Thursday, January 9, 2014
The Vienna Boys' Choir
The Vienna Boys' Choir dates back to the middle ages, formally established in 1498 for the Viennese to accompany the church masses. It is now one of the most famous Boys' choirs in the world. Most of their 100 singers are Austrian, although some boys will be selected from countries across the world. They perform about 300 concerts each year before almost 500,000 people, and each of the four choir groups, named after famous Austrian composers, tour for several months a year.
Today, the Augartenpalais serves as a boarding school for the Vienna Boys' Choir and historically the choirboys receive a solid musical education. The choir has therefore produced many a famous musical personality, such as the composers Jacobus Gallus and Franz Schubert, and conductors Richter, Mottl, Tintner and Krauss. The Palace has welcomed dozens of esteemed visitors including Brahms, Wagner, and even Tsar Alexander II.
If you’re in the Austrian capital it’s often possible to see the choir sing. They perform regularly on Sundays at the Hofburg Chapel where you can hear their voices drift down from the upper balcony during mass. Understandably, the church mass can become crowded, and the performance is part of a general service. In order to see the Vienna Boys’ Choir in their full splendour, try and get tickets (well in advance!) to a show at their very own Music and Theatre (MuTh) concert hall right next to the Augartenpalais.