André Rieu gets his own stamps

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On 14 July, world-famous violinist and orchestra leader will be presented with a postage stamp booklet featuring him with his violin, walking the dog (!) and what not on the main square of Maastricht, Het Vrijthof. On this very square, he will be performing an open air concert for the fifth year in a row, although this time it will be the 30-year anniversary of his frilly-dress, pastel-clad Johann Strauss orchestra. And yes, he’s from Maastricht, Limburg and speaks Dutch with that special softness that my main co-blogger does.

Although André Rieu is unquestionably the Waltz King in the eyes of the common man, he grates the nerves of many a native for his obvious kitsch factor, campy music and his perfectionistic ways. He annoys classical musicians, saying that they are jealous of his success, has been seen on Dutch reality television yelling at his employees for not being fully committed, and has been known to keep the tighest of reigns on this business, considering his immediate family runs it. The latter seems to make perfect sense to me.

Either way, the man is a huge Dutch star and probably deserves a stamp or two. If my grandmother were Dutch and still alive, she would have called his music “beautiful music” and been bang on.

(Link: trouw.nl, Photos: ezdun.com)

6 Comments »

  1. Reminds me of the megalomaniac/narcissistic Gordon Ramsay, another celebrity. Yeah, he’s known here in the US, too. Stupidly broadcast during pledge drive weeks on PBS stations – that would convince me not to contribute! He’s just too awful for words, but I can see why he’s a hit with some Dutch people. There’s no accounting for taste.

    Comment by Jay Vos — July 10, 2009 @ 4:34 pm

  2. André Rieu is successful show man. Anyone who can turn classical music performance, indeed waltzes, into a successful popular music and international tour has accomplished something. In the US, I don’t think one is considered for a stamp face until they’re deceased. Too bad I don’t live in the Netherlands. I could buy an André Rieu stamp, give it a gentle lick on bum and use it to send well wishes to my grandmother.

    Comment by Neil — July 10, 2009 @ 6:54 pm

  3. I’ve already ordered my stamps. I have friends at Andre’s concert on the Vrijthof right now. Can’t wait for the stamps to arrive. :) As for Andre’s music, he only talks of the critics that insult him. I agree they are jealous, as if being popular somehow equals the music not of quality. What nonsense.
    Andre brings positive happy music to the world in a time of great need for such. I’ve been to several concerts all over the country and intend to go to more. :) Join us and see for yourself what all the fuss is about.

    Comment by Sally — July 10, 2009 @ 7:43 pm

  4. I’m completely w/Jay here. I see no point in rewarding a diva w/such an entitled attitude that also cheapens classical music for the sake of profit. Popularity doesn’t qualify quality. I

    Comment by Darth Paul — July 10, 2009 @ 8:05 pm

  5. I’m back and I think you’re onto something. Is he being recognized for his art, his enterprise or his celebrity? And so the bigger question is: Should the state reward successful enterprise/celebrity in the arts in the same way it rewards others who it honors with a portrayal on a stamp face?

    Comment by Neil — July 11, 2009 @ 6:04 pm

  6. I like his performances and whats more important so do my young tribe of Cloggy kids. He makes classical music interesting for them and for days after they walk around humming the tunes. Kitch or not he has our vote.

    Comment by Giddy Iddy — July 13, 2009 @ 10:41 am

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