New Year's Eve

Like everyone else, so do Americans anticipate the next turn of the year with a mix of fascination and fear. Some will stay home on December 31st because they are afraid of crazy gunmen or complications resulting from the Y2K computer glitch. Others are planning to spend the first night of the year in the most extravagant ways. Party caterers and restaurants are expecting a boom. As for symphony orchestras and opera houses, they also show a variety of responses to the millennium. In the bigger picture, a surprisingly large number of American cultural centers remains closed on New Year's Eve. However, on the East Coast, which has always been a stronghold of European culture, opera houses and orchestras are celebrating. Some of them reach deep into the pockets of their "patrons," as the well-paying concert goers are respectfully called in America. Some are putting together a program that celebrates America's artistic accomplishments of the 20th century, while others cast a nostalgic look back to Europe. Georg Hirsch looked into the calendars of three big cities of the East.

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