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Biography

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1949

1949

André is born under the sign of Libra as his parents’ third child. His parents and their two young daughters had moved from Amsterdam to Maastricht shortly before. (André later got two brothers and another sister). To the present day, André Rieu has been at home in the beautiful capital of the Dutch Province of Limburg, namely in Maastricht.

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1954

1954

1954

André, his brothers and sisters grow up exclusively with classical music: symphonies, chamber music and opera. Encouraged by his father, a professional conductor, André starts taking violin lessons at the age of five. A.R.:“I had great difficulty concentrating at the start. That was because my violin teacher was so beautiful and so blonde that I fell in love with her and stared at her all the time, instead of listening to her instructions!”

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1967

1967

1967

After leaving grammar school, the talented young man first continues his musical training on the violin at the conservatoire in Liège and later in Maastricht (until 1973). His teachers are Jo Juda and Herman Krebbers.

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1974

1974

André Rieu moves to the conservatoire in Brussels, where he receives violin tuition from André Gertier.

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1975

1975

Still a student, André marries his “great love”, Marjorie.

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1977

1977

André Rieu concludes his musical training with distinction (Premier Prix) at the conservatoire in Brussels.

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1978

1978

Their first son is born. His name is Marc. In the same year, André Rieu founds his first orchestra, the Maastricht Salon Orchestra, with which he appears in the Netherlands, the Federal Republic of Germany and even the United States. At the same time (until 1989) he is engaged as a violinist in the Limburg Symphony Orchestra.

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1981

1981

André’s and Marjorie’s second son, Pierre, is born.

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1987

1987

André recruits his Johann Strauss Orchestra. A.R.:”At that time, we rehearsed for 6 months before getting started. There were just twelve musicians in the beginning. Today, there are 43, and sometimes even 50 on very large stages. “In the same year, the new orchestra leader and his wife found the André Rieu Productions company.

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1988

1988

New Year’s Day is the big moment: André Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra give their first public concert. This is soon followed by brief tours, also through the Benelux countries and the Federal Republic of Germany.

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1994

1994

The “From Holland with Love” album is released in the Netherlands and something happened that no one would have thought possible: it triggers a waltz wave and the definitive breakthrough for André. One of the pieces on it is the “Second Waltz”, a beautiful, melancholy waltz. The piece is originally called ‘Waltz No. 2 from Jazz Suite No. 2’ by Dmitry Shostakovich, but it would probably never have been a hit with a title like that. Marjorie came up with…

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1995

1995

At an international football match in Amsterdam stadium, André fills the half-time interval with the “Second Waltz”. The fans in the stands sway in time with the music and hum along enthusiastically, as do the TV viewers. While Ajax eventually wins the match against Bayern München, André Rieu gains thousands of new followers. After an initial concert in Hamburg’s Musikhalle and several television appearances, the “From Holland with Love” album is also released in Germany, where it instantly heads for…

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1996

1996

André Rieu is dubbed the “Modern King of Waltz” by the media and next launches the “The Vienna I love” and the live “In Concert” albums on the European music market. Again, he can assert himself in the charts in many countries, even against international pop icons like Madonna, for example. Also in 1996, André Rieu received the World Music Award in Monte Carlo.

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1997

1997

André Rieu has little time for his private life and family, as he is permanently on the road with the Johann Strauss Orchestra. An extensive concert tour takes the charming orchestra leader and his musicians across half of Europe. Still, he takes the time to record “The Christmas I love”.

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1998

1998

On the “Romantic Moments” album, André puts the emphasis on dreamy, romantic melodies. The tone is set by the “Love Theme from Romeo & Juliet”. In addition, André Rieu this time comes up with classical pieces, such as the “Etude op.10” by Chopin, Mozart’s “Adagio” and the melancholy “Far From Home Largo” from the From the New World symphony by Antonín Dvorák.

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1999

1999

To mark the 100th anniversary of the death of Johann Strauss (3 June), André Rieu brings out the “100 Years of Strauss” album. Finally, André and his orchestra take their leave of the millennium with the CD entitled “Celebration”.

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2000

2000

André releases “La vie est belle”. “Composing is something I’ve really been doing all my life. As a child, I tried to invent pretty melodies, first for the violin and then also for the piano. This is the first time that I’ve released a waltz on CD that I composed together with my brother, Jean-Philippe: La vie est belle!” says André Rieu.

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2001

2001

2001

First tour in Japan. Construction of André’s own recording studio – allowing him to produce CDs, DVDs and Television-specials. The first product made in his own studio, ‘Dreaming’, proves a great success.

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2002

2002

André’s son Pierre joins the business, with responsibility for all technical production aspects of the concerts and recordings. The second product from André’s studio “Walzertraum” is issued in 7 versions all over the world!

