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GREAT PERFORMANCES: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2018

Airs Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 at 9 p.m. on KPBS TV

Hugh Bonneville, new host of GREAT PERFORMANCES


Above: Hugh Bonneville, new host of GREAT PERFORMANCES "From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration," in 2018.

THIRTEEN’s GREAT PERFORMANCES continues the cherished tradition of ringing in the new year with the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein, under the baton of Italian conductor and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti, featuring favorite Strauss Family waltzes accompanied by the dancing of the Vienna State Ballet.

This year’s program welcomes new host Hugh Bonneville, best known as Robert, Earl of Grantham, in MASTERPIECE’s global phenomenon, DOWNTON ABBEY.

“I am delighted to be hosting this year’s celebration of music and dance from the heart of Austria,” said Bonneville. “It is an exciting opportunity for me to learn more about this beautiful city, its stories and its music, and to share these discoveries with audiences around the world. Thank you to Dame Julie Andrews for entrusting me with this coveted role!”

“I’m honored to have hosted this timeless tradition for eight years and will continue reveling in Vienna’s wonderful history, music and picturesque beauty,” said actress and author Julie Andrews, who has starred in numerous GREAT PERFORMANCES productions over the last three decades. “I look forward to toasting Hugh Bonneville, the Vienna Philharmonic, and all my friends at GREAT PERFORMANCES on New Year’s Day.”

“We are grateful to have had the legendary Julie Andrews as host this many years,” said GREAT PERFORMANCES executive producer David Horn. “Hugh Bonneville takes over the reins at a significant moment. 2018 marks the centenary of the end of World War I and this year’s show will be themed with location segments referencing visionaries like artist Gustav Klimt and architect Otto Wagner, who were among the forward thinkers leading the way into the modern era – much like Hugh leading us into a new era of the broadcast.”

In addition to performances of waltz favorites like “Tales from the Vienna Woods” and “The Blue Danube,” joining the Strauss Family repertoire is music by Alphons Czibulka, whose “Stéphanie-Gavotte” provides the soundtrack to a pas de deux at Emperor Franz Josef’s private train station — which was ultimately used just once.

This year’s other ballet performance features dancers from the Vienna State Ballet waltzing to “Roses from the South” by Johann Strauss II at the Schloss Eckartsau hunting lodge.


This program will be available to stream on demand the day after the broadcast.


GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook, and you can follow @GPerfPBS on Twitter. #GreatPerformancesPBS


GREAT PERFORMANCES is produced by THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET.

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