The 4th International Boys Choir Festival “Rīgas Doms” presented to the audiences 7 world-class boys’ choirs from 6 countries:  
     
 

Hosts of the Festival:

We are proud that our festival traditionally gathers the best boys’ choirs from around the world. The standards of Festival “Rīgas Doms” have been set by the best: Vienna Boys Choir (Wiener Sängerknaben - Austria), The American Boychoir (USA), Les Petits Pages de la Chapelle (France) and others.

Please click here to view the list of previous participants.
 

 
  Dresdner Kreuzchor    
     
 
The Dresdner Kreuzchor ("Holy Cross Choir Dresden") history covers more than seven hundred years, thus making it one of the oldest boy's choirs in Germany. Founded as a school for Latin at the "capella sanctae crucis", the present Church of the Holy Cross and spiritual home of the choir, the medieval tradition of boys' liturgical singing has been preserved by the Dresdner Kreuzchor until the present day. As the oldest artistic institution, the Dresdner Kreuzchor is an indispensable part of the city's identity.
 

Choir's repertoire ranges from the early Baroque compositions written by Heinrich Schütz, Court Music Director in Dresden, Bach's Passions, Motets and Cantatas to the choir music of the 19th century up to many contemporary compositions. The compositions of former cantors of the Choir are a permanent part of the repertoire. The music life of the city cannot be imagined anymore without the joint concerts together with the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra, the Dresden State Orchestra of Saxony or special ensembles for old music. Tours have led the Choir beyond the German and European borders to Japan, Israel, Canada and the United States.

The success and fame of the Dresdner Kreuzchor are not a result of the specific sound of the boys' voices alone. They are also due to daily rehearsals, intensive training in singing and instrumental playing which every member of the Choir receives.

Roderich Kreile was born in 1956 and studied sacred music and choir conducting in Munich. He was still a student when he became a church musician in Munich's Christuskirche. In 1989 he was awarded the Bavarian state prize for the promotion of young artists, in 1990 the title of a director of church music. Journeys as conductor, organist and lecturer for choir conducting led him to South Africa, Taiwan, the United States and several European countries. In January 1997 Roderich Kreile was appointed to the office of the 28th musical director ("Kreuzkantor") of the Dresdner Kreuzchor. The Dresdner Kreuzchor with Roderich Kreile as the director has successfully toured here in Germany and abroad.

 
     
   Helsinki Cathedral Boys Choir Cantores Minores  
     
Cantores Minores was founded in 1952 by the Finnish pastor Tarmo Nuoto and the Finnish-American Dr. Ruth-Esther Hillila.

The Cantores Minores represents the rare type of Protestant boys' choir of which Bach's Thomaschor in Leipzig and Schütz's Kreuzchor in Dresden serve as represented models.

 
The Cantores Minores takes pride in its history of numerous memorable moments, often performing for monarchs, heads of states and church, including the Pope John Paul II. The choir has also sung in many places steeped in tradition, such as Thomaskirche in Leipzig it is claimed to have received the first recorded applause from the public in the history of the church, in the Kreuzkirche in Dresden, Westminster Abbey in London, in the Notre Dame as well as in the Sainte Chapelle in Paris and in the national Cathedral in Washington D.C.. The choir has made several concert tours in the USA (1982, 1988, 1993), the last time in October 1998. During the choirs first visit to Japan in 1995 the boys appeared together with some sumo prize winners before 60.000 participants of the Spring Festival at the Shinsho-ji Temple in Naritas and in 1997 they were invited to perform Mozart's Requiem in Tokyo together with the NHK Orchestra.

The President of the Republic of Finland, at present Mrs. Tarja Halonen, acts as perpetual Patron for the Choir's tours and other activities since 1997.

Already in 1965 the Cantores Minores won the first prize in the international choir competition "Let the People Sing" arranged by the BBC, as the first Finnish choir ever. In 1994 the choir was rated as first its section in the first competition of European Cathedral Choirs in Amiens, France.

