The Vienna Boys Choir returned to Australia and New Zealand in 2012 for a very special tour, which included the world premiere of a new work by composer Elena Kats-Chernin, commissioned by Andrew McKinnon to mark his 25th anniversary as an independent producer.

For more than 500 years the Vienna Boys Choir (or Wiener Sängerknaben) has been an enduring symbol of Europe, having worked with composers such as Fux, Salieri, Haydn and Bruckner and conductors such as Claudio Abbado, Leonard Bernstein, Nikolaus Harnoncourt and Sir George Solti.

The choir is one of the world’s most active musical ensembles and performs over 300 concerts a year. While providing the music for the Sunday Mass in Vienna’s Imperial Chapel – which they have done since 1498! – the choir also tours internationally, performing each year in some of the world’s finest concert halls.

On its 2012 Australian and New Zealand tour for Andrew McKinnon Presentations, the choir premiered Elena Kats-Chernin’s evocative new vocal setting of the much-loved Australian poem, My Country by Dorothea Mackellar.

The tour program also included an inspiring selection of the choir’s own repertoire, including pieces from Renaissance to Modern and of course the beautiful Viennese favourites of Johann and Josef Strauss.