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Arts & Culture

GREAT PERFORMANCES: From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2016

The Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Mariss Jansons performs favorite Strauss Family waltzes at the opulent Musikverein accompanied by the Vienna City Ballet.
Courtesy of Terry Linke
The Vienna Philharmonic under the baton of Mariss Jansons performs favorite Strauss Family waltzes at the opulent Musikverein accompanied by the Vienna City Ballet.

Airs Saturday, Jan. 2, 2016 at 9 p.m. on KPBS 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 on PBS. 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.

Conductor Mariss Jansons
Courtesy of Terry Linke
Conductor Mariss Jansons
Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the seventh time to host the festive annual New Year’s celebration from Vienna’s Musikverein.
Courtesy of PBS
Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the seventh time to host the festive annual New Year’s celebration from Vienna’s Musikverein.

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.

Past episodes of GREAT PERFORMANCES are available for online viewing. GREAT PERFORMANCES is on Facebook, and you can follow @GPerfPBS on Twitter.

From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2016 - Preview

"Julie Andrews hosts the annual New Year’s Day celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic from Vienna’s Musikverein