On Saturday January 7th we attended the New Year's concert in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. The Ziggo
Dome is a concert hall with a capacity of 17.000 people. 6300 in the field and two tiers higher up and
around. The building is named after the Dutch cable TV provider Ziggo. It is an indoor arena for various
events. This was be the first concert of André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra without their beloved
trombonist Ruud Merx. When they entered I felt a lot of emotions. They were so warmly welcomed by the
audience. I had tears in my eyes and other fan friends assured me that they felt the same way.
André said that this will be a tradition for the next 100 years: every first Saturday in January he will perform
a New Year's concert in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam. The hall is situated outside the city center of
Amsterdam but there is a fast train/metro connection to the city center. Many fans stayed at the JAZ Hotel
Ruud and I arrived by car since we live in The Hague. It's a one hour drive to Amsterdam. For the first time
this winter there was a little bit of snow and icy roads, but the highways were clear. We had purchased a
reserved parking place in advance in the Dome's garage (€ 22). With the ArenA Stadium and the Heineken
Music Hall close by, this area can become very crowded.
André and the JSO performed a perfect show. André established the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 1987, so
in 2017 they celebrate their 30 year jubilee. No reference to the tragedy which had hit them such a short
time ago. The first rehearsal after Ruud's passing had taken place in the studios where the orchestra could
deal with the loss. Today they promised the audience a party of celebrating the 30th anniversary of the
Johann Strauss Orchestra. A program full of beautiful music, entertainment, some joking by André and
Frédéric Jenniges, snow (Hanne Jäger was fully in the snow-zone and regularly on the big screens),
balloons, walking conga lines, dancing and singing. A surprise were the professional waltzing couples from
the Maastricht concerts of 2016. We think there is no better way to heal this way. Also for André and the
orchestra members themselves. Of course Lin was not there yet. I really hope that she will return, whenever
she is ready. She will be in a warm bath surrounded by supporting friends. Léon and Dennis Close played
the trombones. After a long time we saw Judith Luesink in the choir and Cord Meyer in the orchestra. And
Jamie Vinders was added again to the four Falize percussionists, who performed the Bolero. Donij van
Doorn and Anna Majchrzak performed a solo song (My lips kiss like wine and On my own). Anna Reker
joined them with Libiamo (drinking song) and Im Weissen Rössl (White Horse Inn). In the choir we saw:
Judith Meyer-Luesink, Anna Reker, Madieke Schoots, Kalki Schrijver, Virgenie Henket-Wetzels, Karin
The encores consisted of Hallelujah, Falling in Love, and the audience lit up the hall with 17.000 little led
lights. It was amazing to see all those lights…. all over the hall… even up into the highest ring under the
ceiling. So nice, so romantic. As a contrast there was a lot of action with Tutti Frutti and Stéphanie tap
dancing on the piano.
This is the track list:
Seventy six trombones
G'schichten aus dem Wienerwald (Stories from the Viennese Woods). (Frédéric Jenniges)
The Third Man (Frédéric Jenniges)
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz (You are my heart's delight). (Platin tenors)
Da geh' ich zu Maxim (I go to Maxim’s). (Platin Tenors)
Hava Nagila (Manoe Konings)
Het kleine Café aan de haven (The Red Rose Café)
You never walk alone
On my own (Anna Majrchzak)
Sabeltanz (Saber dance)
Meine Lippen sie küssen so heiss (My lips kiss like wine). (Donij van Doorn)
An der schönen blauen Donau (Blue Danube)
We met familiar fans like Torben and Kirsten Esbensen from Denmark, Sally Hodges (UK) Jacqui Schulz
(UK/SA), Kurt Bochner from California USA, Jeanet Heymans from Holland, Hanne from Germany, Sonja
Harper (USA), Bebe Maggiori (UK). Our neighbors on our row were from Switzerland and Austria. Behind us
were people from Israel. When André asked the people where they came from, we heard from the audience:
Argentina, Brazil, Columbia, Mexico, Portugal, UK. It is really amazing!!!
After the concert my Ruud was again the lucky person who received André's flower bouquet. For the second
time! In Liverpool we left the bouquet with Richard and Linda, but this time we took it home to The Hague.
The bouquet was so big, that I had to make it into two bouquets, because I did not have a vase big enough
for the bouquet.
Cheers!! And a happy New Year!! For the next 100 years André Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra
will perform a New Year’s Concert in the Ziggo Dome in Amsterdam on the first Saturday of the New Year.
Torben and Kirsten from Denmark.
Jacqui (UK/SA), Sally (UK) and Kurt (USA).
Hanne from Germany
was in the snow-zone.
Ineke with André’s flower bouquet,
Ruud and Sonja Harper (USA).
Dein ist mein ganzes Herz. You are my heart’s delight. (by Franz Lehar).
Thanks to Barry Boe who put this video on YouTube.
Bravo André and Johann Strauss Orchestra. We know that you had to play with a heavy heart.
The audience gave you a warm welcome and please know that the fans will support you forever.
Manoe Konings with Hava Nagila (traditional from Israel).
Recorded by Ruud and Ineke.
Photo credits: Ruud/Ineke, Sally Hodges, Kurt Bochner, Hanne Jäger, Frank Steijns and
Paul Bergen (photographer Ziggo Dome).
From André’s website: Ruud and Ineke singing Mexico…. Mexi…ee…co………
The 150 waltz couples, seen in last years Maastricht concerts, joined here as well.
Thanks to Tanya Beliaeva who shot this video from higher-up in the Ziggo Dome.
It has been proven that the seats high up above give gorgeous views!
This is half of André’s flower bouquet in a vase in our living room.