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2003

2003

The tour in Japan is extended to include 17 concerts in 11 different Japanese cities. As André is celebrating 25 years on the stage, an anniversary CD is released in the autumn: Romantic Paradise. To include his fans in the celebrations, André makes Romantic Paradise into a double CD, one of the two CDs being a gift. The CDs are enormously successful. The Romantic Paradise Special is recorded in Tuscany, Italy. André invites his fans to come from all over…

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2004

2004

Early in 2004 the Romantic Paradise Special is nominated for the Rose d’or. In July, André gives a spectacular concert for an audience of 18,000 in the Parkstad Limburg Stadium in Kerkrade. This performance results in a CD and a DVD: The Flying Dutchman.

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2005

2005

After the traditional New Year’s Day concert in the Cologne Arena on 1 January and a successful winter tour of Germany, Austria and France, in the spring of 2005 the ‘Flying Dutchman’ flies with his orchestra to the USA and Canada for an extensive tour of 19 concerts. After another successful tour, André shakes his home town of Maastricht to its foundations with three fabulous summer concerts on the Vrijthof Square. A CD and DVD of these concerts will be…

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2006

2006

The year 2006 began in the traditional way with winter tours in Germany and France. In April and May André tours through 25 cities across the USA and Canada. In July the brand-new André Rieu office opened in New York and André recorded a fabulous TV-special on the square in front of Schönbrunn Palace; it turned out to be the biggest production ever undertaken within the André Rieu concern. Within a week André was waltzing his home town of Maastricht…

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2007

2007

A report of the 2006 American tour was broadcast on Dutch television as a series of six programmes from January. Later these were issued as a DVD entitled ‘André Rieu on his way to New York’. In March André Rieu and his orchestra toured through Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Belgium and France, followed by a spring tour through America and Canada. As in previous years, once again André gave a number of summer evening concerts at the Vrijthof square in Maastricht….

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2008

2008

The grand World Stadium Tour ‘A Romantic Vienna Night’ came to Europe too! With a set featuring a life-size replica of the imperial Schönbrunn Palace (the world’s biggest mobile stage) André Rieu and his Johan Strauss Orchestra performed together with more than 250 artists in Düsseldorf, Leipzig, Amsterdam, Paris and Brussels. The concerts were a great success. The concerts featured the Platinum Tenors, the Vienna State Opera Ballet, 80 Vienna Debutantes, the golden coach with the Empress Sisi and Emperor…

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2009

2009

Following tradition, 2009 began with the successful New Year concerts in the Köln Arena, followed by a tour through Germany, Austria and Switzerland. In March a Japanese tour was planned. For April, May and June, Rieu again did a tour of America and Canada for 24 concerts. At the end of 2009, Rieu did Australia, this time with an arena tour through all the big cities. By the end of January the tour was practically sold out. In the cities…

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2010

2010

Following the performance for the British queen, this year André also performed for the Dutch Queen Beatrix in the caves of Valkenburg. This was on the occasion of the 125-year anniversary of the Dutch tourist office organization (VVV). In April, André conquered South Africa. In spite of a difficult departure from Europe due to ‘volcanic ash’ it was a successful tour with concerts in Sun City, Durban and Cape Town. Also this year a soap opera was produced about the…

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2011

2011

In the first months André and the JSO give concert in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Denmark. From the beginning of March they start to catch up the rescheduled concerts in South Africa, Ireland, the UK, Australia, New Zealand and 2 sold out stadium concerts in Amsterdam. André releases the DVD Fiesta Mexicana! – a documentary and concert of his 2010 Mexico tour. In July the book André Rieu: The person behind the phenomenon is released. It is made by Dutch top…

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2012

2012

Tours in Germany, France and Denmark were caught up and in may André gave his first concerts in Brazil. Over 180.000 people visit his record breaking series of 30 sold-out concerts in Sao Paulo in May, June, July and September. André & his orchestra appear on Domingão do Faustão; one of the biggest and longest running shows in Brazil. The episode with André had the best audience ratings since the start of the program 23 years ago. In June André…

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2013

2013

2013 began in the traditional way with 2 concerts in Cologne, Germany. In March, André toured throughout the USA and Canada, where Paul Anka attended one of the concerts and sang his biggest hit ‘My Way’ on stage with André. Five concerts in Rio de Janeiro followed. On April 30 2013 André gave a ‘Coronation Concert’ on Museum Square in Amsterdam in honor of the investiture of the new King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Tens of…

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2014

2014

January and February are two busy months. André is giving a long series of concerts in Germany and France. Also, together with violinist Frank from his orchestra, he is composing three new numbers for the soundtrack of the film ‘Tuscan Wedding’. The film is having its premiere in the beautiful Tuschinski theatre in Amsterdam. In April, André travels to Asia, where he performs for the first time in Taiwan and China. He is also giving a concert in Singapore. Clearly:…

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