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North Carolina Symphony Offers Classical New Year’s With a Twist

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE December 1, 2011 CONTACT: Jeannie Mellinger, 919.789.5484, jmellinger@ncsymphony.org

North Carolina Symphony Offers Classical New Year's With a Twist "New Year's in Vienna," plus a little Broadway, Dec. 31

RALEIGH, N.C.—The North Carolina Symphony continues an annual tradition this Dec. 31 with a year-ending concert spectacle to usher in the New Year with style. But this year's concert, "New Year's in Vienna," conducted by Music Director Grant Llewellyn and featuring celebrated soprano Sari Gruber, comes with a little twist: a cheerful nod to one of the music world's grandest traditions.

The concert takes place at Meymandi Concert Hall, in downtown Raleigh's Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 8:00 p.m.

For well over a century, the dance music of the Strausses, first family of the waltz, has serenaded classical music lovers into every new calendar year. The Vienna Philharmonic concerts on New Year's Day have maintained the time-honored tradition since the 1870s, to worldwide audiences of millions.

Local music lovers can enjoy the live version on New Year's Eve—and make it home in time for the fireworks—when the Symphony offers a program of music honoring the best of Vienna. The orchestra opens the evening with classic waltzes and polkas by several members of the Strauss family, alongside favorite opera selections by Viennese headliners Mozart, Franz Lehar, Oscar Straus and more.

The program soon sprinkles in beloved and occasionally playful melodies inspired by the Austrian masters. Selections range from a favorite waltz by Arthur Sullivan (of Gilbert and Sullivan fame) to lighthearted works by some of Broadway's biggest names.

The orchestra performs "The Sound of Music" and "My Favorite Things" from Richard Rodgers's musical classic, plus Gershwin's "By Strauss" from Vincente Minnelli's 1936 revue The Show is On and "Salzburg" from Jule Styne's Bells Are Ringing.

Commanding this wide range of vocal styles is soprano Sari Gruber, and she is more than able to take on the challenge. Hailed as "nothing short of sensational" by Opera magazine, Gruber is one of the most sought-after sopranos on the international stage. Her current season has included acclaimed performances as Musetta in La bohème, Susanna in Le nozze di Figaro and a return to the New York Festival of song for a concert titled "Night and Day/USA: Americans Working and Dreaming."

She has performed with the Lyric Opera of Chicago, Los Angeles Opera, New York City Opera, Boston Lyric Opera and the New York Philharmonic, among many others. Triangle audiences remember her for an extraordinary 2007 performance with the Symphony in The Marriage of Figaro.

Tickets to "New Year's in Vienna" range from $33 to $63, with $30 tickets for seniors and $10 tickets students.

For tickets, visit the North Carolina Symphony website at www.ncsymphony.org or call North Carolina Symphony Audience Services at 919.733.2750 or toll free 877.627.6724.

Meymandi Concert Hall is located in the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, 2 E. South St., in Raleigh.

About the North Carolina Symphony

Founded in 1932, the North Carolina Symphony performs over 175 concerts annually to adults and school children in more than 50 North Carolina counties. An entity of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, the orchestra employs 67 professional musicians, under the artistic leadership of Music Director and Conductor Grant Llewellyn, Resident Conductor William Henry Curry and Associate Conductor Sarah Hicks.

Based in downtown Raleigh's spectacular Meymandi Concert Hall at the Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts and an outdoor summer venue at Koka Booth Amphitheatre in Cary, N.C., the Symphony performs about 60 concerts annually in the Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill and Cary metropolitan area. It holds regular concert series in Fayetteville, New Bern, Southern Pines and Wilmington, as well as individual concerts in many other North Carolina communities throughout the year, and conducts one of the most extensive education programs of any U.S. orchestra.

Concert/Event Listing: North Carolina Symphony

New Year's in Vienna Grant Llewellyn, Music Director Sari Gruber, soprano

Sat, Dec 31, 8pm Meymandi Concert Hall, Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts, Raleigh, NC

Overture to Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss, Jr.

"My Hero" from The Chocolate Soldier Oscar Straus

"Mein Herr Marquis" from Die Fledermaus Johann Strauss, Jr.

Andante in C Major for Flute and Orchestra, K.285e (315) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Ohne Bremse, Polka Schnell Eduard Strauss

Pizzicato Polka Josef Strauss

"Meine Lippen sie kuessen so heiss" from Giuditta Franz Lehar

Overture di Ballo Arthur Sullivan

Adagietto from Symphony No. 5 in C-sharp minor Gustav Mahler

Rondo in D Major for Flute and Orchestra, K. Anh. 184 (K.373) Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

Selections from The Sound of Music Richard Rodgers 1902 - 1979 "The Sound of Music" "My Favorite Things"

Farewell to America Waltz Johann Strauss, Jr.

"By Strauss" from The Show Is On George Gershwin

"Salzburg" from Bells Are Ringing Jule Styne

Overture to The Merry Wives of Windsor Otto Nicolai