From its beginnings, the choir has worked together with the most famous conductors and can claim such renowned personalities of music history as Johannes Brahms and Bruno Walter among its artistic directors. The list of musical partners reads like a »Who is Who« of music history in the twentieth century. The choir has worked in fruitful cooperation with personalities such as Claudio Abbado, Karl Böhm, Sergiu Celibidache, Wilhelm Furtwängler, Sir John Eliot Gardiner, Edvard Grieg, Lorin Maazel, Sir Roger Norrington, Georges Prêtre, Sir Simon Rattle, Sir Georg Solti, Richard Strauss, Christian Thielemann, Anton von Webern, Franz Welser-Möst and Simone Young.
Founded in 1858 as the first mixed choir in Vienna and intended to serve as a »Singübungsanstalt« (an institution to facilitate the training of singing), the Wiener Singakademie became affiliated with the Vienna Konzerthaus when the latter was established in 1913. Since then, the Wiener Singakademie has fulfilled its obligation as the choir of the Vienna Konzerthaus, taking its place in the top echelon of the Viennese concert scene as an amateur choir with highest professional standards. About 100 singers make up the Wiener Singakademie, united by a high degree of personal commitment and by the joy of creating music of the highest calibre. Through consistent choral vocal training and the provision of support for individual vocal training, the singers are offered the possibility to develop their individual voices and to participate in the choir to the best of their capability.
In 2006, the Wiener Singakademie broke new ground away from the literature of large orchestra and choir works with the founding of the »Wiener Singakademie Kammerchor« (Chamber Choir of the Wiener Singakademie). This ensemble, made up of members of the Wiener Singakademie, has set as its goal the fostering and promoting of a cappella singing, which, after all, is the musical foundation of choral singing. Beyond the fostering of a cappella works, the Chamber Choir can perform vocal works that call for a smaller ensemble.
The first successes of the Chamber Choir came in July 2007 in the International Choir Competition held in Spittal an der Drau (Austria). In the same year, the Wiener Singakademie and their artistic director Heinz Ferlesch were awarded with the Ferdinand Grossmann Prize for outstanding achievements in the field of choral music, which was presented to the Wiener Singakademie at their jubilee concert in March 2008 on the occasion of the choir’s 150th anniversary.