Indian maestro to conduct New Year’s concert

Indian maestro to conduct New Year’s concert

VIENNA - Agence France-Presse
Indian maestro to conduct New Year’s concert

Indian conducter Zubin Mehta rehearsing with the Vienna Philharmonic.

Indian maestro Zubin Mehta will seek to inject what he says is some much-needed harmony into the world when he conducts the illustrious Vienna New Year’s Concert on Jan. 1.

“All over the world there are people who hate each other,” Mehta, 78, who is holding the baton for a fifth time at the annual waltz fest beamed live to 50 million people worldwide, told Austrian daily Die Presse.

“This music can at least bring people together for two and a half hours,” he said.

Indeed, the 90 or so countries able to watch the concert live include for the first time conflict-riven Ukraine, as well as other newcomers as far afield as the Bahamas, Armenia and Mehta’s native India, organizers said.

The Vienna Philharmonic’s annual “Neujahrskonzert” ringing in the New Year from Golden Hall of the exalted Musikverein is devoted largely to the kings of 19th century waltz, the Strauss family.

Each year has some variety, however. Last year, alongside favourites like “The Blue Danube” and “The Radetzky March”, with Daniel Barenboim conducting, the program included works commemorating the centenary of the start of World War I.

This time the occasion is a happier one, with music marking the 650th birthday of Vienna University as well as the 200th of the Austrian capital’s Technical University and the 150th of Vienna’s grand Ringstrasse boulevard.

Certain works will be accompanied by ballet performances by Vienna State Ballet soloists choreographed by Italian Davide Bombana.