In 1498, more than half a millennium ago, Emperoro Maximilian I moved his court and his court musicians to Vienna. He gave instructions that there were to be six singing boys among his musicians. That date is now etched in history as the founding of the infamous Vienna Boys Choir, which has boasted relationships with Franz Schubert (a former chorister), and Mozart, Salieri, and Bruckner, who all wrote for the group. Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the imperial court at mass, private concerts, and on state occasions. After the breakdown of the Habsburg Empire, the Austrian government took over the court opera, orchestra, and adult singers, but allowed the boys’ choir to flourish as an independent, private institution. Within a decade, the boys were giving concerts outside the chapel and soon doing worldwide tours. Today, around 100 choristers between the ages of 10 and 14 are divided into four touring choirs, which continue to delight music lovers with their purity of tone, distinctive charm, and a diverse, crowd-pleasing repertoire that encompasses Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, beloved holiday favorites, and medieval chant. Long a subject of fascination, the VBC will be featured in a 2009 documentary film entitled Silk Road – Songs Along the Road and Time, which features the globetrotting choristers during a year in their home in Vienna and on the road, working with artists from Central Asia, China, and India.
Presented by the University Musical Society, www.ums.org.
Official Website: http://ums.org/s_current_season/artist.asp?pageid=543
Added by umsmarket on July 24, 2009