here. The melody of perfection is the Waltz of Love.
Laurianne Thysebaert and Martine Wijers.
Leon van Wijk, accordion, bass trombone. In the real sense of the word: a World career! Nowhere else could I have had such a career as in André's Johann Strauss Orchestra. Laurianne Thysebaert, violin. The smiles on the audience's faces is for us the biggest reward. Thank you so much! Els Mercken, violin André taught me to play with my heart, without the paralyzing stage fright. The biggest present a musician can wish for. Martine Wijers, violin, piano. I learned a lot from André. I so enjoy making classical music accessible to a huge public, together with the JSO. Jennifer Haas-Kowalski, violin. With André you can be who you are. It is always super fun to be on the road with him and "my second family". Lara Meuleman, violin. I love the positive, enthusiastic response from the audience from all over the world. Gosia Loboda, violin. My return to the Strauss family was the best decision in my life. Nowhere better than at home! Freya Cremers, violin. Between my two passions - cultivating  roses, growing lavender in my garden and the wonderful concerts with André - I have found my balance in life. Vincenzo Viola, violin. For 12 years now I have joined André to mediate in the deepest and most wonderful feelings which only music can bring forth. As a human being and a musician, one can be very grateful that this is given to you.
Lin Jong, violin There is nothing more beautiful! Diana Morsinkhof, violin To make music and travel with André is an unforgettable celebration with dear friends. Agnes Fizzano (Walter), violin The manner in which André works and goes around with us gives us a superstar feeling. Jet Gelens, violin. André's joy for the music, combined with his never ending energy, has given me a super job for 26 years! Every evening I only see happy faces. Boris Goldenblank, violin. I travel the world with my JSO family and that way I get the chance to meet my dear friends and colleagues from earlier Russian times again, who in the meantime also make music all around the world, just like I. Cord Meyer, violin. 15 years ago I learned to know André  at the "Goldenen Eins" in Hamburg, Germany. We immediately liked each other and he invited me to audition for him. I could start in his orchestra the next day. When later on I met the love of my live in his choir (Judith Luesink) and my happiness knew no limits!
Stéphanie Detry, piano, violin. André is a super doctor! The cheerful concert trips freed me from my fear of flying. I now trust myself in a hotel elevator. One disadvantage: I became addicted....... to the concerts! Mireille Brepols, percussion, kettle drums. My school teacher advised me not to study percussion because one cannot find a job with that. Every evening  for 20 years I only see happy people in the audience. I have a dream job! Roger Diederen, trumpet. The highlight of my long-lasting career with André was without a doubt the performance together with my 12 years old son Romano on the Vrijthof in Maastricht, for 10.000 people. Marcel Falize, percussion For over 25 years the "heartbeat" of the orchestra, and very proud that now I am that together with my son. Glenn Falize, percussion. As a little boy I absolutely wanted to follow in my father's footsteps. We are now colleagues. Klaartje Polman, viola. 30 years ago André was a groomsman in my wedding. Now every evening I am a witness to his feasts, while after all these years it still is. Linda Custers, viola. As a child I listened to André's music on the tape recorder every day. To which I conducted an entire puppet orchestra. Today I live in my dream. Joëlle Tonnaer, cello To perform with André and to be a part of this big family is a dream come true for me. For me he means true happiness and passion. Berlin Comedian Harmonists, choir group We are happy and proud that we may join André and his orchestra on world tour and  this way experience our big role models, whose songs still delight big audiences all around the world. Dennis Close: trombone. When André asks the audience if they want to go home, they laugh and shout happily: "No". That means that we too continue to play and are allowed to have an enormous amount of fun on the stage. Ton Maessen, tuba. As a child I dreamed of playing in an orchestra, which traveled far. André made my dream come true. I have played in over 50 countries around the world.
Vera Kool, harpist The best audience in the world; Germany!! Lars Wachelder, horn. The nice thing about music is that you inspire each other. Teun Ramaekers, flute André and I studied together at the conservatory. His concerts are a blessing. Every evening I leave the stage with twice the amount of energy as before the concert. Noël Perdaens, horn. With every concert we experience how wonderful it is to play for people who listen with their hearts. Countless people in the world are grateful to André for that. Hanneke Roggen, cello To travel around the world with André and his orchestra, has broadened my musical and personal horizons. I have been able to celebrated my birthday on all the continents. Ruud Merx, trombone André, the orchestra, the wonderful music, every evening an enthusiastic audience, beautiful journeys around the world. For me a wonderful dream came true.
Sanne Mestrom, saxophone As a little girl I had three passions: André's music, butterflies and princesses dresses. Ten years ago all three of my girls dreams came true at one time. I was allowed to play in his orchestra, in an especially for me designed princesses dress with butterflies. René Henket, trumpet. For 27 years I travel with André around the world. One thing has never changed: André knows what he wants and pushes on; now as well as then. Roland Lafosse, double base. Even after 28 years it is still an honor and a big joy for me to be able to perform with André. Thank you André.
Arthur Cordewener, oboe. It has always been my dream to become a professional musician. When André asked me 18 years ago to join his orchestra, he opened a new world for me. Nadedja Diakoff, viola. At 19 years old I started with the JSO. It taught me so much about life, the people and the music, and it helped me to grow.
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