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Classical 02/03/2009

Denon Classics' Andre Rieu No 1 Top Selling Classical Artist & No 8 Pollstar Touring Act In 2008!

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SANTA MONICA, CA. (Top40 Charts/ Denon Classics) - Denon Classics, once again the U.S.'s No 1 independent Classical label is celebrating the announcement of Andre Rieu as the No 1 selling Classical artist for 2008 according to Billboard Magazine as well as attaining the No 8 spot in Pollstar Magazine among all the touring acts of 2008 in the U.S.! Rieu landed atop this year's sales tally as the nation's top selling classical artist according to Billboard Magazine. He returns to the United States in the Spring of 2009 for an unprecedented "Greatest Hits Tour" celebrating his 30th anniversary as a performer with more consecutive U.S. dates than he has ever scheduled before, spanning April, May and June. To commemorate his artistic achievement and to honor his upcoming 30-year milestone, Denon Classics will release "Andre Rieu's Greatest Hits" as chosen by his fans and collected from all of his Denon releases on CD, DVD and a deluxe CD/DVD set on March 3rd.

Andre Rieu has already earned the distinction as the No 1 pledge drive artist for PBS and now the No 1 Classical artist according to Billboard Magazine. Firmly established as one of the top performing artists according to Pollstar Magazine who ranked him as the No 8 top touring draw of the year on ticket sales approaching $77 million (placing him in good company amongst the likes of Madonna, The Eagles, Bon Jovi and Coldplay), Rieu has won legions of fans worldwide and his success continues to grow with each new release and tour. Combining unparalleled showmanship with shrewd marketing, Rieu has built a world class musical career with sold out tours and increasing sales of his specials and recordings despite the ever changing dynamics of the industry.

Born in 1949 in the Dutch Province of Maasticht, Andre Rieu began his classical music training at the age of five encouraged by his father, a professional conductor. Focusing on the violin throughout, Rieu immersed himself in his musical studies attending the conservatoire in Liege, Maastrich and finally in Brussels where he concluded his musical training with distinction (Premier Prix). It did not take long before Rieu founded his first ensemble, the Maastrich Salon Orchestra performing throughout the world even as he is engaged as a violinist in the Limburg Symphony Orchestra. In 1987, Rieu recruited the 12 member Johann Strauss Orchestra. It was from this foundation that he soon catapulted to success performing concerts throughout Europe in support of his first album, "From Holland With Love," which included the piece "Second Waltz" - a beautiful version of a Dmitri Shostakovich composition that captured the imagination of ever-larger audiences triggering a wave of affection for the waltz and earning him the fond nickname, Waltz King! With each subsequent project, Rieu gradually built a juggernaut musical enterprise of world tours (with an expanded 50 member orchestra), recording studios and TV specials - all of which were produced, designed and marketed in house. It's an incredible endeavor matched only by the likes of similar enterprises such as Cirque du Soleil.

2009 is certain to be another banner year for Rieu with the 30-city arena tour, select repeat airings of his specials on PBS beginning in March and the release of his hand-picked greatest hits collections. Denon Classics' "Greatest Hits" collections include songs and performances taken from all of his hit releases on the label such as "Live in Dublin," "At Radio City," "Live in Vienna," "At The Movies," "Wonderland," "New Years in Vienna," "Tuscany," "Homecoming" and more. "Andre Rieu's Greatest Hits" will be released as a 15-track CD, a 20-performance DVD and a two-disc limited edition CD with bonus tracks which will also include a bonus DVD with five exclusive performances.

A platinum selling artist around the world, Rieu's worldwide appeal is as strong as ever having recently earned his 4th Platinum certification from Canada's CRIA for the DVD "CHRISTMAS AROUND THE WORLD" bringing his total awards to 15 to date (including 11 Gold Sales certifications).

Rieu recently completed a record-breaking tour of Australia in 2008 selling out his eleven city World Stadium Tour (which included traveling with a full sized replica of Vienna's spectacular Schonnbrun Palace) which only added to his already multi-platinum sales. Rieu's specials dominated the music DVD charts in Australia capturing the top 6 spots on the charts (with 21 of his specials landing in the top 50 overall!).

Confirmed U.S. dates for Rieu's "Greatest Hits" tour are:
4/23 New York - Hammerstein Ballroom
4/24 Bridgeport - Arena @ Harbor Yard
4/25 Nassau, NY - Nassau Coliseum
4/26 New Jersey - Prudential Center
4/27 Reading - Sovereign Center
4/28 Philadelphia - Susquehanna Bank Center
5/14 Baltimore - 1st Mariner Arena
5/15 Wilkes-Barre - Wachovia Centre
5/16 Cleveland - Quicken Loans
5/17 Pittsburgh - Mellon Arena
5/18 Columbus - Nationwide Arena
5/19 Detroit - Fox Theatre
5/21 Chicago - Allstate Arena
5/22 Milwaukee - Milwaukee Theatre
5/23 Minneapolis - Target Center
5/24 Des Moines - Iowa Events Center
5/25 Omaha - Qwest Center
5/26 Denver - Pepsi Center
6/12 Vancouver - GM Place
6/13 Seattle/Tacoma - Tacoma Dome
6/14 Portland - Rose Garden Arena
6/16 Oakland - Oracle Arena
6/17 Sacramento - Arco Arena
6/18 Fresno - SaveMart Arena
6/19 Los Angeles - Nokia Theatre
6/20 San Bernardino - Citizens Business Bank Arena
6/22 San Diego - Cricket Wireless Pavilion
6/23 Phoenix - Arena
6/24 Las Vegas - Orleans Arena
6/25 Salt Lake City - Usana Amphitheatre

The Savoy Label Group (SLG) features not only the historic Savoy Jazz label but also the Denon, Denon Classics, SLG and 429 Records labels. Savoy Label Group is the North American unit of Columbia Music Entertainment (formerly Nippon Columbia), the oldest music company in Japan. SLG is lead by Steve Vining and CME is headed by Chairman Strauss Zelnick, founder of Zelnick Media which owns interests in and manages an array of media companies.

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