Daniel Barenboim conducts the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year's Concert for the first time. The Argentinian-Israeli pianist and conductor of Russian descent has always been a cosmopolitan and, due to his humanistic attitude, an ideal choice for the internationally unifying idea of a worldwide broadcast of the New Year's Concert. Two ballets were already created in the summer of 2008 by the star dancer and ballet director of the Berlin State Opera Unter den Linden, Vladimir Malakhov. This time he will also bring two guest soloists from his Berlin company: Elena Pris will dance with Malakhov and soloists from the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper Ballet to the sounds of Johann Strauss' "Schatzwalzer." Dinu Tamaslacaru, together with the Georgian Ketevan Papaeva, will interpret the spirited Czardas "Eljen a Magyar". Eisenstadt's Esterhazy Palace and its romantic park with pond and Leopoldine Temple will serve as the historical backdrop. The New Year's Concert thus marks the beginning of the great Joseph Haydn Jubilee Year 2009. A surprise performance will be presented live at the Musikverein on the first of January 2009 by selected eleven students of the Vienna State Opera Ballet School. The multiple award-winning television director Brian Large has once again provided the appropriate visual realization of the dance numbers and will also be responsible for the visual direction at the Musikverein.