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Vienna Boys Choir
March 1, 2024 | 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm || $19 – $79
ADDITIONAL PROGRAM INFORMATION
The VIENNA BOYS CHOIR is one of the most famous choirs in the world, and one of its oldest. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court to Vienna to establish the Chapel Imperial there, along with the Vienna Boys Choir. Over the centuries, the court attracted musicians like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Anton Bruckner. Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Franz Schubert were themselves choirboys.
Today the Vienna Boys Choir is a private, non-profit organization, which relies on sponsorship and donations. The Choir maintains a primary school, a junior and a senior high school. 300 boys and girls between the ages of six and 19 attend the Choir’s Schools in Vienna’s Augarten park. All receive individual voice lessons and sing in one of the choirs. The Choir’s education is open to all, regardless of their origin, nationality, or religion. About third of the students go on to become music professionals.
The 100 boy choristers between the ages of nine and fourteen are divided into four choirs. Between them, the choirs give around 300 concerts each year, attended by almost half a million spectators around the world. Since 1924, the boys have sung over 1000 tours in 100 different countries, which has resulted in a staggering 29,000 performances. At the Sunday services in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel, they perform with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Opera Chorus. The Choir frequently appears with major orchestras, conducted by the likes of Joana Mallwitz, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Christian Thielemann, and Simone Young. Recent highlights include appearances at the Salzburg Festival and at the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert.
The Vienna Boys Choir’s singing tradition is listed by UNESCO as intangible cultural heritage in Austria. Professor Gerald Wirth, himself a former choirboy, is the Artistic Director of the entire Campus.
The Hong Kong-born conductor and pianist JIMMY CHIANG started his musical career as a teenager. His major breakthrough as a conductor came in 2007 when he won the renowned “Lovro von Matacic” international conducting competition in Zagreb, Croatia. Chiang received numerous awards and honors at international competitions such as the International Competition for Young Choir Directors in Vienna (2004) and the Golden Key International Society Performing Arts Showcase in USA (2000). His versatility as a musician is reflected in his wide-ranging operatic, symphonic, choral, solo piano, chamber and song recital repertoire, both in opera pits and on concert stages. While serving as principal conductor of the Hong Kong Pan Asia Symphony, he worked as assistant music director of Wagner’s Ring cycle at Theater Lübeck from 2007 to 2009 From 2009 to 2011, he was Choirmaster at Theater Freiburg, where he led numerous productions, including a premiere of Ligeti’s opera Le Grand Macabre, staged by Calixto Bieito. Chiang has appeared as guest conductor with Komische Oper Berlin, Orquesta Sinfonica de Castilla y Leon, Zagreb Philharmonic, and Hong Kong Philharmonic, among others, and at festivals such as Eutin Opera Festival (Germany), FACYL (Spain), and the Macau International Music Festival. He was invited to study and work alongside Maestro Seiji Ozawa at the Rohm Music Festival in Kyoto in 2004.
Besides his active performing schedule, Jimmy Chiang devotes himself to music education. He is the artistic adviser of the Hong Kong Children’s Symphony, directing their annual orchestra academy as well as master classes for young conductors. He has been involved with “Kinderoper Papageno”, in touring productions of their children’s operas, both as tour leader and performer, reaching over 20,000 children in German-speaking countries.
Born to a musical family, Chiang began piano lessons when he was four. He also studied cello and composition as a child, and made his first public appearance as a concert pianist at the age of 13. He received the Fellows Diploma from the Trinity College of Music in London at the age of 16. At Baylor University (USA), he studied with pianist Krassimira Jordan and graduated with a Bachelor of Music. He finished his education as “Magister Artium” at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna. He studied with Austrian conductor Leopold Hager and other mentors include Erwin Ortner and Wolfgang Watzinger.
In 2013, Chiang became Choirmaster of the Vienna Boys Choir.