The Vienna Boys’ Choir gave a concert at the Manoel Theatre on Tuesday night. They were accompanied by the Chorus Viennensis which is formed by 12 men who had attended the same music school. This is one of the best choirs in the world, with a tradition which goes back to the mid-15th century.
It is considered one of the most prestigious choirs in Vienna which was set up by a decree from Emperor Maximillian. The Vienna Boys’ Choir used to only sing for the Emperor and members of the Austrian Royal family and this was the practice until the first quarter of the 20th century when the choir was established as a private foundation.
Tina Breckwoldt, a spokesperson for the choir, explained that the choir is not only a school but is an institution which in the past attracted composers such as Schubert and Haydn, and which worked with composers such as Mozart, Gluck and Bruckner. The choir gives an average of three concerts a year, with audiences reaching up to half a million people. She explained that the students spend one out of three semesters giving concerts around the world, and since 1926, the choir has given concerts in 97 countries.
She said that the philosophy of the schools is based on musical studies as a crucial tool in the educational process by means of which the boys hone the skills and abilities of their cultural development.
The choir is made up of 100 choristers – all boys – who are divided into four sections and who are accompanied by prestigious orchestras such as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Staatskapelle Berlin, the Oslo Philharmonic Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphonic Orchestra under the direction of Mro. Riccardo Muti.
Ms Breckwoldt said, “ours is probably the choirs that tours the most … we’re quite proud to have been listed as an intangible cultural heritage by UNESCO, our traditional way of singing, so that is quite a nice endorsement.”
The choir was in Malta on the invitation of President Marie-Louise Coleiro Preca to take part in a concert in aid of the Malta Community Chest Fund.
They performed various pieces which varied from classical to contemporary compositions of different styles and genres.