A recital featuring only female composers, as an alternative to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert.

A recital featuring only female composers, as an alternative to the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s concert.

A recital featuring waltzes and polkas created by women will welcome 2024 on January 1st, providing an alternative to the traditional New Year’s concert by the Vienna Philharmonic, which, in its 84 editions, has never programmed a piece by a female composer.

“We haven’t reached that point yet,” said the president of the prestigious Viennese orchestra, Daniel Froschauer, when asked by EFE whether a work by a woman has ever been played in the world’s most famous concert.

The director of the Philharmonic stated last year that it is not yet time for a woman to conduct the recital broadcast worldwide every New Year’s Day, emphasizing the need for a lot of experience to take on that responsibility.

Froschauer pointed out today that nearly a thousand different pieces have been performed in the 66 years the recital has been televised, but none composed by a woman. “For me, the program is not a gender issue. It’s a matter of quality. If the piece is good, it is played,” he commented.

However, the president of the Philharmonics admitted that there were contemporary women of the Strauss dynasty, whose waltzes and polkas dominate the program every year, who also composed quality music.

Those very artists will be featured in the “New Year’s Concert of Female Composers,” which will celebrate its first edition on January 1st in the Austrian capital.

“This concert presents for the first time the great waltz composers who conquered the world with their music from Vienna,” summarizes the initiative on the Ehrbar Hall website, where the show will take place.

The promoter of this recital, journalist Irene Suchy, states that these composers “were not inferior to the men of their time in terms of fame and business acumen, much less in the quality of their compositions,” as reported by the Austrian public broadcaster ORF.

The program will include pieces such as ‘The Brand of Women’s Emancipation’ and the waltz ‘Free Thoughts’ by Josefine Weinlich-Amann (1848-1887); a ‘Viennese Waltz’ by Leopoldine Blahetka (1811-1885); or the ‘Caprice in the Form of a Waltz’ by Clara Schumann (1819-1896).

As for the New Year’s concert that the Vienna Philharmonic will offer once again from the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, the male members of the Strauss dynasty once again monopolize the program, with ten of the fifteen pieces signed by the brothers Johann, Eduard, and Josef.

“This source is inexhaustible,” emphasized German conductor Christian Thielemann, who will direct this concert for the second time, where, among other pieces, an Anton Bruckner composition will be performed for the first time in honor of the 200th anniversary of his birth in 2024.

Nine other pieces will debut at the event, including Joseph Hellmesberg’s (1828-1893) ‘Student Polka.’

A film dedicated to Bruckner (1824-1896) will be broadcast during the intermission of the recital, in which two choirboys from the St. Florian Abbey explore some of the locations in the life of this Austrian composer.

As encores, the inevitable ‘Radetzky March’ and the waltz of all waltzes, ‘The Blue Danube’ by Johann Strauss II, whose world premiere dates back to 1867, will be performed.

The most listened-to concert on the planet, born in 1941 under Nazism as an event in honor of Nazi dictator Adolf Hitler, will be broadcast to a hundred countries on January 1st. EFE

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