Danish TV2 news item Broadcast: January 22, 2016.
Denmark and Sweden are on André’s tour schedule in April 2016. That’s why he received a Danish TV2 team to his castle in Maastricht. The item was broadcast on Danish TV on January 22, 2016. Ineke translated the accompanying article from Danish to English, with the assistance of Anne and John. Anne Buch, is from Denmark, but she lives in Sweden now. Thanks friends!
January 22, 2016. News item broadcast by Danish TV2 channel. “Follow your dream”, says the Maestro in an interview at his castle in Maastricht, to the Danish camera crew.
The world's most romantic millionaire: The dream became a nightmare. André Rieu calls himself the world's most romantic millionaire. Accordingly, he does not use his fortune on cars and shares.He buys castles and old Stradivari violins to make his dreams come true. Sometimes a little too real. Virtually all dreams come true for the 66-year-old violinist, conductor and composer. He is called "the Waltz King" and is the closest to a pop megastar in the classical music world.He has sold over 35 million albums and DVDs and received 411 platinum records. He has his own orchestra/crew, which consists of 100 members and is the largest privately owned classical orchestra in the world. He owns a large recording studio and built a kindergarten for his musicians' children. And he lives in a castle dated from 1452 in the Dutch city of Maastricht."It was here, that I was forced to take piano lessons when I was six years old. I hated it. The teacher was a bitch", says André Rieu, who invited the Danish TV2 team into his castle. At that time the castle was cold and dilapidated. Now he has taken revenge on his former teacher and purchased and renovated it for an unknown but very large amount. But if his first castle was a dream come true, his next became a nightmare. It began with a huge concert in front of the Austrian castle Schönbrunn in Vienna with dancers and horses and everything that belongs to a real Viennese party. He was so inspired by the magnificent backdrop that he had a wild dream."I told my son that we would build a replica of the castle and take it along on the world tour. That was stupid. The start of the tour was a huge success. The Schönbrunn copy was moved from country to country, but in Australia the party came to an end. My bank called. There was an overdraft of 36 million euros (about 250 million Danish crowns). I went home and met with them. They wanted to declare me bankrupt, but fortunately the bank manager stopped them and allowed me to continue to play in order to raise the money. The deficit turned into a surplus.In the next year André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra played no less than 300 concerts, without the Schönbrunn copy. And then, the deficit turned into a surplus. Now the famous castle is stored in containers, waiting perhaps for a new romantic destiny. André Rieu has no plans to use it again, but he does not regret the dream that nearly cost him everything. "Touring with Schönbrunn gave so much publicity, it's been worth every penny", he said.In April 2016, André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra will be performing in Herning, Odense and Copenhagen (Denmark). As always, his Stradivarius violin from 1732 will be with him. And he is far from running out of dreams. "I would like to find a Stradivarius from 1700. It will cost three times as much. And then I will play the first concert ever on the moon", he says. And he means it. The project has already been discussed with billionaire Richard Branson, who has high-flying plans for a hotel and charter trips to the moon.
An interview with André Rieu in two Danish newspapers: "Berlingske Tidende" and in the local daily newspaper in Southern Denmark: "Jydske Vestkysten", on Jan. 24, 2016. The headline says: "Mother’s wish: Another André", referring to the situation, that André`s parents have never been satisfied with his kind of performing classical music.
