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The Tölz Boys’ Choir, which originally grew out of a scout troop that took pleasure in singing, was founded sixty years ago, in 1956, by Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden, who was an 18-year-old high school student at the time. The joy of singing, together with creativity and self-discipline, remains central to the identity of the Choir, which has been rehearsing in the state capital of Munich since 1971. There some 200 boys are trained on four levels by artistic directors Christian Fliegner and Clemens Haudum; by the director of the soloist section, Ursula Richter; and by eight vocal teachers. After their voices break, the members are vocally engaged as part of a male choir. Schmidt-Gaden, who headed them until 2009, supports the team with help and advice. Every year these young singers give up to 250 concert and opera performances around the world, covering music from the Middle Ages to the modern era. Soloists from the Tölz Boys’ Choir have become famous performing the Three Boys in Mozart’s The Magic Flute – no fewer than 12 CDs and DVDs of the opera have cast their voices. Such conductors as Claudio Abbado, Daniel Barenboim, Leonard Bernstein, Sergiu Celibidache, Riccardo Chailly, Mariss Jansons, Herbert von Karajan, James Levine, Riccardo Muti, Sir Georg Solti, and Christian Thielemann have worked with the Tölz Boys’ Choir. Gustav Leonhardt and Nikolaus Harnoncourt have recorded the Bach cantatas with the ensemble. The Choir’s recordings have won such awards
as the German Record Critics’ Prize (Bach’s Christmas Oratorio), the Echo Klassik (Orlando di Lasso’s The Psalms of David), and the Diapason d’Or (Bach’s St. John Passion). The Tölz Boys’ Choir is supported by the Free State of Bavaria and by the City of Bad Tölz.
LUCERNE FESTIVAL (IMF) debut on 27 August 1971 in Krzysztof Penderecki’s oratorio Utrenja conducted by Zdenĕk Mácal.