Preview | Selections of From Vienna: The New Year's Celebration 2012 - About the Concert

Distinguished conductor Gustavo Dudamel leads the fourth annual Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night 2012 concert to be telecast on Great Performances, Friday, August 31, at 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). This year’s theme revolves around “Dances & Waves,” as exemplified by the works of Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky, Modest Mussorgsky, Alexander Borodin, Claude Debussy, Richard Strauss, Amilcare Ponchielli, Gerónimo Giménez and Johann Strauss II.

Great Performances is a presentation of THIRTEEN for WNET, one of America’s most prolific and respected public media providers. For nearly 50 years, WNET has been producing and broadcasting national and local arts programming to the New York community.

The outdoor concert under the stars in the magnificent baroque gardens of Imperial Schönbrunn Palace is free to thousands of attendees in Vienna, and serves the Orchestra’s objective of making classical music accessible to a broad spectrum of concertgoers beyond its usual, core audience. Dancers of the Vienna Ballet join the orchestra for the celebration. The concert was recorded June 7.


The musical program is presently as follows:

Peter Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Polonaise from the Opera “Eugene Onegin,” op. 24
Modest Mussorgsky: Dance of the Persian Slaves from the Opera “Khovanshchina”
Alexander Borodin : Polovetsian Dances from the Opera “Prince Igor”
Claude Debussy: La Mer
Richard Strauss: Salome’s Dance from the Opera “Salome,” op. 54
Amilcare Ponchielli : Dance of the Hours from the Opera “La Gioconda”


Johann Strauss: Wiener Blut, Waltz, op. 354
Gerónimo Giménez: Intermezzo from the Zarzuela “La Boda de Luis Alonso”


Gustavo Dudamel was born in Venezuela in 1981. His career has been meteoric and at the tender age of 31, he conducts and has conducted the world’s most prestigious orchestras.

He spearheads a most unusual project in his native country which, through classical music, bringing together children and young people from all social backgrounds. Since 2009 he has also been Musical Director of the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Combining the Los Angeles Philharmonic and the Venezuelan Simon Bolivar Orchestra, he recently established a record, performing Gustav Mahler’s Eighth Symphony “Symphony of a Thousand” with over 1,000 musicians in Caracas. The event was broadcast worldwide in cinemas.

He originally planned to study the violin but at the age of 12 his talent for conducting was spotted and thanks to Venezuela’s publicly financed voluntary sector music education program”El Sistema,” he had a meteoric rise to fame.

Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night 2012 is directed by Michael Beyer, with John Walker as producer. For Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night 2012, Sandra Marchart and Heidelinde Rudy are producers. For Great Performances, John Walker is producer; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.

Major funding for the Great Performances telecast is provided by the Irene Diamond Fund, The Anna Maria and Stephen Kellen Arts Fund, Vivian Milstein, Vera von Kuffner Eberstadt, the Filomen M. D’Agostino Foundation, the Philip and Janice Levin Foundation,  public television viewers, and PBS.  Exclusive corporate support for the concert is provided by Rolex.