Sep 7 - 21, 2020
15 days
$9,600per person, twin share (land content only). $1,800 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Dr Tom Ford
Sep 7 - 21, 2020

Tour Leader

Dr Tom Ford$9,600per person, twin share (land content only). $1,800 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions


Ludwig van Beethoven, arguably the greatest composer of all time, was born in the German city of Bonn in 1770, and throughout 2020 orchestras around the world are celebrating his 250th anniversary. Our special tour includes the Beethoven Festival in Bonn, a complete cycle of his piano concertos in Dresden, the Dvořak Festival in Prague and of course Vienna, where Beethoven spent the greater part of his working life. Background talks, visits to important historical sites and nine top-flight performances provide a detailed and stimulating portrait of this great artist.


Beethoven Festival, Bonn

  • The Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia and pianist Igor Levit in a concert of Busoni and Beethoven
  • Pianists Hinrich Alpers and Boris Bloch playing Franz Liszt’s virtuosic transcriptions of Beethoven’s Second and Fifth Symphonies


  • A complete cycle of the Beethoven’s piano concerti over three performances, with competition-winning pianist Seong-Jin Cho, conducted by Marek Janowski and the Dresden Philharmonic Orchestra at the Kulturpalast

Dvorák Festival, Prague

  • Two concerts in the splendid Dvořák Hall, Rudolfinum


  • An opera at the Vienna State Opera
  • A concert at either the Golden Hall of the Musikverein or the Konzerthaus

Itinerary Overview

Days 1–3: In Bonn, visit Beethoven’s birthplace, attend two concerts at the Beethoven Festival and tour nearby Cologne.

Days 4–7: Travel to Dresden, attending a complete cycle of Beethoven’s piano concertos over three nights, and visiting nearby Leipzig, where Bach and Mendelssohn lived and worked.

Days 8–10: Travel to Prague for the annual Dvořak Festival. Explore Mozart and Beethoven’s sojourns in Prague and visit aristocratic villas and castles near the city.

Days 11–15: In Vienna, visit the places where Beethoven lived and worked, travel to the artistic retreat at nearby Baden bei Wien and attend performances at world-famous venues.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins at our hotel in Bonn and ends in our hotel in Vienna. Emirates offers daily flights into Dusseldorf, near Bonn, and out of Vienna from most Australian cities. Contact us for quotes and bookings.

Detailed Itinerary

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

Monday 7 September: Arrival Bonn

Meet your tour leader Tom Ford for early drinks and canapes in the hotel at 6.00pm. Overnight Bonn (D)

Tuesday 8 September: Beethoven in Bonn
– Performance I

Bonn is synonymous with Beethoven and the Beethoven Museum has become a place of pilgrimage for music lovers across the globe. The museum houses the largest Beethoven collection in the world and was recently reopened in 2019 to showcase a wonderful new permanent exhibition. After a pre-performance talk and our visit to the Beethoven Museum, our guided walking tour takes us to Bonn Minster, the University and, another of the city’s architectural jewels, the Altes Rathaus (Old Town Hall) on the Bonn Marktplatz. At the conclusion of the guided tour, we enjoy a welcome lunch in a local restaurant. We return to the hotel for time at leisure before our evening concert. Overnight Bonn (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: World Conference Centre, Bonn
Program: Beethoven and Busoni
Conductor: Sir Antonio Pappano
Performers: Orchestra Nazionale di Santa Cecilia, Igor Levit, piano

Wednesday 9 September: Cologne
– Performance II

Cologne was founded by the Romans as a key part of their defensive network to protect their Empire from the Germanic tribes. However, it quickly became a major trading city and the gateway between Roman and German worlds. This morning we explore the city’s Roman and German heritage on our walking tour. We visit the spectacular Cathedral which houses priceless works of art, including the 12th-century Reliquary of the Magi by Nicholas of Verdun and stained-glass windows designed by Gerhard Richter. After a break for lunch, we visit the world-class Museum Ludwig, which has the third largest collection of paintings by Picasso in the world, the largest collection of Russian modernism outside of Russia, and an excellent collection of contemporary European art. We return to Bonn in the late afternoon before our evening performance. Overnight Bonn (B)

Performance details
Venue: World Conference Centre, Bonn
Program: Liszt, Transcriptions of Beethoven’s Symphony No. 2 in D major and Symphony No. 5 in C minor
Performers: Heinrich Alpers, piano, Boris Bloch, piano

Thursday 10 September: Falkenlust Hunting Lodge

This morning we travel to the Falkenlust Hunting Lodge. Falkenlust is a small gem, whose somewhat severe classical exterior belies an exuberant Rococo interior. Its perfectly preserved rooms are lavishly appointed, with the sumptuously fashioned cabinets already admired by the young Mozart in 1763, who made note of the mirrored chamber in his diary. After our visit, we transfer to Dusseldorf Airport where we board our flight for Dresden. This evening we enjoy dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Dresden (B, D)

