Highgate School musicians follow Beethoven and Mozart in Vienna

A Highgate School choir performs in Vienna.

A Highgate School choir performs in Vienna. - Credit: Archant

Musicians from Highgate School followed in the footsteps of world famous classical composers during a tour of Vienna.

Pupils from the school in North Road, Highgate, performed at the cathedral in which both Mozart and Beethoven’s funerals were held, as part of a trip to the Austrian capital during Easter.

Jonathan Murphy, deputy head of music at the school, led 44 pupils on the trip, including a chamber orchestra, wind ensemble and a choir.

He said: “It was to celebrate a year’s work with the ensembles and to celebrate their hard work through the year. It was tremendously successful. The concerts were brilliant and the children were superb.

“We also had our own ‘barmy army’ of parents – as one parent called it – who followed us around.”

The senior school pupils, from Year 8 to 13, played four concerts during the five-day tour which set off on April 4.

These took place at Vienna churches Karlskirche, Votivkirche and Peterskirche, as well as the historic St. Stephen’s Cathedral.

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Funerals for Mozart and Beethoven were held at the cathedral and Austrian composer Joseph Haydn served there as a chorister for almost a decade.

Mr Murphy said: “The opportunity to go to one of Europe’s greatest cities and play in amazing venues was a great way to end our year.

“The children really rose to the occasion. Being in such an amazing place brought the best out of them.”

During the final concert at Karlskirche on April 7, pupils from the £5,600-per-term school performed in front of nearly 300 people.

“It was a great experience for them because the churches are so huge – the acoustics are amazing,” said Mr Murphy. “You have to learn to be a musician under pressure.”

The school will be hosting a free concert at St Michael’s Church, South Grove, Highgate, to perform all the music played during the Vienna tour, from 7pm on April 25.

To get tickets, call the school on 020 8340 1524.