One of the Best Boys' Choirs in the World Will Not Be Declaring Bankrupcy

By Stehlik, Lubos | Czech Music, July 2009 | Go to article overview

One of the Best Boys' Choirs in the World Will Not Be Declaring Bankrupcy


Stehlik, Lubos, Czech Music


[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

For 200 years Bohemia and Moravia have been a hatchery of excellent mainly amateur choirs--mixed, men's, women's and in the last 50 years children's too. Today the state funds two major choirs with a high international reputation--the Prague Philharmonic Choir and the Czech Brno Philharmonic Choir, which brilliantly perform music from the Baroque to the contemporary. Another particularly superb musical flower, however, is the boys' choir Boni pueri, based in Hradec Kralove in East Bohemia. Founded 27 years ago, the name Boni pueri now has the kind of credit in the world enjoyed by few Czech orchestras.

This elite boys' choir has no rival in this country and, are among the top choirs in the world, as became clear at last year's international meeting of boys' choirs, when 800 singers and guests flew to Prague for an event actually organised by the "Good Boys" from Hradec Kralove. This year they showed their mettle again with a performance of Bernstein's Chichester Psalms and a selection from Handel's Messiah. Despite all this, the choir has had a long struggle to achieve its place in the sun: for years it was forced to give a huge number of concerts to make ends meet, and continued to be seen as just some peculiar offshoot of hobby music or a PR resource for the charity projects of pop singers. In the end, however, enlightened ministry officials realised the importance of cultivating boys with music and in 2006 a private music school, the only one of its kind in the Czech Republic, was established under the patronage of the Ministry of Education. With a Boni pueri school, the choir need no longer fear for its future. It even has a building shared with a "normal" basic arts school (a school that offers normal elementary education but with a focus on music and extra music teaching and facilities). The only problem is that Boni pueri are still waiting for more material support from their city. The Hradec Kralove politicians and bureaucrats pride themselves on the choir, but don't seem to realise that the Boni pueri do more to promote the city than the local hockey and football club and philharmonic, and that the local authority needs to provide the choir with more substantial funding. I talked about the current situation with both choirmasters--Pavel Horak and Jakub Martinec.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

At our last meeting four years ago you had just come back from a tour of North America, but despite all your success you were nervous about funding prospects for the choir and faced an uncertain future. What has changed since then?

PH: It was always our ambition to get the choir on a solid permanent footing as is usual in all the world's choral "great powers". In a country which still occasionally calls itself the conservatory of Europe, we wanted to win back for boys' singing the position it had before the Hussite Revolution. Three years ago, in collaboration with the Ministry of Education, our efforts were finally crowned with the founding of a choir school. And so the Boni pueri choir is now a private subject under the heading of the ministry. This has been the most important milestone--for our activities and our future--since the choir was founded. We now have the security of knowing that we won't be forced to give up at any moment. Finally we have the peace to get on with the music, and we can fully train the children with a range of quality teachers.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

So your dream of getting over the bureaucratic obstacles has come true?

PH: Yes. What we have is a basic arts school focused entirely on teaching boys singing. This is a rarity in the CR, but elsewhere there are quite a number of such schools--in Vienna, in Germany, in Canada. We've been working on this new footing for three years now, but it still feels like a miracle that we finally managed to get it. It has meant an internal qualitative improvement in the commitment of the choir.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

One of the Best Boys' Choirs in the World Will Not Be Declaring Bankrupcy
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.