Normalised by emperor maximilan 1 in 1498, the Vienna Boys’ Choir is one of the enduring symbols of Austrian musical vivacity. Joseph Haydn sang with them as a child; Franz Schubert was a member for six years; and both Beethoven and Mozart have written works especially for the group. The iconic choir has also performed with some of the greatest conductors of the century including Leonard Bernstein, Herbert von Karajan, and Sir George Solti. Now, and for the first time in Indonesia, the Vienna Boys Choir will perform a full concert at Ciputra Artpreneur Theater on October 15 and 16. President Director Rina Ciputra gives us the details.
The Vienna Boys’ Choir has topped the wish lists of arts enthusiasts since the inauguration of Ciputra Artpreneur. Why did it take so long for them to come here?
Ciputra Artpreneur has been in operation for one and a half years. For shows coming from abroad—mostly from Europe and the US— we can ask them to perform only if they are visiting Southeast Asia in general due to cost and logistical reasons. In actual fact, we are very lucky to get them so soon via a mutual connection. Normally, it takes at least two years to sign up such an iconic choir.
Why does the performance last for only two days?
The choir’s schedule is very tight and packed for the whole year, and, as such, they have commitments to perform elsewhere. The group is also big: 100 boys are divided into four choirs— two in Vienna and two which tour the world. They have performed in more than 80 countries.
What about the programme and the songs to be performed?
We couldn’t get too deeply involved in the programming. They are the best in their class, so the ultimate decisions should rest with them. I believe that as a 600-year-old choir, they know best what they should do because they definitely know how to entertain.
Are there plans to invite other international choirs?
We have a number of irons in the fire, so to speak, and are waiting for feedback. The key is when they will be in Southeast Asia and what sort of sponsorship we can get.
Tell us about other upcoming events.
In November, we will have a Christmas concert, a Christmas play, and, at the end of the month, there will be a concert with a conductor from Japan.
(Text by Olly G. Santosa; Photo by Irwan Kurnia)