Gary Bennet, tenor (Platin tenors)
I am the most southern member of the entire orchestra, since I hail from Tasmania (Australia).
Béla Mavrák tenor (Platin Tenors)
André made possible for me to sing into the hearts of millions of people. That's why I am very grateful to
Eric Reddet, tenor (Platin Tenors)
I have only been singing with André for just this year, but I was immediately warmly accepted in the lap of
the "Johann Strauss family" and I feel more comfortable there than I have ever felt at other concerts.
Nathalie Bolle, flute
I am a passionate collector of gems and minerals from the entire world. They are wonderful memories of the
many countries in which I performed with André.
Franco Vulcano, double base.
Even though it sometimes hurts for a while to be away from my family, it still is a great joy for me to be able
to perform with André and the wonderful JSO and to see how we give so many people joy, happiness and
cheerfulness every evening.
Many people, thanks to their parents, make a career, but despite his father he turned out to be a Waltz King.
In 1825 a genius was born in Vienna: Johann Strauss.
His father, also named Johann Strauss, is a musician and the Emperor's court ball leader and would have
preferred a job for his son as a banker. Secretly the son took violin lessons.
Ten days before his 19th birthday Johann Strauss junior gave his first concert and was very successful. The
music city of Vienna had a new star. Soon the son outperformed his diligent father.
As a youngster he did jail time because of his revolutionary sympathies.
After that a dream career and appointed as the emperor's manager of court ball music.
Three marriages, no children.
In 1886 he gave up his Austrian nationality, and became a citizen of the Duchy of Sachsen-Coburg and
Gotha, which is German.
At the age of 73 he dies of a lung infection, while he was composing.
Many of his works (1 opera, 15 operettas, one Ballet, about 500 Waltzes, Polkas, Marches and Quadrilles)
are there for eternity, just like “Die Fledermaus” (the Bat), “Der Zigeunerbaron” (the Gypsy Baron), “Eine
Nacht in Venedig” (a night in Venice), or “Wiener Blut” (Viennese blood).
But the most famous one is "An der schönen Blauen Donau" (the Blue Danube),
a Danube waltz which was performed for the first time in 1867 an is today still a world hit.
The little André.
Here a world star grows up.
He has three sisters, two brothers and a father who is a conductor.
His parents had just moved with their two daughters from Amsterdam to Maastricht,
there he came into the world on October 1, 1949 at 8.45 PM.
André Léon Marie Nicholas Rieu, the first born son, named after his father André senior,
a famous conductor. The middle names given him were names from three saints,
because his father was deeply religious.
After André, his parents had two more sons and one daughter. All children had to play music at home.
André received his first violin lesson at the age of 5. Even as a youngster he only knew classical music like
Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn. He was not even aware that bands like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones
caused a musical revolution worldwide. From the very beginning his musical life was dedicated to the violin.
With the pictures above:
Father André with four of his children: Cilia, Teresia, André and Robert.
A chubby cherub: André with his older sisters Teresia (left) and Cilia (right).
Andre Léon Marie Nicholas, at the age of 5.
1954: Little André received his first violin at the age
of 5. Shortly thereafter his father took him to a
concert for the first time.
1968: As a student he perfected his violin playing at
the music academies of Liège and Maastricht, under
tutelage amongst others by Jo Juda and Herman
1978: The establishment of the Maastricht Salon
Orchestra. It made Rieu well-known in the
Netherlands, Belgium and Germany.
1987: The Johann Strauss Orchestra is his biggest
success. He is celebrated as a star all across the
world and sells millions of records.
THE RED SOFA.
The red sofa is always with him.
Seventeen years ago André slept very well on such a
red sofa in Mannheim (Germany).
So he had four of them copied and built. One of them
travels with him on every tour.
"I can sleep anywhere, any time. A nap in between
and I am fit again".
The Waltz King's royal court.
Without them, nothing works!
Chefs, doctors, wardrobe personnel, stage technicians: this crew is responsible for the good taste, the
well-being, and the perfect performance.
Maurice Verbeek and his team make the stage shine in the most beautiful colors.
Dr Ruud Gransier is his personal coach.
Dr Peter de Beer accompanies them on all tours.
Agnieska Smiech and Gosha Tarnowski are responsible for the costumes of the artists.
Sjoerd van Dijck is "wherever else André is".
Mario, Bert, and Toine erect the stage and take care of the decorations.
This duo controls the technical challenges in each venue.
Engineer Wim van der Molen and his crew are responsible for the perfect sound.
Even the smallest flute sounds big.
For 15 years Frans Neus has managed the company's operational processes as "Chief Operating Officer"
Youri Wystyrk is responsible for Rieu's valuable Stradivari violin.
Director Michel Fizzano is responsible for the video images. With a camera crew of 4 people he puts the
brilliant images on the big screens.
Under the direction of Michel Fizzano this quartet is responsible for the brilliant images on the big screens.
These three people are responsible for the hanging installations, e.g. the big screens.
Michel Fizzano and his camera crew
Wim van der Molen
and his sound crew.
Left: The phone connection to the family
The hair-do not yet!
Below: Photos in André’s violin case:
his twin granddaughters.
For fun he put them on
Click here to go to Bild Stars Magazine, Page 4.