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The Beloved Vienna Boys Choir to Perform “Christmas in Vienna” at Carnegie Hall

11.22.16
Vienna Boys Choir

December 11, 2016 at 2PM One of the world's oldest and most revered choral groups, the Vienna Boys Choir, will return once again to Carnegie Hall to perform Christmas in Vienna in the Stern Auditorium/Perelman Stage on December 11, 2016 at 2pm. Tickets can be purchased by calling 212-247-7800 or at carnegiehall.org

Presented by Opus 3 Artists, the illustrious group of child musicians has been delighting music lovers across the globe for centuries with their purity of tone, distinctive charm and extraordinary repertoire. The enormously popular chorus, led by its conductor Jimmy Chiang, will sing a diverse program that includes Strauss, Haydn, Mozart and Benjamin Britten as well as beloved holiday classics like “O Come, All Ye Faithful”, and “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer”. This program is a celebration of the holiday season and the rich history and phenomenal sound for which the Vienna Boys Choir is known.  

The Vienna Boys Choir can trace its history as far back as the 13th century but it was formally established at Vienna's Imperial Chapel in 1498 by Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I. The many incarnations of the group have been performing continuously ever since. The modern Vienna Boys Choir represents quite a departure from the composition of the original medieval choir of six boys. Today's Vienna Boys Choir is comprised of talented young singers from all over the world who are admitted by audition. During the school year, all choristers reside in the choir's boarding house in Vienna, where they receive not only traditional schooling but also their musical training - both academic and musical lessons are tailored to the boys' individual needs. Approximately eleven weeks of the school year are devoted to touring; each choir member sings about 80 concerts a year. Once they reach ninth grade, the choristers graduate to the next phase of their education. Choir members have gone on to careers in all walks of life, with about 25% turning to professional careers in music. Many of the boys have siblings, fathers, uncles and even grandfathers who have also been members of the choir.

The conductor of the Vienna Boys Choir on this tour is Jimmy Chiang, who was born in Hong Kong and educated at Trinity College of Music in London, Baylor University in the U.S. and the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna, with Seiji Ozawa among his teachers. Jimmy Chiang has served as principal conductor of the Hong Kong Pan Asia Symphony, as assistant music director of Wagner's Ring cycle at Theater Lübeck and as Kapellmeister at Theater Freiburg, Germany. He has appeared as guest conductor with the Komische Oper Berlin, Orquesta Sinfónica de Castilla y León, Zagreb Philharmonic, and the Hong Kong Philharmonic. In 2013 Maestro Chiang assumed the position of choirmaster of the Vienna Boys Choir. 

Since their first audio recording in 1907, the Vienna Boys Choir has recorded over 300 singles, LPs, and CDs, the most recent of which is a successful holiday album: Merry Christmas from Vienna (Deutsche Grammophon). Three pieces of the repertoire on the programs the Choir is bringing to the U.S. this year are featured on DVD and CD: Haydn's motet "Insanae et vanae curae" is sung in a historical scene in Curt Faudon's movie Silk Road; while Lanner's waltz "Die Schönbrunner" has been performed for the 2013 documentary Bridging the Gap - the Power of Singing. Josef Strauss's polka "Auf Ferienreisen" (On Holiday) was performed with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra under Mariss Jansons at the orchestra's traditional New Year's Day Concert in 2016, and is available on CD and DVD.

Learn more about the Vienna Boys Choir.