Every summer André Rieu, the King of Waltz, presents a series of open-air concerts in his beautiful hometown of Maastricht in the Netherlands. With over 150,000 fans flocking from all corners of the world to watch him perform, it really is a highlight of the summer music calendar, filled with emotion, joy, and of course dancing.
However, 2020 is different. With large concerts cancelled due to social distancing restrictions, André will bring Maastricht to You in a one-off throwback cinema spectacular.
For two weeks this September , you are invited to enjoy André Rieu’s Magical Maastricht – Together In Music from the comfort of your local cinema. Featuring performances from André’s legendary summer Maastricht concerts with his Johann Strauss Orchestra, it is a special moment for Irish fans to celebrate and remind us what brings us together – music and friendship.
André Rieu’s Magical Maastricht – Together In Music will screen in over 500 cinemas around the UK and Ireland for two weeks only, beginning on September 18th.
Why is Maastricht such a magical place for you
Maastricht is the city where I was born about 70 years ago. It is the oldest city in the Netherlands and one is still able to see remains from its rich history. When you walk around in this magnificent city, you will see medieval churches, baroque basilicas, even thermae from the Romans. Besides that, Maastricht has a central position in Europe: it was here that the European Treaty was signed and it’s close to Germany and Belgium. When you take the plane, you’ll be able to reach England and France within one hour. And last but not least, also for the modern people there is a lot to see: nice hotels, exclusive shops and boutiques, numerous restaurants and pubs. It’s not for nothing, that even the Dutch say that they are abroad when they visit Maastricht.
People from all over the world want to experience your concerts in Maastriicht, what sets them apart ?
The most romantic square of the Netherlands is the Vrijthof in Maastricht; it is surrounded by exquisite restaurants, outstanding churches (one of them is the Sint Servaas, where I used to be a choir boy!) and the historical center of the town. I started the tradition back in 2005 with only three summer concerts; people from the region visited the concerts. Meanwhile, we have given our 15th series of summer concerts: nearly 100 nationalities could be counted last year – it’s really unbelievable! Never ever I would have imagined that it would grow like this. I sincerely hope to perform there for many years to come
Being together with family and friends is important to you ?
Being together with friends and family is extremely important. I give about 100 concerts every year worldwide; I do this with my beloved Johann Strauss Orchestra, with whom I’ve been travelling for more than 30 years now. Affectionately, I call them my big family; because we see a lot of continents, we also share our personal moments with each other – joy, happiness, sadness, you name it. But at home, I love to spend my time with my small family: my wife, my sons and especially the five grand children whom I love to spoil – isn’t that what grand fathers are meant for? Music is all about harmony but family and friendship too. And, last but not least, maintaining this “job” wouldn’t be possible at all without my loyal fans: .
What makes you happy apart from your wonderful music ?
Children’s laughter, for example the sunny smiles of my grandchildren. It gives me such a good feeling when I see playing children in front of me! Or enjoying a good meal with friends on a summer evening, that’s also something that makes me a happy man. I also love to cook and I love to build, if I had not been a musician, I would have been an architect.
What can we expect from your special event screening in cinemas nationwide from September 18th
Of course, the concerts will be evenings filled with delicious music: wonderful waltzes, well known melodies from musicals and movies, beloved arias from operas and operettas and so much more. Last year, I heard that people were dancing in the aisles of the cinemas: I can imagine that it gives them a feeling of being present at the concert – hopefully it will happen again, and who knows, they start humming or singing as well!
With Covid 19 everything we normally do together has changed, but it is showing the importance of community and helping each other , have you experienced that ? ( feel we can’t really ignore it ? )
Yes, because we are all in the same boat at the moment; it is hard to ignore the actual situation and I sincerely hope for all of us, that one is able to find a solution – either a cure or medicine or whatever – so that everything turns back to normal. Meanwhile, messages from all over the world fill my mailbox with announcements of people who tell me, they find hope in my music. Now THAT makes me so proud and happy!
Ireland has a tradition of playing the Fiddle ( Irish violin ), do you like that kind of music and if so do you know/play any songs
A couple of years ago, when I came to Ireland for the very first time, I met John Sheahan from The Dubliners: together with him, I played Irish Washer women. I admire this ‘Celtic evergreen’ for its melody without any doubt. Besides that, there are hits like “The Wild Rover” and “Danny Boy” who can’t be enjoyed without the powerful and melancholic sound of the Irish Fiddle! At last, I love to say that the Irish audience has a good sense of music… and humour!
Any last words of wisdom to your loyal Irish Fans ?
Music, either playing or listening to it, will make you happy and it keeps you healthy too – I personally feel it when I play waltzes, with its magical and enchanting rhythm. I think that my heart beats equally: ONE two three, ONE two three, ONE two three. I’m planning to reach the age of 140, and with this extra heartbeat I think I’ll manage that. Listen to doctor André: “A waltz a day, keeps the doctor away!”