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Wiltener Sängerknaben (Boys' Choir)

Founded: 13th Century - Wilten, Tyrol, Austria
Re-established: 1946

The Wiltener Sängerknaben (Wilten Boys' Choir) is one of the most venerable and oldest boys' choirs in the Alpine world. It dates back to the 13th century. The Wilten and Wiener Sängerknaben have shared roots. In the 15th century Emperor Maximilian I moved the Imperial Court from Innsbruck to Vienna, taking with him court music and some of the boys from Wilten Abbey, thereby laying the foundations for the Imperial Court Boys' Choir, which was later to become the Wiener Sängerknaben.

In 1946, shortly after the end of World War II, the Wiltener Sängerknaben was re-established in its present form by Prof. Norbert Gerhold as an institution of the Premonstratensian Choral Monastery of Wilten. Initially, rehearsals were staged in the St Bartlmä youth centre. After a few interim homes, the Wiltener Sängerknaben have for some time now been meeting in the former Leuthaus. After all the necessary restoration work had taken place, the first public concert was performed in the vestibule of Wilten Abbey in April 1948. In the same year, the choir took part in the Federal Youth Singing Competition in Vienna, where it achieved considerable success.

After a number of shorter concert trips to neighbouring countries (Italy, Switzerland, Germany), the first grand tour took place in 1950: the Wiltener Sängerknaben went to Denmark for 6 weeks. The concerts were a huge success, thereby hugely raising the choir's profile. These were followed by concert tours to Switzerland, Germany, France, Italy and another two highly successful tours to Denmark. In 1983, the Wiltener Sängerknaben took part in a Tyrolean delegation to the Vatican, bearing a Christmas tree for Pope John Paul II. In 1993, they finally performed for the Pope a gala concert, which was broadcast live by RAI across large parts of Europe, to the delight of many millions of TV viewers. The choir made further grand concert tours to Israel in 1980 and to Japan in 1982.

As long ago as 1948, the Wiltener Sängerknaben took part in a new production of Wagner's Lohengrin at the Tyrolean State Theatre. Since then their voices have regularly been heard in a wide variety of productions in Austria and abroad, both as a choir and in solo roles.

Source: Wiltener Sängerknaben Website
Contributed by
Aryeh Oron (September 2014)

Johannes Stecher: Short Biography | Wiltener Sängerknaben | Academia Jacobus Stainer | Recordings of Vocal Works

Links to other Sites

Wiltener Sängerknaben (Official Website) [German/English]

 

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Last update: ýSeptember 25, 2014 ý15:15:30