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André Rieu
Andre Rieu 2009.jpg
Rieu in 2009
Background information
Birth name André Léon Marie Nicolas Rieu
Born (1949-10-01) 1 October 1949 (age 69)
Origin Maastricht, Netherlands
Genres Classical, Classical crossover, Waltz, Easy listening
Occupation(s) Violinist, Conductor, Entrepreneur
Instruments Violin, 1667 Stradivarius, Captain Saville
Years active 1978–present
Labels Denon Records, Philips

André Léon Marie Nicolas Rieu (born 1 October 1949) is a Dutch violinist and conductor best known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra. Together they have turned classical and waltz music into a worldwide concert touring act, as successful as some of the biggest global pop and rock music acts.[1] He resides in his native Maastricht.[2]

Early life and family

The name Rieu is of French Huguenot origin.[3] André was born to Andries Antonie Rieu and his wife as the third of six children. He has two older sisters (Teresia and Cilia), two younger brothers (Robert and Jean-Philippe), and a younger sister (Gaby Buirma-Rieu).[2][4]

Rieu's father was conductor of the Maastricht Symphony Orchestra. Showing early promise, André began studying violin at the age of five. From a very early age, he developed a fascination with orchestra. He studied violin at the Conservatoire Royal in Liège and at the Conservatorium Maastricht, (1968–1973), studying under Jo Juda and Herman Krebbers.

From 1974 to 1977, he attended the Music Academy in Brussels, studying with André Gertler. He completed his training with the distinction "Premier Prix" from the Royal Conservatory of Brussels.[5]

He married Marjorie Kochmann in 1975.[6] She has been a language teacher and has written compositions. They have two sons Marc and Pierre.[4]

He speaks five different languages: Dutch, English, German, French, and Italian.[6]


While at university he performed the Gold And Silver Waltz by Franz Lehár. Encouraged by the audience reaction[citation needed], he decided to pursue the waltz form. Rieu created the Maastricht Salon Orchestra in 1978, and served as violinist with the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, he created the Johann Strauss Orchestra and established his own production company. Since then, his melodramatic stage performances and rock-star demeanor have been widely associated with a revival of the waltz music category[citation needed]. André Rieu plays a 1667 Stradivarius violin.[3]

Johann Strauss Orchestra

Vrijthof square during Rieu's annual concertseries in his home town Maastricht (2018)
Vrijthof square during Rieu's annual concertseries in his home town Maastricht (2018)
Andre Rieu and Carmen Monarcha (Düsseldorf, 2009)
Andre Rieu and Carmen Monarcha (Düsseldorf, 2009)

Rieu created the Johann Strauss Orchestra in 1987 and began with 12 members, giving its first concert on 1 January 1988. Over the years it has expanded dramatically, nowadays performing with between 80 and 150 musicians.

Rieu and his orchestra have performed throughout Europe, North and South America, Japan, and Australia. The size and revenue of their tours are rivalled only by the largest pop and rock music acts. In 2008 Rieu’s extravagant tour featured a full size reproduction of Empress Sisi’s Castle, the biggest stage ever to go on tour at that time.[7] During the first half of 2009, André Rieu was the world’s most successful male touring artist, according to Billboard magazine.[1]

Recent world tour results in Billboard / Pollstar annual worldwide top tours lists
Year Rank # Shows Revenue Source
2017 #42 89 shows $47,700,000 Pollstar Top 100 Worldwide Tours[8]
2016 #23 71 shows $40,169,471 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2016[9][10]
2015 #20 101 shows $51,151,367 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2015[11]
2014 #17 70 shows $42,983,266 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2014[12]
2013 #20 70 shows $49,881,605 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2013[13]
2012 #10 99 shows $46,785,710 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2012[14]
2011 # 9 102 shows $67,104,756 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2011[15]
2010 #16 86 shows $39,992,285 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2010[16]
2009 # 6 112 shows $95,854,338 Billboard Top 25 Tours 2009[17]
2008 # 8 71 shows $76,900,000 Pollstar’s top 10 worldwide tour acts 2008[7]

Rieu records both DVD and CD repertoire at his own studios in Maastricht in a wide range of classical, popular, and folk music, as well as thematic music from well-known soundtracks and musical theatre. His lively orchestral presentations, in tandem with effective marketing, have attracted worldwide audiences to this emergent subgenre of classical music.

In addition to two World Music Awards, Rieu's recordings have gone gold and platinum in many countries, including 8-times Platinum in the Netherlands.

Television is also an important outlet for Rieu and his orchestra. Their annual New Year's concerts from Vienna have become a Holiday tradition on public broadcasting stations. For two weeks in 2013, one of the channels of the BSkyB group, Sky Arts 2 in the UK, was renamed as Sky Arts Rieu. Between 30 March and 14 April 2013 Sky Arts Rieu broadcast Rieu concerts and documentaries 24 hours per day.[18]

Critical reception

In spite of its wide international success, Rieu's mix of waltzes, popular music, comedy, and pathos has attracted its critics. Chris Boyd, a critic writing for Melbourne's Herald Sun newspaper, did not criticize his playing, but described his main stage function as "blarney and delegation".