Friday 11 September: Dresden History and Architecture
– Performance III

After our talk in the hotel, we take a guided tour of Dresden’s Old Town, ending at the historic Grünes Gewölbe (Green Vault). Housing one of the world’s finest collections of treasures in Europe and, in keeping with the splendid Baroque architecture the Grünes Gewölbe displays some 3000 free-standing objects in rooms devoted to specific materials such as ivory and amber, and suites of gems classified by colour. After lunch you may wish to visit the Neues Grünes Gewölbe (new Green vault), displaying individual exhibits with cutting-edge presentation. Inspired by Heinrich von Collin’s play Coriolan, Beethoven’s Coriolan Overture, Op. 62 is featured in our evening performance. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details
Venue: Kulturpalast, Dresden
Program: Beethoven, Coriolan Overture, Op. 62, Piano Concerto No. 1 in C major, Piano Concerto No.3 in C minor
Conductor: Marek Janowski
Performers: Seong-Jin Cho, piano

Saturday 12 September: Leipzig
– Performance IV

Our excursion to Leipzig will acquaint us with the most prominent musical figures associated with the city. Wagner was born here, Mendelssohn established the Leipzig Conservatorium, and Johann Sebastian Bach worked in Leipzig from 1723- 1750. Other eminent composers with strong Leipzig connections include Robert and Clara Schumann, Gustav Mahler, Hanns Eisler and Edvard Grieg. Following the tour, we enjoy lunch in the Auerbachs Keller, an historic restaurant, in the heart of Leipzig’s Old Town, which was immortalised in a scene from Goethe’s Faust. Goethe’s writing inspired Beethoven not only by virtue of the content, but also by the rhythm of the language and, during 1809 and 1810, Beethoven composed both the overture and the incidental music to Goethe’s play Egmont. Tonight, Beethoven’s powerful Egmont Overture Op. 84 is featured in our evening concert. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details
Venue: Kulturpalast, Dresden
Program: Beethoven, Egmont Overture, Op. 84, Piano Concerto No. 2 in B major, Piano Concerto No.4 in G major
Conductor: Marek Janowski
Performers: Seong-Jin Cho, piano

Sunday 13 September: Dresden Fine Art
– Performance V

After breakfast, we enjoy a guided visit of the Dresden Semperoper and a visit to the superb Gallery of Old Masters. The Electors and Kings of Saxony amassed a breathtaking collection of masterpieces including works by Raphael, Giorgione, Titian, Van Eyck, Rubens, Rembrandt, and Vermeer. It is therefore not surprising that in 1768, Wolfgang von Goethe said: ‘I entered this shrine, and my amazement exceeded any preconceived idea!’. Tonight, pianist Seong-Jin Cho, winner of the 17th International Chopin Competition, will feature in an all-Beethoven concert. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details
Venue: Kulturpalast, Dresden
Program: Beethoven, Piano Sonata no. 23 in F minor – ‘Appassionata’, Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major
Conductor: Marek Janowski
Performers: Seong-Jin Cho, piano

Monday 14 September: Wagner Museum

Today we depart Dresden and travel to Prague via Graupa. Here we enjoy a private viewing of the newly renovated Wagner Museum. This interactive museum provides a unique framework for exploring the life, works and creative processes of this extraordinary composer. Set in the stunning landscape of the Elbe Valley is the picturesque town of Pirna where we take a break for lunch in the historic city centre. On arrival in Prague there will be time to relax before dinner in a local restaurant. Overnight Prague (B, D)

Tuesday 15 September: Prague
– Performance VI

The elegant city of Prague, with its skyline of gothic spires and narrow cobbled streets, is one of Europe’s best-preserved cities. After a talk on this evening’s performance, we take a guided tour to explore the labyrinth of medieval cobbled stone streets of the Old Town including the Municipal House, the finest example of Art Nouveau architecture in Prague, with its wonderful concert hall named in honour of Smetana. There will be time at leisure to further explore this city before our evening performance. Overnight Prague (B)

Performance details
Venue: Rudolfinum, Prague
Program: Dvorak Festival repertoire to be announced early 2020

Wednesday 16 September: Prague Art and Architecture
– Performance VII

For hundreds of years, Prague Castle was the seat of Bohemian royalty. During our guided walking tour of the huge complex we visit St Vitus Cathedral, Vladislav Hall and tiny Golden Lane. We then continue on to the strikingly situated palace of the famous Lobkowicz family, who were important patrons of Beethoven amongst others. Highlights from the Museum include works by Canaletto, Brueghel the Elder, Cranach, and Velázquez; an impressive display of family and royal portraits; fine porcelain, ceramics and rare decorative arts from the 16th to 20th centuries; and musical instruments and original scores and manuscripts, the highlights including the scores of Beethoven’s 4th and 5th symphonies. Overnight Prague (B)

Performance details
Venue: Rudolfinum
Program: Dvorak Festival repertoire to be announced early 2020

