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Andre Rieu Snares #1 on Billboard Classical Chart With “The Flying Dutchman”; PBS Pledge Drive Special Powers Strong Debut; December US Arena Tour Sells Out

10.13.05

SANTA MONICA, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Oct. 13, 2005--Denon Classics is proud to announce that classical music phenomenon Andre Rieu has exploded into the top of the Billboard Classical Chart with his new CD "The Flying Dutchman." Benefiting from the unprecedented ratings of the PBS August Pledge Drive special of the same name, Rieu is set to break through in the US in a huge way this fall. DENON has an extensive marketing campaign in place to support the project and PBS will reprise its airing of "The Flying Dutchman" during the all-important December Pledge Drive period. As a regular in Pollstar Magazine's top touring acts in North America for this year, Rieu and his orchestra will then close 2005 with an extensive western tour of North America beginning in Calgary, Canada, on December 7 and making stops in Seattle, Portland, San Jose, Sacramento, Fresno, Phoenix and three sold-out nights in Los Angeles.

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 three 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," the Dutch-born violinist consistently reaches the top tiers of the classical charts since his first recording, and has recently seen all of his Denon Classics releases become bestsellers, each reaching within the top five of Billboard's prestigious Classical charts. With his Holland-based orchestra, Andre Rieu has electrified audiences worldwide with his unique musical vision blending classical and pop elements, rhythm and dance into a charismatic event. It's a vision that has solidified Rieu's reputation as one of the premier live performers.

Says Gustavo Sagastumo, Executive in Charge of Pledge Drives for PBS: "PBS has enjoyed a long and successful relationship with Andre Rieu. From the release of `The Vienna I Love,' over ten years ago to his latest special, Andre finds a way to please and delight what is now a huge and loving following among PBS viewers. Audiences comment on how much passion he brings to his interpretation of the classics and how beautiful and romantic his concert locations are. We are delighted that Andre has found such success with an American audience. He has helped PBS remain a vital and vibrant service in part thanks to the financial support that his fans bring to their local stations during the pledge drives."

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.