pleased to meet you.
Interview with Evangelical Broadcast, May 20 2005
Translated by Tiny van Rooijen/ Sonja
“Respect, humor and good manners, gets you far in life.
Concert leader, conductor, violinist and arranger Andre Rieu (55) makes time, in the middle of a busy tour
schedule, ( France, Germany, the United States) for an interview. Andre is married and father of two sons, who
are both working for their father (as far as I know only Pierre works for his father, but in Maastricht we saw Marc
selling programs.) and there are more then a hundred people working for him.
Your name sounds French. Explain…
That’s correct, my ancestors came from France, from Auvergne.
You are 55 and do concert after concert. How long are you planning on continuing this?
My plans are to get old. I think it is discriminating and outrageous that people, in their prime of their lives, when
they are 65, are made to quit working. That’s why I am self employed, so I can keep on going as long as I enjoy it.
How does it feel to be a FH? (Famous Hollander)
It is what people make of you. Fame is in people's heads. Not in my head. I am exactly the same as when I
started. You will not see me at a VIP-party.
What would you like to do, but your career does not allow you to?
I would like to remodel my house. I can lay bricks and do plumbing. If I would not have become a musician, I
would have been an architect.
A Mercedes S 600.
You don’t only play the violin, but also the feelings and the public.
Yes, that’s right. Like “Toon Hermans” did. (Toon Hermans is an standup comedian in Holland.) He is an
example for me.
What makes a good concert?
I think that in our our occupation and the product that we bring, you have to feel it and and you have to know
what we are doing and know the pieces that we play. The musicians perform on a high technical level. A concert
is only a success if I get contact with the people. Humor is a very important part with that. You have to work
towards a climax.
Who arranges and select the musician who play in your orchestra?
Everything that has to do with the orchestra I do all by myself/ The task of a conductor is to make is his musician
play better than he ever thought he could. A conductor has to achieve that his orchestra members feel like a
team. The do not only have to play together but they have to want to play together!!!
What would you like to change in our society?
I would like to create MORE fun in working.
Favorite T.V. programs, book, cd?
T.V.: Teletubbies. And on the ZDF: Sendung mit der Maus. Book: I don’t read much. In the early years, I read :”
Kuifje”. (Kuifje is a Dutch strip cartoon. He is also known as Tin Tin). Also I read Karl May and Jules Verne. CD:
I can listen to all kind of music. I think music is beautiful as long as it does something for you.
The : “Hallelujaa” from H.Andel is in your program. Why?
It’s a marvelous piece that opens up your hart. That’s what I like to give the people.
Meeting my wife Marjorie and going through life together with her.
What do you think are important standard and values?
Simply decency and good manners. I think that means a lot. For instance, hold the door open for people, be
polite for eldery people. Respect for each other.
Which situations makes you emotional?
When I have accomplished something. When I see perfect and harmony.
Which event made a big impression on you?
September the 11th, 2001. I thought: ”now the world is going to change”. Something is going to break.
What would you like to give your children?
Respect, humor and good manners. That gets you far. My youngest son can solve his problems with humor.
Which EO (Evangelical broadcast) program do you watch or listen to?
On Saturday night : Nederland zingt. (Holland sings). The technical sound is terrificic. On Sunday I watch: ,The
Hour of Power'. I thought that this was one of yours? I look at it as a technical production.
Which religion did you grow up with?
Here in the South, most people are raised Catholics, but my wife and I have put religion, the way it is, in
perspective. I believe in life the way it is.
What do you think about Jesus?
I admire what this historic figure has accomplished.
How do you look at death?
To me, life is gone when you are dead. I don’t believe in the here after. I try to make a heaven here on earth.
How do you look to the future of the world?
Very positive. At my concerts, I try to take the people away from their problems and from what they see on the
television. Create moments to be happy. I like to live in peace and harmony.