Classic: Reunion with the waltz king: André Rieu on tour

André Rieu and his orchestra were sidelined for over a year – now they’re going on tour again. Appearances in Cologne and Dortmund are pending.

At the beginning of last year, the king of standing violinists thought about the unspeakable: he would even sell his precious Stradivarius, André Rieu told a radio station in his native Netherlands, if he could only pay his musicians in this way. As is well known, the superstar of popular classical music maintains the largest private orchestra in the world – and that could not perform for many, many Corona months to earn money for the salaries of the 120 employees.

André Rieu’s pastime in lockdown: baking cakes

But it didn’t come to the end. The Dutch state stepped in, paid 80 percent of the costs incurred and Rieu was allowed to keep his exclusive, almost 300-year-old violin. In the meantime he can even play it in public again – and the local fans of the waltz king from Maastricht can finally look forward to evenings in 3/4 time again. In two weeks, classics like “On the beautiful blue Danube” will be heard in the Westfalenhalle and Lanxess Arena.

Even if André Rieu, according to his own statement, used the lockdown times productively – he learned Spanish and discovered cake baking for himself – he was happy when he was finally able to work with his musicians again last autumn. “When my orchestra and I finally got back together in my studio after more than a year apart, we laughed and cried and were full of emotions,” recalls the 72-year-old. Normally, the Maestro spends 150 days a year with his colleagues – on stage or in the studio.

Album “Happy Together” is presented

In the latter, the big reunion resulted in a new album programmatically titled “Happy Together,” which the star announced as an “emotional tribute to joy to celebrate the return to life, lightheartedness, and love.” It should be a musical reminder of “how it was before the pandemic and how it will be again soon.”

In proven Rieu arrangements, the album, which was released last Christmas, includes the “Donauwellen-” and the “Estudiantina-Walzer”, as well as adaptations of hits and hits such as “Berliner Luft”, “So Happy Together”, “You Are My Sunshine”, “Valencia”, “La Bamba” or “When I’m 64”.

Top placement on the island

In Germany, “Happy Together” only reached number 63 in the album charts. In England, on the other hand, where the Waltz King from the land of the tulips is particularly appreciated, the feel-good work climbed to fifth place. A week before he comes to Dortmund and Cologne, Rieu will be guesting at the Wembley Arena next to the famous stadium on three evenings.

The man from Maastricht, who has his own castle, is not only one of the big earners in the music business when it comes to CD sales – he has accumulated almost 500 platinum awards. Last but not least, it is the concerts that make the orchestra director’s entertainment business lucrative. With 15 million concert tickets sold, André Rieu is the most successful classical artist in the history of the “Billboard Boxscore” statistics. After the end of the corona measures, nothing stands in the way of continuing the successful tours around the world. The good old Stradivarius will certainly stay with the Maestro for a long time to come.

>>> INFO: André Rieu live

Events: May 25, 7 p.m., Lanxess Arena, Willy-Brandt-Platz, Cologne;
May 26, 8 p.m., Westfalenhalle, Rheinlanddamm 22, Dortmund.

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