Regensburger Domspatzen: singing with papal blessing

Regensburg Cathedral Choir is one of the oldest boys' choirs in the world. The Regensburger Domspatzen are official UNICEF ambassadors and European cultural ambassadors – and, of course, a great advert for their home city at the northernmost tip of the Danube.

The Regensburg Cathedral School was founded in 975, but the choir's own history may date back a further 300 years. Even today, participation in the cathedral liturgy is one of the duties of the young singers and they are educated at the cathedral music school. Concert tours have been on the Domspatzen agenda since the early 20th century. Their first visit to South America, back in 1937, was followed by tours of Africa and Asia. Their specialism is the great choral works of Handel, Bach and Haydn. For 30 years the choir's director was Georg Ratzinger, brother of Pope Benedict XVI. Live CDs of two concerts in the Vatican (2005) were bestsellers in the classical charts.

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