North America's #1 PBS pledge drive performer and #1 chart-topping Billboard Classical artist Andre Rieu will have an unprecedented two national television specials released this season. In August PBS will air "THE HOMECOMING" as a featured musical program for the August Pledge Drive period. "THE HOMECOMING" is Andre's dramatic return to his hometown of Maastricht in southern Holland, which was filmed in front of 34,000 adoring fans in the famous open-air Vrijthof Square. PBS will also air "CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD" which will anchor the December Pledge Drive. Both productions will be aired in December on PBS stations nationwide and will released by DENON Classics on CD and DVD. "THE HOMECOMING" will be released on September 26 and "CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD" will be released on November 7. Rieu will kick off his annual winter tour of North America on October 21.
For Andre Rieu, a conductor, composer and musician who has performed concerts and taped specials around the world, "The Homecoming" represents a high point thus far in his career. In the summer of 2005, Rieu and his Johann Strauss Orchestra performed four concerts for over 34,000 fans in the beautiful Vrijthoff Square in Maastricht, Holland. There was an extra special emotional energy to the performances as Rieu triumphantly returned to his hometown. Says Rieu: "We tour all over the world and it is great that we meet with success from America to Asia, but Maastricht is where I live -- this is my city. When you find yourself playing to your own public, well, it really has an effect!'
Also airing during the December pledge drive, is Rieu's "Christmas Around the World" special -- for Rieu and PBS, an unprecedented two specials airing nationally and concurrently. "Christmas Around the World" features Rieu and the Johann Strauss Orchestra performing holiday classics accompanied by the wonderful Japanese Children's Choir.
Andre Rieu will kick off his annual winter tour of the US and Canada on October 21 (dates TBA). In addition, Rieu recently completed two more specials this July: "IN AMERICA" his first US-based special filmed at Radio City Music Hall and "LIVE AT THE SCHONBRUNN PALACE, VIENNA" -- possibly his grandest special to date filmed in the courtyard of the unbelievably romantic Schonbrunn Palace -- home of the waltz! Beginning in April 2007, Rieu will embark on his most extensive tour of North America visiting more than 40 cities.
In an age of dwindling exposure for classical music on television and sliding album sales, Andre Rieu's evolution in North America in the last few years has been nothing short of remarkable. His musical spectaculars, whether filmed in the sublime landscapes of Tuscany or the lush Dublin countryside, have touched a legion of fans worldwide and have earned the multi-talented conductor, composer and violinist a reputation as a musician and entertainer unparalleled.
Also known as The Waltz King of Europe, Rieu's "THE FLYING DUTCHMAN" exploded onto the Billboard Classical Chart reaching #1 in the latter part of 2005 and remaining atop the chart into 2006, and ultimately Rieu was recognized as the #2 best-selling Classical artist for all of 2005 by Billboard Magazine. He had his first sold-out tour of the US in December of 2005 and his Spring '06 tour of the US sold out in every market as well as landing him in the Top 10 of Pollstar Magazine's top touring artists.
The leading independent classical music label in North America, Denon Classics is a division of the Savoy Label Group which is the North American unit of Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia), the oldest music company in Japan. Newly reorganized and now headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, Columbia Music Entertainment has reemerged as a significant force with a stable of newly signed platinum-selling artists.
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