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).
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.