Great Performances | From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2016
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Watch Friday, January 1, 2016 at 7:30pm on WMHT TV

Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the seventh time to host the festive annual New Year’s celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Mariss Jansons, from Vienna’s Musikverein.

                From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2016, featuring the infectious melodies of the Strauss Family and their contemporaries, airs on Great Performances, Friday, January 1 at 7:30pm on WMHT.

Maestro Jansons is returning for the third time to conduct the ever-popular concert. The Vienna Boys’ Choir and soloists of the Vienna State Ballet also return for the gala evening.

This is the largest worldwide event in classical music reaching millions of people annually through radio and television in over 80 countries. The Vienna Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s program has showcased Viennese musical culture at the highest level, and since the first television broadcast in 1959, sent the world a New Year's greeting in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. (The telecast marks the 32nd   broadcast of the event on PBS.)

Julie Andrews’ role as host of these New Year’s broadcasts continues to be a cherished tradition for viewers and the beloved singer, actress, and author herself: “Vienna is a magical city…rich in culture and history. The glorious music it has brought to the world is a gift. I look forward to hosting another New Year’s celebration and sharing some of the incredible sights and sounds that are uniquely Vienna.”

As is customary with these broadcasts, Ms. Andrews will travel from her home base in the Musikverein hall itself to visit multiple picturesque Vienna landmarks, including The Imperial Summer Palace of Schönbrunn, and The Kaiserloge in the Royal Enclosure at Austria’s Freudenau racetrack; The Winter Riding School in the Hofburg; the Imperial Carriage Museum; Vienna’s first public park, The Volksgarten; and the Volksgarten Club Disco (once Petro Corti’s Kaffeehaus where the Strausses performed); and the historic Tirolerhof farmhouse.

The musical program is as follows:


Johann Strauss

“A Night in Venice” Overture


Eduard Strauss

Out of Control, Quick Polka


Josef Strauss

Music of the Spheres, Waltz


Johann Strauss

Singers Joy, French Polka (with Vienna Boys’ Choir)


Josef Strauss

On Holiday, Quick Polka (with Vienna Boys’ Choir)


Johann Strauss

“Princess Ninetta” – Entr’acte between Acts 2 and 3


Emil Waldteufel

España, Waltz (after Chabrier)


Johann Strauss, Sr.

Sighs Galop


Josef Strauss

The Dragonfly, Polka Mazur


Johann Strauss

Emperor Waltz


Johann Strauss

On the Hunt, Quick Polka


Johann Strauss

Double-time! Quick Polka


Johann Strauss

On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Waltz


Johann Strauss, Sr.

Radetsky March


Andrews has been a frequent and luminous presence on Great Performances, starting with “An Evening with Alan Jay Lerner” (1989); “Julie Andrews in Concert” (1990); “Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II” (1995); “Back on Broadway” which spotlighted her return to the Great White Way in “Victor/Victoria” (1995); “Hey, Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh” (1998); “My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies” (1999); its follow-up “My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs” (2001); and the restoration of the classic 1957 “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (2004). She also hosted the Emmy Award-winning series Broadway: The American Musical in 2004. Andrews was recently featured in the “Great Performances’ 40th Anniversary Celebration(2013). 

Mariss Jansons has been the chief conductor of the Chor und Symphonieorchester des Bayerischen Rundfunks since 2003. In 2004 he became the chief conductor of the Koninklijk Concertgebouworkest in Amsterdam, as well. He has collaborated with all the major orchestras of the world.

Jansons has conducted the Vienna and Berlin Philharmonic Orchestras regularly in Vienna and Berlin as well as on tour throughout Europe, the United States and Japan. Jansons’ discography comprises recordings for many of the major labels, and he has been awarded numerous international prizes. In 2006, Jansons conducted the New Year’s concert for the first time. The ensuing CD recording reached double platinum and the DVD gold status. In 2012, Mariss Jansons returned, and, once again, the DVD and CD releases reached platinum and double platinum respectively.

The Vienna State Ballet is choreographed by Jiri Bubenicek. It provides the ensembles at both the Vienna State Opera and the Vienna Volksoper.