French Ambassador Jean-François Blanel presented the highest French decoration to André Rieu last Thursday. Blanel presented him with the decoration of Chevalier des Arts et des Lettres (Knight in the Order of Arts and Literature) He was presented the decoration at his home in Maastricht.
The decoration exists of a silver double pointed eight armed star with a medallion tied to a ribbon, which may be worn by Rieu on his left lapel. Rieu received the award for his great service to classical music all over the world, but especially in France.
After receiving the High French decoration, André Rieu received on thursday night also the Buma Export Prize. Ivo Niehe admired him for selling 715.000 tickets. Rieu himself: “I am extremely proud to be Dutch and a Maastricht citizen. I say that whenever I am on an international stage. We, as small country, can do it al.”
The export prize is bestowed upon the Dutch artist who in the past year has been the most successful abroad. In the meantime this is the fourth time that André has received this award, but that does not make him less happy.
“When I started playing the violin, I never thought I would become an export product” says André. “I am extremely proud of the Netherlands. Every evening when I perform I receive so much enthusiasm from the public. Thank you very much!”