Christian Hauschild (b. 1939 in Leipzig, Germany) since 1987 the fifth conductor of the Cantores Minores, was as a boy a singer in the Kreuzchor in Dresden. He studied music education first in Berlin University and later in the Academy of Music in Dresden. After completing his studies he acted as music instructor in the Kreuzschool and in 1969 he was elected conductor of the renowned adult Beethoven choir. In 1985 he became director of the re-established Singakademie of Dresden. In 1988 he was awarded the honorary title of Professor in Choral conducting and in 2000 he was decorated with a Finnish badge of honour (SL R1).

 

Les Petits Chanteurs de Versailles
 
The Boys Choir of Versailles is a part of a long tradition of church choirs. Founded in 1946 by Pierre Béguigné, at that time organist and choirmaster of the Royal Parish of Notre Dame de Versailles. Since 1980 the choir was inherited by Jean-François Frémont who gained first prizes at the Conservatoire National de Région de Versailles and Conservatoire Supérieur de Paris.

The Boys Choir of Versailles aim to develop each child's potential in three mutually complementary directions: musical training by sustained study of polyphonic vocal music, development of the individual's personality through life in a group environment and spiritual enrichment by a close acquaintance with an artistic heritage inspired by Faith.

 


Although the choir is fully capable of performing a repertoire ranging from the 16th century to the present day, there is a particular emphasis on works from the Baroque period. Several of these works, hitherto unpublished, have been reconstituted by the choir and performed with ancient instruments, choir solists or renowned to their liturgical role, mainly at Notre Dame de Versailles and the Chapel Royal of the Palace.

The choir goes on regular tourneys in France and other countries where it performes repertoire of various centuries with orchestra or a capella.

Conductor Jean-François Frémont was born in 1956 at Boulogne sur Seine, studied music first at the Conservatoire de région de Versailles from 1973 to 1978, then at the Conservatoire national supérieur de Paris from 1979 to 1984. Over that period he was awarded several prizes while training as a choir and orchestra director with Philippe Caillard, Stéphane Caillat, Dominique Rouitz and as a singer with Jean Laurens, Marian Porebski and Marie-Claire Cottin.

Fascinated by ancient music, he has studied Gregorian chant and has deepened his knowledge of the stylistics of keyboard music. He was nominated in 1980 as the organist and director of la Ma?trise des Petits Chanteurs de Versailles.

Jean-François Frémont was a prize-winner from the Natexis Foundation.

 

 

 

Хор мальчиков и юношей Нижегородского хорового училища  
 
The Nizhni Novgorod Boys Choir was founded in 1946. Now it is a music and choir school of special kind. Its purpose is to give the children general musical education, help them to build up their aesthetic taste and give them access to musical culture. Majority of the choir graduates work now as professional musicians.

The wide-range repertoire of the choir's concert cast includes works of large forms, choral miniatures by Russian and foreign composers, sacred music of the Russian Orthodox Church and folk songs. The voices of the singers have been heard all over the former Soviet Union. In 1983 the Nizhni Novgorod Boys Choir befittingly represented Russian choral art at the International Festival in the city of Olomouts (former Czecho-Slovakia). In summer of 1989 the youthful group of the choir won the main prize "The Golden String" at the International Contest in the city of Bidgoshch (Poland).

 


At present there are 120 singers in the choir. The voices of the young singers have been recorded on two disks by the firm "Melody"; the publishing house "The Soviet Composer" has issued the "Boys" album.

The permanent arts director of the choir is Lev Konstantinovitch Sivukhin who began to work with it as the choirmaster in 1952. He is People's artist of the Russian Federation, professor, an Honorable citizen of Nizhny Novgorod, a laureate of international contests and composer. Many teachers are former graduates of the choir: professor L.K. Sivukhin himself, tutors - V.V. Barinov, B.V. Mokeyev, N.I. Balikov, E.E. Makarov, V.A. Bagrov.

Newark Boys Chorus
 
The Newark Boys Chorus School, founded in 1969 as the New Jersey Symphony Boys Choir, is a private school located in Newark, New Jersey. Known as Newark's musical ambassadors, the Chorus School has been heard throughout the world with a diversified repertoire that includes African folk songs, traditional classical music, spiritual folk music, and contemporary show tunes, pop, and jazz. Choristers are given comprehensive introduction in singing, vocal theory, and piano, in addition to rehearsing for 90 minutes daily.


