Dutch ban André Rieu’s summer concerts. He’s not pleased

Dutch ban André Rieu’s summer concerts. He’s not pleased


norman lebrecht

April 30, 2021

With more than 100,000 tickets sold, the Dutch bandmaster has called off his summer series at the Vrijthof in Maastricht. The Dutch authorities will not let him go ahead.

Here’s what he says:

My dear friends,

A lot has happened during the last few months, which gives us new hope to play concerts again for you in the near future.

Many of you, my dear fans, are already vaccinated by now, me too. Unfortunately, we are not yet far enough with vaccinating to sing, laugh and dance together in Maastricht in July, carefree and happy. My orchestra and I long for these evenings as much as you do. I am therefore deeply sad to inform you that our traditional open-air concerts on the Vrijthof in Maastricht can’ t take place this year either.

My concerts are for everybody, young and old. For my fans from all over the world. My orchestra and I are very proud to entertain the whole world in my hometown every summer. 150,000 fans from 90 different countries joined us to celebrate unforgettable evenings in 2019. Those of you who have already visited my concerts in Maastricht know that this magical, unique flair, this joyful atmosphere is only possible without restrictions and distance.

When we celebrate, we do it duly! Unfortunately, this is still not possible in 2021, and your safety is, of course, my top priority.

We have been working very hard over the last few weeks to reschedule all the concerts as we want to give you something to look forward to.

My Johann Strauss Orchestra and I are sending you our very best wishes. We can’t wait to share music and joy with you again very soon!

The waltz must go on – and it will go on!

Much love,

André Rieu


  • Marfisa says:

    What a touching and dignified letter. There is not a touch of bitterness or reproach, only regret for the disappointment of his fans, and care for their safety and that of his orchestra.

    • Greg Bottini says:

      Agreed 1000%, Marfisa.
      Andre Rieu is a wonderful man and musician, and he truly carries on the REAL Strauss tradition: to bring joy and happiness to his audiences, whether or not they are seasoned classical music listeners, and play the music he loves in the most festive surroundings possible.
      I’m of mixed thoughts – as is Maestro Rieu – about the cancellation of his Maastricht concerts. On the one hand – safety first, of course. Rieu and his musicians have been vaxxed; however, there’s no guarantee the audiences have been.
      But on the other hand, this dear, generous man (who is an excellent violinist, BTW) wants so much to continue playing the music he loves in the way he wants to play it.
      Anyway, GOOD LUCK, Maestro Rieu, and I hope everything works out well for you and your merry orchestra!

  • Gustavo says:

    He needs to join forces with Anne-Sophie and bring this to the European court of justice.

    • Mecky Messer says:


      In the “Good ol’ Days” we would quasi enslave musicians (see Haydn) and putting the public at risk with hundreds of events that amount 10X the limited audiences of sports was not a problem. So a few peasants will catch the bug, who cares, right?

      Man must have his soiree…

      Make classical music great again!

    • Save the MET says:

      So you are advocating for culling the surplus population?

  • Trevor halfpenny says:

    Great shame but understandable.

  • Anon says:

    What a lovely man! Wishing him a speedy return to the concert stage!

  • Colin says:

    I’m sure he’s not pleased. However, his statement was gracious, and did not reflect his displeasure in any way.

  • Karl says:

    Would they let him play if he put a mask on his violin?

  • Nick says:

    This guy gets some hate. It’s undeserved. He is an unquestionably positive force for classical music. Very sad to hear this.

  • Gizelle Arnott says:

    So sad for Andre and his wonderful fans.I will need to postpone my 65th till his concerts return..and keep listening to cds in car and DVDS on phone and TV it really helps to keep you happy…

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    I’d like him next time to play that apposite song from “Gigi” sung by Gaston, “It’s a Bore”.

    • Save the MET says:

      As long as you are not advocating for him to play “Zank Heaven for Leetle Girls”. The pedo anthem.

  • Maria says:

    Sadly, no one is safe until everyone who can be, rather than just won’t, gets vaccinated, or else the whole carryon of testing to get into an event, or to get out. Germany and Austria still very far behind UK and Israel. My 82 year old aunt in Austria only got her first jab before Easter, and I in my 60s, been vaccinated twice in England.

    • Saxon says:

      Given the immunity from the jab does not last forever, in the end the thing that will happen is that high risk people will be vaccinated regularly, and everyone else will accept the risks (which is very low for most people, but not for everybody). It will be just like winter flu.

  • Ellingtonia says:

    This is what is called in the business “excellent customer service” by communicating with them and keeping them informed. Notice, no blame or excuses, just factual explanations, I think some of the major orchestras and their leaders could take a leaf out of Mr Rius book when it comes to valuing your paying customers (fans / supporters). But who cares, after all, according to NL all he does is play “schmaltzy” music!

  • Edgar Self says:

    Rieu is a good communicator; his letter strikes just the right note. “Freut euch des Lebens.”

  • John Savage says:

    We my wife and myself have not been able to go to your concerts but have followed you on the Internet but we are going to Maasstrict next year to see you just waiting for dates Please all of you take care and be happy.
    All The Best
    John & Joy Savage

  • Sergio says:

    Don’t worry Andre, we’re waiting for you here in Los Angeles.

  • Judy says:

    I am in tears as I write this! I have been to a Maastricht twice before and this year myself and a friend were going on the VIP ticket to celebrate my 70th birthday! I am a huge fan of Andre! I consider the concerts in the square the best night ever!! I feel very sorry for Andre because you can tell he is a genuine person and passionate about music. It is a question of safety, of course, but still very upsetting.