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VIENNA BOYS CHOIR RETURNS TO GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY'S CENTER FOR THE ARTS ON MARCH 11

February 2, 2012
Contact: Press & Media Relations Coordinator (703-993-8794)

For general information about tickets, seating, parking, etc., for performances and events happening at the Center for the Arts, please contact the ticket office directly at 703-993-2787.

GEORGE MASON UNIVERSITY’S CENTER FOR THE ARTS

PRESENTS

THE VIENNA BOYS CHOIR

Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 4 p.m.

 

FAIRFAX, Va., Feb. 1, 2012 “[The] mix of purity and lung power, childlike simplicity and mature command of breath control and phrasing, is what this ensemble is all about.” (The Washington Post) From the young ages of 10 to 14, the Vienna Boys Choir spends nine to 11 weeks each year touring the globe, performing in front of almost half a million people per season. A favorite at George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, this revered ensemble returns to Fairfax on Sunday, March 11, 2012 at 4 p.m. with a performance that encompasses Austrian folk songs and waltzes, classical masterpieces, pop songs and medieval chant. This performance is Family Friendly: youth through grade 12 can obtain tickets for half price 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.

The program will include a diverse collection of works from composers from the past and present, including “O Fortuna” from Carl Orff’s “Carmina Burana”; Brahms’ 13th Psalm; Strauss’ “Tausend und eine Nacht” (Arabian Nights); Ennio Morricone’s “Nella Fantasia” (In My Fantasy) from the 1986 film, “The Mission”; and a medley of songs from the 1992 film, “Sister Act.” Italian conductor Manolo Cagnin will serve as choirmaster for this performance.

In 1498, Emperor Maximilian I moved his court and musicians from Innsbruck to Vienna and gave strict instructions that there were to be six boy choristers among his musicians, thus creating the Vienna Boys Choir. From its inception, the choir collaborated with many of Europe’s leading classical composers, including Franz Biber, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Anton Bruckner; Franz Schubert was even a member of the choir from 1808-13. The choir sang exclusively for the imperial court; at mass, private concerts and functions; and on state occasions until the breakdown of the Habsburg Empire in 1918. 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, performing motets, secular works and – at the boys’ request – children’s operas. Within a year, the choir was performing in Berlin, and soon, all across the globe. Though the choir’s history in radio, television and film dates from the 1930s to present, its first feature appearance was in the Disney classic “Almost Angels” (1962).

Today, there are 100 choristers in the Vienna Boys Choir who are divided into four choirs, which perform approximately 300 concerts each season around the world. The boys also continue to maintain the tradition of performing as imperial musicians, providing music for Sunday mass, as they have for more than half a millennium. Committed to introducing the boys to as many different styles of music as possible, the choir has commissioned a number of world music projects, including its most recent, “Silk Road,” which included a documentary focusing on the choir’s tour along the old trade route. The film features songs from Uzbekistan, China, Pakistan, Iran, Tajikistan and more, all sung in the original languages. The choir has also done a number of crossover music projects. In the 1970s, the Vienna Boys Choir began performing a cappella versions of Beatles songs, and has since added contemporary pop music in its repertoire. In 2002, the choir also recorded a CD of popular music, which included songs by Celine Dion, Madonna, Robbie Williams and more.

 

Tickets for VIENNA BOYS CHOIR are $23, $38, $46. 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

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. George Mason University – Where Innovation Is Tradition.