L’Escolania de Montserrat boys choir prepares for its first ever tour in the United States
Next March, L’Escolania de Montserrat, one of the oldest music schools in Europe and one of the most famous children’s choirs, will carry out its first ever tour in the United States. On the 13th, 14th and 16th of March 2014 the choir will sing in concerts in the cities of New York, New Jersey and Washington, respectively. Following this landmark tour they will continue to offer performances throughout Catalonia and then they will begin the recording of their new album. The last time the choir group sang in the Americas was in January 2004 when they played in Puerto Rico. L’Escolania de Montserrat is based in the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat, located in the centre of Catalonia, and has produced many prevalent composers and performers down the years.
Barcelona (ACN).- It has been announced that next March, the internationally famous L’Escolania de Montserrat boys choir will carry out its first ever tour in the United States. This institution is one of the oldest music schools in Europe and one of the world’s most distinguished children’s choirs. On the 13th, 14th and 16th March 2014 the choir will perform in concerts in the cities of New York, New Jersey and Washington, respectively. The choir has already performed in numerous countries around the world, but has yet to tour in the U.S. The previous time they played in the Americas was in January 2004 when they played in Puerto Rico, offering two concerts. There is a feeling of excitement within the choir as, aside from the cultural visits that they have planned in each of their destinations, they will perform in New York’s Saint Thomas church on 5th Avenue. In Washington they will perform in an auditorium to an audience of 2,000. L’Escolania de Montserrat is located in the Benedictine abbey of Santa Maria de Montserrat, located in the centre of Catalonia but still near Barcelona. Following the tour, the choir will offer performances within Catalonia and then begin recording a new album.
During the choirs long and successful history it has been conducted by such famous music figures as: Mstislav Rostropovich, Harry Bicket, Sir Neville Marriner, Jordi Savall and Salvador Mas. This coming academic year the choir consists of 53 boys, aged between 8 and 13 years, with 13 being new members. They combine their musical studies and performances with their school curriculum, which they study in Montserrat’s boarding school where they live.
Last year L’Escolania de Montserrat toured Poland where it performed in the International Early Music Festival ‘Orient et Occident’, while in January of this year it played in Russia for the third time in two years. During the past two years the choir has also carried out tours abroad in France, Belgium and Germany, plus an individual concert in Rome.
In June the choir recorded an album that was accompanied by the organ of Mercè Sanchís and directed by the choir’s musical director, Bernat Vivancos, and contains a collection of works written by Father Àngel Rodamilans. The album, called ‘Moreneta en sou’, dedicated to Montserrat Abbey’s ‘Moreneta’ Virgin, contains 10 tracks. This is the second album by Vivancos, following the double disk CD ‘Officium Hebdomadae Sanctae’. This autumn, the choir will record a new album in the Basilica of Montserrat, which will be ready by early 2014.
In recent years the choirboys have been sharing residences with gap year students (English speaking students that have a period of rest often involving volunteering and travelling prior to beginning their university studies). These young people are responsible for organising sports and leisure activities for the choirboys and also help them improve their level of English.