Photographer:Fotograaf: archief Nederland 1
MAASTRICHT. Four Maastricht researchers are going to study the ‘phenomenon’ of André Rieu. They want to find out what the secret is behind this Maastricht violinist and orchestra conductor. Why does his music appeal to such a broad public? How does he manage to remove the divide between classical and popular music? And why does music from a film, such as Gone with the Wind, become a hit when this Maastricht celebrity puts it on his concert list? Has this to do with nostalgia, memories?
Jac van de Boogard from the Limburg Social and Historical Centre took the initiative for this project together with Maaike Meijer (who specialises in research into the boundaries between high and low culture), Peter Peters and Louis van den Hengel (all three working at the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences). “Rieu was a classmate of mine at the Maastricht city grammar school. We lost touch with each other until about five years ago, when we met again.” Rieu has already given his permission for the project and the researchers have already been to a few of his concerts, including the concert on the Museum Square in Amsterdam on the day when the Dutch king was crowned. They will also carry out fieldwork during the upcoming series of concerts on the Vrijthof.
The research should result in scientific publications, a conference, a documentary film and a book for the fans based on the academic publications. The book will be written by Van de Boogard and will be published in Dutch, German and English. The researchers expect the project to be completed by the end of 2015.
As a kind of kick-off they want to organise an André Rieu Academy, an afternoon on ‘Rieu as a phenomenon’, specifically for people who will be attending his concert in the evening on the Vrijthof (price 10 euro) on 5 and 6 July. The programme will consist of three lectures: one about the history of the waltz by Van den Boogard, another about the globalisation of the creative industry by Peters, and the third about nostalgia and the return of popular festivities by Meijer. There will also be time for discussion, coffee, a piece of cake and a glass of prosecute.