A HEFTY helping of music by the renowned Waltz King is a terrific way to start the New Year.

No not, Andre Rieu, but tunes penned by the original Viennese master and 19th Century pop music superstar, Johann Strauss ll.

Manchester Camerata opens the second half of the Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society 2017/2018 on Saturday (January 6) with a dazzling night of galloping tunes by Johann junior, and works by Austro-Hungarian composer, Franz Lehar, Brahms, Korngold and more.

Conducted by Christian Kluxen, the Manchester Camerata, is possibly the most adventurous chamber orchestra in the UK.

On the MC's podium for the concert at Kendal Leisure Centre's Westmorland Hall, will be Danish born conductor Christian Kluxen who, since his three years at the Royal Scottish National Orchestra, has rocketed to fame.

Wherever he conducts, the concert promises to be an exceptional event.

Music director of the Victoria Symphony in Canada from September 2017, Christian brings charismatic energy to both the concert and operatic stage. His success is built upon the natural ease of his conducting, his profound musicianship and artistic integrity.

He has conducted many highly regarded orchestras such as Gothenburg Symphony, the Philharmonia, the Netherlands Philharmonic and RTÉ National Symphony Dublin, as well as Kremerata Baltica at the prestigious Kronberg Academy Festival 2013.

During the 2014/15 season, he held the post of Dudamel Fellow at the Los Angeles Philharmonic, which led to successful debuts with the London Philharmonic and Royal Northern Sinfonia, as well as conducting an acclaimed tour of Madame Butterfly with the Danish National Opera.

Saturday's Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society's Viennese Gala also stars soprano Sarah Redgwick, who adds to the celebratory mood with popular arias by Johann Strauss ll, Lehar and Korngold.

Sarah has sung principal roles in all the major UK opera houses ranging from Mozart, via Verdi to Benjamin Britten and even Kurt Weill along the way.

As for Saturday's programme, the popular Thunder and Lightning Polka by young Johann will set the tone for an evening of pure delight. There will also be popular arias from Die Fledermaus and, of course, firm favourites such as On the Beautiful Blue Danube, the Tritsch-Tratsch Polka and marches, tangos and more.

Franz Lehar's contribution sees soprano Sarah also singing Vilja from the Merry Widow and Meine Lippen, sie küssen so heiss from his last opera Guiditta.

Brahms’ Hungarian Dances and a more unusual Scandinavian element will be added to the mix with the poignant Valse Triste by Sibelius, Tango Jalousie by Gade and a Danish New Year favourite, the Champagne Galop composed by Lumbye.

And what Viennese night would be complete without the flowing finale of the Radetzky March, written by Johann Strauss senior.

Born in 1825, Strauss junior composed more than 500 waltzes, polkas, quadrilles, and other types of dance music, as well as several operettas and a ballet.

Apparently, his father wanted him to become a banker because of the insecurity of the music profession but the young Strauss studied the violin secretly as a child with the first violinist of his father's own orchestra. It was only when his father left the family home for his mistress that Johann managed to study composition and develop his career with the support of his mother.

He eventually surpassed his father's fame, becoming one of the most popular waltz composers of the era, touring Austria, Poland and Germany with his orchestra.

He played a major part in Vienna gaining the reputation as the home of the waltz. By the latter half of the 19th Century, he became the most sought after composer of dance music. His fame even spread to St Petersburg and the USA where he toured in the 1870s.

He continued composing into his seventies. He died in Vienna in 1899.

Still to come in the Lakeland Sinfonia Concert Society season are more classical gems: the Lakeland Sinfonia on Saturday, February 3, conducted by Michael Joel with pianist Pascal Rogé as soloist; the Hallé performs under the baton of Jonathon Heyward on Saturday, March 3, featuring horn player Laurence Rogers; pianist Lars Vogt directs the Royal Northern Sinfonia on Saturday, March 17; and the the BBC Philharmonic brings the season to a brilliant finish on Saturday, April 28 with conductor Duncan Ward on the podium and cellist Leonard Elschenbroich in the soloist spotlight.

Performances start at 7.30pm.

All concerts except the one by the Lakeland Sinfonia are preceded by a free pre-concert talk at 6.30pm in the concert hall.

For tickets book online at www.lakelandsinfonia.org.uk or by telephone on 0333-666-3366.