Vienna Boys' Choir

Biography

Active: July 7, 1498 - ; Vienna, Austria
The Wiener Sängerknaben or Vienna Boys' Choir (sometimes translated Vienna Choir Boys) is the world's foremost children's choral group. It is also among the oldest of all musical organizations, having been founded pursuant to an Imperial decree of Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I on July 7, 1498; the Emperor wished boys' voices to be added to the choir of the Imperial Chapel, or Hofkapelle. This established a tradition of having the boys sing in Read more weekly Sunday masses in the Imperial Chapel of the Hofburg Palace in Vienna, a tradition that continues today.

Over the centuries, illustrious composers have written masterpieces for the Boys' Choir of the Imperial Chapel, including Mozart, Bruckner, Gluck, and Schubert. Many great musicians got their start as members of the Boys' Choir; among them were the great conductors Hans Richter, Clemens Krauss, and Lovro von Matacic. During the days of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the choir became renowned for its secular performances as well, appearing in colorful Imperial-style military uniforms, each complete with a dagger. After World War I, wide popular and governmental disfavor of all things Imperial resulted in the dissolution of many long-standing institutions, including the Imperial Chapel Choir. However, Chaplain Joseph Schnitt remained in his position at the chapel and re-gathered the choir. Sparing no personal expense, he re-established a boarding school for the choristers. He replaced the imperial uniforms with a distinctive sailor-style uniform.

The Vienna Boys' Choir has the most stringent training and admittance policy in the world. Boys wishing to join must first gain entrance to a preparatory school where they receive a complete elementary education. Their instruction includes elements of musical theory, sight-singing, and the practice of singing, and instruction on at least one instrument; at the age of nine, they have to pass an examination based strictly on musical ability and vocal quality. There is no religious requirement. The teaching is purposely intensive in order that their education not be slighted due to the frequent touring. There are usually two choirs away on a tour at any given time, most frequently for three months. They are accompanied by their choirmaster, their tutor, and a nurse. Vienna Choir Boys have visited the United States well in excess of 50 times since 1932 and have traveled to all six inhabited continents. They are beloved the world over for their lively singing style and beautiful tone and have commissioned a number of new works, including Britten's The Golden Vanity. Read less
Browse 76-80 of 80 Available Recordings
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  • 76.
    Strauss: Die Frau Ohne Schatten / Solti, Behrens, Domingo
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 436243 Release Date: 04/14/1992   Number of Discs: 3
    Composer:  Richard Strauss
    Performer:  Reinhild Runkel,  Alberto Dohmen,  José van Dam,  Hildegard Behrens  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Boys' Choir
    CD: $66.99
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  • 77.
    Mahler: The Symphonies / Solti, Chicago Symphony Orchestra
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 430804 Release Date: 02/11/1992   Number of Discs: 10
    Composer:  Gustav Mahler
    Performer:  René Kollo,  Heather Harper,  Arleen Augér,  Yvonne Minton  ... 
    Conductor:  Sir Georg Solti
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Chicago Symphony Orchestra,  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Singverein  ... 
    CD: $108.49
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  • 78.
    The Best Of Mozart
    Label: Rca Victrola   Catalog: 60773 Release Date: 06/06/1991   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
    Performer:  Gidon Kremer,  Géza Anda,  Leontyne Price,  Tatiana Troyanos  ... 
    Conductor:  Helmuth Froschauer,  Gidon Kremer,  Géza Anda,  Fritz Reiner  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna Symphony Orchestra,  Chicago Symphony Orchestra  ... 
    CD: $11.99
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  • 79.
    Puccini: Turandot / Karajan, Ricciarelli, Domingo, Hendricks
    Label: Deutsche Grammophon   Catalog: 423855 Release Date: 10/25/1990   Number of Discs: 2
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini
    Performer:  Heinz Zednik,  Francisco Araiza,  Placido Domingo,  Barbara Hendricks  ... 
    Conductor:  Herbert von Karajan
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Vienna Boys' Choir,  Vienna State Opera Chorus,  Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra
    CD: $44.49
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  • 80.
    Opera Choruses - Aida, Faust, Nabucco, Etc
    Label: Rca Victor Gold Seal   Catalog: 60205 Release Date: 10/19/1989   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Giacomo Puccini,  Pietro Mascagni,  Ambroise Thomas,  Giuseppe Verdi  ... 
    Performer:  Harold Enns,  Thomas Jamerson,  Dorothy Krebill,  Leontyne Price  ... 
    Conductor:  Erich Leinsdorf,  Robert Shaw,  Renato Cellini,  Georges Prętre  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Rome Opera House Orchestra,  Rome Opera House Chorus,  Robert Shaw Chorale  ... 
    CD: $17.99
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