New Year’s Concert of Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra

The traditional New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra (this year conducted by Franz Welser-Möst) took place  on January 1 at 11:00am in the Golden Hall of Vienna’s Musikverein. The concert is televised worldwide and offers to an audience from more than 70 countries a spectacle of classical music and dance.

For as long as can remember, my Dad and and I would wait with trepidation for this broadcast, particularly in the dark communist days when culture was considered an ‘unhealthy hobby’, and hence almost banned from the Romanian TV and radio stations.  This year, sadly without my father, my family and I enjoyed compositions by the Strauss family as well as Joseph Lanner, Joseph Hellmesberger and Franz Liszt. The concert concluded with the timeless The Blue Danube by Johann Strauss II, one of my father’s favorite Viennese waltzes,  and the lively Radetzky March by Johann Strauss I.

For over 25 years the flowers are a gift from the City of San Remo,  Italy. This year more than 30,000 flowers adorned the stage and the walls, spheres of soft pink roses,’ fields’ of delicate Ranunculus ,scented oriental lilies and Cymbidium orchids clusters and magical smilax (Asparagus asparagoides) swags. Traditionally the audience is then invited to take the flowers – music AND flowers, what a treat.