November 29, 2023

Vienna Boys Choir’s “Christmas in Vienna”

WORLD FAMOUS CHOIR: The Vienna Boys Choir comes to State Theatre New Jersey on December 8 at 8 p.m. (Photo by Lukas Beck)

State Theatre New Jersey presents “Vienna Boys Choir — Christmas in Vienna” on Friday, December 8 at 8 p.m. The production showcases these young musicians in a program featuring Austrian folk songs, classical masterpieces, popular songs, and holiday favorites.

The Vienna Boys Choir is one of the most famous choirs in the world, and one of the oldest. In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court to Vienna to establish the Chapel Imperial there, along with the Vienna Boys Choir. Over the centuries, the court attracted musicians like Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Anton Bruckner. Composers Joseph Haydn, Michael Haydn, and Franz Schubert were themselves choirboys.

Today the Vienna Boys Choir is a private, nonprofit organization, which relies on sponsorship and donations. The Choir maintains a primary school, a junior and a senior high school. Three hundred boys and girls between the ages of six and 19 attend the choir’s schools in Vienna’s Augarten Park. All receive individual voice lessons and sing in one of the choirs. The choir’s education is open to all, regardless of their origin, nationality, or religion. About a third of the students go on to become music professionals.

The 100 boy choristers between the ages of 9 and 14 are divided into four choirs. Between them, the choirs give around 300 concerts each year, attended by almost half a million spectators around the world. Since 1924, the boys have sung over 1,000 tours in 100 different countries, which has resulted in 29,000 performances. At the Sunday services in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel, they perform with members of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the State Opera Chorus. The Choir frequently appears with major orchestras, conducted by the likes of Joana Mallwitz, Zubin Mehta, Riccardo Muti, Christian Thielemann, and Simone Young. Recent highlights include appearances at the Salzburg Festival and at the Vienna Philharmonic’s New Year’s Concert.

State Theatre New Jersey is at 15 Livingston Avenue in New Brunswick. Visit for tickets, which range from $29-$69.