New Year’s Day Concert 2023: The Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra perform the 2023 New Year’s Day concert from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. Franz Welser-Möst conducts the orchestra in the traditional feast of waltzes and polkas composed by the Strauss family and their contemporaries, culminating in the timeless By the Beautiful Blue Danube and Radetzky March.
The 2023 Vienna Philharmonic New Year’s Day Concert 2023 takes place on January 1, 2023, under the baton of Maestro Franz Welser-Möst in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein in Vienna. Franz Welser-Möst enjoys a particularly close and productive artistic partnership with the Vienna Philharmonic. After 2011 and 2013 the concert on January 1st marks the 3rd time, that Franz Welser-Möst conducts this prestigious concert event. The 2023 New Year’s Concert will be broadcast in over 90 countries and followed by millions of television viewers around the world.
New Year’s Day Concert 2023
The Vienna New Year’s Concert (Neujahrskonzert der Wiener Philharmoniker) is an annual concert of classical music performed by the Vienna Philharmonic on the morning of New Year’s Day in Vienna, Austria. The concert occurs at the Musikverein at 11:15. The orchestra performs the same concert programme on 30 December, 31 December, and 1 January but only the last concert is regularly broadcast on radio and television.
The concert programmes always include pieces from the Strauss family—Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss. On occasion, music principally of other Austrian composers, including Joseph Hellmesberger Jr., Joseph Lanner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Otto Nicolai (the Vienna Philharmonic’s founder), Emil von Reznicek, Franz Schubert, Franz von Suppé, and Carl Michael Ziehrer has featured in the programmes. In 2009, music by Joseph Haydn was played for the first time, where the 4th movement of his “Farewell” Symphony marked the 200th anniversary of his death. Other European composers such as Hans Christian Lumbye, Jacques Offenbach, Émile Waldteufel, Richard Strauss, Verdi, and Tchaikovsky have been featured in recent programmes.
The announced programme contains approximately 14-20 compositions, and also three encores. The announced programme includes waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, and marches. Of the encores, the unannounced first encore is often a fast polka. The second is Johann Strauss II’s waltz “The Blue Danube”, whose introduction is interrupted by applause of recognition and a New Year’s greeting from the conductor and orchestra to the audience. The final encore is Johann Strauss I’s Radetzky March, during which the audience claps along under the conductor’s direction. In this last piece, the tradition also calls for the conductor to start the orchestra as soon he steps onto the stage, before reaching the podium. The complete duration of the event is around two and a half hours.
Franz Welser-Möst – New Year’s Day Concert 2023
Franz Leopold Maria Möst (born 16 August 1960), known professionally as Franz Welser-Möst, is an Austrian conductor. He is currently music director of the Cleveland Orchestra. Franz Leopold Maria Möst was born in Linz, Austria, and later studied under the composer Balduin Sulzer. As a youth in Linz, he studied the violin and had developed an interest in conducting. After suffering injuries in a car crash that led to nerve damage, he stopped his violin studies and shifted full-time to conducting studies.
In 1985, Möst assumed the stage name Welser-Möst at the suggestion of his mentor, Baron Andreas von Bennigsen of Liechtenstein, in an homage to the city of Wels where he grew up. In 1986, he was adopted by Bennigsen. In 1992, Welser-Möst married Bennigsen’s former wife, Angelika. His first major debuts were at the Salzburg Festival in 1985, followed by the London Philharmonic Orchestra in 1986 and the Orchester Musikkollegium Winterthur in 1988.
Between 1986 and 1991 Welser-Möst served as the principal conductor of the Norrköping Symphony Orchestra, Sweden, and in 1990 he became principal conductor of the London Philharmonic Orchestra (LPO). His LPO tenure was controversial, with London critics giving him the nickname “Frankly Worse than Most”. He concluded his LPO tenure in 1996.
From 1995 to 2000, he was music director with the Zürich Opera House. He became general music director of the Zürich Opera in September 2005, with an original commitment to the Opera through 2011. However, he stood down from the Zürich post in July 2008, after having agreed to serve in the same capacity at the Vienna State Opera. Welser-Möst first conducted at the Vienna State Opera in 1987, as a substitute for Claudio Abbado in a production of Gioachino Rossini’s L’italiana in Algeri. On 6 June 2007, the Austrian government announced the appointment of Welser-Möst as Generalmusikdirektor of the Vienna State Opera, effective September 2010, alongside Dominique Meyer as director (Staatsoperndirektor). In September 2014, he announced his resignation from the Vienna State Opera, effective immediately. Welser-Möst is an honorary member of the Wiener Singverein. He conducted the Vienna New Year’s Concert in 2011, 2013 and is scheduled for New Year’s Day Concert 2023.
