A living legend and the greatest showman of the classical music industry, André Rieu is a household name to millions of fans across the world. Perhaps you’ve heard his music on Classic FM or witnessed his trade-mark charm on Sky Arts. If so, you’ll be familiar with the distinguished and often magical life of the Dutch superstar. If not, don’t worry – let us introduce you to the world of André Rieu!
A lifetime of music
Now, the first question that might spring to mind is often the simplest: who is the eponyous André Rieu? In short, he is a world-famous Dutch violinist and conductor who has been perfecting his craft from early childhood right the way through to the present day. His career, dedicated entirely to the joy of music, culminated in the forming of his very own Johann Strauss Orchestra – aptly named after the legendary German composer - in 1987.
To André, music is more than just a job; according to him, it’s become his entire life. ‘’My life is simply music”, André tells us, “And it never gets boring!” Ever modest, he and his talented team have been treating audiences around the world to their theatrical performance ever since.
What makes him tick?
In his own words, André Rieu sees his calling in life as making music accessible to everyone. In the Dutchman’s ideal world, he would do away with the preconceptions associated with his beloved Johann Strauss Orchestra and opera, paving the way to truly celebrate the joy of music.
As the classical maestro tells it, this is no new philosophy for him. Having grown up around his father - also a conductor by trade - André had been fixated on the majesty of the orchestra from the very beginning. Throughout his studies at the Royal Conservatories of Liege and Brussels, he describes how he fell in love with the waltz. Such was his fascination, that André now describes its three-four beat as the rhythm of his life.
The king of romance
Another thing to understand about André is that this is a man who lives and breathes romance. From residing in his very own 15th-century castle to his treasured 1667 violin, André’s life exudes a blend of romantic sensibility and the unabashed energy of modern-day life. You can see this translated into his shows as well; along with his brilliant cohort of musicians and performers, these are events where worlds collide in a beautifully unique way.
It’s this passion for all things romance that has led André to create some of the most ambitious and authentic sets that the world of classical music has ever seen – and that’s quite an achievement! Seeking to bring the romantic splendour of Vienna’s Schoenbrunn Palace to masses of his adoring fans, Rieu meticulously created a life-size replica of the baroque landmark. Such is his desire to bring his romantic charm to his audiences that, to this day, André continues to spare no expense on his concerts’ costumes, sets and staging.
A man of the world
André is, in the truest sense of the phrase, a man of the world. Not only does he speak six different languages – English, French, German, Spanish, Italian and his native tongue, Dutch – but you’ll be hard-pressed to find a country on earth that he hasn’t visited or performed in. Offering dates throughout the year and across the globe, these are truly global events – though long-time fans will know there’s no better place to see André and his Johann Strauss Orchestra than his hometown of Maastricht!
Such is his popularity across the world that André’s tours can also boast out-performing some absolute titans of the music industry – the likes of AC-DC, Coldplay and Bruce Springsteen to name just a few! He also covers legendary artists from Elvis Presley to Celine Dion in his setlist.
A decorated life
We all have a trophy cabinet of sorts – perhaps not physically, but we all have those special moments that fill us with pride unlike anything else. With André though, it’s a slightly different kettle of fish. The Dutch maestro’s glittering career has reached stratospheric heights and crippling lows. From receiving a medal of gratitude from his native Maastricht’s city council to going platinum over 500 times, André’s story is a deeply intriguing and richly coloured one.
Where are we now?
So, that brings us up to date and you can now call yourself something of an André expert. There’s no better time to experience the magic first-hand and, by booking with us, you can secure your ticket today!
Get a taste of André’s music with our bespoke Spotify playlist.