July 5, 2022. It's such a blast to be here and see everything. We already have met so many friends from all over the world. They seem to have reached Maastricht without too many problems. We were on Dutch TV with a short interview. The atmosphere here is electric and so is the press. Articles about André everywhere in the news on TV and in papers. They are not allowed to interview André during the rehearsals, so they approach the fans and café owners to express their joy about the coming concerts, after three years of corona pandemic.
As usual, Ruud and Ineke started to put up the banners.“40 years” include the Maastrichts Salon Orchestra.
Free drink water taps. Thank you André.
A party with Jack and Edna Welton, our neighbors next door, hotel roof apartment.
Virtual party on the Harmony Parlor at Facebook. Chris is dressed in style.
Dear Lily Choy ofChinese restaurant “La Chine” (on the Market square), became a member of the Rieu fan-family throughout the years.Many birthday parties,and wedding anniversaries has been celebrated at their wonderful restaurant.
In the supermarket: two typical Dutch products! Heineken and Ineke.
In a crowd of 11,000 people on the Vrijthof, Kevin Johnson, Jean Raemaekers and Marie-Jeanne Huinck sit next to each other. Is there a coincidence? In 2017 Marie-Jeanne painted a group of André Rieu fans. She wanted to give it away to an André Rieu fan who appreciated it. Kevin's mother Barbara signed up, but passed away soon after. Then Kevin and his brother Rob got it and now it hangs above the piano in Birmingham, UK, in loving memory of their mother. It was an unexpected warm reunion! For those who want to know the full story, click here and scroll down the page.
Unusual pictures.Hardly ever seen by fans, but we see it from our hotel room window! Early in the morning we see the cleaning of the square after each concert day, with leaf blowers and vacuum cleaners. André makes a mess! Pyro-technicians are lifted to the roof of the temple by a cherry picker, to replace the fireworks.Light experts climb the poles to check the lamps. In the background you can see the St. Peter’s mountain with the spire of the St. Peter’s church behind André's castle.
Artist Mathy Engelen.Mathy visited us again to finish his panorama painting of the Vrijthof. It is very interesting to see an artist at work.Visit his pop-up gallery 2022 at: Stationsstraat 3, Maastricht Thurs-Sun 1-5 pm or book your appointment (+32)(0)472.258.966. www.mathyengelen.be.Update: Mathy suddenly passed away in January 2023.
André checking the sound.
Justinas Kaunas.We hear wonderful stories here in Maastricht. Again we wonder: is there a coincidence??On Saturday July 9th 2022 we went out eating with our daughter Irene, at the Japanese restaurant Sashimi in the Helmstraat, next to our hotel. We spoke to the kind owner of the restaurant about the concert series, and she told us that her employee of 8 years now plays the violin in the Johann Strauss Orchestra. We suggested: Justinas Kaunas?? She was amazed! How did we know?? She told us that Justinas had worked for her during his study at the conservatory as a part time servant for 8 years! One day Pierre and his family had dinner in this restaurant and the conversation turned to music and Justinas said that he played the violin. Pierre suggested that the orchestra had a vacancy….. So Justinas applied at André and was accepted!!! What a wonderful story!
The day after the night before!!(No, not from our party!)
A lovely day spent with our daughter Irene. For the second time she said she wished to join us to an André concert. She lives in Zutphen NL, where she runs her own horse riding school with 43 horses, 2 dogs, 3 cats and about 250 customers. So we don’t see each other very often and we loved the quality time in Maastricht. She joined us to the fan picnic and the concert and we went shopping to buy a new concert outfit for me.
Recordings for the cinemas and the DVD.(only during the first weekend)
We saw an aerial platform, a sky mote and a camera crossing the square on a cable.Here in the picture you see the aerial platform with camera, the towers of the Our Dear Lady Basilica, and a few hot air balloons coming our direction.
Dutch TV program “Hart van Nederland”. Our five minutes of fame.When we have time we’ll translate and add subtitles, but now we are celebrating Maastricht.
André Rieu Fans HP on Facebook.
Photo: Julia McCarthy-Fox.
At the wonderful “VerrasSing” Concert by Madieke, Christine and Joline, we were so lucky to meet more JSO members in the audience: Teun, Micaëla and Ellie. For an article about Joline, click HERE
July 15th 2022: A very special picture:Super moon above Maastricht.Everything here in Maastricht seems to shine brighter than elsewhere, even the moon!
Press and Media like to interview the fans.For a video of Limburg TV Channel L1, at “Meet and Greet the soloists”, click HERE.The national and regional press found us too! To read several articles, and to watch a video: click HERE.
Vierdaagse (Four days Marches) became in July 2022 Driedaagse (Three days Marches) due to the heat wave.The famous four days marching challenge of 40 and 50 kilometers per day in the city of Nijmegen, was reduced this year to three days, due to the heat wave. Our son Martin, his daughter with her boyfriend and his son Thomas (12) participated. For Thomas it was the first time. All four made it to the finish line with a few blisters, but in good health. We are very proud of them! Being in Maastricht, we sent them a virtual bouquet of gladiolus flowers (that is the tradition).
Home.On Monday July 25th, we returned home (The Hague, a 2,5 minute drive). We had experienced 12 concerts out of 15 (three weeks) either on the square or from the hotel room. We had a wonderful time!
Today (August 1st, 2022) Mathy Engelen posted on Facebook:“André Rieu's last concert at the Vrijthof is over for this summer. I was pleasantly surprised that Frank Steijns bought a drawing for André Rieu yesterday on behalf of the Maastricht Salon Orchestra, which I only finished the day before yesterday. It is a view from the top room of hotel Du Casque where you have a phenomenal view of the Vrijthof. I made a perspective of 180°, from the Lambertuskerk to the Grote Staat. Because of the 30th concert that the Maastricht Salon Orchestra was allowed to perform, this drawing was given to André who will now give it a place in his studio”.
Mathy, selling his drawings on the Market squareand Frank Steijns selecting the big one as a present for André.