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Classics & News Special: New Year's Day From Vienna

Vienna Philharmonic.jpg
Lois Lammerhuber / NPR

This morning at 8am, JPR will once again broadcast the the Vienna Philharmonic's famous New Year's Day concert from the renowned Musikverein in Vienna.

Riccardo Muti, who has directed the Philharmonic on many occasions over a five decade span, will conduct the performance. This will be his sixth appearance since 1993; he has presided over this beloved event more than anyone else alive. Though the Austrian government does not permit concerts in front of an audience in the midst of the current pandemic, ORF, the Austrian broadcast network, plans to invite an audience virtually to participate in applause.

The 2021 New Year's Day program includes many favorites by Johann Strauss Jr, including the Voices of Spring and the Emperor Waltz as well as seven items appearing on the New Year's Day concert for the first time. As it has for decades now, the encores feature the most famous waltz ever, From the Blue Danube, and the Radetzky March.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic the vast majority of the orchestra world has remained silent, the Vienna Philharmonic resumed their concerts in June, beginning with 3 concerts in Vienna under Daniel Barenboim. In November 2020, they concluded a successful 7 concert trip to Japan. While in Japan, they were sequestered in their hotel rooms when not performing, and traveled in chartered buses and dedicated rail cars. Since government authorities did not permit yelling "Bravo" at the end of the concerts, the concert venues provided placards and towels with "Bravo" printed on them for the audience to wave.