Andre Rieu: My success? It’s all about friendship

In an interview with Anya Wassenberg for Ludwig Van, the Dutch Waltz King reflects on why so many people keep coming back for more:

‘There is a connection with the audience, I am convinced of the fact that classical music is meant for everybody to enjoy, not just for the elite as some might think. I can see men and women from 0 to 100 at my concerts, and my music seems to unite people too. There are friendships that started years and years ago, and those people still meet — also when I’m not having a concert…’

How many classical performers ever give a thought to what’s going on in the audience? And how it might be developed?

Read on here.

See also: Classical concerts lack love and authenticity

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    • absolutely, only wish he would work with better vocal soloists. He should hire real stars for some of his concerts. Rieu conducts Beczala, Kaufmann or Netrebko

  • “How many classical performers ever give a thought to what’s going on in the audience? And how it might be developed?”
    I thought (almost) every artist, every musician does think about the audience. Of course this does not necessarily mean that every artist wants to please the audience. Most of us believe that music can change people or even the world. There are many ways to approach the audience. Whether this approach is more focused on fun or deep emotions or just “dry” – all approaches are valuable.

  • I’m so tired of this “music isn’t just for elites” tripe. I agree – I want everyone to love Mahler, Strauss, Wagner, etc.. But last I checked, tickets to his concerts are as expensive (or more so) as those at any opera house or symphony concert. Though I guess in this case I suppose “elite” doesn’t mean money, rather taste and discernment.

    • I suspect that the music to which he is referring in his comment about “elites” is not that of Mahler, Strauss, or Wagner, but, more likely, that of, say, Ligeti, Webern, or Stockhausen. Those of us who were conservatory students in the 60s and went through the serial juggernaut, remember the snotty attitude of so many composers towards audiences. This stuff left its mark on several generations, despite the common opinion around SD that, “it never happened.”

  • I haven’t a doubt in the world that the atmosphere in hos concerts is happy and friendly. But I suspect the reason he reches the non-classical audience is easy listening.”

    • And he makes every effort to reinforce his audience’s prejudices about the nasty, elitist classical music world, just to be sure they don’t consider straying in that direction.

    • Liberace was a wonderful musician as well….
      Many many years ago, I saw him on the Mike Douglas show (a chat and entertainment show here in the US).
      Mike said “what would you like to play for us?”
      Lib said “Mozart”, and he proceeded to play the 1st mvt. of a Mozart sonata (I wish I could remember which one).
      It was lovely – great technique, sensitivity, and stylistic awareness.
      I love the Lib! Andre too!

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