The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2009
Preview of The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2009

Under the direction of Daniel Barenboim, one of the world’s most acclaimed conductors, the internationally-renowned Vienna Philharmonic performs an open-air summertime concert in the historic Baroque Park overlooking the breathtaking Schönbrunn Palace, one of Austria’s most important cultural monuments. Recorded in glorious high definition and pristine 5.1 surround sound, The Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2009 premieres on PBS’ Great Performances on THIRTEEN Wednesday, September 16 at 10 p.m. EST (check local listings).

Watch a preview:

A coveted ticket, the popular annual concert is set among the enchanting surroundings of the Schönbrunn Palace grounds, with the musical repertory selected on the theme “Night.” Concert highlights include Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s “A Little Night Music,” Johann Strauss’ “A Thousand and One Nights” Waltz and Modest Mussorgsky’s “A Night on Bald Mountain.” In addition to conducting the Vienna Philharmonic, Barenboim–equally known for his masterful skills as a piano soloist–took center stage to perform Spanish composer Manuel De Falla’s “Nights in the Gardens of Spain” to thunderous applause. The 90-minute television concert captures the glorious Baroque Park in all its atmospheric moods, from early morning dewdrops to mid-day sunshine to a foggy, mysterious nightfall. “There is no one quite like Daniel Barenboim today in the music world,” raves the New York Times.

Barenboim’s current appointments include serving as the general music director of the Berlin State Opera and its orchestra, as well as the Berlin Staatskapelle. He is also principal guest conductor of the Teatro Alla Scala in Milan. Formerly music director of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Orchestre de Paris, Barenboim has been a regular guest of the Vienna Philharmonic since his debut with the orchestra in 1989. Most recently on PBS, viewers will recall Barenboim as guest conductor of the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day concert, which aired on Great Performances on January 1, 2009.

For more than 160 years since 1842, there is perhaps no other musical ensemble more closely associated with the history and tradition of European classical music than the Vienna Philharmonic. Richard Wagner described the orchestra as being one of the most outstanding in the world, and Richard Strauss summed it all up by saying, “All praise for the Vienna Philharmonic reveals itself as an understatement.”

Great Performances is funded by the Irene Diamond Fund, Vivian Milstein, the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, public television viewers and PBS. Exclusive corporate funding for this telecast is provided by Rolex. Additional support is provided by The Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund and Vera von Kuffner Eberstadt. For Great Performances, John Walker is producer, Bill O’Donnell is series producer and David Horn is executive producer.

  • Cathy

    and check this one out too… love ya Cathy

  • clara sanchez

    thank you i will enjoy.clara

  • Patricia Dubie

    Superb! I long to be there but I am grateful that if I never can, I am able to enjoy this performance. It is so beautiful in both sight and sound. The HD is amazing. It is dream like. Bravo

  • Linda B

    I too wished I could have been in vienna to see and hear the most beautiful music. The picturesque gardens were many. The music was conducted so graceful. The conductor came from Argentina and he heard of vienna and their music as a boy and he said on stage tonight that “I can hardly believe I am here now”.

  • Helen Diemert

    This was one of the most beautiful concerts I have seen on television. Thanks enormously for televising the event in its entirety. The conductor was most impressive as was the orchestra and the setting.

  • Rich

    The music is sublime, unfortunately the orchestra is under the direction of Daniel Barenboim. He is supposedly one of the worlds’s most acclaimed conductors, yet I think they would be better without him. In general the conductor is mostly a superfluous affectation, inverting the gift/acclaim curve to grotesque proportions, however my distain emanates not merely from Barenboim’s pomposity and extravagant ritual, both in gesture and heritage, but his insecure need to flaunt his imagined pre-eminence by dressing as his own caprice dictates. Maestro Karajan would not dare grace the stage sans Blanc Cravat! Keith Lockhart might dare only at Tanglewood. But the rules don’t apply to the privileged class or the chosen people. A Nehru jacket and banded collar do not occasion laud; they illustrate an infantile contempt for the traditions which foolishly propelled him to his current towering delusion. Tanks for nothing Danny!

  • Thomas Enman

    I have been fortunate to hear Maestro Barenboim with the Philharmonic several times, and could not disagree with Rich’s assessment more. Their performance of the Mozart 23rd piano concerto at the Salzburg festival in the bicentennial year will always remain as one of the most sublime experiences in my life. Rich may have (sic) distain, but Maestro Barenboim’s musical genius is equalled only by his humanitarianism. I would also remind Rich that “clothes don’t make the man.” Nor do they make the music.

  • Grace

    It is now three days since the performance aired on PBS Channel 13 and I am still under its spell. My only disappointment was that it wasn’t longer!! I could have listened all night.

  • Dawn

    I am awe struck by the beauty of Austria’s historic Baroque Park and Schonbrunn Palace. This is magnificent, as I too wish to be in its presence one day as the Vienne Philharmonic performs again, The Summer Night Concert.
    This performance and surroundings were captured beautifully in HD. Thank you Daniel Barenboim for a production that I will never forget.

  • Ron

    Just a proud parent of the only American that has earned a position with this prestigious orchestra. Jeremy Wilson has been with the orchestra for 2 years and relishes every performance he plays with the entire group. The collection of the worlds most talented musicians is such a great opportunity for him. He plays second position trombone so check him out. By the way he won the audition straight out of college. by the way he played this summer concert and loved every minute.

  • Dick Sutton

    In August, stayed at Park Hotel acrcoss the street from Schonbrunn Palace and walked the gorgeous grounds shown on the program and would like to purchase the DVD which was mentioned at the end of the broadcast, but is not on this website.How can we buy it?

  • Hector

    Does anyone know if PBS will air the Opening Night from Carnegie Hall as they have usually done in the past? I’m expecting to see the Boston Symphony with James Levine premiere John Williams’ Harp Concerto.

  • Auston

    What is the name of the last song that played on that show?

  • Doug

    We visited Schönbrunn just a couple of days before this concert and the stage crew was all over the gardens setting things up. We were very pleased to stumble upon the broadcast of this very concert a few weeks after we returned home.

  • Sandy Fitgerald

    Genuinely appreciate you discussing this educational article. Wonderful!!

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