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The highly respected and ever prolific Dutch violinist André Rieu, a great friend of the lateMOR genius James Last, is Maastricht’s most famous resident. A global traveller with worldwide successes to match his output Rieu is known for creating the waltz-playing Johann Strauss Orchestra whose popularity matches or exceeds many a rock and pop phenomenon when it comes to stage performance. One of the violinists who deserves (and can afford) to play a Stradivarius, Rieu owns the 1667 model, one he has often compared to the female form. As he says: “It's not only a Stradivarius, it's THIS Stradivarius. A violin is really like a woman. She is unique. There are many women but only one woman you love. With a violin it is the same.” He spent much time searching out his instrument.

“Yes, it is really difficult until you get entrance into the violin world.... It's a small world; only 3 or 4 people determine that over the whole world. And once they knew that Andre Rieu was looking for a violin and preferably a Stradivarius. They came like flies to honey. It was unbelievable; I did nothing. They came from the other side of the world with violins saying: come, play. I actually had many different Stradivari under my chin to try out but it was very difficult because it is such a important decision.”

As one of modern classical music’s genuine superstars Rieu hasn’t always been able to satisfy those critics who would keep the great composers of the Baroque and Romantic movements covered in aspic and under glass in dusty museums, but since this man weighs his royalties rather than read them on a spreadsheet, he should care less.

Still often playing over 100 concerts a year, the youthful 65-year old and longhaired figure he cuts is so charismatic that he is viewed with awe by his fans: from Holland to Germany and London to New York, they flock to his concerts with tribal fervor. Heavily honoured in Holland and also in France (he is a Knight of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, Rieu has done more than most to rescue classical music from a time warp and bring it to modern tastes. He is also canny enough to mix theme music, movie soundtracks and golden pop standards of the 20th and 21st centuries into his repertoire. Music maestro, please.

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Love In Venice
Andre Rieu - Love In Venice
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Rieu Royale
Andre Rieu - Rieu Royale
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Magic Of The Violin
Andre Rieu - Magic Of The Violin
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Forever Vienna
Andre Rieu - Forever Vienna
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Magic Of The Movies
Andre Rieu - Magic Of The Movies
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You'll Never Walk Alone
Andre Rieu - You'll Never Walk Alone
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In Love With Maastricht
Andre Rieu - In Love With Maastricht
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Music Of The Night
Andre Rieu - Music Of The Night
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New York Memories
Andre Rieu - New York Memories
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And The Waltz Goes On
Andre Rieu - And The Waltz Goes On
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