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Classical 101

Great Performances Bids Farewell to Walter Cronkite

I came across a posting by David Horn, Executive Director for Great Performances, reminding us of Walter Cronkite's love for the arts. Walter Cronkite loved music and dancing, which is why he jumped at the opportunity to return to Vienna in 1984 — where he had been stationed as a correspondent following World War II — to host the 1985 Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Day Concert. For nearly a quarter of a century, he created a tradition on PBS of ushering in the New Year with the festive waltzes, polkas and marches of the Strauss family. All of us at GREAT PERFORMANCES will miss watching Walter and his beloved wife Betsy as they danced to the strains of the Blue Danube when the clock struck midnight. Next month, August 2009,  a memorial will be held in Avery Fisher Hall at the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The broadcaster's longtime chief-of-staff, Marlene Adler, says "it will be a fitting tribute to Mr. Cronkite and the life he lived, the people he knew, the people who loved him and the people he admired."