French maestro Pretre to conduct Vienna's New Year's Concert

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The Independent Culture

French maestro Georges Pretre is to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic's legendary New Year's Concert on January 1, the orchestra announced Monday.

It will be the second time that the 84-year-old conductor has been invited to take the podium of the world's best-known and most sought-after classical concert, which is televised and broadcast live in more than 70 countries.

Pretre was first asked to swing the baton at the annual extravaganza of Strauss waltzes and polkas in 2008 and that concert was so successful that the orchestra decided to invite him back, orchestra chairman Clemens Hellsberg said.

The maestro is no stranger to the world-famous Vienna Philharmonic, however, having conducted it regularly over nearly five decades.

The decision to invite Pretre was made "in recognition of our many years of collaboration and Pretre's extensive experience with this genre," Hellsberg said.

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