Of Rieu's popularity and the media debate surrounding him, Eamon Kelly wrote in The Australian newspaper: "It is disappointing to see professional journalists indulging in cheap, inaccurate stereotypes to dismiss criticism of Rieu."[19] But he goes on to add: "Equally misguided are those who cursorily dismiss Rieu. Rieu's live and recorded performances have brought joy to millions of people. Few in his audiences are regular classical music attendees and it could be seen as promising that, via Rieu, they are listening to standards of the classical canon. The fact that Rieu's focus is on highly accessible, enjoyable repertoire is not an argument against his musical credentials."[19]


Selected discography

  • Maastricht Salon Orkest – Serenata (1984)
  • Hieringe biete 1 (1989)
  • D'n blauwen aovond (1992)
  • Merry Christmas (1992)
  • Strauss & Co (1994)
  • The Vienna I Love (1995)
  • In Concert (1996)
  • Strauss Gala (1997)
  • The Christmas I Love (October 1997)
  • Romantic Moments (1998)
  • 100 Years of Strauss (1999)
  • Fiesta! (October 1999)
  • La vie est belle (2000) – Berlin
  • Musik zum Träumen (Dreaming) (2001)
  • Live at the Royal Albert Hall (April 2002)
  • Love Around the World (November 2002)
  • Gala Concert (December 2002) – Hamburg
  • Romantic Paradise (September 2003) – Cortona, Italy
  • Live in Dublin (October 2003)
  • André Rieu at the Movies (March 2004)
  • The Flying Dutchman (July 2004)
  • Live in Tuscany (September 2004)
  • Songs from My Heart (2005)
  • Roses from the South (June 2005) – Mainau, Germany
  • New Year's Eve in Vienna (October 2005)
  • Auf Schönbrunn (July 2006) – Vienna)
  • Christmas Around the World (October 2006)
  • New York Memories (November 2006) – Radio City NY
  • The 100 Most Beautiful Melodies (May 2007) – Australian Albums: No.2
  • Masterpieces (September 2007) – Australian Albums: No.9
  • In Wonderland (November 2007) – Efteling, Nederland
  • Waltzing Matilda (April 2008) – Australian Albums: No.1
  • Live in Vienna (September 2008)
  • Ich tanze mit dir in den Himmel hinein (October 2008) – Wedding, Semper Opera, Dresden
  • Live in Maastricht II (November 2008)
  • Live in Australia (December 2008) – Australian Albums: No.14
  • You'll Never Walk Alone (May 2009) – Australian Albums: No.2
  • Live in Maastricht III (8 September 2009)
  • I Lost My Heart in Heidelberg (29 September 2009) – with the Berlin Comedian Harmonists
  • The Very Best of André Rieu (October 2009) – Australian Albums: No.23
  • Forever Vienna (December 2009) – UK: #2, IRE: No.4
  • You Raise Me Up – Songs for Mum (May 2010) – Australian Albums: No.8
  • My African Dream (August 2010) – South Africa
  • Live in Maastricht IV (September 2010)
  • Moonlight Serenade (November 2010) – Australian Albums: No.17
  • And the Waltz Goes On (2011)
  • Live in Brazil (2012)
  • Home for Christmas (11 December 2012)
  • Live in Maastricht VI (October 2013) – 25th anniversary
  • Nuits magiques (November 2013)
  • Music of the Night (2013)
  • Love Letters (February 2014)
  • Les mélodies du bonheur (May 2014)
  • Un amour à Venise (November 2014)
  • Magic of the Violin (May 2015) – with His Johann Strauss Orchestra
  • Roman Holiday (November 2015) – with His Johann Strauss Orchestra
  • Magic of the Waltz (May 2016) – with His Johann Strauss Orchestra
  • Viva Olympia (August 2016) – with His Johann Strauss Orchestra
  • Falling in Love (November 2016) – with His Johann Strauss Orchestra
  • Amore (December 2017)


  1. ^ a b "international Archives – Page 2 of 3 – Andre Rieu". Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  2. ^ a b Rieu, André. "André Rieu Biography". Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  3. ^ a b "Interview on German TV". Archived from the original on 21 July 2011. Retrieved 30 Aug 2011.
  4. ^ a b Sonja. "Andre Rieu and his family". Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  5. ^ "André Rieu". Retrieved 2012-01-28.
  6. ^ a b "André Rieu: ten things you never knew". Classic FM. Retrieved 2018-01-01.
  7. ^ a b "Andre Rieu is top 10 Touring act". Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  8. ^ "Year End Top 100 Worldwide Tours" (PDF). Pollstar. Retrieved 2018-04-03.
  9. ^ "Charts – Year End". Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  10. ^ "Top 25 Tours" (PDF). Billboard. Retrieved 2017-01-08.
  11. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2015". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  12. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2014". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-06-23.
  13. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2013". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  14. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2012". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  15. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2011". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  16. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2010". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  17. ^ "Top 25 Tours of 2009". Billboard. Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  18. ^ "Andre Rieu Concerts, Documentaries And Pictures". Retrieved 2016-01-15.
  19. ^ a b "Music's Great Polariser". The Australian. Retrieved 2016-01-15.

External links

This page was last edited on 14 October 2018, at 19:39
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