André on Facebook:
“We had an unforgettable
evening in Bogotá yesterday!
Due to a technical problem,
we had to pause the concert.
The Bogota crowd responded
fantastic; They kept singing,
cheering and doing the wave.
Suddenly a little boy grabbed
his homemade flute and
started playing. The entire hall
sang along! The audience in
Bogotá is the best! Thank you
all for your patience!!
September 14, 2019.
Something special happened in the
Bogotá concert of September 13th.
André performed for the first time in
Colombia. Four concerts, on September
12,13,14,15, 2019 in the Movistar Arena,
in the capital Bogotá.
For the first time in 30 years there was a
serious sound problem and André had to
pause the concert for over an hour.
Look what happened!
Thank you Santiago for your
message and video on Twitter.
All together they sang the national anthem of Colombia.
Another detail was that Carmen Monarcha from Brasil,
joined the performance in Bogotá as a guest soprano.
She sang an aria from Madame Butterfly,
by Giacomo Puccini. This time the beautiful Japanese
dress had to be made a little bit wider……
Carmen is expecting her second child in the Fall 2019.
And a nun in the audience
drank champagne! Cheers!
8 years old Daniel Sanabria with his flute of
pvc tube with a piece of cork inside.
He is now famous all over the world.
André left his hand prints and a lot of sympathy behind in Bogotá,
after his successful concert series.
The second concert of the Dutch violinist interrupted its presentation due to a technical problem that lasted
for just over an hour. Daniel Sanabria, an 8-year-old boy, soothed the impatience of the audience with
melodies of Colombian songs. In order for the public to recognize him, Rieu invited him to share the stage.
André Rieu invited Daniel Sanabria, an 8-year-old boy, on stage, who with his flute made the long wait to
resume the concert bearable after technical difficulties.
In 30 years of his artistic career André Rieu has never had a technical problem like the one he had on
Friday, September 13, in Bogotá, as André stated. The most superstitious will probably blame it on the
supposed curse for the date. The realists will think, with shame, that this could only happen in Colombia.
During the first part of the show which the violinist was performing, there was an electrical interference
which produced a deafening noise. The nearly 14,000 people who filled the Movistar Arena heard it. Surely
he must have too, but he did not react and continued with the concert. A couple of songs later one of the
surprises interrupted the presentation. While the musicians played a known snow song and snow fell on
the audience on the first floor. Rieu started to count to three and wanted the attendees to jump when he
reached that number. However, the magic he wanted to achieve was interrupted by the same noise as
before, only this time louder and more frequent. He did not smile. He frowned and looked as to where the
sound was coming from and searched for an answer. In the darkness two men on the first floor were seen
running from the platform to where the technicians were. The violinist turned slightly to look at his orchestra
and said they were going to break early and solve the technical problem.
More than 15 minutes passed until the next time Rieu went on stage. He went to the middle of the stage
and asked the audience to silence the murmur which had taken over. He spoke loudly and with supreme
elegance so that his voice did not become a scream. He said the problems were still going on and that they
were working to solve them. He clasped his hands and bowed slightly in apology. People responded to that
forward gesture with applause.
Half an hour later the problem still existed which was not a good signal, and impatience started to do its
thing. Groups of attendees shouted in unison "sound, sound". Others, who were ashamed of those, and
that this had just happened in Colombia, tried to silence them. Again the murmurs started due no
explanation and the fear of the cancellation of the concert.
In a paradox of love and sorrow, a melody was heard coming from the grandstands of the Colosseum: "Ay,
ay, ay, ay… Canta y no llores." Soon all the people who were gathered at the Movistar Arena sang with one
voice: "porque cantando se alegran, cielito lindo, los corazones."
It didn't take long for them to be a national unity. From another part of the stands, this song was sung by
hundreds of attendees: "Colombia our dear land of faith and harmony." The entire auditorium replied: “We
live, we always live in our beloved homeland. Your soil is a prayer and it is a song of life.” And they followed
with which they already know: “Singing, singing I will live, Colombia dear land. Singing, singing I will live,
Colombia dear land”.
Showing their selflessness for the public some employees of the Rieu production suggested projecting the
Colombian flag on the stage screen. The response of almost 14,000 people followed with songs like
Pueblito Viejo and La Piragüa .
Rieu came back on stage with the national colors still behind him. There was a collective hope since this
time he was accompanied by orchestra's singers. They lined up and without microphones sang the national
anthem. Applause again, but again thoughts of cancellation.
It seemed as if the repertoire had run out. The violinist came out once again and said that if the problem
was not solved, they would end the concert on Sunday at 8 p.m. Again pessimism floated across the stage,
but then a melody of a traverse flute was heard in the distance on the third floor. From section 308 of the
Movistar Arena, the music of "Colombia, beloved land," was heard again .
