The Tölzer Knabenchor (Tölz Boys' Choir) is a German boys' choir founded in 1956 in the Bavarian town of Bad Tölz and, since 1970, based in Munich.
The choir is ranked among the most versatile and sought-after boys' choirs in the world, and is still led by its founder and musical director Gerhard Schmidt-Gaden.
In the realm of baroque music in particular, the "Tölzer" made a significant contribution to the change in musical (historically informed) performance practice. Tölz boys have been entrusted with the boy solo parts in Europe's leading opera houses. The choir is in great demand in oratorios and symphonic works performed by renowned orchestras and famous conductors. Eminent artists such as Carl Orff, August Everding, Hans Werner Henze, Leonard Bernstein, Gustav Leonhardt, Nikolaus Harnoncourt, and Claudio Abbado count among the choir's supporters. Herbert von Karajan once referred to the Tölzer as "one of the best choirs in the world" and chose this choir for his performances and recordings with the Berlin Philharmonic and the Salzburg Festival whenever a boy choir was needed.
The Tölzer Boys have travelled throughout Europe as well as to the US and Asia. The choir has recorded more than one hundred LPs and CDs (on Deutsche Grammophon, EMI Classics, Sony Classical, Teldec, Deutsche Harmonia Mundi, among others), many of which received or have been nominated for prestigious awards including Deutscher Schallplattenpreis, Echo Klassik, Choc du monde de la musique, and a Grammy nomination.
The repertoire covers vocal music from the medieval to the modern, folk music, madrigals and motets, church music from the baroque to the classical, solo roles and opera for children's choirs. Members of the choir have played the "Three boys" in Mozart's Die Zauberflöte (The Magic Flute) in numerous productions.
Education starts at the age of six, each member receiving intensive solo vocal training in addition to weekly group rehearsals. The ensemble is actually composed of several choirs, divided according to age and musical level.