Thursday 17 September: Ceský Krumlov

This morning we depart Prague for Vienna, stopping en route in the picturesque town of Český Krumlov. Český Krumlov, a listed UNESCO World Heritage site, is regarded as one of the finest historic towns in Bohemia and has over three hundred protected medieval buildings. Ruled by the Rožmberk dynasty for three centuries, it retains its medieval aspect and is attractively situated on the Vltava River amidst rolling hills. We take a guided walking tour of the old town and the impressive castle complex. The highlight of our visit is the superbly preserved baroque theatre. After the tour, you will enjoy free time for lunch before we continue to Vienna. Overnight Vienna (B, D)

Friday 18 September: Beethoven’s Vienna
– Performance VIII

Vienna is a city with an impressive musical legacy. Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Schubert, Brahms and Mahler are among the celebrated composers who lived and worked here. After this morning’s pre-performance talk, we take a walking tour in the Old Town of Vienna. We continue to the Beethoven Museum in the village of Heiligenstadt where the young Beethoven wrote the so-called ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’ in which he expressed his despair over his growing deafness. It was here that Beethoven developed some of his most important works including Piano Sonata Op. 31, No.2 (‘The Tempest’), the ‘Prometheus’- Variations Op. 35, and his first sketches for Symphony No. 3 in E flat major Op. 55 (‘Eroica’). We return to Vienna where you may wish to continue your Beethoven journey by visiting Pasqualati House, or return to your hotel for time at leisure before the evening performance at the Vienna State Opera. Overnight Vienna (B)

Performance details
Venue: Vienna State Opera
Program: To be announced early 2020

Saturday 19 September: Art in Vienna
– Performance IX

Vienna’s museums have phenomenal collections, many of which have developed from the Habsburg period. After a talk on this evening’s performance, we visit the Kunsthistorisches Museum, housing an impressive collection of Old Masters. Brimming with works by Europe’s finest painters, sculptors and artisans, the Kunsthistorisches Museum occupies a neoclassical building as sumptuous as the art it contains. Its many highlights include Roger van der Weyden’s Crucifixion triptych, a Memling altarpiece, and Jan van Eyck’s portrait of Cardinal Albergati. The picture gallery has 16th- and 17th-century works by German, Dutch, Flemish, and Italian greats. The afternoon is at leisure before our evening performance. Overnight Vienna (B)

Performance details
Venue: Musikverein or Vienna Konzerthaus
Program: Program to be announced early 2020

Sunday 20 September: Beethoven and the Vienna Woods

We depart Vienna in the late morning and drive to the charming spa town of Baden-Bei-Wien. In the summers of 1821-1823, Beethoven lodged at Rathausgasse 10, where he composed important sections of his Ninth Symphony. After our visit to the Beethoven Museum, there may be time to visit the monastery at Heiligenkreuz, the oldest continuously occupied Cistercian monastery in the world. We return to Vienna for our farewell dinner in one of the city’s local restaurants. Overnight Vienna (B, D)

Monday 21 September: Departure

The tour ends after breakfast. Please consult your individual travel documents for your outbound journey. (B)

Dr Tom Ford

A specialist in classical music, with a PhD on Mozart, he is currently PR and media manager (classics / jazz) for Universal Music Australia.

He has written extensively on classical music, penning articles that have covered topics from Mozart and Beethoven to Gilbert and Sullivan. Tom has also been a broadcaster on 5MBS Adelaide and also 3MBS Fine Music in Melbourne, where he was also their Sponsorship and Marketing Manager.

Since 2015, Tom has been the PR and Media manager (classics/jazz) for Universal Music Australia. Tom has led tours for Academy Travel since 2014.

Tom’s leadership of the In the Footsteps of Beethoven: A 250th Anniversary Tour will be confirmed in October 2019.

View Bio & Upcoming Tours


Hotels have been selected principally for their central location and close proximity to performance venues. All hotels are excellent four-star properties with contemporary and stylish design features.

Bonn, Hotel Hilton (3 nights)

The four-star Hilton Bonn offers spectacular views from its location on the Rhine. The hotel has a swimming pool, bar and gym and is only a short walk to many museums and galleries, including the Beethoven-Haus museum.

Dresden, Hotel Innside Melia (4 nights)

The four-star Hotel Innside Melia is located in Dresden’s historic Old Town. A modern-contemporary design hotel, the 6th-floor Sky-Bar offers views of the Frauenkirche.

Prague, Hotel Clarion (3 nights)

The four-star Clarion Hotel is located in the Old Town of Prague, only a 5-minute walk from the Old Town Square and Náměstí Republiky. The hotel has an extensive terrace with views of the historical centre and Prague Castle.

Vienna, Hotel Steigenberger Herrenhof (4 nights)

Built in 1913, the five-star Hotel Steigenberger Herrenhof is located in the centre of the first district of Vienna, only a few steps from the Hofburg Imperial Palace and a short walk to St Stephen’s Cathedral.

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, taxis or public transport are 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
  • Costs involved in obtaining visas for countries visited, where required and when stated as included

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?

Our 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
  • 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. We aim to be fair and reasonable in all our dealings with our clients. We aim to provide full and accurate information about our tours and promptly provide information of any changes or alterations that take place before departure.

Tour Details



Fitness Requirement

Grade Two

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


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

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