Vienna Boys Choir Celebrates Christmas at the Music Center at Strathmore, December 2
N. Bethesda, Md. (November 14, 2007)-The famed Vienna Boys Choir will celebrate the holiday season with a performance at the Music Center at Strathmore on Sunday, December 2 at 3:00 p.m. Renowned for their angelic voices, musical prowess and rich history, the Vienna Boys Choir has enchanted music lovers the world over for centuries. For their holiday program, the choir will perform traditional folk songs, English carols and popular holiday tunes, in addition to motets, lieder and waltzes from Strauss, Schumann and Schubert. See below for program information.
In 1498, more than half a millennium ago, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and his court musicians from Innsbruck to Vienna. He gave specific instructions that there were to be six boys among his musicians. For want of a foundation charter, historians have settled on 1498 as the official foundation date of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and - in consequence - the Vienna Boys Choir.
Today there are around 100 choristers between the ages of ten and fourteen, divided into four touring choirs. The four choirs give around 300 concerts and performances each year in front of almost half a million people. Each group spends nine to eleven weeks of the school year on tour. They visit virtually all European countries, and they are frequent guests in Asia, Australia and the Americas.
The choir's repertoire includes everything from medieval to contemporary and experimental music. Motets and lieder for boys' choir form the core of the touring repertoire, as do the choir's own arrangements of waltzes and polkas by Strauss. Together with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys Choir) maintain the tradition of the imperial musicians: as Hofmusikkapelle they provide the music for the Sunday Mass in Vienna's Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498.
Nikolaus Müller, choirmaster
Nikolaus Müller, born and raised in Leipzig, was a member of the famous Thomanerchor - Johann Sebastian Bach's old choir - for nine years. From 1993 to 1995, he served as assistant to the choir's music director, Georg Christoph Biller. After two years of reading physics at the University of Leipzig, Müller went on to study music: He studied orchestral conducting, choral conducting and singing with, among others, Fabio Luisi, at the Leipzig Musikhochschule, at the Dresden Musikhochschule, at the Real Conservatorio Superior de Música in Madrid and at the Escola Superior de Música de Catalunya in Barcelona.
From 2003 to 2006, Müller lectured at the Martin Luther University in Halle and Wittenberg; he served as the artistic director of the university's symphony orchestra. In 2005, he was artistic director of the Laurentius Chamber Choir in Dresden, and in 2006, he took over as artistic director of the Stadtsingechor zu Halle, a choir with over 800 years of history.
In June 2007, he was appointed choirmaster of one of the Vienna Boys Choir's touring ensembles. Prior to coming to the United States, he has led his choir on a recent tour of South America, and a short tour to Granada.
COMPLETE PROGRAM INFORMATION
BSO at Strathmore Special Presentation: Vienna Boys Choir
Sunday, December 2, 2007 at 3:00 p.m.-The Music Center at Strathmore
Vienna Boys Choir
Nikolaus Müller, choirmaster
Please note: The Baltimore Symphony Orchestra does not perform on this program.
Tickets for this concert range from $25 to $55 and are available through the BSO Ticket Office, 877.BSO.1444 or BSOmusic.org.