This event has become an established tradition in Maastricht. Violinist André Rieu will be transforming his beloved Vrijthof square into the largest, most romantic open-air concert hall in the Netherlands for the fifteenth year in a row. On several summer evenings in July, he'll be entertaining audiences on the famous square together with his Johan Strauss Orchestra and exciting guest appearances. To see Rieu perform in his home town Maastricht is much more than simply swaying along to the music of La Traviata. It is a captivating weekend-long festivity.
‘They're the only shows that I can just cycle to, as they're just around the corner,’ jokes the king of waltz himself about his concerts in Maastricht. The yearly concert series by André Rieu in his home town Maastricht once started as a once-off event in 2005. But the sympathetic gesture of the violinist in his home town turned into an astounding success. Since then, the Rieu concerts on Vrijthof square have become one of the most popular live acts in the world.
There is almost no metropolis in the world where the 69-year old Rieu has not performed. But to see the world-famous star perform together with his Johan Strauss Orchestra on the most beautiful square in the Netherlands surrounded by historic monuments is a truly unique experience. Maastricht is the only city in the world where Rieu performs open-air concerts every single year.
For Rieu fans, the summer concerts in Maastricht are the ultimate experience. Tens of thousands of people travel across the world to relish in the catchy Rieu repertoire on Vrijthof square characterized by a playful mix of classical music, waltzes, operettas, musical numbers, and pop hits. André Rieu always brings in world-famous guest artists specially for his home-town performances. The guest appearances for this year are still a well-kept secret.
According to the fans, the music and backdrops are always stunning, but the concerts in Maastricht are so much more than that. ‘It is an experience. For three weeks the entire city is turned into one large, vibrant party.’ The many enthusiastic international visitors are an important part in the creation of this atmosphere, but local residents are also sure to book their tickets a year ahead of time. After all, the Rieu concerts are an event that can't be missed.
And for those that really want to treat themselves André Rieu Travel and Maastricht Marketing offer great hotel package deals, so that visitors can combine the Rieu concert with a relaxing city trip. Maastricht is known as little Paris, the city defined by its savoir vivre. Discover this romantic city on the Meuse before or after the performance through the eyes of André Rieu. With his insider tips you can stay a little longer and enjoy the city with a lover, friends, or family.
Visitors who opt for one of the Rieu hotel package deals are offered a special Rieu city tour and walk that takes them to the various locations that played an important part in the life of the famous violinist, from the church near Markt square where he was married to the house where he grew up next to the city park. Here, next to the small Jeker river, his father, who was the conductor of the Limburgs Symfonie Orkest (Limburg symphony orchestra, LSO) taught him to play the violin. But it was near Vrijthof square that André laid the foundation for his extensive musical career. As a young Catholic boy, he sang in the children's choir of the impressive Romanesque Basilica of St Servatius. In the city theatre he started playing in the Jeugd Symfonie Orkest (youth symphony orchestra) and eventually became the second violinist of the LSO.
But the classical world felt like a straitjacket to Rieu and was too restraining for him. This is when Rieu founded his Maastricht Salon Orchestra which allowed him to play in his characteristic flamboyant way in the foyer of what is now the Theater aan het Vrijthof theatre. André wanted young and old from all cultures across the world to waltz together. And he has achieved this dream, as can be seen every summer on the historic cobblestones of Maastricht.
For further information about the André Rieu concerts in Maastricht and to book a hotel package deal, visit www.visitmaastricht.com/andre-rieu