Holland’s biggest export earner is Big Brother. The second is….

Holland’s biggest export earner is Big Brother. The second is….


norman lebrecht

December 25, 2013

andre rieu

We didn’t make it up. It’s an official Dutch stat. Read here.


  • david says:

    oh jeepers….I knew the dutch arts scene was being dumbed down daily, but maybe now that the dumbest are making the most money, tho probably not paying tax here, the government will rethink its arts policy and re-invest in some of its major assets, while they are still there to help…..

  • Snert. The credit should really go to the person who did the Rieu’s porcelain veneers. Nothing like a bit of Delft on the old choppers to keep the punters in their seats.

  • David Boxwell says:

    But his album “Shadows and Nightmares: Andre Rieu Plays Music of the Second Viennese School” didn’t sell at all well. . .

  • Brian says:

    And what would the sheer awfulness of PBS pledge drive programming do without the sheerly awful Rieu?

  • Roy Lisker says:

    Even if he didn’t play a note, his smug, ignorant face would suffice to ruin his concerts for anyone with a grain of taste

  • timwalton3 says:

    Can’t we send him back! The stupid people at Sky Arts who seem to think we want to listen to him all day every day are driving me mad.

    Abviously the powers that be at Sky have no taste whatsoever.

  • Fred says:

    now he is not that bad, he make smillions of people happy with music which doesn’t hurt the ears, and he is not subsidized, great human being and emplyer too. What i don’tlike is his hiring of third rate singers at his concerts. I don’t know why. I do not buy his cd’s but i only have praise for what he does.

  • Jheronymus says:

    There is nothing official about this list. Just made up by a Dutch tabloid on unclear judgements.

    André Rieux’s shows are not my cup of tea, but he reaches an enormous public with classical music of acceptable and even sometimes quite good quality. Millions of people do enjoy his performances. Some of his listeners will get curious and show up in concert halls for other classical concerts. He is an honest musician from a family with musical tradition. His work doesn’t hurt the classical music scene. It supports it.

    Jaap van Zweden, Bernard Haitink and Janine Jansen are also in the Top50.

  • Don’t be so hard on AR. He can play his instrument, makes a fair stab at conducting and brings good, accessible classical music to many people without costing the great unwashed a single penny in subsidies. Apparently a very good employer, too. I can think of many worse examples at the top of rich lists…

  • Derek Castle says:

    Oh dear, Norman. Not much news over Christmas, so you stir things up with one of Slipped Discs’ old ‘chestnuts’ (roasting by an open fire). Ok, I’ll take the bait. Rieu is a showman, nothing more, nothing less. Two tired, old arguments we hear again and again a) he reaches out to and entertains millions, so he must be worthwhile. So does McDonald’s, but are they a valuable part of our culture? b) his followers will be tempted to listen to real music. I don’t think so. They’ll be stuck in a groove until the next circus comes to town. Jackie, anyone? How Jheronymus can make such sweeping judgments as “his music is of acceptable and sometimes of quite good quality” is beyond me. I’d rather trust the standards of a reviewer of a serious newspaper, or even of Mr NL. Of course his music is acceptable, if that’s all you need in life.

    Sky Arts is another matter. Are they so strapped for cash that we have to be offered an endless diet of, not only Rieu repeats, but also Barenboim’s Liszt recital, Bernstein on Bernstein, etc., etc.?