FROM VIENNA: THE NEW YEAR'S CELEBRATION 2007 premieres on January 1, 2007 on PBS (check local listings).
Continuing its holiday tradition, GREAT PERFORMANCES returns to the stately splendor of Vienna's Musikverein for its 23rd annual New Year's Day celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic and host Walter Cronkite. Zubin Mehta will lead the world-renowned orchestra in a selection of buoyant Strauss Family waltzes, including the "Dynamiden" by Josef Strauss and the timeless favorite, "The Blue Danube," by his brother, Johann. Also featured are festive ballets danced by soloists from the Bavarian State Opera Ballet and the Ballet of the Vienna State Opera, with choreography by Christian Tichy and costumes by Christof Cremer.
Zubin Mehta first conducted the Vienna Philharmonic at the Musikverein in June 1961, and in 2001, to honor his 40-year artistic collaboration with the ensemble, he was made an honorary member. The maestro, who has taken the podium for the holiday concert on three previous occasions -- in 1990, 1995, and 1998 -- discusses his link to the Austrian capital, where he arrived at age 18 to study at the famed music academy, and its noted orchestra in Dialogue. Works by all four members of the musical Strauss clan are featured in the 2007 telecast, and in recognition of the centennial of the death of violinist, composer, and conductor Josef Hellmesberger, Jr., who led the Vienna Philharmonic from 1901 to 1903, the orchestra performs his "Leichtfüßig" ("Light-Footed Polka"). Find all the waltzes, polkas, and galops planned for the concert in the song list.
Special funding for this program was provided by UniCredit Group, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, the Starr Foundation, Vera von Kuffner Eberstadt, and the Paul W. Zuccaire Foundation.