As the Vienna Boys Choir enjoyed a sightseeing tour of London, we spoke to two of the singers and Artistic Director Gerald Wirth.
Vienna Boys' Choir
The Vienna Boys' Choir is a choir of trebles and altos, based in Vienna. Made up of approximately 100 choristers between nine and 14, they perform around 300 concerts each year.
- In Schubert’s day, there were twenty choristers between the ages of 8 and sixteen. Now the choir is so big, it's divided into 4 touring choirs named after iconic composers linked to the choir's history: Haydn, Mozart, Schubert, and Bruckner.
- Gerald Wirth, the choir's Artistic Director, believes in exposing the boys to as many different styles of music as possible. The choir’s repertoire spans from Gregorian chant to experimental music, and includes motets, lieder, masses, oratorios, symphonic works, children’s operas, and world music.
- Now known as the Vienna Boys' Choir, the singers are the modern-day descendant of the boys' choirs from the Viennese Court, dating back to the late Middle Ages, established in 1498 to provide music for the Mass.
- Over the years, the choir has worked with many composers including Heinrich Isaac, Hofhaimer, Biber, Fux, Caldara, Gluck, Salieri, Mozart, Franz Schubert, and Bruckner.
Did you know?
The boys wear the Austrian national emblem on the breast of their uniform, after Walt Disney made a film starring the choir - he persuaded the government to allow it for cinematographic reasons, but the tradition continues to this day.
Classical music in Vienna: a spellbinding musical tour
Take our stunning photographic tour of the City of Music
Watch the Vienna Boys' Choir perform
Established around 1498 in the form of six singers at the Viennese Court and becoming the Vienna Boys' Choir in 1924, today's choristers perform the best classical repertoire around the world.