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These Japanese are well prepared for André Rieu and are already practicing the Maastricht Anthem. The Limburger. July 6, 2022, by Ronald Colée. Translation: Ineke.
Imagine having to sit on a plane for 32 hours to see your biggest idol? Two Japanese are now doing it for the second time and have persuaded another couple to come along. Their favorite song? The Maastricht Anthem. Although the pronunciation is almost impossible, they translated it phonetically and started practicing. Who: Hiroyuki (73) and Kumiko Komino (68) From : Shiga Prefecture, Japan Visits: concert July 7, 2022. Special feature: third Rieu concert ever, second time Vrijthof. "At first I thought 'André Ryu' was Chinese". The crowds, the many nationalities and how the visitors go wild: the difference with home could hardly be greater. "My wife and I have now seen André at work twice, once in Tokyo and once in Maastricht," says Hiroyuki Komino. “But what is happening here is unprecedented for us: young people, middle-aged people and the elderly who get up during the concert and spontaneously dance. You will never see a Japanese do that in front of others. He is far too shy for that.” The 73-year-old Japanese first came into contact with Rieu's music in the mid 1990s during a flight from Japan to the USA. “I thought it was a Chinese who honored Strauss' music. A certain 'Ryu'. It was only years later that I found out that he was a world-famous Dutchman.” Reason enough for him and his wife Kumiko to attend a live concert by Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra in Tokyo in 2006. “His mix of classical compositions, modern pop songs and local folk music, make his concerts so special. And the knowledge that he is going to be even bigger in his home town, sometimes even bringing children on stage, was reason for us to travel to Maastricht for the first time in 2015.” Hiroyuki and Kumiko were amazed at the friendly attitude towards the other visitors. “At the time there were two people from Ireland behind us who spontaneously gave us their Rieu scarf so we could wave it over our heads. We thought that was such a nice gesture that we gave them an old Japanese fan in return. Just to be sure, we have only taken four of these with us now.” Their enthusiasm for their second city trip to Maastricht was so great that two friends from Japan, Shoichiro and Yumi Hasegawa, are now accompanying them. Although it did require patience. Due to corona, the concert has been postponed for two years in a row. The number of direct flights between Tokyo and Amsterdam has also been reduced due to the pandemic and we are no longer allowed to fly over Siberia due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. As a result, we now have seventeen hours on the way there, instead of the usual eleven and on the way back it will be fifteen hours." Their friends have never seen Rieu and his orchestra perform live, but CDs and DVDs have been played gray to ensure that they are well prepared. The latter also applies to the Kominos themselves. “Three songs stand out for us: The Second Waltz, Don't Cry for me Argentina and the Maastricht Anthem. The latter is very difficult for us to sing along to. That is why we printed the text and took it with us. We have also practiced a lot, but that Dutch pronunciation is almost impossible. Oh, is it Maastricht dialect? That explains a lot."
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