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VIENNA BOYS CHOIR BRINGS "CHRISTMAS IN VIENNA" TO GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

November 9, 2010
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

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GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

VIENNA BOYS CHOIR

“CHRISTMAS IN VIENNA”

Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at 8 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010 at 4 p.m.

  

FAIRFAX, Va., Nov. 9, 2010 – After a sold-out performance at the Center for the Arts in 2008, The Washington Post praised this remarkable choir for its “totally disciplined voices” and for bringing “ebullience, humor or solemnity” to each piece of music. Since its founding more than five centuries ago, the Vienna Boys Choir has been synonymous with choral music, and has delighted audiences across the globe with its purity of tone, distinctive charm and a crowd-pleasing repertoire that encompasses Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, beloved pop songs and holiday favorites. Vienna Boys Choir returns to George Mason University’s Center for the Arts Concert Hall on Saturday, Dec. 18, 2010 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Dec. 19, 2010 at 4 p.m. with “Christmas in Vienna.” This performance is family friendly, and tickets are half price for youth through grade 12 when accompanied by an adult. A pre-performance discussion, free to ticket holders, begins 45 minutes prior to the performance on the Center’s Grand Tier III. Pre-performance discussions are sponsored by the Friends of the Center for the Arts.

“Theirs are the voices of Christmas, as pure as angels, as clear as the winter light.” (Charles Passy, Ovation) The Vienna Boys Choir formed more than half a millennium ago in 1498, when Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and musicians from Innsbruck to Vienna and requested that the court musicians add six young boys to sing the soprano and alto parts during church services. From the start, the choir attracted Europe’s leading classical composers, including Franz Biber, Christoph Willibald Gluck, Joseph and Michael Haydn and even Mozart, who became composer of the court in 1787. Franz Schubert was a member of the choir from 1808-13 and is considered the most famous “Choir Boy.” For more than 400 years, the choir sang exclusively for mass, concerts and state functions at the imperial court, until 1918, when the Habsburg Empire fell and the Austrian government took over all musical organizations in the court, except for the Vienna Boys Choir. In the 1920s, Josef Schnitt established the choir as a private institution and to pay for the boys’ upkeep, the choir began to give concerts outside the Chapel. Within a year, the choir was performing in Berlin and soon all over the world.

Today, the Vienna Boys Choir’s school and residence has been located in the restored 18th century Augarten Palace, which provides space for classes, rehearsals, housing and recreation. The ensemble consists of 100 choristers between the ages of 10 and 14 divided into four touring choirs that give approximately 300 concerts a year all over the world. The Vienna Boys Choir have made countless recordings for labels including BMG Classics, Capriccio, Deutsche Grammophon, EMI, Philips and Sony Classical, featuring sacred music; traditional Viennese operettas, waltzes and polkas; Christmas albums; folk songs; and even an album of popular music featuring Beatles and Madonna covers. 

 

Tickets for VIENNA BOYS CHOIR’S “CHRISTMAS IN VIENNA” are $48, $40, $24. Family Friendly! Youth through grade 12, half price when accompanied by an adult. Charge by phone at 888-945-2468 or visit cfa.gmu.edu. The Center for the Arts complex is located on the Fairfax campus of George Mason University at the intersection of Braddock Road and Route 123. Paid parking is located in the deck adjacent to the mainstage Concert Hall and FREE parking is located in university lot K.  Visit cfa.gmu.edu.

About Great Performances at Mason

Great Performances at Mason is a program of George Mason University's Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the College of Visual and Performing Arts (CVPA). CVPA provides an academic environment in which the arts are explored as individual disciplines and interdisciplinary forms that strengthen one another. The college prepares students for careers as creators, performers, teachers, scholars, arts leaders and arts entrepreneurs. Understanding that an education in the arts is deepened by regular contact with the work of distinguished visiting artists, the Center for the Arts, the professional presentation and production arm of the college, welcomes a variety of professional and world-renowned artists, musicians and actors to its stage. Students have the opportunity to perform, create and exhibit their work in a wide variety of public venues including a 2,000-seat Concert Hall. CVPA is home to the Schools of Music, Dance and Art, the Department of Theater, as well as the Computer Game Design, Arts Management and Film and Video Studies programs.

About George Mason University

Named the #1 national university to watch in the 2009 rankings of U.S. News & World Report, George Mason University is an innovative, entrepreneurial institution with global distinction in a range of academic fields. Located in Northern Virginia near Washington, D.C., Mason provides students access to diverse cultural experiences and the most sought-after internships and employers in the country.  Mason offers strong undergraduate and graduate degree programs in engineering and information technology, organizational psychology, health care and visual and performing arts. With Mason professors conducting groundbreaking research in areas such as climate change, public policy and the biosciences, George Mason University is a leading example of the modern, public university.