From July 26th till 29th 2017, the World Peace Choral Festival, one of the most important international choral festivals celebrated its 8th anniversary in Vienna!Since 2010, under the motto “Coming together to sing, singing for a better future”, the World Peace Choral Festival aims at providing a platform for people of different cultures and countries to perform, to communicate and to create a better intercultural understanding.The festival follows the idea of promoting world peace, intercultural dialogue and cultural exchange between the different nations. Music is regarded as the universal language which has the power to overcome cultural boundaries and to unify people. The repertoire of the choirs covers classical and folk music, sacred music and contemporary music.During their stay in Vienna the participants, regardless of their origin and cultural background, focus on just one passion, the passion for music. They set an example of how to live the idea of freedom and peace beyond existing political conflicts. The young choristers don’t care about religious beliefs, about skin color, about political interests, restrictions or any other exclusion.
July 26th – 29th 2017, Vienna
In 2017 the World Peace Choral Festival celebrated its 8th anniversary.
31 choirs from Belgium, China (Mainland, Taiwan, Hong Kong), Estonia, Germany, Romania, Spain, USA, etc. and with an age ranging from 6 to 82 years old have participated in the 2017 World Peace Choral Festival.
Prof. Gerald Wirth, President of the Vienna Boys Choir has guided the artistic committee of the World Peace Choral Festival again.
The Vienna Boys Choir is a fixed component of the World Peace Choral Festival’s Gala Concerts.
Donation Sales and Activities for children in need was made by choirs to the UNICEF.
St. Stephen’s Cathedral, MuTh Concert Hall, St. Peter’s Church, Schubert Church, Minoriten Church, AugartenPalace, 9 Senior-citizens Homes, the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna and the Vienna Concert Hall, etc. have served as venues for the 2017 World Peace Choral Festival.
PROGRAM & COURSE
Wednesday, 26. July 2017
Opening Ceremony at St. Stephen’s Cathedral
In the afternoon of July 26th, all choirs gathered in Vienna’s most famous church and landmark: St. Stephen’s Cathedral. The young choristers were received by Prof. Gerald Wirth, the artistic director of the World Peace Choral Festival. Before all choirs performed the motto-song of the festival “Coming together to sing” conducted by Prof. Gerald Wirth, speeches by representatives from politics, ministries, music education and universities had been held. Prof. Gerald Wirth, Prof. Brigitte Weissengruber – the Austrian Ministry of Education, Herr Ernst Woller – Chairman of the Vienna City Council Committee for Culture, Science and Sports, Prof. Lingfen Wu – a renowned Chinese expert in choral music and education were among the speakers.
Voices for Peace Concerts at the MuTh Concert Hall, Peter’s Church, Schubert Church, Minoriten Church
In the evening, 4 Voices for Peace Concerts were held at the same time. All choirs got the chance to introduce themselves to the other participants and to an international audience by performing on the stage.
MuTh Concert Hall, the exclusive concert hall of the Vienna Boys Choir. It’s also an important concert hall of all previous sessions.
Peter’s Church is an ancient Roman Catholic Church.
Schubert Church has a history of more than 300 years, Franz Schubert was baptized in this church. 6 Romanian, Chinese and other choirs have come here to experience the long tradition of classical church music and to resonate with these famous musicians.
Minoriten Church was founded in eighteenth Century.
Thursday, 27. July 2017
Workshops at Palais Augarten – the residence of the Vienna Boys Choir
The second day of the festival focused on competition and workshops. The choirs participated in special workshops conducted by renowned music professors and conductors. The choristers had the chance to get individual voice trainings and were taught specific strategies of choral singing. As in each year, the Vienna Boys Choir provided the class rooms of Palais Augarten for the workshops of the World Peace Choral Festival.
Competition at the MuTh Concert Hall
13 choirs participated in the competition of the festival. They competed in different categories: childrens’ choir I/II, youth choir and adult mixed choir. Though competition is not the main objective of the World Peace Choral Festival, it is a good opportunity for the choirs to present themselves to an international jury of well-established music professors (Univ. – Prof.Erwin Ortner – World renowned chorus conductor educator, former president of Vienna Music University, Lingfen Wu – Famous Chinese conductor, Prof. Stefan Foidl – Conductor of the Vienna Boys Choir, Prof. Mag. Takehiko Okabe – Famous vocal music professor) and to encourage self-confidence. The awarding ceremony was held at the Vienna Concert Hall at the end of the Gala Concerts.
Music without Borders Concerts
For a better understanding of Vienna, the committee specially arranged Music without Borders Concerts for each choir in 9 local retirement home in the afternoon of July 27th and 28th. This not only brought the choirs chances to interactive with the local audience but also enable them to show the distinguishing features of themselves. The members of the choirs brought endless happiness to the old people with their sweet songs and left a deep impression on them.
Music Dinner and Party
To provide opportunities for the choirs to communicate with each other, Music Parties were organized at a local Viennese restaurant (Heuriger Restaurant) in the evening of July 27th and 28th. The restaurant is a traditional Viennese Heurigen restaurant opened in 1746. Countless stars and celebrities have enjoyed their stay in this famous restaurant. The choirs had a good time, they have sung and danced together, made new friends and gained new experiences.
Friday, 28. July 2017
Performance at the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna
In the morning of July 28th, all choirs were invited to perform at the Vienna International Center (short: VIC), the United Nations Headquarters in Vienna.
The performance attracted many visitors and staff members of the UN and gained huge applauses. To maintain the world peace and to promote the development of the world is what the United Nation is working for, and contribution to peace is what the choral festival is advocating. Music is considered to be the best way for people to understand each other.
Saturday, 29. July 2017
Donation sales for supporting UNICEF:
On the July 29th 22 choirs had participated in the fund-raising activity for UNCEF through souvenir sales during the Rehearsal and Gala Concert in the lobby of the Vienna Concert Hall. The income has been donated to children in need. UNICEF Austria welcomes the goodwill acts of the choirs and issued a certificate to each participating choir.
Public Rehearsal of the Vienna Boys Choir at the Vienna Concert Hall
To meet wishes of some choirs, the famous Vienna Boys Choir gave a public rehearsal for all interested choirs, to show its tradition and methods.
Gala Concert, together with the Vienna Boys Choir
Two wonderful concerts lasted from the afternoon to the evening, more than 30 choirs from all over the world came up to the stage. Traditional Chinese folk songs, classical western music, characteristic customs of eastern and western Europe were all presented. The Vienna Boys Choir also showed up for a special performance. Amazing performances won an unceasing admiration from the audiences and guests.
After the excellent performance, awards (Angel of Peace, gold, silver, bronze etc) and certificates were handed over to the representatives of the choirs by the Artistic Committee of the festival.
The closing ceremony dropped its curtain with the melodies of the song “Coming Together to Sing” which was specially composed for the World Peace Choral Festival by Prpf. Gerald Wirth, the artistic director the Vienna Boys Choir.
The young musicians, the choir leaders, the audience and the organizer experienced 4 days full of music and fantastic spirit of the choirs from all over the world.
The 9th World Peace Choral Festival is waiting for you in 2018!