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The Vienna Boys Choir

  • South Orange Performing Arts Center 1 SOPAC Way South Orange, NJ, 07079 United States (map)

The Vienna Boys Choir is a musical tradition that dates back over 500 years. Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the imperial court, at mass, at private concerts and functions, and on state occasions. Today, however, with a repertoire that includes everything from medieval to contemporary to experimental music, over 100 choristers travel the globe in four different choirs performing music to over a half million people in Europe, Asia, Australia, and the Americas.

Motets and lieder for boys choir form the core of the touring repertoire, as do the choir’s own arrangements of quintessentially Viennese music, waltzes and polkas by Lehar, Lanner, and Strauss. Musicians such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Salieri, and Anton Bruckner worked with the historic choir, while composer Franz Schubert was himself a chorister, and brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn were frequent guest choristers.

In 2001, Gerald Wirth became the artistic director of the Vienna Boys Choir. While he is keenly aware of the choir’s rich tradition, Wirth also explores new ways to create and make music. He has instigated a number of projects involving world music, a cappella pop and film music. Wirth firmly believes that music has a positive influence on every aspect of a personality. He has written three children’s operas, a Mass, motets and countless arrangements for choirs. He finds much of his inspiration in myths and philosophical texts. His works are performed internationally.