On Sunday July 21, 2019, the 15th in the series of concerts and the100th concert on the Vrijthof Square
took place. The Mayor of Maastricht, Mrs. Annemarie Penn-te Strake, who is an André fan herself,
interrupted the concert to hand out an award from the city Maastricht to their most famous resident.
Because he already has received all the distinctions of the city, they created a bronze plaque which will be
placed into the pavement of the Vrijthof Square forever and ever, exactly on the same place where the
stage is erected every year. (In the end, a different location was chosen on the Vrijthof square).
André was touched and took Frank’s handkerchief
to dry his tears!
On the plaque is a line in Limburg dialect, taken from the Maastricht anthem:
“Our eyes shine with your glory”.
André was very happy with this token of appreciation
by the city of Maastricht. Photo: Marcel van Hoorn.
For an article in the Limburg paper, go to the Harmony Parlor website, click HERE.
Mayor Annemarie Penn and the musician laid the last stones around the bronze plaque. "He had already
received all the awards from the city of Maastricht. But we thought that we still had to make a special
gesture and we are very happy with this. He promotes our city all over the world. You can't imagine a better
October 25th 2019. From Chapeau Magazine, by Jo Cortenraedt.
The most famous Maastricht resident was immortalized on the Vrijthof with the unveiling of a bronze plaque
offered by the city. André Rieu showed himself visibly honored. “To my surprise, during the 100th concert
last summer here at the Vrijthof, I already received a symbolic plaque, which made me very emotional. And
now here is the real plaque, exactly where I enter the square at every concert. I really feel very proud.
Photo credits: Han Scheuerman.
July 2021: The Limburger, by Hanneke Drohm.
Rieu and the Maastricht dialect.
Rieu didn't speak "Mestreechs" dialect until he was 25. Proper Dutch was spoken in his parental home.
Marjorie taught him to speak the dialect.
What role does the Limburg language play in our lives? Is it a stand-in or of absolute added value?
Violinist André Rieu chooses the latter with conviction. Although he didn't speak "Mestreechs" for the first
time until he was 25.
Goojenaovend dames en hiere! Welkom op ’t sjoenste plein vaan Nederland, de Vriethof in Mestreech.”
(Good evening ladies and gentlemen! Welcome to the most beautiful square in the Netherlands, the
Vrijthof in Maastricht).
Invariably this is how maestro André Rieu with his Johann Strauss Orchestra opens every Vrijthof concert
– already more than a hundred times – in the Maastricht dialect. And with the necessary pride for his city
and its language. Naturally....
'Verpópzak' is André Rieu's favorite dialect word. According to the Mestreechter Taol's (Maastricht
language) website, it means “dumbfounded” or “perplexed”.
"But where did it come from?," Rieu wonders. Regional language officer Ton van de Wijngaard says: "It is
derived from the Rheinland “verbupp-sacken” (German), amazing, being made to be shy and can be found
in the 'Rhenish Dictionary' and the 'Aachener Sprachschatz'' (Aachen language treasure). It is used across
the German border region with the same meaning as the Limburg “verpópzak."
Watch the video above. The mayor speaks Dutch and English. At 6.45 min. you can hear André say the
dialect word “I am Verpopzakt”, which he translates into “flabbergasted”. This word is not known in the
proper Dutch language. The 2019 Vrijthof concert is on the DVD “Shall we dance?” where this part is
subtitled to English. You can purchase the DVD: https://shop.andrerieu.com/product-category/dvds/