Vienna’s New Year’s Concert: A Timeless Celebration at the Musikverein

by gregor

Last Updated on December 21, 2023 by gregor

Experience the Magic of Waltz at the Legendary Vienna New Year’s Concert

Vienna’s renowned Musikverein concert hall sets the stage for a spectacular annual event: the New Year’s Concert. This extraordinary celebration brings together an elite orchestra, a world-renowned conductor, and a historic venue for a musical experience like no other. It’s a place where the melodies of waltzes fill the air, signaling the arrival of the New Year in grand style.

The Wiener Philharmoniker: At the Heart of the Celebration

At the heart of this enchanting event is the Wiener Philharmoniker, Vienna’s own prestigious orchestra. They perform a series of concerts leading up to the New Year, with performances on December 30th and 31st, culminating in the grand event on January 1st. These concerts are so sought-after that tickets are distributed through an online lottery early in the year, offering a fair chance to all enthusiasts.

2024’s Spectacular Leadership: Christian Thielemann Takes the Baton

In 2024, the honor of conducting the concert goes to Christian Thielemann, a maestro with deep ties to the Philharmoniker.

Thielemann’s expertise and passion promise to elevate the concert to new heights, continuing a tradition where each year a new conductor brings their unique touch to this magnificent event.

Other recent conductors of the New Year’s Concert include:

  • 2020: Andris Nelsons (for the first time)
  • 2021: Riccardo Muti’s (his sixth time at the event)
  • 2022: Daniel Barenboim (his third time)
  • 2023: Franz Welser-Möst (also his third time)

A Concert with a Rich History and a Message of Peace

The New Year’s Concert is not just a musical feast; it’s a symbol of peace and harmony. Though its origins date back to 1939, the event has transcended its historical roots to become a beacon of cultural celebration.


Musical Delights: A Blend of Tradition and Novelty

The concert features a mix of polkas, waltzes, and marches, predominantly from the Strauss family. In 2024, the concert will introduce new pieces, marking several debuts. It’s also a year to commemorate Anton Bruckner’s 200th birthday, adding a special resonance to the event.

Accessible New Year’s Concert Tickets: Embracing Vienna’s Cultural Ethos

In line with Vienna’s commitment to cultural accessibility, ticket prices for the concert start at an affordable rate, with a range of options available. Though the chances are slim in the lottery system, it ensures everyone has an equal opportunity to witness this extraordinary event.


The 2023/2024 dates are:

  • December 30, 2023 – the Preview Performance (11am)
  • December 31, 2023 – the New Year’s Eve Concert (7.30pm)
  • January 1, 2024 – the New Year’s Concert (11.15am)

Vienna has a tradition of egalitarian access to culture. So, for example, you can see opera at the State Opera House for as little as the price of a cup of coffee.

Tickets for the New Year concert performances start at €20 (for the preview concert on December 30th), though you can pay much more, of course. The best seats at the main event on January 1st cost €1200.

The good news is you have as great a chance of getting a ticket as just about anyone. The bad news is that this chance is low.

A simple lottery decides who can buy tickets, which you enter online at the Wiener Philharmoniker website. To do so, you must register your application at the site much earlier in the year. Full details here.

If you miss out on tickets (I once heard that over 400,000 people apply), just switch on the television.

Austria’s state broadcaster (ORF) shows the New Year’s Day event live (normally on the ORF 2 channel) or you can listen in on the radio (normally the Ö1 station).

ORF mixes in a couple of recorded dance scenes with the broadcast.

Beyond the Musikverein: Enjoying the Concert Across Various Platforms

If you’re unable to secure tickets, the concert is broadcast live on television and radio, reaching over 90 countries. Vienna’s state ballet also enhances the broadcast with performances at historical locations, adding a visual splendor to the musical extravaganza.


Bringing the Concert to You: Recordings and Live Screenings

Following the event, recordings of the concert are swiftly released on various media formats. Additionally, the concert is featured in summer festivals and can be enjoyed at the Haus der Musik in Vienna, ensuring that the joy of this musical celebration is accessible to all, regardless of location.

Plan Your Visit: Navigating to the Musikverein

For those lucky enough to attend, information on reaching the Musikverein is readily available. Located at Musikvereinsplatz 1 in the heart of Vienna, it stands as a beacon of musical heritage, waiting to welcome guests to this timeless celebration.

More than Just a Concert: Experience Vienna in New Year

Beyond the concert, Vienna offers a plethora of cultural experiences during the New Year. From classical concerts to nearby hotels, the city is alive with festivities. Explore what Vienna has to offer and make your New Year’s celebration truly unforgettable.