The Best Music on TV in August

July 22, 2022
A long multistory palace is lit with decorative colored lighting. A city landscape is seen behind the palace.

Schönbrunn Palace Gardens in Vienna, Austria. Photo: Julius Silver

THIRTEEN is committed to bringing the arts to audiences in the New York City metropolitan area. August ushers in several music specials and some are appointment viewing – many will not be available to stream, so tune-in or set your DVR! With rock, doo wop, opera, classical music, and more, we’re hitting all the notes. Most of the music programs air on Thursday nights in primetime. Livestream at time of broadcast at Use the THIRTEEN video app to watch wherever you are.

We’ve grouped our offerings by Classical, Pop, and Streaming, below.

Classical: Opera and Philharmonic Orchestras

John Williams: The Berlin Concert

Thursday, August 4, 8:30 p.m. and Saturday, August 6 at 2:59 p.m. – Broadcast only

Filmed live at the Berlin Philharmonie in the center of Berlin, John Williams: The Berlin Concert spotlights the legendary composer’s best-known film scores: Star Wars, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Harry Potter, Jurassic Park, Superman, Indiana Jones, and more. John Williams conducts the Berlin Philharmonic himself. Designed by architect Hans Scharoun, the Berlin Philharmonic hall is not only famous for its appearance, but its innovative design provides the best possible acoustics.

John Williams told the audience in Berlin, “Thank you very much, ladies and gentlemen, for being with us tonight here in this magnificent hall, which is like a house of magic. And I want to tell you what a privilege it is for me to be here with you in this hall, standing in front of perhaps the world’s greatest orchestra: the Berlin Philharmonic. To be standing in front of this orchestra for any musician, however humble or great, to be here with you for these few moments is truly a great honor and a privilege. And I’m so grateful for this invitation to be with you.”

John Williams conducts the Berlin Philharmonic. Photo: Monika Rittershaus.

Great Performances at the Met: Don Carlos

Sunday, August 7, 12 p.m. – Broadcast only

A woman reclines between two men; one sitting at a lower level and the other standing and pointing a sword at her.

Matthew Polenzani as Don Carlos, Jamie Barton as Princess Eboli, and Etienne Dupuis as Rodrigue in Verdi’s “Don Carlos.” Photo: Ken Howard / Met Opera

For the first time in its history, the Metropolitan Opera presents the original five-act French version of Don Carlos, Verdi’s epic opera of doomed love among royalty, set against the backdrop of the Spanish Inquisition. Enjoy a front-row seat, courtesy of Great Performances at the Met, hosted by Ailyn Pérez. With new staging by David McVicar, Met Opera Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads a starry cast including tenor Matthew Polenzani in the title role, soprano Sonya Yoncheva as Élisabeth de Valois, and mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton as Eboli.

Great Performances: Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2022

Friday, August 26, 9 p.m.

A man in dark blue tux holds a bow of stringed instrument

Cellist Gautier Capuconc. Photo: Anoush Abrar

The Vienna Philharmonic’s annual summer concert at the magnificent gardens of Austria’s Imperial Schönbrunn Palace is one of the most eagerly anticipated highlights of the Great Performances season, along with the popular From Vienna: The New Year’s Celebration. Vienna Philharmonic Summer Night Concert 2022 celebrates the musical heritage of Europe with a focus on Ukraine. Join cellist Gautier Capuçon and guest conductor Andris Nelsons for the waltz “Elegy” by Ukrainian composer Mykola Lysenko, as well as works by Beethoven, Saint-Saëns, Dvořák, and more.

Pop Music

Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul: Soulfire Live

A man with scarf wrapped tightly on his head leans in to camera and stretches right arm out with two pointed fingers. He is on stage with a standing mic in front of him.

Little Steven Van Zandt.

Thursday, August 4, 10 p.m. – Broadcast only

This montage program captures a live collection of electrifying rock and soul performances from Little Steven and the Disciples of Soul’s North American and European concerts. New Jersey’s Little Steven Van Zandt (Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band; The Sopranos) and his 15-strong band blast through an arsenal of songs spanning rock, pop, soul, blues, funk and everything in between. Songs include “Sweet Soul Music,” “I’m Coming Back,” “Soulfire,” and “I Don’t Want To Go Home.” See more dates on Schedule for THIRTEEN, WLIW21 and NJ PBS.

Doo Wop, Pop, and Soul Generations

Thursday, August 11, 8:30 p.m.
Doo Wop, Pop, and Soul Generations, a new My Music PBS special, celebrates the music of the late 1950s and 60s with a new generation of artists and hit songs including “Oh, What a Night,” “Unchained Melody,” “Just My Imagination,” and “Volare.”

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show

Thursday, August 11, 8:30 p.m. (see more dates on Schedule)

Riverdance 25th Anniversary Show, which is available to stream with the member benefit THIRTEEN Passport through September 1, 2022, is receiving an encore broadcast (replacing the originally scheduled Doo Wop, Pop, and Soul Generations). Celebrate the magic in this powerful and stirring reinvention of the groundbreaking show. Catapulting Riverdance into the 21st century, this new cinematic experience immerses viewers in the extraordinary energy and passion of Irish music and dance.

James Taylor: One Man Band

Thursday, August 18, 8:30 p.m. – Broadcast only

Above, James Taylor gives a quick inside look at the contents of his personal wardrobe trunk that travels on tour with him.

Recorded at the Colonial Theatre in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, James Taylor: One Man Band (2007) features the singer-songwriter’s most beloved songs, never-before-seen home movies, and photographs from his personal archives. Highlights include “Carolina in My Mind,” “You’ve Got a Friend,” and more.

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: A Life on Stage

Thursday, August 25, 8:30 p.m. – Broadcast only
Sing along with the Jersey Boys as they perform “Sherry,” “Walk Like A Man,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and other hits in Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons: A Life on Stage, captured live at the Mohegan Sun Casino in Connecticut.

Newark-raised Franke Valli and The Four Seasons have sold more than 100 million records worldwide and continue to tour throughout the U.S. and abroad to packed houses. The musical Jersey Boys, which closed in May 2022 after 15 years on Broadway, has a U.S. national tour that continues to share the Frankie Valli and The Four Seasons career and feature all of their greatest hits.

Streaming Concerts

We offer amazing concerts to stream on demand with the THIRTEEN member benefit, Passport. Passport offers extended access to our extensive PBS videos. Read why The Prince and the Revolution Purple Rain Tour concert in 1985 in Syracuse, NY, was so amazing. THIRTEEN will air this concert, originally broadcast to 12 million people around the world, on Thursday, September 8 at 8:30 p.m.

Journey in Concert: Houston 1981 captures the band Journey when they were touring for their then-new album, “Escape” – a No. 1 record that would turn out to be the most successful LP of their career. The 1981 “Escape” tour with Perry in the lead was filmed in Houston, TX, during the height of the band’s success.

Expiring from Streaming Soon

ABBA Forever: A Celebration will expire from streaming August 14, 2022. Celebrate the supergroup with Neil Sedaka, Donny Osmond, Tim Rice and the band members themselves. Featuring a greatest hits soundtrack including “Dancing Queen” and “Mamma Mia!,” the program includes original interviews and rare archival footage.

In Great Performances: Mick Fleetwood & Friends, experience an all-star concert honoring the early years of Fleetwood Mac and founding member Peter Green at the London Palladium featuring artists including Pete Townshend, Steven Tyler, David Gilmour, Noel Gallagher, Christine McVie and more. This episode will expire in 2023 on July 4.