Vienna Boys Choir: Together
Generously Supported by Petoskey-Harbor Springs Area Community Foundation

Vienna Boys Choir: Together

The illustrious group of child musicians has been delighting music lovers across the globe for six centuries with their purity of tone, distinctive charm, and diverse repertoire.

Event Details

Full Biography

The Vienna Boys Choir is one of the most famous choirs in the world and one of its oldest: Boys have been singing at Vienna's Imperial Chapel at least since 1296. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I. moved his court to Vienna to establish the Chapel Imperial there and the Vienna Boys Choir. Over the centuries, the court attracted musicians like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart or Anton Bruckner; Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Franz Schubert were themselves, choirboys. Until 1918, the boys sang exclusively for the court.  

In 1924, the Choir was reestablished as a private, non-profit organization. 

Today, the Vienna Boys Choir maintains its own campus, with a primary school, a middle school, and a senior high school program. The middle school is attended by 100 boy choristers between the ages of nine and fourteen. The boys are divided into four choirs. Each group spends ten weeks of the school year on tour. Between them, the choirs give around 300 concerts each year, attended by almost half a million spectators around the world. Since 1924, 2750 choristers have sung over 1000 tours in 100 different countries. 

On Sundays, one of the Choirs performs with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Opera Chorus in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel, as it has done for the past 524 years. 

The Choir performs with major orchestras, conducted by the likes of Joana Mallwitz, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Christian Thielemann, and Simone Young. A highlight is appearances at the Vienna Philharmonic's New Year’s Concert and at the Salzburg Festival. 

Since their first recording in 1907, the boys have recorded 377 shellacks, LPs, and CDs. Numerous films and documentaries attest to the Choir’s international appeal.  

In 2004, the Vienna Girls Choir was founded to give girls the same musical education and the same musical experiences. 30 girls are enrolled in this program today. 

In 2009, the Choir teamed up with Vienna Konzerthaus and Caritas Vienna to find “Superar” to provide children in and around the city with access to music; since then, the Choir regularly join Superar in concerts.

300 boys and girls attend the Choir's Schools. A third of the students go on to become music professionals. The Vienna Boys Choir is a registered charity; its singing tradition is listed by UNESCO as an intangible cultural heritage in Austria.  

Professor Gerald Wirth, himself a former choirboy, is the President and Artistic Director.  

www.viennaboyschoir.net 

About Choirmaster, Oliver Stech

Oliver Stech_2_Schubertchor.jpgOliver Stech became choirmaster of the Vienna Boys Choir in 2011. He has led the choir in numerous concerts and on tours of Europe, Asia, South America, and the USA.  

Oliver is responsible for the boys' repertoire; he conducts choir and solo rehearsals and prepares the boys for the sung services in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel. In addition, he trains the boys for productions at Vienna's two opera houses and for performances with conductors such as Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Franz Welser-Möst, or Simone Young. Appearances on radio and television, sound recordings, and film shoots are part of the choir’s routine. Oliver conducted the boys on the set of Curt Faudon's films “Songs for Mary” (2013) and “Good Shepherds” (2017) – in Palestine, Italy, and Austria. 

Oliver Stech was born in Waidhofen/Ybbs, Lower Austria. As a child, he received piano and singing lessons. He went on to study romance languages at the University of Vienna and piano, voice, conducting, and music pedagogy at the University of Music, focussing on choral and ensemble conducting. He has founded and led a number of choirs and has himself appeared publicly, both as a tenor soloist and as a choir member. In 2009, Oliver Stech was appointed assistant to Heinz Ferlesch, the artistic director of the Vienna Singakademie – the resident choir of Vienna's Konzerthaus. In 2010, he became a lecturer at the University of Music in Vienna. As of 2019, he has also been working with Chorus Juventus, the youth chorus of the Vienna Boys Choir. 

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Dec 2022