Friday, January 01, 2010



The New Year always begins for us with the televized live New Year's Concert (in German "Neujahrskonzert") of the Vienna Philharmonic (Wiener Philharmoniker) which is broadcast worldwide (ca. 11:15 a.m. European time) and this year reached a record 72 countries.

Each year a conductor of world renown is invited to conduct the orchestra and today it was the amazingly dynamic 85-year old French conductor Georges Prêtre ("his interests include riding, swimming, aviation, judo, and karate") whose presentation in 2008 was so warmly received that he was invited again for 2010, conducting in a manner which we to us reflects "the Vienna style".

This year's concert proved to be an absolutely spectacular presentation sponsored by Rolex, who must have put a lot of money into this year's concert, judging by the sheer professionality and extravagance of the production.

For example, the 77-year old Italian fashion designer Valentino (Valentino Garavani) was enticed out of retirement to design 18 ballet dresses for two ballets danced for the first time at the Museum of Art History in Vienna (Kunsthistorisches Museum, KHM). We heard comments that these were the most beautiful, feminine ballet dresses that some people had ever seen.

The conductor in 2011 will be Franz Welser-Möst, "who in 2010 becomes the General Music Director of the Vienna State Opera. Franz Welser-Möst has been musical director in Nörrköping and Winterthur, principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and Music Director of the Zurich Opera. Since 2002 he has been Music Director of the Cleveland Orchestra."

The concert is so popular that each year lots are drawn for the privilege of buying tickets, and registration for the ticket drawing commences this year on January 2 and ends on January 23. A registration from MUST be filled out and each registrant can register once only (multiple registrations are ignored) for any or all of three concerts: the Preview Performance (Dec. 30, 2010, 11:00 AM), the New Year's Eve Concert (December 31, 2010, 7:30 PM,), and the New Year's Concert (January 1, 2011, 11:15 AM). No one can obtain more than two tickets and prices range up to €940 per seat for the New Year's Concert, which is the most expensive concert of the three in terms of tickets. (See Ticket Drawing.)

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