Vienna Philharmonic set for diamond anniversary concert

By Chen Nan ( China Daily ) Updated: 2015-12-30 10:17:26

Vienna Philharmonic set for diamond anniversary concert

Mariss Jansons will take the baton at the New Year's Concert.[Photo provided to China Daily]

When the Vienna Philharmonic holds its New Year's Concert in the Golden Hall of Vienna's Musikverein on Jan 1, it will not just present one of the world's foremost classical music events but also will celebrate the 75th anniversary of this cherished tradition.

"It's the first day of the New Year and the concert is a musical greeting to the world with a spirit of hope, friendship and peace," says Andreas Grossbauer, president of the Vienna Philharmonic, in a phone interview with China Daily.

After conducting the New Year's Concert in 2006 and 2012, maestro Mariss Jansons will return for the third time.

The Vienna Boys' Choir and soloists of the Vienna State Ballet will also return to the annual gala in Vienna.

"The conductor listened to more than 800 pieces to find what's proper for the concert. The show will be emotional as it has always been," Grossbauer says.

Keeping the tradition that the program is made up of a mix of works by the Strauss family and their contemporaries, the conductor has chosen works not previously performed at the New Year's Concert, including Robert Stolz's March of the United Nations and two French polkas by Johann Strauss II.

To celebrate its 75th anniversary, the Vienna Philharmonic also announced a partnership with Sony Classical in early December by releasing a jubilee edition, titled The New Year's Concert: The Complete Works, which comprises 23 CDs featuring the 319 works that have been performed at the New Year's Concert.

Among them are 25 previously unreleased recordings from the archives of Austria's national public service broadcaster, the organization that has recorded the concert since 1961.

The tradition of the New Year's Concert dates back to 1939. Its first conductor was Clemens Krauss, who was followed in 1955 by Willi Boskovsky.

The list of conductors who have presided over a New Year's Concert ranges from Zubin Mehta to Seiji Ozawa.

After being first televised live in 1959, the New Year's Concert has generated worldwide interest.

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