Vienna Boys Choir to appear at NCC
By Annie Alleman For Sun-Times Media March 14, 2013 11:26AM
The Vienna Boys Choir will be at NCC March 17. | File photo
‘Vienna Boys Choir’
♦ March 17
♦ Wentz Concert Hall, 171 E. Chicago Ave., Naperville
♦ Tickets, $50-$60
♦ (630) 637-7469
Updated: March 14, 2013 11:26AM
They’ve performed the world wide and will be in Naperville March 17.
Austria’s historic Vienna Boys Choir comes to town for a 6 p.m. Sunday performance in North Central College’s Wentz Concert Hall.
The Vienna Boys Choir was founded in 1498 and features boys ages 10 to 14. Until 1918, performances were reserved for the Austrian imperial court for mass, private concerts and state occasions.
Today, the choir’s 100 members are divided into four separate touring groups, each named after famous Austrian composers associated with the choir’s history: Bruckner, Haydn, Mozart and Schubert.
The four choirs give around 300 performances a year all over the world. Under artistic director Gerald Wirth, the choir’s repertoire includes everything from medieval, world music, a cappella, pop and film music.
The Schubert tour will appear in Naperville under the direction of choirmaster and conductor Oliver Stech. Choir members come from Vienna, Lower Austria Styria, and Carinthia; from Bosnia, England, Germany, Hungary, Japan, Romania and Russia.
The choir recently had dates in Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and New York.
“They really like it because when they are on tour, they see many things (and) many places. They see the whole world,” Stech said. “They really like to be in the United States, with fun parks and the fast food. They can go to the beach, play soccer or go swimming. Back in Austria, it’s really cold, so the boys really enjoy it here.”
The choir will have a free day and will be able to do some sightseeing while in Chicago, he said.
Naperville audiences will be treated to a classical repertoire, he said, with pieces by Schubert, Schuman, Mozart, Haydn.
“We also do some Austrian folk songs,” Stech said. “In the second part, we take the audience on a journey through different parts of the world. We do arrangements from European countries, and also from South America and Asia. We do music by Johann Strauss … the audiences really likes when we perform Strauss. Then we have some movie music. We have hits from ‘The Jungle Book’ and ‘Sister Act.’ We want to show we are flexible and are able to sing different kinds of music.”
The choir’s members understand the long tradition that they are a part of, he said.
“The boys are very proud to be a member of the Vienna Boys Choir, and we keep the traditions,” he said. “I think the boys are proud of that we go (to the Imperial Chapel) Sunday mornings, even though they have to get up early. They know they are part of a big tradition and a famous boys’ choir.”
Naperville audiences can expect the famous angelic voices the choir is known for, plus some surprises, he said.
“We want to surprise the audience with our repertoire,” he said. “We want to not only exceed the expectations, but also go further and surprise them.”