The Vienna Boys Choir came to Minneapolis, Minn. for a live broadcast concert in one of the most beautiful buildings in the Twin Cities, the Basilica of St. Mary. Photographer Judy Griesedieck was there to capture images of the most stunning moments from this concert.
About the Vienna Boys ChoirBoys have been singing at the court in Vienna since the 14th century. In 1498, more than half a millennium ago, Holy Roman Emperor Maximilian I moved his court to Vienna, with instructions that six singing boys should be among his musicians.
The boys chosen came from across the Holy Roman Empire, including the Netherlands, Italy, Germany and Austria. That became the foundation of the Vienna Chapel Imperial (Hofmusikkapelle) and the Vienna Boys Choir. Until 1918, they sang exclusively for the imperial court, at Mass, concerts and private functions, and on state occasions.
In 1921, soon after the breakdown of the Habsburg Empire, the choir became a private institution, and the former court choir became the Wiener Sängerknaben (Vienna Boys Choir), outfitted in stylish sailor suits. In 1926, to pay for the boys' upkeep, the choir began staging concerts outside of their chapel. They've since clocked up almost 1,000 tours in 100 different countries.
Throughout its history, the choir has worked with musicians like Heinrich Isaac, Heinrich Ignaz Franz Biber, Johann Joseph Fux, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Antonio Caldara, Antonio Salieri, and more. Composers Jacobus Gallus and Franz Schubert were themselves choristers. And the Haydn brothers, Michael and Joseph, frequently sang with the choir.
Today, the Vienna Boys Choir has 100 choristers from 30 different nations -- all between 10 and 14 years old -- and is divided into four touring choirs. The four choirs give 300 concerts and performances each year, before almost half a million people. Performing motets, secular works and children's operas, they visit virtually all of Europe, as well as Asia, Australia, and the Americas.
About the Basilica of St. MaryMore than just a beautiful building, The Basilica of Saint Mary is a gathering place for people of all faiths and races. It's a center for the arts and a place of refuge for the poor. It's a community committed to the growth and social well-being of this city.
People of all colors and from all economic backgrounds, people from suburbs and from inner city neighborhoods, stand shoulder to shoulder. Together, we celebrate weddings, baptisms and funerals, Christmas and Easter, and weekend Eucharist.