Daniel Sanabria, an eight-year-old boy, was the one who played it. His flute is made of a PVC pipe and
inside it has a piece of cork. It was made by Ómar Flórez de Armas, his teacher at the Crea de Idartes
project, an initiative of the District to develop artistic talent in children.
“I packed his flute. Since I know he has the ability to play, he always takes it everywhere”, said Katherine
Torres, Daniel's mother, to El Espectador.
Julian Sanabria, Daniel's father, and his wife bought tickets for the concert six months ago. It was a
surprise for the boy, who is a Rieu fan. The tickets were almost $ 900,000, a large expense for a middle-
class Bogotá family. However, they paid by credit card and saved so they could pay for them at that time.
On Friday afternoon, Daniel's mother told him that he would not be able to go to class at the Candelaria
Philharmonic Center. He would have to miss that because they were supposedly accompany his dad to "do
him a favor" and go to a movie. When we were on our way I said: "I am going to give you a hint ... He is a
man whom you have not seen for a long time but you love very much." He was convinced that we were
going to a house to visit a person that I had not seen for a long time,” his mother said.
When the Sanabria family arrived at the Movistar Arena they told Daniel the truth, and eventually he would
be one of the leading persons of the concert hours later.
Once the audience was between patience and despair, releasing their anxiety with Colombian songs,
Katherine Torres told her son to play the flute. The child was afraid, but the mother comforted him:
“Opportunities come along once in a lifetime. Maybe André Rieu would hear you and maybe ask you to go
on stage? Are you going to miss the opportunity because you are scared? Don't worry, I'm with you.”
Daniel stood up. He took his flute and played timidly. In the sections and on the second floor there was a lot
of noise and the cameras of the event were focused on people who were close to the stage. Attendees at
the concert noticed that there was a melody that ran through the murmurs. Slowly they fell silent until the
sound of the flute was heard by everyone.
When the melodies ended, the public asked for more. Daniel had no choice but to repeat some of the
songs. People first asked for the cameras to focus on him. Which they did the boy's face was projected on
the two screens that were on either side of the stage.
The requests rose in demand. Attendees wanted to see the child on the stage. A long-haired man who
wore a bow tie got to where Daniel and his family were. He was part of the production crew of the concert.
It was the desire of the audience which had more than demonstrated their patience, which was fulfilled
after waiting for just over an hour for Rieu and his orchestra to retake to their instruments. Applause and
shouts filled the Colosseum, while Daniel and his mother were taken on an unforgettable night.
The man of the organization asked Daniel if he knew anything about a waltz. "The Blue Danube, maybe?"
He asked Katherine. She told him that her son was in a group of "Chirimía". That was the entire
conversation which took place in the elevator which took the boy and his mother from the third to the first
On the main floor hall to the stage the audience made a kind of passage in honor to Daniel. They
encouraged him from both sides. He and his mom entered the back of the stage through a black curtain. At
that moment all the musicians of the orchestra came out. It was the first time since they had gone on
recess that they were all back on stage.
The orchestra's pianist stood up, raised his arms, and gestured to Rieu with his hands. Daniel entered on
that side of the stage. Rieu went to him, greeted him and took him to the center of the stage. The entire
band was dressed in gala, women in long costumes like princesses and men in tuxedos. In the middle of
them was Rieu, the most elegant of all, and Daniel, with his gray long-sleeved shirt, a slightly darker vest
and a black and white checkered hat, similar to those used by those who do sport fishing.
The violinist said a few words to the boy, looked at the musicians, and then, even without microphones,
addressed the attendees: "Ladies and gentlemen, I say it again, you are the best audience in the world."
He raised his arms and with gestures of the conductor began the music.. "Ay, ay, ay, ay… Canta y no
Daniel grabbed the flute and accompanied with the song. Rieu reached down to listen to the melody,
looked at the audience and gave thumbs up. When he finished, he took him by the shoulder and hugged
him. Then he looked at the back of the stage, spoke and finally the microphone problem was solved. "It
works!" He said excitedly. He signaled the musicians to go to their places and took the boy to his mother.
On Friday night, between surprise, nerves and sleeplessness, Daniel did not realize what had happened to
him. The next day he woke up and told his mother that he wants to stick the poster which André Rieu had
given him on the wall so, he could start every day with the memory of that Friday, September 13.
With this video you’ll have an atmospheric impression
of how the audience reacted.
The next day André Rieu gave the boy, “who saved the evening”,
a very nice present. This is a story about how bad luck can turn into good luck!
A few days later, on Colombian CITY TV, Daniel played the professional JSO flute very well!!
What a talented young boy he is!! (Spanish language).
In December 2021 the British Pay Channel Sky Arts broadcast a few episodes of the new road soap
“Welcome to my world, (4)”. A fan recorded a part of an episode about the Bogotá concert and posted it on
Facebook. We loved to see it! At André’s request, Teun the fluite player buys a great flute for Daniel.
watch the video below.