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For immediate release
January 17, 2005

NPR SENDS BIRTHDAY GIFT TO MOZART ON HIS 250TH: MORE THAN 60 HOURS OF PROGRAMMING SPANNING NPR MUSIC AND NPR NEWS

Specials to Include Carnegie Hall, Salzburg and Global Concerts

Washington, D.C. -- With January 27 marking the 250th birthday of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, NPR will provide the composer and his fans with more than 60 hours of NPR Music and NPR News programming exploring his life, work, and cultural impact.

NPR.org will expand the broadcast coverage with additional exclusive content.

The cornerstone of NPR coverage will be three concert specials airing nationally on January 27 capturing Mozart's work in his birthplace, in one of America's premier performance centers and around the world.

The two-hour special "The Sound of Mozart: Celebrating 250 Years" will be broadcast from the composer's birthplace of Salzburg and will feature performances and artists from Austria's Mozart celebrations. Fred Child, host of NPR music program Performance Today, will host the concert.

"The Mozart Birthday Concert from Carnegie Hall" is a live three-hour concert performance by the Berlin Philharmonic with Sir Simon Rattle, hosted by John Schaefer and Margaret Juntwait, music hosts from NPR member station WNYC, New York Public Radio.

Celebrating the artist in Beijing, Prague and Ramallah, "Mozart Around the World" is a two-hour program featuring performances by such acclaimed musicians as Sir Neville Marriner, Daniel Barenboim, pianist Lang Lang and the Czech Philharmonic. It will be hosted by Lisa Simeone, host of the NPR's weekly opera series World of Opera.

Other regular NPR Music programs will feature special tributes to Mozart. Performance Today will be based on-location from Salzburg for a week of special coverage and guests, January 23-27. PT will be broadcast from the Leopoldskron Palace, often referred to as "The Sound of Music Castle" and a principal location in the classic film.

The newest NPR weekly music program, Sacred Classics, is devoting the month of January to Mozart's sacred and religious works. The series is produced by the Classical Public Radio Network, a 24-hour classical music service. SymphonyCast, the NPR weekly concert program of the world's finest orchestras, is featuring eight weeks of concert performances of Mozart's greatest works, as interpreted by acclaimed soloists paired with renowned American orchestras, through January and February. The NPR weekly series World of Opera is also dedicating three weeks to Mozart's finest operas - Don Giovanni, performed by the Washington National Opera, Cosí fan tutte from Glimmerglass Opera in Cooperstown, NY and from Milan's La Scala Orchestra, Idomeneo - in January.

NPR News programs Morning Edition, All Things Considered, Day to Day, Talk of the Nation and Fresh Air will feature stories on the commercialization of Mozart in Salzburg, Mozart's last symphony, his legacy, among other things during the week of January 23.

To find the local station and times for the various programs and specials, please check www.NPR.org.

Artwork available.

The NPR Music brand extends through broadcast, satellite radio, original online content, merchandise and, most recently, the successful NPR Podcasts. A podcast version of All Songs Considered has consistently ranked as one of the most-downloaded offerings on such directories as iTunes and Yahoo. NPR's broadcast programming slate has the trend-setting contemporary music series World Café as well as performance series showcasing jazz, classical, opera, symphony and Celtic. The NPR Shop (www.shop.NPR.org) offers a wide variety of NPR Music compilation, themed and holiday CDs.