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Aired Sunday January 1st, 2012 at 6:30 pm on KUED HD Ch. 7.1
Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the third time to host the annual New Year's celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Mariss Jansons from Vienna's Musikverein. This is Jansons' second time at the podium of the event. The famed Vienna Boys' Choir returns as well for the annual tradition.
From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2012, featuring the Strauss Family and contemporaries, will air live Sunday, January 1 at 6:30 p.m. on KUED.
The venerable concert is the largest world-wide event in classical music reaching over a billion people annually through radio and television in 72 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 has been a Great Performances tradition on KUED since 1985.
"It is always a privilege and a wonderful spoiling to visit Vienna, especially at holiday time," says Andrews. "The sights and sounds are glorious and I bask in the irresistible music all around me, particularly the beautiful Strauss waltzes."
She has appeared frequently 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 will travel from the Musikverein hall to visit multiple picturesque Vienna landmarks: a steam railway for Lumbye's "Steam Railway" gallop; the Belvedere Palace for the three ballet sequences, choreographed by Davide Bombana; and the Augarten Palais, home of The Vienna Boys' Choir.
The Vienna Boys' Choir is one of the oldest boys' choirs, existing in the world since 1498 when Maximilian I called the first dozen boys to the court as members of the newly formed court music band. Numerous vocalists, violinists, conductors, and pianists have sung in their ranks: Joseph Haydn, Franz Schubert, Karl Zeller, Hans Richter, Lovro von Matacic and Clemens Krauss. In the days of the First Republic they were regarded as Austria's "singing ambassadors." Since those days the Vienna Boys' Choir has given concerts under nearly all the great conductors of this century: Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Herbert von Karajan, Carlos Kleiber, Lorin Maazel, Riccardo Muti and Sir George Solti. And, every Sunday the Vienna Boys' Choir sing solemn mass in Vienna's Hofburg chapel, continuing a tradition unbroken since 1498.
Since the autumn of 2003, Mariss Jansons has been the principal conductor of the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra and Chorus and since September 2004 principal conductor of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra in Amsterdam, presiding over two of Europe's most prestigious orchestras, both steeped in tradition.
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