In Austria, New Year's Eve is usually celebrated with friends and family. At exactly midnight, all radio and television programmes operated by ORF broadcast the sound of the Pummerin (bell of St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna), and right after that the "Donauwalzer" ("The Blue Danube") by Johann Strauss II is played, which many people dance to at parties or on the street. Large crowds gather on the streets of Vienna, where the municipal government organises a series of stages from which bands and orchestras play music. Fireworks are set off both by ordinary people and the municipal governments.
Vienna has its roots in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. The city is well known for playing an essential role as a leading European Music Centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The Historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, as well as the late-19th-century Ringstrasse lined with grand buildings, monuments and parks.
Art and culture have a long tradition in Vienna, including theatre, opera, classical music and fine arts. The Burgtheater is considered one of the best theatres in the German-speaking world alongside its branch, the Akademietheater. The Volkstheater Wien and the Theater in der Josefstadt also enjoy good reputations. There is also a multitude of smaller theatres, in many cases devoted to less mainstream forms of the performing arts, such as modern, experimental plays or cabaret. Vienna is also home to a number of opera houses, including the Theater an der Wien, the Staatsoper and the Volksoper, the latter being devoted to the typical Viennese operetta. Classical concerts are performed at well known venues such as the Wiener Musikverein, home of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Wiener Konzerthaus. Many concert venues offer concerts aimed at tourists, featuring popular highlights of Viennese music (particularly the works of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Johann Strauss).