Sep 28 - Oct 14, 2017
17 days
$9,775per person, twin share (land content only). $1,850 supplement for sole use of a hotel room

Tour Leader

Robert Gay
Sep 28 - Oct 14, 2017

Tour Leader

Robert Gay$9,775per person, twin share (land content only). $1,850 supplement for sole use of a hotel room
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


This new tour visits both familiar and less well-known centres of music-making in northern Europe. From outstanding compositions of the Renaissance and Baroque periods to modern masterpieces, our itinerary is built around a carefully selected set of eight performances. The music program is complemented by city walking tours, visits to composer museums, and talks by our expert tour leader. An optional five-night extension to Berlin is also available.


  • Orchestral music and opera of the highest quality in some of Europe’s finest venues
  • The rich choral tradition of northern Germany and Flanders
  • In-depth background to the music you will hear in live performance
  • Visits to leading art museums, such as the recently refurbished Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, the Mauritshuis in The Hague and the famous ‘Green Vault’ in Dresden


Nine performances of opera, orchestral music and chamber music are included. Details of an opera or orchestral concert in Cologne or Bonn will be available from July 2017.

  • Amsterdam’s Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra conducted by Andrew Manze, performing music by Bach, Haydn and Beethoven with violinist Pekka Kuusisto
  • Verdi’s rarely performed opera La Forza del Destino by the award-winning Dutch National Opera, conducted by Michele Mariotti. The star cast includes Eva-Maria Westbroek, Franco Vassallo and Robert Aronica
  • Concert by Viennese string quartet, Quatuor Mosaϊques performing music by Mozart, Haydn and Schubert at the Concertgebouw
  • An opera at Cologne Opera or in Bonn
  • Berlioz’s rarely performed grand opera Les Troyens at the Semperoper Dresden, conducted by Lothar Koenigs, with Eric Cutler in the lead role
  • Strauss’ Salome at the Semperoper Dresden conducted by Omer Meir Wellber, with Simone Schneider in the leading role
  • Concert by the Dresdner Philharmonie Symphony orchestra at the newly refurbished Kulturpalast concert hall
  • Concert by the Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra conducted by Herbert Blomstedt, performing music by Brahms and Schubert
  • Puccini’s Tosca at the Oper Leipzig conducted by Andrea Sanguineti, with Annemarie Kremer as Tosca

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–4: In Amsterdam, attend performances, visit the Rijksmuseum and take a day trip to The Hague and Delft.

Days 5–7: Travel to Cologne via the medieval city of Aachen, where Charlemagne held court. Explore Cologne, and visit Beethoven’s birth house museum in Bonn.

Days 8–9: Drive to Weimar via Marburg’s perfectly preserved medieval upper town. Explore Goethe’s Weimar and visit Bach’s Eisenach.

Days 10–13: Travel to Dresden for more art and music.

Days 14–17: The tour ends in Leipzig where we enjoy a range of performances. Option to continue on the five-night extension to Berlin.

There are currently no places available on this tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details above.

Getting There

Etihad Airways flys into Amsterdam and home via Berlin. Contact us for competitive quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

Included meals are shown with the letters B, L and D.

Thursday September 28: Arrive Amsterdam

Meet tour leader Robert Gay at the hotel for drinks and canapes. Overnight Hotel NH Amsterdam Museum Quarter, Amsterdam (C)

Friday September 29: Amsterdam – performance I

After a talk on this evening’s performance by the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, we take a guided walking tour through the historic heart of this fascinating city which, at the beginning of the 17th century, grew from being just one of the many trading towns of the Low Countries into the cultural and economic centre of the Dutch Republic. We have a welcome lunch in a local restaurant. Overnight Amsterdam (B, L)

Performance details

Venue: Concertgebouw Hall

Program: Bach, Haydn and Beethoven

Performers: Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra, Andrew Manze (conductor), Pekka Kuusisto (violin)

Saturday September 30: The Hague and Delft – performance II

Today we take a full day excursion starting with The Hague, the political centre of The Netherlands and a base for the United Nations’ justice programs. The Hague’s art collections are similarly impressive, including Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring and View of Delft, which we will see in the Mauritshaus. In the mid-afternoon, we continue on to nearby Delft, for a short walking tour of this charming medieval city. Overnight Amsterdam (B)

Performance details

Venue: Concertgebouw Hall

Program: Mozart, Haydn and Schubert

Performers: String quartet ensemble Quatuor Mosaïques

Sunday October 1: Rijksmuseum – performance III

After a talk on this evening’s performance, we head to the recently refurbished Rijksmuseum, containing an incomparable collection of Dutch masterpieces by Rembrandt, Vermeer, Ruisdael, Franz Hals and more. In the afternoon, we take a short canal cruise returning to the hotel in time to relax and refresh for this evening’s opera. Overnight Amsterdam (B)

Performance details

Venue: Dutch National Opera

Program: Verdi’s, La Forza del Destino

Performers: Robert Lloyd (Il Marchese di Calatrava), Eva-Maria Westbroek (Donna Leonora), Franco Vassallo (Don Carlo di Vargas), Robert Aronica (Don Alvaro)

