Cathedral of the Holy Cross to Host the Vienna Boys Choir

Cathedral of the Holy Cross to Host the Vienna Boys Choir
The Vienna Boys Choir (Photo courtesy of Sue Auclair)

Boston’s Cathedral of the Holy Cross presents “Christmas at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross with the Vienna Boys Choir” on Sunday, December 2 at 3 p.m.

The special holiday concert will be hosted by radio personality and voice of the Boston Symphony Orchestra, Ron Della Chiesa.

“This is a rare opportunity to hear this highly regarded choir in a magnificent setting, in one of the greatest cathedrals in America and it’s particularly wonderful during the holiday season,” says Della Chiesa. “My wife Joyce and I were married in this Cathedral 26 years ago and I am also a regular lector there.”

In 1498, more than half a millennium ago, Emperor Maximilian 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 founding date of the Vienna Hofmusikkapelle and – in consequence – the Vienna Boys Choir. Until 1918, the choir sang exclusively for the court, at Mass, at private concerts and functions, as well as on state occasions.

Noted musicians like Christoph Willibald Gluck, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, and Antonio Salieri worked with the choir. Composers Jacobus Gallus, Franz Schubert and conductors Hans Richter, Felix Mottl and Clemens Krauss were themselves choristers. Brothers Joseph and Michael Haydn were members of the choir of St. Stephen’s Cathedral, and sang frequently with the imperial boys’ choir.

Today there are approximately 100 choristers between the ages of ten and fourteen, divided into four touring choirs. The choirs give around 300 concerts and performances each year in front of almost half a million people, with each group spending nine to eleven weeks of the school year on tour. They visit almost all European countries, and they are frequent guests in Asia, Australia and the Americas.

The architecturally significant Cathedral of the Holy Cross, located at 1400 Washington Street in Boston’s South End, is the largest Roman Catholic church in New England and is wheelchair accessible.

General admission tickets for the concert at $34 each are available now by calling
617-542-5682 or by visiting www.etix.com.