Neue Wiener Stimmen
The singers of the choir “Neue Wiener Stimmen” develop a diverse repertoire under the musical direction of Christoph Wigelbeyer and inspire their audiences in rousing concerts. The members are between 16 and 30 years old and come from Austria and various other countries. Their repertoire ranges from well-known choral literature of the last three centuries to large choral-orchestral works and pieces composed or arranged especially for the NWS. The weekly rehearsals focus on the development of extraordinary a-cappella projects, which the choir regularly presents in the most renowned concert halls of Vienna and in various Austrian federal states.
The “Neue Wiener Stimmen” were founded in 2010 by choir director Johannes Hiemetsberger, cultural manager Jürgen Partaj and the then Secretary General of “Jeunesse Austria”, Angelika Möser, to motivate young people from diverse social and geographical backgrounds to sing, to support them in the best possible way and to offer them opportunities to participate in unique projects and professional productions.
In order to promote young musicians, the further development of each individual voice through regular voice training is also an integral part of the choir’s work. In this way, the choir has successfully positioned itself as a link between school and youth choirs and renowned concert choirs. Furthermore, the advancement of the young music scene is a major concern of the “Neue Wiener Stimmen”. This is reflected in various cooperations with other young musicians and composers as well as in the regular commissioning of compositions.
Highlights in the choir's young history have included numerous a-cappella performances, e.g., participation in events such as the “Liszt Festival Raiding” and the Summa Cum Laude International Youth Music Festival Vienna. The choir also participated in the opening ceremonies of the “Life Ball” and “TEDxVienna” and performed at the EXPO Milan 2015 as well as in the anniversary concerts celebrating 70 years of “Jeunesse Austria” and 70 years of the Austrian Choral Association. In addition, the “Neue Wiener Stimmen” provided musical accompaniment to the Foreign Cultural Conference of the Austrian Federal Ministry for Foreign Affairs, the MISSIO charity gala and the European Congress of Radiology.
Together with other young choirs and orchestras, the choir performed Karl Jenkins' peace mass “The Armed Man”, Leonard Bernstein's “Mass”, Ludwig van Beethoven's 9th Symphony and Antonio Vivaldi's Gloria in D major. At the Theater an der Wien and the Schauspielhaus Wien, the choristers demonstrated their acting talent in staged productions.
The choir also gained recognition in the field of film music with performances at “Hollywood in Vienna”, “Best of John Williams” and “Great Sounds of Italian Cinema” at the Wiener Konzerthaus, as well as with its participation in the tour “Disney in Concert: Frozen”.
2013 saw the release of the young choir's first CD, “Missa Criolla”, followed by participation in further CD recordings of Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy's “42nd Psalm - Wie der Hirsch schreit” and Ravel's “Daphnis et Chloé”.
The choral association “Chorforum Wien”, with which the choir has cooperated closely for years, awarded the “Neue Wiener Stimmen” the “Choir of the Year” Award in 2016 for the programme “Austria: Great Daughters, Great Sons”.
The choir has also been able to prove its ability abroad. A tour with the Swiss Youth Symphony Orchestra took the “Neue Wiener Stimmen” through Switzerland, Slovakia and Austria. With another concert tour to the French town of Ottmarsheim in 2018, the choir was again able to gain experience beyond the country's borders.
Even in the pandemic years of 2020 and 2021, the choir did not remain completely silent. On their own initiative, the many creative minds among the young singers created the successful video “C(h)orona”, which caused a sensation on YouTube and made its way to Austrian public television news anchor-man Armin Wolf on the nationwide broadcast news programme “ZiB2”.
In the season 2021/22 season, the “Neue Wiener Stimmen” celebrated their 10th anniversary with the jubilee programme “Best of NWS” in the Mozartsaal of the Wiener Konzerthaus and with the project “Elemente” (in cooperation with the long-standing partner “Jeunesse Austria”) in the MuTh concert hall. The release of the second self-produced CD “Best of NWS” marks the end of this anniversary and the start of the second decade of the choir's history.
Christoph Wigelbeyer was born in Wels (Federal state of Upper Austria) and came into contact with music at a young age (piano, violin, singing school in Wels). This was followed by studies in music education and instrumental music education (piano, singing and violin with a focus on choral conducting) at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Vienna. A solo singing training was also part of his further education. During his studies he was a member of the Vienna Chamber Choir and the “Wiener Singverein”, where he became increasingly involved in singing and choral conducting, encouraged, above all, by the renowned Austrian conductor Johannes Prinz. From 2006 to 2008, he also sang in the a-cappella group “Mainstreet”.
In the 2013/14 season, he took over the musical direction of the choir “Neue Wiener Stimmen”, where he had previously worked as a vocal coach and conducting assistant since its foundation in 2010. At present, Christoph Wigelbeyer teaches at the public school “BRG Wien III” and directs, among other things, the institution’s upper school choir.