Scan by Torben Esbensen. Translation by Anne Buch, edited by John de Jong. Thanks friends! Mother’s wish: Another  André.   André Rieu went bankrupt with a debt of 194 million Danish Kroner, but turned the debt into a surplus within one single year. However, his parents were not happy with his style of making music; he should rather turn his violin playing into something decent, they said.   It has never been a secret: André Rieu went down with a bang in 2007 - and he had it coming! The entertainer went on tour with his 47 persons big orchestra. For the concerts he had created a gigantic copy of Vienna's beautiful Schönbrunn Castle. The Dutch violinist had spent around 250 million Danish Kroner for this fantastic project. He created a ballroom of 300 square meters and a stage 125 m wide. 100 technicians traveled with him and erected it in only one week. But things went wrong - really wrong. The tour ended as one of the biggest catastrophes in modern music culture. And when it was over, André Rieu looked like a broken man.   "The people from the bank sat here at my table", he says. "They came to me and my wife's home. All of them came here, it was so awful!" He tells the history very quietly and without any gestures. Just like businessmen do, who know the game. But he survived! "Yes, they wanted it all... They even wanted to take my violin. Suddenly the manager of the bank spoke and the situation changed in a split second. Everybody else just sat there and looked flabbergasted. The manager told me that I could keep my violin and go on for another year, as if nothing had happened. He really believed in me. And he knew it was the only way for the bank to receive back the enormous loss".   André played like no other in the next months. The now 66 year old entertainer gave more than 200 concerts within one year. Thousands of listeners enjoyed his program of twenty light classical pieces, plus ten additional encore numbers. Music lovers worldwide enjoy the stand alone violinist André Rieu in front of his orchestra. All feeling good and in beautiful colorful ball gowns. They played like nothing had happened. The Dutch show musician came out with an excess of funds. In no time he succeeded and he did not have a debt anymore. Today he lives in a castle in the Dutch city of Maastricht. In 1673 no one other than d'Artagnan, aka the fourth Musketeer, ate his last meal in this house. André Rieu bought the house in a dilapidated state. He had the castle renovated in the original style. Stucco, marble and many meters of gold leaf, flanked by modern stuff such as flat screens and a painting of the New York Skyline. He has even built a small Orangerie (greenhouse) with hummingbirds. He owns the land and the modern house in front of his castle. Here he escapes the crowds during the summer.   There is also a rapidly built studio in Maastricht's industrial area. André Rieu's musicians are employed full time and must be available within one days' notice. They rehearse his shows and record various waltzes, marches and Operetta music on CD. "Many of the musicians have been with me for over twenty years, they know what I want to hear", he says. “If they only make music for the money, they have no future in the orchestra! Many of them are married to each other. Actually there are 11 couples in the orchestra/crew”. Therefore André Rieu created a nursery for the children of the couples, next to the studios. A couple of enormous warehouses on the other side of the street, provide the space to store all the important contents of the numerous boxes for the orchestra and the soloist's evening wear.   But if you see him as a pioneer of an enjoyable music show, you are wrong. The goal to his comeback is not to persuade people by mouth..... "I make all my programs with my heart - even if it sounds like a cliché", he says. "When I'm on stage, it's about contact with the audience. I never play the music people like, I play the music I like myself. But I also take my role as entertainer seriously. Everyone performing on stage is an entertainer in some sense. Even if I played a Jean Sibelius violin concert, I would still be an entertainer. Any kind of musical performance is ultimately about contact with the audience, it's about being there for the people.   André Rieu probably does not need to play his violin so much anymore, but still conducts his orchestra every day and also plays the violin. He loves the close contact with his instrument and the vibrations he feels against his body. "I am really happy that I don't play the piano", he says.   If you hate him, you call his show the sweetest most satiny of the worst kind. If you love him, you go quietly about, if at least you belong to the more creative class.   A French TV crew once did an experiment, not so long ago. People in front of the Salle Pleyel (concert building) in Paris were asked to listen to one of his CD's. All of them said "Ooh" and "Wonderful" and so on. But when they found out it was him, they were embarrassed, and made funny faces. Over and over! He has become a multimillionaire for the second time. The violinist can call himself one of the most well- known music names in the world today. At least 100 times a year André Rieu pleases millions and he enjoys seeing a full hall of people which are so moved that they cry. But he also knows the criticism of the big show very well, which to him are like bad memories. And he knows that from a side which obviously has really hurt him. His parents have never ever liked his style. They considered his shows a waste of talent and good violin play. "My father was a conductor and very often brought me to his workplace. I really did not like it! The atmosphere was stiff and snobby! When Dad played Johann Strauss as an encore, then I could see the people lighten up and smile. They seemed so different and more present at that moment. So when I was starting my own career, Strauss was an obvious choice".   Then what happened next? "My parents thought it was a mistake! I was suddenly not good enough in their eyes. The relationship was hard at that point and now I feel even harder. My father is dead, but I still have my mother and she would rather have another boy"!   Is that really true? "I can assure you it is really true! She did not like for me to use my violin skills to something like this. My father felt the same, and that is something I just have to live with"!   The copy of The Schönbrunn Castle was dismantled a long time ago and lays here and there in one of the huge warehouses. André Rieu has raised himself up from the music world's biggest fall and has kept his Stradivarius violin from 1732. An instrument worth 23 million Danish Kroner. But André, why don't you have one of the expensive ones? "That's a good question. A violin from Stradivarius' Golden Era would now cost 3 times as much. And you do know that I have 200 people in my employ. I would not dare to tie myself to such an expensive violin. However, who knows what the future will bring"?
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