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Classical 101

New Year’s Concert from Vienna

The Musikverein concert hall in Vienna, Austria

On New Year’s Day, listeners around the world will tune in to hear a concert from Vienna—a traditional concert of Strauss waltzes and other Viennese confections. And while the musical experience is certainly a sumptuous one, hearing the concert on radio leaves you missing another important element: the visual opulence of the venue.

Since 1870, the Vienna Philharmonic has been performing in the Great Hall of the Musikverein, often called the "Golden Hall." The nickname is no mystery—it seems every surface in the hall shimmers with gold paint. And the “golden” moniker applies to the acoustics of the hall, as well; it is widely considered to be one of the best-sounding houses in the world.

While more than one billion people typically enjoy the New Year’s Day concert, only about 2,000 can actually fit into the gilded shoebox concert hall. So here are a few pictures to help you fill in the visual gaps as you listen to Gustavo Dudamel and the Vienna Philharmonic.