Vienna New Year’s Concert, a hallmark of European heritage

On the first day of every new year, watching the Vienna New Year’s Concert is a tradition that unites many people from all over Europe.

The annual event features a classical music concert performed by the Vienna Philharmonic at the Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria.

The tradition lives on this year despite the coronavirus pandemic, but the show will have to go on without a live audience.

The Vienna Philharmonic will perform today under the baton of Italian conductor Riccardo Muti, music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.

Italian conductor Riccardo Muti leads the Vienna Philharmonic in the 2021 Vienna New Year’s Concert

An 82-year-old tradition

The first Vienna New Year’s Concert was organised in 1939. The concert presents masterpieces by famous Austrian composers, most notably the Strauss family.

The highlights of the program include “The Blue Danube” by Johann Strauss II and the customary final encore “Radetzky March” by Johann Strauss I.

A different conductor leads the Vienna Philharmonic each year. Highly acclaimed conductors are chosen from different countries within and outside Europe.

The show is broadcast live in over 90 countries in Europe and around the world with an estimated 50 million viewers.

In Belgium, the Vienna New Year’s Concert will be aired on RTBF at 11:15 a.m today.