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André Rieu 2019 Maastricht City Guide: highlights

Also this year, Chapeau produced the english André Rieu Maastricht City Guide 2019 in collaboration with the worldstar André Rieu from Maastricht. The guide includes a number of articles from the city and the surrounding area. We will present a couple of highlights to you in the next two weeks.

Concerts at Vrijthof Square
A dream come true

The history of the concerts by André Rieu at Vrijthof square in Maastricht goes back to over 30 years. This was when the idea originated.‘Everything started with the “Hiering Biete Concerts”. This was in the 1980s. I started dreaming of playing in the middle of Vrijthof square as far back as then. My wife and I used to say: “wouldn’t that be wonderful?”. Of course, we could never have imagined then that it would be possible – or become so big. We were, however, certain that it would be unique.’ So, the present Vrijthof Concerts are based on the Hiering Biete Concerts that André Rieu gave immediately after Carnival, together with his former Salon Orchestra, more than 30 years ago. ‘At that time, I knew that this would be our life. I just had no idea how big it would become. And, of course, the success is overwhelming. Fans from more than 80 countries flock to Maastricht. We have also taken many risks – during all those years, in fact. It goes without saying that with 120 people in permanent employment and just as many whom we call on from outside, it is still a risky venture. These are huge investments. Fortunately, our business is doing very well.’
Despite the huge number of concerts, André Rieu never allows himself to go on automatic pilot. ‘I want to give my very best every time. It’s not as if I were playing a part. I could not do it any differently. People sense this, if it is genuine or not. This is why my audience is always so emotional – because I am, too.’
André Rieu’s does not prepare for the Vrijthof Concerts any differently than on a concert tour of Brazil or Australia. ‘I concentrate on the concert before me. On those days, my home is my hotel, so to speak. I don’t do any household tasks, for example. I exercise and rest. I make sure that I am at Vrijthof square at around 5 PM to see if everything is in order. We have a bite to eat there, and then I take a little rest, just like when I am on tour. I never do anything on automatic pilot. I have to recharge my batteries again every time. And afterwards, there is the release. It’s still a wonderful feeling.’

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