The St. Florian Boys Choir – a Grand Tradition
The history of the St. Florian Seminary located in the vicinity of Linz extends back to the early-Christian burial ground of the martyred Florian (304). The baroque compound built by Carlo Carlone and Jakob Prandtauer is among the most magnificent historic monuments of Austrian architecture. The part of the compound which houses the boys choir institute dates back to 1071, the year in which the Augustinian canon took over the monastery.
Many musicians have emerged from the ranks of the boy singers, the most eminent of whom was Anton Bruckner; his name is inextricably linked with St. Florian.
Approximately 50 years ago, the seminar stopped providing a private education. The boy singers live in the boarding home but they attend the public schools nearby. Since 1991 the elementary school has offered classes attended exclusively by boy singers.
Until a few decades ago the task of the boy singers was largely to perform church music in the seminary. Under the direction of Prof. Hans Bachl (Musical Director) and Prefect Josef Leitner (Seminary Director) they embarked on their first concert tours abroad, where they successfully took part in competitions.
Today the choir has any number of tasks: church music continues to play a major role, but the boy singers are also in high demand internationally, going on concert tours to all parts of the world, recording CDs and making frequent television appearances. The boys take part in major musical festivals as well as performances in opera houses. Prof. Franz Farnberger has been the conductor of the choir since 1983.
In 1996 the “Friends of the St. Florian Boys Choir" were founded, which took over the administration of the institution one year later. The entire refurbishment of the boarding home including the grounds and the creation of human resources for optimal support of the boys in pedagogical, artistic and economic respect was made possible by this association, which has ensured the future success of the St. Florian Boys Choir ever since.