Art and Culture

New Year’s concerts from the Vienna Philharmonic to Jean-Michel Jarre

Would you have liked to party at home on New Year’s? Here’s a list of livestream events that brought pop, rock and classical music concerts straight to the living room. There were no crowds this New Year’s Eve, no packed concert halls, no champagne, hugging and no , or few fireworks. But there was plenty going on in cyberspace. Here are our tips, in roughly chronological order: they are all recorded.

Beginning 09:00 CET on December 31, just hours before we say goodbye to 2020, DW is broadcasting 24 hours of music, including performances by Avicii, Apocalyptica and many others. Watch here!

The Hamburg Symphony Orchestra, which has its residence in the Laeiszhalle, the Hamburg Music Hall, continued its tradition of performing Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony on New Year’s Eve, this time under the musical direction of French maestro Sylvain Cambreling. Viewers could follow the event live on the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra’s homepage for free at 4:00 p.m. CET on December 31.

Kirill Petrenko will conduct the New Year’s Eve concert at the Berlin Philharmonic

From touches of Spain to Beethoven

Then, in the early evening, the Berlin Philharmonic celebrated a tradition. Performing at an empty home base, the Berlin Philharmonie, the musicians gave a program led by their principal conductor Kirill Petrenko with touches of Spain and Brazil, including music by Joaquin Rodrigo and Heitor Villa-Lobos, but one that also unsurprisingly gives a nod to Ludwig van Beethoven during the composer’s ongoing anniversary year celebrations, with a rendition of the Beethoven’s Third Leonore Overture. The performance was transmitted live at 6:00 p.m. CET on New Year’s Eve on German public radio and television, and on the internet at the Berlin Philharmonic’s Digital Concert Hall.

Fans of rock looking for a spectacular bang will have to pay a fee for the 2020 Goodbye concert by the iconic 1970s rock band KISS, held at the Atlantis luxury resort in Dubai. Billed as the “biggest and baddest” concert, it’s accessible at the event homepage at 6:00 p.m. CET if you liked that sort of thing.

YouTube promised pop and dance lovers an enthusiastic sendoff for 2020 with its Hello 2021 livestream featuring singers Demi Lovato, Dua Lipa and others. There were separate editions for the Americas, the UK, India, Korea and Japan. The access is free on YouTube.

From pop to electronica

Australian star Kylie Minogue was hosting her very own music concert for pop lovers on this website at 10:00 p.m. CET for free. For those who prefer to party on into the New Year, DJ David Guetta hosted an expectedly phenomenal dance party on January 1, 2021 on Songkick.

Avant-garde French electronic and new-age music composer Jean-Michel Jarre  hosted a virtual concert at Notre Dame Cathedral. Supported by UNESCO and called Welcome to the Other Side, the event aimed to “send a message of hope for 2021 and for the end of all dark times” the world is going through. The performance could be seen and heard free on Jarre’s homepage at 11:25 p.m. CET. 

The most traditional tradition of all

Then, on New Year’s Day,  “message of hope” is what conductor Riccardo Muti hoped to send to the world in the traditional New Year’s Concert of the Vienna Philharmonic. Normally, the demand for tickets to the world’s best-known classical music event is so great that they have to be drawn in a lottery. This time, though, the seats will be occupied by no one owing to COVID lockdowns. The audience, however, was expected to be as large as ever, 50 million people in 90 countries. Beginning at 11:15 a.m. CET on the first day of the New Year, the New Year’s Concert was broadcast from Vienna online by television stations around the world

With this concert, heavily spiced with the music of the Strauss dynasty of composers, conductor Riccardo Muti hoped to send a “message of hope” to the world. The Vienna Philharmonic ushers the New Year in with a different conductor every year; this the 79-year-old maestro’s sixth time doing the honors. An innovation: This time, an internet channel will be opened for viewers and listeners worldwide to record and relay their applause back to the Vienna Musikverein, where it was looped into the live event. Source

This time, the Vienna Musikverein will be audience-free

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2 replies »

  1. It has been a fixture for a good few years to watch the New Year’s Concert from Vienna. In fact, I was in Vienna last pre Christmas 2019 (not for the concert I should add as that’s far out of my price range even if I could get a ticket) but for the xmas markets. What a difference a year makes! Looking at the city webcams it seemed at times almost deserted. But returning to the concert, I was pleasantly surprised to hear the orchestra play the ‘Davy Lamp Waltz’ (Grubenlichter) by Carl Zeller, a tribute to Sir Humphry Davy who, amongst many discoveries, is perhaps most famous for inventing the miner’s safety lamp. It’s a long way from Cornwall to Vienna in distance but in reputation not so far.

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