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Andre Rieu

  • Dutch musician
  • Born October 1, 1949

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. He and his orchestra 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. He resides in his native Maastricht.


The waltz is a very important part of my life. It's a very important way for me to express my positiveness, bringing humor to the world.




I was the black sheep of the family, and my mother never really understood me.




I am travelling half the year around the world, every year, so coming home is one of the most beautiful things.




I was a fat child and loved cake, perhaps because it was the only sweet thing in my life.




I first picked up a violin aged five - I just assumed everyone played.




I'm an un-healable positive optimist.




When I'm not on tour, I love to have a long breakfast at home in my garden.




Mozart composed his music not for the elite, but for everybody.




I believe that music in itself heals and that everything is about the power of the mind. I thought if you are happy, you don't get ill. Your health is in your head. When you are satisfied with your work, you don't get ill.




We should make decisions in life with our hearts, not our brains, not only in music but in daily life.




It is my personality alone that has brought back the waltz and made it a global craze.




I know that when I like music, when it touches my heart, that it will touch your heart, too. That, I think, is the secret to my success.




The waltz can be sad and at the same time uplifting. You have to see life from both sides, and the waltz encapsulates that. If you're in my audience you give yourself to me and the waltz will grab you.




I have 120 people in my payroll without any government giving me any money. We live off the tickets and the records I sell. That is very unusual.




I love reading but I never last very long because I fall asleep right away.




Critics or musicians who attack me are jealous of my success and the fact that I make people feel so happy.




Where would I be without Johann Strauss's beautiful 'Blue Danube?' Without this piece of music I wouldn't be the man I am today. It's a tune that brings out the emotion in everyone and makes them want to waltz.




The classical music world is so snobbish.




For me, I always like to get up bright and early.




It is a real piece of art if you can make a waltz sound like it is the easiest piece of music to play, because it's really not.




It doesn't matter as long as there's interaction between me and the audience. That's why they come.




I am a showman in the traditional sense, but modern, too. I like to use sets and lighting to create magic.




Other people might want a Ferrari, but I wanted a butterfly house. I built it together with a blacksmith. We designed it together.




When my twin grandchildren, Linda and Lyeke, were born two years ago, it changed me. I felt it was the essence of what life is about, and I cried all day. When my son Pierre, their father, was born I didn't cry like that.




I admire Johann Strauss a lot. I believe he was a genius of his time.




When I was 4 or 5, I attended my father's concerts. He very often played Strauss waltzes as encores and I saw something happening with the audience.




I think there are people who use classical music to say, 'I am better than you, because I know all the rules and you don't.' You're not allowed to have fun or entertain.




I was so busy with my studies that I didn't have a musical idol as a teenager. Later, around my 20s, I suddenly discovered the Beatles and the Rolling Stones but I guess my musical idol has always been Strauss.




Now, I've changed my life to make sure I work only on what I love.




People don't come to my concerts because they know the program. They come because they love the atmosphere and because they know that when I offer them a program it will be a night they never forget.




You go to a pop concert or a classical concert but there's nothing in between.



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