Monday October 2: Cologne via Aachen

Depart for Cologne via Aachen, a spa city near Germany’s borders with Belgium and The Netherlands. After free time for lunch we have a guided tour of Aachen Cathedral, founded around 800 AD. Late afternoon we arrive in Cologne and have dinner in the hotel. Overnight Hilton Hotel, Cologne (B, D)

Tuesday October 3: Cologne

This morning we take a guided tour of the city, including the famous medieval cathedral, adorned with stained glass and breathtaking altarpieces and gold statues. It is testament to the power and prestige of the city over the centuries. Overnight Cologne (B, L)

Wednesday October 4: Bonn – performance IV

Today we travel to Bonn for a tour of the city including sites dedicated to Bonn’s most celebrated son – Ludwig van Beethoven. We visit the Beethoven House museum and have lunch in Bonn before returning to Cologne for this evening’s performance. Overnight Cologne (B, L)

Performance details

Venue: Cologne Opera or in Bonn

Program: To be announced

Performers: To be announced

Thursday October 5: Weimar via Marburg

Today we depart for Weimar stopping in Marburg, a town that rises steeply from the Lahn River to the spectacular castle that crowns the hill. Early afternoon we continue on to Weimar, home of Goethe and Schiller and the modernist Bauhaus movement, as well as seat of the Weimar Republic. We have dinner together at a local restaurant. Overnight Grand Hotel Russischer Hof, Weimar (B, D)

Friday October 6: Bach Museum and Eisenach

This morning we head to Eisenach to visit the Bach House museum, devoted to the entire lineage of the musical Bach family and includes a collection of historical musical instruments. We continue on to the famous Wartburg Castle, beloved of the German Romantics, to enjoy the commanding views over the Thuringian Forest. We return to Weimar in the late afternoon. Overnight Weimar (B)

Saturday October 7: Goethe’s Weimar

This morning we visit Goethe House museum, where Goethe lived and worked. Afterwards we travel to Dresden, just a couple of hours’ drive from Weimar. This evening we have dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Innside Melia Hotel, Dresden (B, D)

Sunday October 8: Dresden – performance V

Once regarded as Germany’s most beautiful city, the “Baroque Florence”, Dresden still bears some the scars of World War II. After a talk, we take a guided walking tour of the historic centre of Dresden, ending at the Historic Green Vault, a treasure-trove of fine and decorative arts, including one of the world’s finest collections of jewels. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details

Venue: Kulturpalast

Program: music by Beethoven and Smetana

Performers: Dresdner Philharmonie, Michael Sanderling (conductor), Julian Steckel (violincello)

Monday October 9: Dresden – performance VI

After a talk on this evenings performance, the rest of the day is at leisure. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details

Venue: Semperoper

Program: Berlioz’s, Les Troyens

Performers: Lothar Koenigs (conductor), Eric Cutler (Énée), Jennifer Holloway (Cassandre), Christoph Pohl (Chorèbe), Christa Mayer (Didon)

Tuesday October 10: Old Masters – performance VII

After a talk on this evening’s performance, we visit marvellous Gallery of Old Masters where you will be free to explore the great collection at your leisure. The Electors and Kings of Saxony amassed a breathtaking collection of masterpieces by Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, Vermeer and others. Overnight Dresden (B, L)

Performance details

Venue: Semperoper

Program: Strauss, Salome

Performers: Omer Meir Wellber (conductor), Lance Ryan (Herodes), Jane Henschel (Herodias)

Wednesday October 11: Handel House Museum

Today we travel to Leipzig, via Halle, a short distance from Dresden and Handel’s birthplace. The old city of Halle features the Handel House Museum and a fine cathedral. We have lunch in Halle before continuing on to Leipzig. Overnight Hotel Marriott, Leipzig (B, L)

Thursday October 12: Mendelssohn – performance VIII

Leipzig is home to some prominent musical figures. Wagner was born here and Mendelssohn established the Leipzig Conservatorium and conducted the Gewandhaus Orchestra for eleven years. This morning we take a tour of the city including the Mendelssohn Museum, where Felix and his family lived during the last years of his life. This afternoon and evening are at leisure. Overnight Leipzig (B)

Performance details

Venue: Gewandhaus Leipzig

Program: Brahms and Schubert

Performers: Leipzig Gewandhaus Orchestra, Herbert Blomstedt (conductor), Christina Landshamer (soprano), Michael Nagy (baritone)

Friday October 13: Grassi Museum – performance V

This morning we visit the Grassi Museum, housing an excellent survey of German decorative arts and design from the middle ages to the 20th century, including a very good collection of musical instruments. Afterwards we have our farewell lunch at Auerbach’s Keller which was immortalized in a scene from Goethe’s ‘Faust’. Overnight Leipzig (B, L)

Performance details

Venue: Oper Leipzig

Program: Puccini, Tosca

Performers: Karine Babajanyan (Floria Tosca), Xavier Moreno (Mario Cavaradossi), Tuomas Pursio (Baron Scarpia)

Saturday October 14: Departure

The tour ends after breakfast. A morning group transfer to Berlin’s Tegel airport is available for those joining afternoon flights. (B)

Robert Gay

Is one of Australia’s leading music tour leaders and music educators. He has designed and led more than 80 performance based tours to Europe and the US.

