The quintessential boys' choir has a long tradition. Boys have been singing at Vienna's Imperial Chapel since 1296. In 1498, Maximilian I (HRR) moved his court to Vienna, lock, stock, and choir. Over the centuries, the Viennese Court attracted musicians like Mozart, Salieri, and Bruckner; Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Franz Schubert were themselves choristers.
The Chapel Imperial always travelled with the Emperor. Today, touring is part of the chorister's education. Since 1926, the Vienna Boys Choir has undertaken around 1000 tours in 97 different countries; in that time, the boys have sung more than 27.000 concerts. There are currently 100 choristers between the ages of nine and fourteen, divided into our touring choirs. They give around 300 concerts each year, attended by almost half a million spectators around the world. Together with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Vienna State Opera Chorus, the boys provide the music for the Sunday Mass in the Imperial Chapel, as they have done since 1498. The Vienna Boys' Choir can also be seen (and heard!) in the choir's own concert hall, Muth. Three new films by Curt Faudon give a deep insight into the boys' art: Songs for Mary (2013) is a biography of the Virgin Mary in 21 motets and songs; Bridging the Gap – the Power of Singing and Good Shepherds will be released in 2015. Also in 2015, the Choir entered a long-term partnership with Universal Music – Deutsche Grammophon; the first of the joint products will be a Christmas CD.