Sony Classical Releases the 2021 New Year’s Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic and Riccardo Muti


Sony Classical is pleased to release the recording of one of the world’s most famous classical music events: the 2021 New Year’s Concert with the Vienna Philharmonic under the direction of renowned conductor Riccardo Muti. The live recording is available digitally now, and on CD January 22, 2021. The DVD and Blu-ray will be available March 5, 2021.

Only a few concerts attract the widespread international interest enjoyed by the New Year's Concert in Vienna. For the first time without an in-hall audience, the Vienna Philharmonic will usher in the New Year with a concert conducted by Riccardo Muti at Vienna’s Musikverein. The event is broadcast to over 90 countries all over the world and watched by more than 50 million viewers.

On New Year’s Day of 2021 Riccardo Muti will conduct the prestigious New Year’s concert for the sixth time (1993, 1997, 2000, 2004 and 2018). Together with Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti is one of the most engaged New Year's Concert conductors since the era of Lorin Maazel. The conductor’s close artistic relationship with the Vienna Philharmonic orchestra celebrates 50 years, almost 550 concerts and dates back to 1971. In 2011, this exceptional bond led to Riccardo Muti being named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic. This makes it appropriate not only to reminisce about Italy but also to mark the forthcoming 80th birthday of the conductor and honorary member of the orchestra.

Riccardo Muti

Born in Naples 1941, Riccardo Muti has conducted the most important orchestras in the world. Over the course of his extraordinary career they range from the Berlin Philharmonic to the Bavarian Radio Symphony Orchestra, from the New York Philharmonic to the Orchestre National de France, as well as, the Vienna Philharmonic, an orchestra to which he is linked by particularly close and important ties, and with which he has appeared at the Salzburg Festival since 1971.

When Muti was invited to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic’s 150th anniversary concert, he was presented with the Golden Ring by the orchestra, a special sign of esteem and affection, awarded only to a few select conductors. In September 2010, Riccardo Muti became Music Director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and he was named 2010 Musician of the Year by Musical America. Riccardo Muti has received innumerable international honors during his career. He is Cavaliere di Gran Croce of the Italian Republic and a recipient of the German Verdienstkreuz, he received the decoration of Officer of the Legion of Honor from French President Nicolas Sarkozy and was made an honorary Knight Commander of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in Britain. The Salzburg Mozarteum awarded him its silver medal for his contribution to Mozart’s music, and in Vienna he was elected an honorary member of the Gesellschaft der Musikfreunde, the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and the Vienna State Opera.

In 2011, Riccardo Muti was awarded two Grammy Awards, was selected as the recipient of the coveted Birgit Nilsson Prize, received the Opera News Award in New York and was awarded Spain’s prestigious Prince of Asturias Prize for the Arts. He was named an honorary member of the Vienna Philharmonic and in August 2011 an honorary director for life at the Rome Opera. In May 2012, he was awarded the highest Papal honor: the Knight of the Grand Cross First Class of the Order of St. Gregory the Great by Pope Benedict XVI. In 2016 he was honored by Japanese Government with the Order of the Rising Sun, Gold and Silver Star.

The Vienna Philharmonic goes back to 1842, when Otto Nicolai conducted a “Grand Concert” with the members of the imperial court opera. This event is regarded as the origin of the orchestra. Since its founding, the orchestra has been managed by a democratically elected administrative committee and works with artistic, organisational and financial autonomy. In the 20th century, the Vienna Philharmonic had important artistic collaborations with Richard Strauss, Arturo Toscanini, Wilhelm Furtwängler and with honorary members Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan and Leonard Bernstein. The orchestra has performed approximately 9,000 concerts on all continents since its creation, and has presented Vienna Philharmonic Weeks in New York since 1989 and in Japan since 1993.The tradition of the New Year’s Concert dates back to 1941. The first concert to mark the New Year took place in 1939, but on that occasion it was given on December 31st. Its first conductor was Clemens Krauss, who was followed in 1955 by Willi Boskovsky. Boskovsky conducted the New Year’s Concert no fewer than twenty-five times between then and 1979. The list of conductors who have presided over a New Year’s Concert reads like a Who’s Who of leading maestros. The New Year’s Concert was first televised live in 1959. The Vienna Philharmonic regards the New Year’s Concert as a musical greeting to the world that is offered in a spirit of hope, of friendship and of peace at the start of the New Year. The recordings of the New Year’s Concert are among the most important releases on the classical market. Sony Classical is keen to ensure that the New Year’s Concert is available to a broad, international public.

2021 New Year’s Concert: List of Works

FRANZ VON SUPPÈ 1819–1895

Fatinitza: Marsch*

JOHANN STRAUSS II 1825–1899

Schallwellen op. 148*

Sound Waves · Ondes sonores

Walzer

Niko Polka op. 228

Polka schnell

JOSEF STRAUSS 1827–1870

Ohne Sorgen op. 271

Without a Care · Sans souci

Polka schnell

CARL ZELLER 1842–1898

Grubenlichter-Walzer*

Davy Lamps · Valse de la lampe de mineur

on Motives from the Operetta Der Obersteiger

CARL MILLÖCKER 1842–1899

In Saus und Braus*

Living It Up · Mener la belle vie

Galopp on Motives from the Operetta Der Probekuss

FRANZ VON SUPPÈ

Dichter und Bauer: Ouvertüre

Poet and Peasant: Overture

Ouverture de Poète et Paysan

KAREL KOMZÁK II 1850–1905

Bad’ner Mad’ln op. 257*

Girls of Baden · Filles de Baden

Walzer

JOSEF STRAUSS

Margherita Polka op. 244*

Polka française

JOHANN STRAUSS I 1804–1849

Venetianer-Galopp op. 74*

JOHANN STRAUSS II

Frühlingsstimmen op. 410

Voices of Spring · Voix du printemps

Walzer

Im Krapfenwald’l op. 336

Polka française

Neue Melodien Quadrille op. 254

New Melodies · Nouvelles mélodies

Kaiser-Walzer op. 437

Emperor Waltz · Valse de l’empereur

Stürmisch in Lieb’ und Tanz op. 393

Tempestuous in Love and Dance

Impétueux en amour et dans la danse

Polka schnell

* First performance at a Vienna New Year’s Concert

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