Emperor Maximilian I institutionalised "chapel boys" for his Imperial Chapel in Vienna at the end of the 15th century - following the Burgundian model. After the collapse of the Habsburg monarchy in the 20th century, this centuries-long tradition was continued by the founding of the Vienna Boys' Choir in 1924. The continued existence of the now world-famous Boys' Choir is due to the then rector of the Vienna Imperial Chapel, Josef Schnitt.
Three decades later, Monsignor Schnitt initiated the founding of two ensembles for former Vienna Boys' Choir members, thus setting a second lasting milestone in Viennese musical life:
In the early years, the Chorus Viennensis - mostly together with the Vienna Boys' Choir - gave numerous concerts at home and abroad with predominantly sacred programmes under the direction of outstanding conductors. Of particular note from the development phase was a landmark performance of the St. Matthew Passion under Ferdinand Grossmann in 1958 as well as the participation in the Walt Disney film "Almost Angels" (1961/1962). The record productions and concerts of the 1960s and 1970s with mainly Bach music (passions, cantatas, etc.) under Hans Gillesberger and Nikolaus Harnoncourt can be described as groundbreaking for the further musical development of the choir. Some of these recordings received international awards, such as the Grand Prix du Disque.
Since 1970, in addition to the mixed choir activities with the Vienna Boys' Choir, a pure men's choir repertoire has also been developed in order to appear as an independent vocal ensemble. As a result, the first record was produced in 1982 (LP "Chorus Viennensis") under Uwe Theimer. Since then, men's choir concerts have been held regularly. The cultivation of male choir literature encompasses all stylistic epochs, so that the choir now has an extensive repertoire and rich experience in this specific genre.
In 1988, the 5th International Male Choir Competition "Franz Schubert" took place in Vienna, in which choirs from seven countries participated. Under the direction of Guido Mancusi, the Chorus Viennensis won both the First Prize and the Schubert Interpretation Prize donated by the City of Vienna.
In addition to successes at choir competitions and numerous invitations to concerts and recordings, the Chorus Viennensis was awarded the Mozart Interpretation Prize by the Austrian Ministry of Art in 1992.
The uniform musical training as members of the Vienna Boys' Choir and the constant supervision by eminent choral educators contribute significantly to the international success of the Chorus Viennensis.