Vienna Boys’ Choir at Hilton Malta
Vienna Boys’ Choir Gerald Wirth recently held a two-day workshop for The St Paul Choral Society at the Catholic Institute, Floriana and the next day at the Hilton Hotel, St Julian’s. The maestro took the choristers through the pieces they will be presenting at their upcoming concerts in October, namely, Beethoven’s Mass in C major (Op.86) – a favourite of Wirth’s – and Franck’s Panis Angelicus and Psalm 150.
All pieces were given particular nuances in the director’s own delectable style. Practising a number of pieces under this choirmaster was a treat for all the choristers where Wirth’s particular expertise on style was the order of the day. He is able to imbue enthusiasm in the singers he works with. The second day ended with the SPCS choir master, Hugo Agius Muscat, taking the baton himself and leading the choir through the Mass so Wirth could listen and comment on what the choir had learnt in the course of these two days.
There is no doubt that it was a vastly impelling day but in the words of one chorister, it was “an unforgettable experience … Gerald’s directions will surely bear fruit during our rehearsals and concerts.”
Wirth is the president and artistic director of Vienna Boys’ Choir, founder of the Wirth Music Academy to educate music teachers and choir directors according to the Wirth Method; he is a founding father of Superar which is a European initiative for introducing more music and dance in the daily life of children and adolescents and which supports several organizations that offer workshops for refugees; he believes music is the language of emotions understood by everyone, and through music other subjects become accessible. In his words, “Music is a gateway to learning.” Wirth is convinced that music has a positive influence on every aspect of a person’s being.
While he has conducted choirs and orchestras all over the world and has acted as chorus master at the Salzburg State Theatre and musical director at the Calgary Civic Symphony, often holding workshops with music teachers, this extraordinary musician’s first love is the human voice and most of his original compositions are vocal works. He has written three children’s operas, several large oratorios, masses, motets and songs. Carmina Austriaca, his most recent large-scale work, is a cycle of medieval songs for large orchestra, mixed chorus and boys’ choir.
This is the third time the St Paul Choral Society has had the privilege of having masterclasses with Wirth. A special word of thanks goes to organist/pianist, Lis Conrad, who accompanies the choir tirelessly every Wednesday at rehearsals and whose professionalism was even more evident during these two days.
Photo credits: Ray Mizzi and Kurt Mizzi
LAUDATE DOMINUM. A Concert for Choir, Soloists, Orchestra and Organ
In aid of Hospice Malta
Friday 14 October 2022. 7.30pm St Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, Mdina
Friday 21 October 2022. 7.30pm. St Publius Parish Church, Floriana