The Blue Danube
“The Blue Danube” is the common English title of “An der schönen, blauen Donau”, Op. 314 (German for “On the Beautiful Blue Danube”), a waltz by the Austrian composer Johann Strauss II, composed in 1866. Originally performed on 15 February 1867 at a concert of the Wiener Männergesangsverein (Vienna Men’s Choral Association), it has been one of the most consistently popular pieces of music in the classical repertoire. Its initial performance was considered only a mild success, however, and Strauss is reputed to have said, “The devil take the waltz, my only regret is for the coda—I wish that had been a success!”
After the original music was written, the words were added by the Choral Association’s poet, Joseph Weyl. Strauss later added more music, and Weyl needed to change some of the words. Strauss adapted it into a purely orchestral version for the 1867 Paris World’s Fair, and it became a great success in this form. The instrumental version is by far the most commonly performed today. An alternate text was written by Franz von Gernerth, “Donau so blau” (Danube so blue). “The Blue Danube” premiered in the United States in its instrumental version on 1 July 1867 in New York, and in the UK in its choral version on 21 September 1867 in London at the promenade concerts at Covent Garden.
The waltz The Blue Danube was not performed until 1945, and then as an encore. The Radetzky March was first performed in 1946, as an encore. Until 1958, these last two pieces were often but not always given as encores. Since that year, their position as twin encores has become inviolable tradition on New Year’s Day Concert 2021.
“Radetzky March”, Op. 228, is a piece of music composed by Johann Strauss Sr. and dedicated to Field Marshal Joseph Radetzky von Radetz. First performed on 31 August 1848 in Vienna, it soon became popular among regimented marching soldiers. It has been noted that its tone is more celebratory than martial; Strauss was commissioned to write the piece to commemorate Radetzky’s victory at the Battle of Custoza.
Along with the Blue Danube waltz by Johann Strauss Jr., the piece became an unofficial Austrian national anthem. In 1932 Joseph Roth published his novel Radetzky March, chronicling the decline and fall of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Today, the theme is used in numerous promotional jingles and at major sporting events, in particular at football matches of the Austrian national team. Since 1896, the Radetzky has been the official presentation march of the Chilean Army’s Military School of the Liberator Bernardo O’Higgins. The 1st The Queen’s Dragoon Guards of the United Kingdom adopted the Radetzky March as its regimental quick march.
When it was first played in front of Austrian officers, they spontaneously clapped and stamped their feet when they heard the chorus. This tradition, with quiet rhythmic clapping on the first iteration of the melody, followed by thunderous clapping on the second, is often observed when the march is played in classical music venues in an orchestral version prepared by Leopold Weninger (1879–1940).
The Vienna Philharmonic, founded in 1842, is an orchestra considered to be one of the finest in the world. The Vienna Philharmonic is based at the Musikverein in Vienna, Austria. Its members are selected from the orchestra of the Vienna State Opera. Selection involves a lengthy process, with each musician demonstrating their capability for a minimum of three years’ performance for the opera and ballet. After this probationary period, the musician may request an application for a position in the orchestra from the Vienna Philharmonic’s board.
In 2006, the Vienna Philharmonic was chosen as Europe’s finest orchestra in a survey of seven leading trade publications, two radio stations and a daily newspaper. In 2008, an international jury of music critics polled by the British Gramophone magazine ranked it third in the world (after the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra and Berlin Philharmonic).
Subscription ticket demand for the Vienna Philharmonic at their home, Musikverein, is currently listed on the orchestra’s website as being subject to a waiting list—six years for weekday concert subscriptions, and thirteen years for weekend subscriptions. Casual tickets however, are available in small numbers and can be bought via links from the official website, to various ticket resellers.
New Year’s Day Concert 2023
New Year’s Day concerts are a popular way for people to celebrate the start of the new year. Many major cities around the world host concerts and other events on New Year’s Day to mark the occasion. These events often feature a mix of music, dance, and other performances, and may be held in outdoor or indoor venues. Some popular New Year’s Day concerts include the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concert in Austria, the BBC’s New Year’s Day concerts in the United Kingdom, and the New Year’s Day Concert held by the Berlin Philharmonic in Germany. Do you have any specific questions about New Year’s Day concerts?