Vienna Boys' Choir history
For over five hundred years the Vienna Boys’ Choir has existed as a central institution in the cultural and musical life of Austria. This choir is one of the oldest in the world, founded in 1498 by Maximilian I of Habsburg, Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire. Most of the choir members are Austrian, but boys from other countries can also be invited to join the choir, each chosen by personal interview and audition. The Vienna Boys’ Choir has worked together with many famous composers, such as Mozart, Salieri and Bruckner. Furthermore, a number of famous composers have emerged from within the ranks of the Vienna Boys’ Choir, among them Franz Schubert and the Haydn brothers. Schubert wrote his first compositions as a choir boy and was then encouraged to cultivate his extraordinary talent by the renowned rival of W.A. Mozart, Antonio Salieri.
Vienna Boys' Choir
Home Base: Palais Augarten
Year of Foundation: 1498
Founder: Maximilian I of Habsburg
Organisation of the Vienna Boys' Choir
Currently there are approximately one hundred boy singers, organized into four touring choirs. These choirs are each named after a famous Austrian composer; Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert, however this nomenclature is only for internal use. The world knows only the Vienna Boys’ Choir, which is an independent, not-for-profit organization, self-financed through international concert tours and performances. Each group tours approximately ten weeks per year. When not on tour the home of the Vienna Boys’ Choir has been the Palais Augarten in Vienna. The building serves not only as the rehearsal venue for the choir but also as its residential school, with instruction from the elementary through middle school levels. This palace has been the home of the choir since 1948 and in this year the choir also adopted its well known blue and white sailor suit uniform.