Few Chorus School graduates become professional musicians, but the training they receive demands discipline and poise while providing the self esteem that these young men will carry with them through life.

Donald C.Morris, appointed musical director in September 1996, began his involvement with the Newark Boys Chorus School in 1987 as a science teacher and associate conductor of the concert chorus. He has prepared the Chorus for its tours of Czechoslovakia, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Barbados, and Jamaica. Mr. Morris has a master's degree in music education from Hunter College, a bachelor of science degree in zoology and chemistry from the University of the West Indies, and a licentiate of the Royal School of Music in piano performance. He has trained at the Westminster Choir College, studying conducting, boy choir training, and repertoire.

Rīgas Doma zēnu koris
 
In year 1950 a professional boys' choir occurs in Emils Darzins Music School, from then on leading the movement of boys choirs in Latvia. During the Soviet rule the choir has travelled throughout Soviet block, later to Western Europe and other continents.

 

 


In 1990 the Emils Darzins Music School Boys Choir was renamed the Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir in order to restore the historic tradition when the Dom Cathedral had its own boys choir from 1240 until 1831. Nearly 30 years Janis Erenstreits has been its conductor and artistic director.

The choir is proud of its graduates - acclaimed professional choir and orchestra conductors. The choir has taken part in large scale music performances with the best professional orchestras in the contry, it's soloists are often engaged by the Latvian National Opera: recent highlights include "Magic Flute" by W.A.Mozart and "Bird's Opera" by Latvian composer Janis Lusens.

The choir has released 10 CDs. "Odi Et Amo" with music by a Latvian composer Ugis Praulins was awarded the best recording of a year 1999 prize, but in 2000 the Riga Dom Cathedral Boys Choir was awarded the Annual Latvia's Music Prize .

Mârtiòð Kliðâns - born in Riga, November 30, 1967. Trained in Emils Darzins Music School's Boys Choir he later graduated the Latvian Academy of Music. He has also perfected his knowledge in a number of masterclasses abroad as well as given lectures in various professional forums. Having been conductor of acclaimed choirs "Juventus" and "Sacrum" Martins Klisans is presently the principal conductor of Riga Dom Boys Choir as well as chief conductor of Cesis district.

 
Jāzepa Mediņa mūzikas skolas zēnu koris
 
The Jazeps Medins Music School Boys Choir was founded in 1981. During the latest years it has become one of the leading choirs in the Baltic States.
The popularity of the choir on a Europe and world scale has been established by successful participation and awards at international choir competitions - in 2000 the first prize at the International Choral Kathaumixw in Powell River, Canada; in 1997 the second prize at the international competition Guido d'Arezzo, Italy and in 1993 the first prize in the category of boy's choirs and the third prize in Grand Prix competition in Nantes, France.

 
The voices of the singers have been heard in numerous festivals and concerttours in Australia, USA, Canada, Republic of South Africa and many European countries. The choir is also one of the regular participants and organisers of the International Boys Choir Festival "Rīgas Doms".

The rich and varied repertoire of the choir includes music from Renaissance and Baroque till Romanticism and 20th century choral pieces as well as the Latvian folk song arrangements and original songs. Every year the choir gives about 40 concerts in Riga and other cities of Latvia and takes part in charity activities. Close and serious co-operation is established with the Latvian National Symphonic orchestra and other professional music groups and orchestras.

There are several CD recordings made to date: in 1994 "The Jazeps Medins Music School Boys Choir", in 1997 "Dextera Domini" and in 1998 a Christmas CD "Wonderful Night" together with the rock group "Bet Bet". In 2000 the Boys Choir has taken part in the recording of CD "Look into my Eyes".

Since 1987 the choir has been directed by Romans Vanags (1960) - professor and the head of the choir department at the Jazeps Medins Music School. Romans Vanags has also been one of the principal conductors of the Latvian Song Festival and the Youth Song Festival as well.