Vienna Boys’ Choir

Vienna Boys’ Choir

13 October 2016
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The world’s favourite childrens’ choir and one of today’s most celebrated ambassadors of music returns with a one-night-only concert at the Esplanade Concert Hall. A special segment of the programme features the Vienna Boys’ Choir with The kids’ philharmonic@sg Orchestra of Singapore. Maestro Manolo Cagnin conducts both the choir and the orchestra.

The Vienna Boys have been singing at the royal court in Vienna since the 15th century. Formed in 1498 by Emperor Maximilian I, the Wiener Sängerknaben’s (Vienna Boys’ Choir) distinctive sound is unmatched in purity and beauty. From as early as 1926, the Choir performed outside the Austrian Imperial Chapel, paving the way to today’s highly successful world tours.

The boys range between 10 to 14 years, and are selected to join the choir’s full time training through worldwide auditions. They have their own full-time school at the Augartenpalais, a baroque palace and former imperial hunting lodge in Vienna. Besides music , the school excels in academic subjects, sports and humanities.

Famous singers and composer who sang or worked with the Vienna Boys in the distant past include: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Anton Bruckner and Josef Haydn. Franz Schubert was himself a Vienna Boys chorister.

Gerald Wirth is the Artistic Director of the Vienna Boys’ Choir. His distinctive arrangements are a popular feature of the Boys’ concerts. The conductor for the Vienna Boys’ Choir Asian tour 2016 is Manolo Cagnin. Included in the programme are Viennese waltzes and polkas, motets, art songs and folk songs from around the world.

In recent years, they have performed with the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Vienna Symphony Orchestra and the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. Recent guest conductors include Pierre Boulez, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti.

 

Manolo Cagnin: Conductor

Born in Treviso, Italy, Maolo Cagnin developed an interest in music early in life. As a child, he studied violin and violin at the Conservatory of Venice, then later pursued choral music, conducting and composition in Venice and Milan. He completed his studies in Leipzig under Kurt Masur and Fabio Luisi.

In Leipzig, Mr. Cagnin served as assistant to the Thomanerchor’s artistic director, Georg Christoph Biller. He was music director of the Gewandhaus Orchestra’s 2007 production of “La Tragédie de Carmen”.

In 2008, Mr. Cagnin was named conductor of one of the Wiener Sängerknaben’s (Vienna Boys Choir) four touring choirs. He prepares the boys for masses with the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and for appearances with the Vienna State Opera; for sound and video recordings, and for concerts both in Vienna and abroad.

Mr. Cagnin feels it is especially important to communicate with the audience, “Music is a gift. As musicians, we have the obligation to share that gift with our audience.” Mr. Cagnin finds working with the boys particularly rewarding, “They possess character and spirit. This is reflected in the way they make music. The children learn from me, and I learn from them.” The repertoire is chosen to match the boys' voices and personalities.

The spirited choirmaster enjoys touring, and has led his Choir on tours through most of Europe, North and South America, Australia, Canada, China, Korea, New Zealand, Singapore, Taiwan, and Vietnam.

Kids’ philharmonic@sg Orchestra

kids’ philharmonic@sg is a Singaporean orchestra dedicated to provide performing opportunities for children. The instructors are professionally trained to teach ensemble and musicianship skills. Under their professional guidance, the students develop strong musical techniques and knowledge in orchestral playing. This equips them with the necessary skills to realize their dreams to develop as great musicians.

Like the Vienna Boys’ Choir, kids’ philharmonic@sg believes strongly in the educational benefits of playing in an orchestra, because this allows young musicians to work together in a group, developing teamwork, discipline and leadership at the same time.


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