Today, the choir has 190 members, who are divided into six groups – from junior choirs to concert choirs and male voices – and trained partly in collaboration with the Tyrolean State Conservatory. Johannes Stecher conducts the Wilten Boys’ Choir section of the Tyrolean State Conservatory. He is supported by vocal teachers Britta Ströher, Martin Senfter BA, Johannes Puchleitner and Albert Frey, as well as Vinzenz Arnold and Albert Frey for the junior choirs.
The choir members attend various schools in the greater Innsbruck area and attend choir rehearsals and vocal training one to three times a week, depending on their age. The youngest choir members are four or five years old.
Many singers, musicians and music teachers are former members of our choir: A few examples are: Bernhard Landauer (alto), Markus Forster (alto), Paul Schweinester (tenor), Daniel Schmutzhard (baritone), Philippe Spiegel (baritone), Michael Kranebitter (bass baritone), Wolfgang Resch (baritone), Camillo dell´Antonio (tenor), Cesare Colona (baritone), Florian Spieß (bass), Mathias Hoffmann (bass), Wolfgang Schwaiger (baritone), Philipp Meraner (tenor), Mathias Gastl (music teacher, bass), Benedikt Melichar (church musician, choirmaster), Jan Golubkow (music teacher, choirmaster), Sebastian Mair (baritone, singing teacher), Karlheinz Hanser (singing teacher), Oliver Felipe-Armas (music school headmaster), Markus Kohl (tenor), Hermann Vogl (baritone), Michael Mader (conductor), Andreas Winkler (tenor), Albert Knapp (organist), Oliver Sailer (bass) Marc Hess (musical theatre performer), David Kerber (tenor), Matteo Rasic (baritone), Matthias Kofler (bass), Hanspeter Niedermair (baritone), Matthias Tschiderer (bass), Pascal Ladner (alto), Norbert Gerhold (music teacher), Samuel Strobl (tenor), Stefan Costa (jazz musician), etc.
Our repertoire is ever changing and growing, as our choir members – and this is unavoidable with children’s choirs – are quickly changing and moving from soprano or alto to tenor or bass. The choir focusses on early church music, from Renaissance and Baroque to classical music and Romanticism.
On the one hand, we perform music from the 20th century and, on the other hand, we include composers like William Byrd, Heinrich Schütz, Johann Sebastian Bach, Anton Bruckner and Arvo Pärt. However, numerous recordings of our choir in the classical genre are available, with masses and oratorios by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Joseph Haydn.
As a Tyrolean choir, we are committed to upholding the tradition of authentic folk songs. Therefore, yodels and folk songs from the Alpine region, as well as religious folk songs – especially during Advent and Christmas – are frequently part of our repertoire.
We also focus on opera and choral-symphonic works. The Wilten Boys’ Choir took part in the following works at the Salzburg, Bregenz and Tyrolean Festivals, at the Tyrolean and Vorarlberg State Theatre and at various opera houses in Italy, most recently at the Scala in Milan: The Magic Flute (Mozart), Carmen (Bizet), Tosca (Puccini), Lohengrin (Wagner), Parsifal (Wagner), Hansel and Gretel (Humperdinck), Der Rosenkavalier (Strauss), Werther (Massenet), Perséphone (Stravinsky),The Child and the Spells (Ravel), The Cunning Little Vixen (Janáček), War Requiem (Britten), A Midsummer Night’s Dream (Britten), The Turn of the Screw (Britten), Albert Herring (Britten), Cadence Macbeth (Zehm), Turandot (Verdi), Macbeth (Verdi), Meine Bienen (Händl Klaus/Franui), Die tote Stadt (Korngold), Shylock (Kanyar/Fassbaender), Symphony No. 8 (Mahler), Kaddish (Bernstein), etc.
Concerts and Tours
Over the past few years, the choir has continued to grow and performs mainly in German-speaking regions. However, we have also organised major world-wide concert tours. These have already taken our young singers to countries like China, Japan, Israel, Romania, Denmark, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland and the Netherlands. Every year, we take part in the autumn concerts at the Innsbruck Court Church and perform the cantatas, the Christmas Oratorio and the St. Matthew Passion by Johann Sebastian Bach together with the Academia Jacobus Stainer Baroque Orchestra, which is conducted by Johannes Stecher, and organise the popular Advent concert “Weihnacht in Tirol” (Christmas in Tyrol) at the Götzens pilgrimage church (Tyrol). Every two years, we arrange a Mother’s Day concert and a benefit concert for the “Kinder für Kinder” association at the Congress Innsbruck concert hall.
More than 25 studio and live recordings, such as Haydn’s Creation, the complete Carmina Burana version for two pianos and percussion, radio and TV recordings, CDs such as “Stille Nacht” (Silent Night), “Wenn Tiroler Buabm singen” (When Tyrolean Boys Sing), “In die Berg bin i gern” (mcp) (I like being in the mountains), Laudate Dominum (Gramola), “Die Wiltener Sängerknaben in der Hofkirche in Innsbruck” (The Wilten Boys’ Choir at the Court Church in Innsbruck) (Gramola) or a live DVD with works from Bach (Christmas Oratorio and cantatas) and Vivaldi’s Gloria at the Wilten Basilica and the Götzens pilgrimage church (Clementi 2012) show the choir’s diversity and how we have progressed. Johann Sebastian Bach’s Christmas Oratorio featuring the choir and soloists from the Wilten Boys’ Choir, the Academia Jacobus Stainer Baroque Orchestra, Daniel Schmutzhard and Paul Schweinester, conducted by Johannes Stecher (Gramola 2012) was nominated for the Deutscher Schallplattenpreis award.