The world-famous Regensburger Domspatzen are probably the oldest boys' choir of all. More than 1000 years ago, in 975, Bishop Wolfgang founded his own cathedral school, which placed special emphasis on musical education in addition to general education. Liturgical singing was entrusted to the students in the bishop's church.
Cathedral Kapellmeister Dr. Theobald Schrems (1893-1963), in succession to Cathedral Kapellmeister Franz Xaver Engelhart, made the Regensburger Domspatzen world-famous since the 1930s. His successor Georg Ratzinger (* 1924) continued to tour with the choir throughout Germany and all over the world. During this time, the Domspatzen's major foreign tours took them to the USA, France, England, Italy and Japan, among other places. In 1991 and 1994 the choir was guest in Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Korea. This was followed by foreign tours to Hungary, the Czech Republic and Poland.
From 1994 to July 2019 Roland Büchner (* 1954) was the leader of the Regensburger Domspatzen. During this time, the choir performed three times in Japan (1998, 2000 and 2004), toured the Philippines, South Africa (2008), Taiwan (2011), China (2012), the USA (2014) and Oman (2016). In 2018, under the patronage of the Bishop of Regensburg, Dr. Rudolf Voderholzer, the choir traveled to the Holy Land for the first time in its history.
With Christian Heiß as Domkapellmeister a new era begins for the Domspatzen in September 2019. Heiß is himself a former Domspatz and after graduating from high school he studied the main subjects of church music and organ with Professor Franz Lehrndorfer at the Munich Academy of Music. He completed his studies with the Kirchenmusik-A-Diplom and the master class diploma in organ. From 1999 he was cathedral organist in Eichstätt and in 2002 he succeeded Professor Wolfram Menschick as Eichstätter Domkapellmeister.
School for life
In addition to the choir and voice training area, the Domspatzen campus also includes an elementary school, a grammar school and a boarding school. All-day care has been a matter of course for decades. The new, ultra-modern grammar school has a music and a scientific-technological branch. The school education also includes free lessons in at least one instrument. More than 300 students are currently taught in the grammar school. 125 boys transform the elementary school into a lively place of education.
The main task of the Regensburger Domspatzen is the liturgical organization of the services in Regensburg Cathedral. During school hours and on the church's high feasts, they sing Gregorian chants as well as polyphonic masses and motets there every Sunday. In addition to the choir of the Cathedral Kapellmeister, there are also two young choirs.
The extensive musical repertoire of the Regensburger Domspatzen ranges from the oldest songs of the church, the Gregorian Chant, to the vocal polyphony of the 16th century with works by Palestrina, Lasso and Hassler, the Baroque and Romantic periods, to folk songs and works by contemporary composers. The Domspatzen work regularly collaborates in larger oratorio projects with renowned orchestras and soloists.
Domspatzen for on the road or at home
Record and CD productions of the Domspatzen have received international awards. The CD "Concerto for Pope Benedict XVI. (2005), for example, was sold more than 50,000 times. On the last Advent and Christmas CD "O du fröhliche" you can also find some pieces from the current concert program.
Current information and concert dates: www.domspatzen.de. In the store (store.domspatzen.de) you can find the currently available CD productions.
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