Working for the Centre for Continuing Education and other associations for more than 25 years, Robert has designed dozens of music courses and led more than 80 performance based tours around the world. Since 2010, Robert has led tours exclusively with Academy Travel.

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


These four-star hotels have been selected principally for their central location.

Amsterdam, NH Museum Quarter Hotel (4 nights)

Cologne, Hilton Cologne Hotel (3 nights)

Weimar, Grand Hotel Russischer Hof (2 nights)

Dresden, Melia Innside Hotel Dresden (4 nights)

Leipzig, Hotel Marriott Leipzig (3 nights)

Tour Inclusions

What is included in the tour price? 
Unless otherwise stated in the itinerary, our tours include the following:

  • Any flights mentioned in the itinerary that take place during a tour
  • Land travel by private air-conditioned coach. Where appropriate public transport is also used for short distance travel on some tours
  • All accommodation in hotels or apartments as stated in the itinerary
  • Breakfasts, lunches and dinners specifically stated as included in the itinerary
  • Drinks at welcome and farewell meals. Other meals may not have drinks included
  • Background talks on tour, site notes and online resources
  • Services of tour leader throughout tour
  • All entrance fees to sites mentioned in the itinerary
  • Local guides at some sites
  • Tips for drivers, local guides and restaurants for included meals

Airport Transfers

Tours begin either at the arrival airport or the first hotel, depending on the itinerary. If you have booked your international flights with Academy Travel and arrive before the tour commences, we will provide airport to hotel transfers to the closest main city on your arrival, and to the closest airport at the end of the tour. These may be either individual or group transfers.

What is not included in the tour price?
Open-age tours do not include the following:

  • Return international/domestic air travel unless those flights take place during the tour
  • Special taxes and airport levies that can only be paid in cash at the destination. We will advise you of these charges (if any) before you depart
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required
  • Travel insurance. We require all participants to have comprehensive travel insurance. A typical policy for one of our tours will cost from $160 upwards, depending on your age, pre-existing medical conditions, the countries you are visiting and the overall length of your trip
  • Lunches and dinners not specifically mentioned as included in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses such as laundry and phone calls
  • Costs associated with any activity mentioned as “optional” in the itinerary, or any suggested free time activity

Booking conditions

You will be asked to sign an acknowledgement of these conditions when you book a place on a tour.


A deposit of $500 per person is required to confirm your booking on a tour. Final payment of the tour fee, insurance and any additional travel will be due 60 days before departure.

Cancellation Fees

If you decide to cancel your booking the following charges apply:

  • More than 60 days before departure: $500*
  • 60-45 days before tour start: 25% of total amount due
  • 44-15 days before tour start: 75% of total amount due
  • 14 days or less before departure: 100% of total amount due

*This amount may be credited to another Academy Travel tour within 12 months of the original tour you booked.

Unused Portions of the tour

We regret that refunds will not be given for any unused portions of the tour, such as meals, entry fees, accommodation, flights or transfers.

Travel Insurance

Academy Travel requires all participants to obtain comprehensive travel insurance. We offer a comprehensive policy with a reputable insurer if required.

Passport and Visa

A valid passport is required for all international travel. If you do not hold an Australian passport you may require a re-entry permit. Some countries require a visa to be issued before you depart Australia. We will advise you of all passport and visa requirements, but it is your responsibility to ensure that you meet passport and visa requirements before you depart.

Will the tour price change?

If the number of participants in a tour is significantly less than budgeted, or if there is a significant change in exchange rates Academy Travel reserves the right to amend the advertised price. If this occurs you will be given the option of cancelling your booking and obtaining a full refund. If an Academy Travel tour is forced to cancel you will get a full refund of all monies paid.

Will the itinerary change?

Occasionally circumstances beyond the control of Academy Travel make it necessary to change airline, hotel or to make slight amendments to daily itineraries. We will inform you of any changes as soon as they occur.

Final Payment

Full and final payment for the tour, airfare travel, insurance and any additional travel you book is due 60 days before departure. Payment may be made by bank deposit, cheque, cash or credit card. Please note there is a surcharge for payments made by credit card.

Academy Travel reserves the right to decline the booking or terminate the holiday of any traveller.

Fitness rating

Grade 2

A Grade 2 tour is appropriate for travellers in good health with good mobility, who can comfortably participate in up to 3 hours of physical activity per day on most days.
More Details

There are currently no places available on this tour. A place on the waitlist is not a confirmed place on tour. If you would like to be notified if a place becomes available on tour, please register your details.

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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Frederick Steyn 02 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)

Detailed Itinerary

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