André Rieu returns after 630 empty nights

André Rieu returns after 630 empty nights


norman lebrecht

December 04, 2021

The Dutch Strauss master returned to performance in Lisbon on December 1 after a 20-month Covid break.

Twelve thousand people packed the arena amid Hollywood-like celebrations.

You see it here first.


  • Piano Lover says:

    I won’t watch this show man.Let me guess:Shostakovitch waltz n°2 and a few Strauss minor pieces??
    End of the year concert is on its way with Barenboim but will he make it?

    • George says:

      You don’t watch him but you know exactly what he played?!?!?

      Portugal had -among others- :

      76 Trombones, Blue Danube, Think of me, Nessun dorma, O mio babbino caro, the Berlin Comedian Harmonists, a Strauss Medley, Can’t help falling in love, Maria Mari, Maxim’s, A Portuguese Children’s Song, Ai se eu ti pego, Radetzkymarch, Brindisi, You’ll Never Walk Alone…etc. etc.

      “Minor Strauss pieces”, haha.

      • Piano Lover says:

        Music of a low level-no more!

      • HugoPreuss says:

        OMG, what a horrible collection of “greatest hits”. The only combining thread I can see is popularity and EZ-listening melodies. Confirms for the umpteenth time my not-very-high esteem for the former Vienna Phil violinist turned showmaster.

        • Sue Sonata Form says:

          Rieu was never in the Vienna Philharmonic.

          • HugoPreuss says:

            I stand corrected. Sorry, I read it somewhere (or so I thought) and it somehow became the one saving grace I thought I knew about him. So, not even that. Thanks for the information.

    • Robyn Peck says:

      Just a few more: Plaisir d’Amour, (I can’t help) Falling in Love with you, You’ll never walk alone, Maria Mari, The Blue Danube Waltz to name just a few, plus gorgeous Encores all skilfully balanced. We love everything he does.

  • Sue Sonata Form says:

    Rieu has made lots of money promoting this kitsch, and good luck to him. And the people obviously really love it!! They’d probably all think an evening of Elliot Carter was pretty funny!! And they’d have a point. Or two.

    • Nik says:

      He has found a way to attract people who have never heard of any other violinist. That is no small feat. He doesn’t have to compete on quality because his fans don’t compare him to anyone else on that basis. They think he is all there is, as far as performing Strauss waltzes is concerned.

  • EagleArts says:

    I love it. He’s a good guy, people having fun. Music.

  • Pianist/Organist says:

    Andre and his Orchestra are 5* Musicians.

  • Grabenassel says:

    well, no Rieu-bashing, but doesn’t it say “SD the#1 classical music news site”? Is Rieu still considered to be part of the classical music scene….? Asking for a friend….

  • Algot says:

    Why?! This really has nothing to do with music. I can’t understand why he is so successful, but I’m just a musician.

  • leo grinhauz says:

    perhaps the only good thing about the pandemic is that the world was a little more quiet with fools like this locked down and shut up. This flying Dutchman is master of nothing, and proof that “audiences” have no bloody idea at whom or what to throw their money. He’s a clown. And, a pretty shitty fiddle player.

  • Sonja says:

    Good thing we all like different things. So why criticize what other people like. A Rieu concert is great fun, people always leave happy afterwards. He offers beautiful light music and lots of good times. I also like operas, musicals, piano music, even country etc. But my evenings with Rieu always make me feel good and happy.

    • V.Lind says:

      I watched a clip to see what all the hostility was about. Not the one linked here — a random one that popped on YT in response to a search.

      It was indeed a bit of Strauss, which seemed to be played perfectly well if you have a taste for Strauss — I’m not very keen, but chacun and all that.

      Seemed to me no different from what Pops concerts used to be before they stopped being light classics and went in more for playing pop, rock, movie music with orchestra.

      And there was an echo of Victor Borge in byplay with the audience.

      Left me wondering exactly what the problem was, though I admit that’s not very much of a sample in terms of knowing what Rieu is all about.

      I prefer opera, or a great deal of other music that tends to be perhaps a little more demanding, but it was rather nice to see such a cheerful audience.

    • leo grinhauz says:

      you can either seek enlightenment, or you can simply tickle your bum with a feather. The choice is yours.

      • V.Lind says:

        Or you can lighten up and enjoy the Beatles as well as Beethoven, jazz as well as classical, Brazilian and Cuban music as well as German and Austrian (or my own favourites, French and English).

        You can live and let live.

    • Piano guy says:

      People leave strip clubs happy too. Doesn’t mean they’re attending classical ballet.


    He’s looking more Dutch here. A true great.

  • Michael P McGrath says:

    Careful. Let’s not be snobbish about André. He is a first class entertainer and uses classical music to do it. Something to be grateful for. And, the quality of his playing and that of his team, judging from TV, is at least as good as that offered by some of the classical circus acts around: Netrebko, Domingo, and jostling for a place on the gravy train: Jonas “my inspiration was Prince” Kaufmann.

  • Joseph says:

    I think we’d have something to legitimately gripe about if a major label had released Rieu’s performance of the Beethoven Violin Concerto and promoted it as the equal of dozens of top violinists. I’m seeing this from across the pond, so perhaps I’m missing something, but it does indeed seem that Rieu is good at staying in his lane — sticking to his brand — and entertaining the kind of audience that appreciates this type of light classical music. It’s not my cup of tea, but then, a lot of stuff isn’t, and I don’t begrudge those who like this, nor those who perform this and make a living from it. My mother had an opportunity to go to one of his concerts about 10 years ago or so – she isn’t a sophisticated music listener, but knew enough how to encourage musical talent and training in her children, including me, a full-time professional musician for the past 35 years. She loved the concert.

  • Mystic Chord says:

    Rieu is a 5* cheesemonger in the Great European Tradition of popular light entertainment, where outrageously coiffured style gleefully triumphs over substance. A throwback to the 1970’s where us true classical music lovers were given full licence to indulge our bemused snobbery and never look back …