Updated Tue, Dec 18, 2012 3:46 pm
Airs Tuesday, January 1 • 8 p.m.
Stage and screen legend Julie Andrews returns for the fourth time to host the festive annual New Year’s celebration with the Vienna Philharmonic, under the direction of Franz Welser-Möst, from Vienna’s Musikverein. This is Welser-Möst’s second time at the podium of this cherished event; the last was in 2011.
The venerable concert is the largest worldwide event in classical music, reaching more than a billion people annually through radio and television in 72 countries. The Vienna Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s program has showcased Viennese musical culture at the highest level, and since the first television broadcast in 1959, sent the world a New Year's greeting in the spirit of hope, friendship and peace. (The telecast has been a public television tradition on PBS since 1985.)
Andrews celebration of New Year’s in Vienna has become a pleasurable tradition. “I’m so delighted to return to Vienna at this magical time of year. This enchanting city never ceases to take my breath away with its fairytale beauty and grace and history. The Strauss waltzes provide a most delectable soundtrack to the visual delights that surround me there.”
She has been a frequent and luminous presence on Great Performances, starting with “An Evening With Alan Jay Lerner” (1989); “Julie Andrews in Concert” (1990); “Some Enchanted Evening: Celebrating Oscar Hammerstein II” (1995); “Back on Broadway” which spotlighted her return to the Great White Way in Victor/Victoria (1995); “Hey, Mr. Producer! The Musical World of Cameron Mackintosh” (1998); “My Favorite Broadway: The Leading Ladies” (1999); its follow-up “My Favorite Broadway: The Love Songs” (2001); and the restoration of the classic 1957 “Rodgers & Hammerstein’s Cinderella” (2004). She also hosted the Emmy Award-winning series Broadway: The American Musical in 2004. Andrews will soon be featured in the celebration of Great Performances’ 40th anniversary, currently planned to air in spring/summer 2013.