INTERVIEW: André Rieu
One of the most popular live acts in the world, the King of the Waltz, André Rieu has announced that his 2018 Maastricht concerts will be screened via satellite in over 500 cinemas nationwide across the weekend of 28th – 29th July, as he performs his hometown shows this year with a celebration of love.
‘Amore – My Tribute to Love’, is the renowned violinist’s tribute to his love for music, and his love for both of his families; his wife and children, and of course for his Johann Strauss Orchestra, who he has performed with for over 30 years. It follows on from the release of his album ‘Amore’ last year, which features his own versions of classic love songs from the worlds of popular and classical music.
Ahead of music cinema’s biggest event, André Rieu tells fans what they can expect from this years concert.
What kind of pieces will be performed in the concert? Classical love songs or more modern pieces?
This year’s concert motto is “Amore – My Tribute to Love” so there will be a special focus on romance and love during the evening! I will be playing all kinds of pieces during the concert; wonderful waltzes will be heard but also outstanding arias from famous operas, beloved melodies from movies and musicals, and so much more… It’ll be performed by my Johann Strauss Orchestra, the Platin Tenors and several soloists with worldwide fame and name. And of course, as every year, there will be an special surprise guest!
What is it about Maastricht that keeps bringing so many people back? Is Amore also a tribute to love of the place?
It is indeed a tribute to love in all senses you might think of. I love to be a citizen of the oldest city in the Netherlands: Maastricht is the proud ‘owner’ of a rich history, that goes back for more than 2000 years. The Romans already loved it: remains of an ancient swimming pool (thermae) can be found in the centre of town. But also some beautiful churches from the Middle Ages can be visited; I used to be a choir boy in one of them. Maastricht is situated quite central in Europe, too: it is next to both the Belgian and the German border, and within two hours, you are able to reach London or Paris. Besides that, there is an enormous romantic atmosphere that causes love to almost everyone who comes to Maastricht.
Last year you broke yet another cinema record, what do you think it is about the cinema shows that are so popular?
Through shows in cinema, I am able to get people acquainted with my concerts in the whole world. Of course, thousands of men and women from over 80 nations come to Maastricht which makes me very proud. This year we will be performing a record-breaking 13 open air concerts and expect 150.000 people, can you imagine? But I also heard messages from abroad, that people were dancing in the aisles of the cinemas. Isn’t that great? It is a rather new concept, classical concerts in cinemas. I always try to give people something for the eye as well so I am very proud and happy about the popularity of my concerts on the big screen.
You’ll be dedicating a waltz to one lucky UK cinema viewer, what is it about the waltz that makes it the ultimate loving dedication?
The waltz is that type of composition, that holds all emotions: whether it is joy or sadness, happiness or melancholy, you are able to hear everything in it. It also has a healing power, I am convinced by this ‘medicin’: “A waltz a day keeps the doctor away!” And since the waltz is instrumental, it doesn’t need words in order to be understood by all of us.
You’ve performed with your orchestra for over 30 years now, has it become more than an orchestra to you, and more of a family?
My orchestra feels like a big family, I call them like that affectionately since we share everything during the ‘long’ periods of touring abroad. There is a lot of laughter (very important!), but moments of sorrow or sadness as well, occasionally… We know each other for such a long time now. My wife, sons and grandchildren are my small family. Both of these families are very dear to me.