By: Henry Guo
Have you ever heard of New Year’s Concert in Vienna? My first time watching the Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Concert via TV was in 1986. It is now a must see program in New Year’s Day for millions of music lovers worldwide. Thanks to satellite and TV technology, people around the world can watch it at home through TV broadcasting. To me, the concert is very enjoyable because the music played in this concert is so beautiful, and it is performed by one of the best orchestras and conductors in the world.
The first new year’s concert was held in 1939, performed by the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (VPO) in the Musikverein (Music Hall) conducted by Clemens Krauss. The concertmaster of the VPO, Willi Boskovsky conducted the concert annually from 1955-1979. The concert primarily showcases the music composed by Strauss family. This is because the Strauss family was responsible for popularizing the Viennese Waltz and Polka, which are the major pieces in the concert. The Blue Danube waltz and The Radetzky March are the two pieces that must be performed during the concert, according to tradition. Since 1980’s, the concert invited world famous conductor to join this event, such as Herbert Von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel and Claudio Abbado, etc.
On New Year’s day of 2016, Latvian born conductor Mariss Jansons conducted the VPO for the new year concert. His first Vienna New Year’s concert with the VPO was in 2006, and his second Vienna New Year’s concert was 2012. On Jan 1st 2016, he conducted the VPO for the New Year’s Concert for third time.