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'I would like to have had a lovely mother who loved me' - André Rieu

André Rieu tells Barry Egan about the sadness that touched his life - 'I would like to have had a lovely mother who loved me' - and how he has channelled his creativity during the pandemic

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André shines when he’s on stage and he puts all that confidence down to his wife Marjorie whom he married in 1975 and had two sons, Marc and Pierre

André shines when he’s on stage and he puts all that confidence down to his wife Marjorie whom he married in 1975 and had two sons, Marc and Pierre

ullstein bild via Getty Images

André and his wife Marjorie

André and his wife Marjorie

André and his wife Marjorie whom he married in 1975 and had two sons, Marc and Pierre

André and his wife Marjorie whom he married in 1975 and had two sons, Marc and Pierre

Patrick Kluivert

Patrick Kluivert

Bongarts/Getty Images

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André shines when he’s on stage and he puts all that confidence down to his wife Marjorie whom he married in 1975 and had two sons, Marc and Pierre

His concerts are sometimes schmaltzy spectacles where the audiences appear as entirely lost in the moment of absolute joy as the smiling man creating it all - the King of Waltz himself, André Rieu.

With a repertoire that includes Edelweiss, The Blue Danube and I Could Have Danced All Night, crowd-pleasers are his stock-in-trade. One night in New York, at a venue beloved of Frank Sinatra, he had the crowd singing along to My Way. Another night in Australia, he played the theme song to Neighbours. It is a style of classical music that, according to Donald Clarke in the Irish Times, makes "Richard Clayderman seem like Karlheinz Stockhausen".

That said, Rieu has an inner sadness that you'd never imagine from listening to his music or attending one of his instantly sold-out shows.