Since its debut in North America 25 years ago, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert has become an annual tradition for families across the United States and Canada. This year will be the 22nd Montreal production at Place des Arts. A lively, energetic, and highly amusing performance, the concert is easily enjoyed by audiences of all ages. Unlike most classical music events, the pieces performed are short – two to five minute musical confections – creating a continuously shifting program full of variety.

The New Year’s Concert is what co-founders Marion and Attila Glatz call a “moment’s opportunity to pause and look back over the past year and to welcome the new one.” For two and a half hours, audiences are treated to a full orchestra performing an evergreen program of musical favourites drawn from the 1890s, featuring polkas and operetta hits by composers like Strauss, Lehár, and Kálmán. Duets, arias, and classical ballet, as well as international standard ballroom choreography, are performed by a European cast. The concert’s Viennese conductor is also its master of ceremonies, involving the audience through story-telling and gentle humour.

Marion Glatz states; “When I was a girl, the Neujahrskonzert brought us together around the radio and then later the television set. It wasn’t heavy or serious, but it was a time where we all paused to listen to some of the most romantic and nostalgic music that we loved from operettas.” Now grandparents themselves, the Glatzes say they are even more keenly aware of the importance of taking stock as the New Year turns over. “The beauty of this concert is that it magically suspends us in time and allows us to look both backward and forward.”

“We are very proud that our work fosters culture-sharing between Europe and North America,” Attila Glatz says. Preserving the heritage of the European-style performances is crucial to the value of the Salute to Vienna concerts for the pair, and it has paid off. Produced since 1995, Salute to Vienna New Year’s Concert will ring in the New Year in 24 cities across the USA and Canada this season. Attila Glatz was a concert pianist before they launched a concert production business over 30 years ago after immigrating to Canada, and they now split their time between their business headquarters in Toronto and their beloved Vienna where they travel each year to hire soloists and conductors.

At Place des Arts on January 1, the Strauss Symphony of Montréal will be under the baton of Viennese conductor Christoph Campestrini, while Viennese soprano Lilla Galambos and baritone Thomas Weinhappel will be joined by soprano Katarzyna Dondalska from Berlin to perform with members of the Austrian ballet company Europaballett St.Pölten and International Champion Ballroom Dancers. The programme includes overtures and selections from operettas as well as favourite waltzes, and as Attila Glatz notes, two encore pieces that are never missed: “The Blue Danube Waltz and the Radetzky March close every concert!”

Tickets and information at or 514-842-2112.