There are few choirs that have earned the status of household name. The Vienna Boys Choir is undoubtedly one of the most acclaimed of these rare few, as well as one of the oldest.
Boys have been singing at the Viennese court since the 14th century, and in 1498 - more than half a millennium ago - Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and his court musicians to Vienna. Historians have settled on 1498 as the foundation date of the Vienna Chapel Imperial (Hofmusikkapelle) and thus the Vienna Boys Choir. Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the imperial court, at mass, concerts, private functions, and on state occasions.
Such iconic composers as Heinrich Isaac, Philippe de Monte, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Johann Joseph Fux, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Salieri, Christoph Willibald Gluck, and Anton Bruckner have worked with the choir. In addition, Jacobus Gallus and Franz Schubert were themselves choristers, and brothers Franz Joseph and brother Michael Haydn were members of the choir of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, but frequently sang with the imperial boys choir as well.
Today, the Vienna Boys Choir consists of 100 boys between the ages of ten and fourteen, from dozens of nations, divided into four touring groups. Each group spends nine to eleven weeks of the school year on tour. Between them, the four choirs give 300 concerts and performances each year before almost half a million people. They visit virtually all European countries, and are frequent guests in Asia, Australia, and the Americas.
The choir’s current 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. The boys love to act, so children’s operas have also been an important part of the repertoire since the 1920s.
UCCS Presents is proud to bring the Vienna Boys Choir to the Pikes Peak region as part of the Artist Series’ first full season. Don’t miss the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see this iconic ensemble at the premiere new Shockley-Zalabak Theater, with selections featuring the Colorado Springs Children’s Chorale. Tickets are still available- get yours here.