'Like him or loathe him': critical reactions to Andre Rieu in Australia

Sarah Keith*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Since 2007, André Rieu CDs, DVDs, television shows and concerts have saturated Australian media. Consequently, Rieu's popularity-the extent of which is remarkable for a classical musician-has drawn significant attention from commentators, critics and musicians, much of which is negative in tone. This article describes the criticisms made of Rieu in the Australian media, and explores the socio-cultural motivations for these reactions. It explores Rieu's position as a liminal classical and 'popular' musician, and proposes that Rieu can be viewed as a symptom of a diminishing cultural hierarchy. It furthermore associates criticism of the Rieu 'phenomenon' with anxieties about Arts status and funding in Australia, and proposes that disapproval of Rieu is used as a proxy for more general condemnations of Australian tastes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7-27
Number of pages21
JournalPerfect Beat
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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