The New Year´s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic is a concert of classical music that takes place each year in the morning of New Year´s Day in Vienna, Austria. It is broadcast live around the world to an estimated audience of 50 million in 73 countries in 2012 and 90 countries in 2015.
The music always includes pieces from the Strauss family ( Johann Strauss I, Johann Strauss II, Josef Strauss and Eduard Strauss) with occasional additional music from other mainly Austrian composers, includin Joseph Hellmesberger Jr., Joseph Lanner, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Otto Nicolai (the Vienna Philharmonics´s founder), Emil von Reznicek, Franz Schubert, Franz von Suppé, and Karl Michael Ziehrer. There are traditionally about a dozen compositions played, with an interval halfway through the concert and encores at the end. They include waltzes, polkas, mazurkas, and marches. Of the encores, the first is often a fast polka. The second is Johann Strauss II´s waltz The Blue Danube, whose introduction is interrupted by applause of recognition and a New Year greeting from the musicians to the audience.
The Blue Danube
The last is Johann Strauss I´s Radetzky March, during which the audience claps along under the conductor´s direction. In this last piece, the tradition also calls for the conductor to start the orchestra as soon he esteps onto the stage, before reaching the podium. The complete duration of the event is around two and a half hours.