Rieu on the Rocks

The famed “Waltzing Dutchman,” Andre Rieu, has hit a financial bump. Since his first album in 1994, his regular-as-clockwork platinum disks and widely successful touring with Viennese romantic music signals nothing but wild success. But, as the important French financial daily Les Echos has reported, his company had a loss of 14 million Euros in 2008, the last public report available.

His tours are elaborate, with some 110 employees, including 35 full-time musicians. He is known for his attention to detail and his shows, requiring several buses and trucks with his image on the side, are famous throughout Europe. Reportedly his one-million Euro Stradivarias and several of his building are collateral for the bank loans needed to keep operating.

He is reportedly the sixth-largest selling artist in the world, ahead of Elton John, and his current album, “Vienna Forever,” is number two on the UK charts – a placement for classical music not seen in two decades. His current income is sound but cost management is likely a new priority.

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