I live a jet set life, but I prefer to eat at home
To New York per Concorde for a performance of an hour.
Story magazine, December 10, 2002
Violinist Andre Rieu will never have to watch his pennies again. The musician from Maastricht has a fortune of
twenty million Euro. The international jet set has welcomed him in their middle and the millionaire of the violin
feels himself just fine in that position. Still Andre is not impressed with all the caviar and champagne. Just give
me an ordinary meatball.
Anyone who ever has a conversation with Andre Rieu will within seconds come to the conclusion that there are
two big loves in his life: his family and his Stradivarius. With the latter he reached the success which he so gladly
shares with his wife Marjorie and their sons, Marc and Pierre.
In an in depth 'Story' interview the musician from Maastricht talks about them with much love.
"The more often and the further I am gone from home the larger my longing for domesticity.
My set rule is that I am never away for more then three weeks, when I am outside Europe. And when I
perform somewhere in Europe I just want to eat at home every evening. For that reason I bought two
private planes a few years ago. A Fokker and a Citation, that way no matter where we are in Europe I
can sit at my own dinner table in the evening. In that aspect am I a real Dutch man, because even
though I enjoy the champagne and the caviar that are offered to me during gala parties, I prefer a bona
fide Dutch gehaktbal (meatball). Andre grins".
The super violinist with the long hair lives a jet set life which already has taken him to Canada, South America and
the Far East. A recent high point was the hour long performance on a cruise ship chartered by the Tros for the
recording of several TV programs. His 40 head orchestra was flown to Cancun in Mexico with Martinair, from
there they immediately continued to the island of Cozumel where the cruise ship was waiting.
Andre himself flew to NYC with the Concorde and on to Miami where he boarded the ship.
A trip to expensive to make with the whole orchestra. After eight waltzes and some other melodies, the whole
orchestra packed everything up again in order to fly to Vienna where the next performance was.
It was the first time that Andre has flown with the supersonic Concorde, but it did not make much of an
impression. "You do not notice at all that you fly twice as fast, and further is it a narrow tube with
leather chairs and pretty flight attendants. But by now I see through that kind of thing. I have started to
realize more and more how relative all that luxurious stuff is. You know what I really enjoy most?
When I get home and together with Marjorie can get my hands dirty with yard work. With our two dogs,
who always make such a disaster of the garden. Our little castle in Maastricht can be a real mess. The
furnishing is a hotchpotch of all kinds of stuff, but it is very cozy and comfortable. Our son Pierre still
lives at home and in the meantime works as my producer. With Marjorie, who does much of the
management and she arranges much for me we form a family business which by now has 130
employees." Son Marc studies Art history and is the only one not really involved in Andre Rieu
productions, explains the successful violinist.
The musician also owns a small castle in Hamburg, where his German office is located. He has been one of the
most successful and popular stars in our neighboring country for years.
What is true about those persistent rumors which say that Andre lives the life of a playboy there?
Absolutely nothing; the violinist exclaims. I am constantly matched up with women who I do not even
know! For instance, I was invited to a gala evening of a glamorous magazine. The female editor who
had called me with the invitation walked in with me over the red carpet. To be polite you pose for the
photographers, but when I saw the magazines a week later I was sorry: I supposedly was having a
secret love affair with this lady. They just make things up. But for once and for always: I have two
great loves in my life! First of all my family and secondly of course my Stradivarius, says Andre while
he takes his instrument from its case. Here, look and feel this, he invites us. Is she not a beauty?
He plays a short music fragment and beautiful, moving violin sounds fill the library.
This violin is from 1667 and I see her as a living being. I always think of my violin as a well formed,
intelligent woman with the voice of Maria Callas. When our paths crossed it was love at first sight.
(I have another interview on tape, on it Andre talking about his Stradivarius says: when we are in bed, I am
always in the middle; my wife is on one and my violin on the other side. )
Even though she is worth millions, I do not treat her overly cautious. The insurance company only has
one clause namely that I have to treat her as a good house father. I certainly do that. She is a living
object, and I have enormous pleasure with her. Money has to roll, I think. Life is still one big party?
This interview was done during the Tros (Dutch TV station) cruise to Mexico. Guido den Aantrekker was on
board and was interviewed himself on Lunch TV on the second day.Story is a tabloid magazine in Holland and
even though I have said I would not translate tabloid magazines this seems pretty truthful, I am just not sure
about a castle in Hamburg. André does have an office and a house in Hamburg, but I am pretty sure it is not a
It is interesting that Guido himself was also interviewed on the second day of Lunch TV. These are some of the
things he said about being a tabloid reporter: I write for a living so I look for things that the readers would be
interested in. Personal things like babies, weddings, divorces and funerals.You mix what you are told with
things you know your readers want to read. When asked what they do if there is no news like that, he said, then
you make the news. Now you should not imagine chaotic things. You can even make an agreement with the
star himself. For instance readers like to know how their idol lives, so you show thier home.
This time Petrus did not cooperate and Clara must not have received her sausage, because it began
to rain and they had to move all the equipment inside.