Hugh Bonneville joins as new host to ring in 2018
for beloved annual PBS broadcast tradition from the heart of Austria
Premieres Monday, January 1, 2018 at 2:30 p.m. and 9 p.m. on PBS (check local listings)
GREAT PERFORMANCES continues the cherished tradition of ringing in the new year with the Vienna Philharmonic at the opulent Musikverein, under the baton of Italian conductor and Chicago Symphony Orchestra Music Director Riccardo Muti, featuring favorite Strauss Family waltzes and the dancing of the Vienna State Ballet. This year’s program welcomes new host Hugh Bonneville, best known as Robert, Earl of Grantham, in Masterpiece’s global phenomenon Downton Abbey.
As host, Bonneville visits some of Vienna’s most notable locations, including Steinhof Church, the beautiful Art Nouveau church designed by one of the fathers of modern architecture, Otto Wagner; Palais Coburg, where “Waltz King” Johann Strauss II was a frequent guest and performer; Eckartsau Hunting Lodge, the final stop of Austria’s last Emperor Karl I before going into exile; and a typical heuriger or wine tavern in the famous Vienna Woods.
In addition to performances of waltz favorites like “Tales from the Vienna Woods” and “On the Beautiful Blue Danube,” joining the Strauss Family repertoire is music by Alphons Czibulka, whose “Stéphanie-Gavotte” provides the soundtrack to a pas de deux at Emperor Franz Josef’s private train station—which was ultimately used just twice. This year’s other ballet performance features dancers from the Vienna State Ballet waltzing to “Roses from the South” by Johann Strauss II at the Schloss Eckartsau hunting lodge.
The Vienna Philharmonic’s traditional New Year’s program is the largest worldwide event in classical music reaching millions of people annually through radio and television in over 80 countries. The 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. This year’s telecast marks Muti’s fifth time conducting and the 34th broadcast of the event on PBS.
Great Performances – From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2018 premieres Monday, January 1, 2018, 2:30-4:00 p.m. on PBS (check local listings) with an encore performance 9:00-10:30 p.m. on PBS (check local listings). The broadcast will be available to stream the following day via pbs.org/gperf and PBS OTT apps.
- Franz von Suppe – Boccaccio, Overture
- Johann Strauss –Myrtle Blossoms, Waltz (Augarten)
- Alphons Czibulka – Stéphanie-Gavotte
- Johann Strauss – Magic Bullets, Quick Polka
- Johann Strauss –Tales from the Vienna Woods, Waltz
- Johann Strauss – Festive March
- Johann Strauss – A Masked Ball
- Johann Strauss – Roses from the South, Waltz
- Josef Strauss – Letter to the Editor, Quick Polka
- Johann Strauss – Thunder and Lightning, Quick Polka
- Johann Strauss – On the Beautiful Blue Danube, Waltz
- Johann Strauss, Sr. – Radetzky March
Locations in Vienna visited by Hugh Bonneville:
- Steinhof Church
- Otto Wagner Villa, Ernst Fuchs Museum
- Museum of Military History
- Otto Wagner Schutzenhaus
- Eckartsau Hunting Lodge
- Palais Coburg
- Krug Family Inn (Vienna Woods)
From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration 2018 is produced by Karin Veitl, and directed by Henning Kasten, with John Walker as producer/writer. For GREAT PERFORMANCES, John Walker and Richard R. Schilling are producers; Bill O’Donnell is series producer; David Horn is executive producer.