The violinist who sold ₤1.1 million in tickets last weekend

Posted on: July 24, 2015

“The true colossus who bestrides the classical-music empire in this season of effulgence, sun, and pleasure isn’t the Proms, Covent Garden, the Metropolitan Opera—or even Glyndebourne,” writes Tom Service in Thursday’s (7/23) Guardian (Great Britain). “It is, of course, the violin’s very own Mel Gibson lookalike, André Rieu, with his abiding addiction to dressing up like a Disneyfied version of a 19th-century concert-master. The Dutch violinist’s summer concert, beamed live from his home town of Maastricht, set a UK cinema record last weekend, according to Charles Gant’s box office report. With box office takings of £1.1m from 460 cinemas, the annual event has set a record for a music concert at UK cinemas. And that doesn’t mean just classical concerts: Rieu’s army of fans turned him into a Take That- and One Direction-beating draw at the nation’s picture-houses, and, indeed, Picture Houses.… Rieu’s brand of music making isn’t what I personally would choose to watch at a cinema, but clearly there’s plenty who disagree, making this the only music concert to have grossed over £1m in the UK in a single day. If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.”

Posted July 24, 2015