Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir’s repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music. Motets and lieder for boys’ choir form the core of the touring repertoire, as do the choir’s own arrangements of quintessentially Viennese music like waltzes and polkas by Lanner, Lehár, and Strauss.
Boys have been singing at Vienna's Imperial Chapel since 1296. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I (HRR) moved his court to Vienna, thus founding the “Hofmusikkapelle” (Chapel Imperial) and the Vienna Boys Choir. Over the centuries, the Viennese Court attracted musicians like Heinrich Isaac, Johann Joseph Fux, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Antonio Salieri, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and Anton Bruckner. Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Franz Schubert were themselves choir boys. Until 1918, the boys sang exclusively for the imperial court but in 1924, the Choir was re-established as a private organization.
Today, there are 100 choristers between the ages of nine and fourteen, divided into four touring groups. Each spends ten weeks of the year on tour. In total, 300 boys and girls attend the Vienna Boys Choir Schools, which includes a primary school, a middle school, and a successful high school program catering to young singers. A quarter of the school’s alumni go on to become professional musicians. Professor Gerald Wirth, himself a former choirboy, is the President and Artistic Director of the ensemble. The Choir's education and singing tradition is listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage in Austria.
Since their first recording in 1907, the boys have recorded 376 records, singles, LPs, and CDs. Their latest release was a CD of music by Strauss, Strauss For Ever. Numerous films and TV documentaries attest to the choir’s international appeal. New York filmmaker Curt Faudon has produced four major films about the boys. Good Shepherds, currently in production, shows the group singing with Maasai warriors, Sami reindeer herders, and primatologist Dr. Jane Goodall.
We look forward to welcoming 24 members of the Vienna Boys Choir and their varied repertoire to the BCT stage.
114 E. Kirkwood Ave.
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