Konzertvereinigung Wiener Staatsopernchor
The Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus was founded in 1927 by one of the chorus’s members, Viktor Maiwald, as the non-operatic branch of the Vienna State Opera Chorus. In 2017 it celebrated its 90th birthday and the 95th anniversary of its first appearance at the Salzburg Festival.
The Concert Association undertakes all of the Vienna State Opera Chorus’s duties away from the State Opera, enabling its members to show off their abilities in the concert hall, too. Among the leading conductors who from the outset have championed and befriended the Concert Association are Clemens Krauss, Arturo Toscanini, Karl Böhm, Herbert von Karajan, Riccardo Muti, Franz Welser-Möst, Mariss Jansons and Philippe Jordan. Unlike other major choirs, it is made up exclusively of professional singers.
The Concert Association’s performances are distinguished by their fullness of tone, their stylistic assurance and their precision. Working with internationally renowned orchestras, the chorus has given innumerable exemplary performances of operas and concert works ranging from the Baroque to the present day, with particular emphasis on the Classical and Romantic repertoire.
The Concert Association’s history is closely bound up with its annual appearances at the Salzburg Festival. The chorus first appeared in operas under Richard Strauss and Franz Schalk in 1922, initially as the Vienna State Opera Chorus, later as the Concert Association of the Vienna State Opera Chorus. Since then it has appeared uninterruptedly at the Salzburg Festival, continuing to be the Festival’s principal choir and, as such, one of its mainstays. Countless unforgettable opera performances and concerts have stemmed from this artistic partnership.
In 1977 the Clemens Krauss Medal was established in memory of the conductor, who was the director of the Vienna State Opera from 1929 to 1934. It is conferred to those individuals who have rendered particular service to the Concert Association. Its most recent recipients have been Riccardo Muti, Helga Rabl-Stadler and Anna Netrebko.