The Vienna Boys' Choir is a choir of long-standing tradition; it is one of the oldest boys' choirs not attached to a church or a college. It was the choir attached to the Austrian court (and very much a travelling band); its roots go back to the 13th century, but records from the early phases are tenuous and scarce. In the late 15th century, the choir was part of the court music of Maximilian I, the Holy Roman Emperor, who moved the court from Innsbruck to Vienna and thus is credited with the foundation of the Chapel Imperial.

Among the Choir's duties today are the Sunday services in the Imperial Chapel, appearances at official state occasions, concerts in Vienna and abroad as well as appearances in the Vienna State Opera and Volksoper. Each choir spends about 11 weeks of the academic year on tour; each choir boy sings around 80 performances a year.

Given the boys' concert load, it is essential to maintain a careful balance of musical training, rehearsals, academic lessons and leisure time. The choir's own grammar school - which is attended only by choristers - takes the choir's activities into account. Tours and indeed their preparation are part of the curriculum, the time table is flexible and can be altered at short notice in accordance with the rehearsal and performance schedule.