Sep 6 - 20, 2021
15 days
$10,190per person, twin share (land content only). $1,800 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.

Tour Leader

Royna McNamara
Sep 6 - 20, 2021

Tour Leader

Royna McNamara$10,190per person, twin share (land content only). $1,800 supplement for sole use of a hotel room.
  • Tour Info
  • Itinerary
  • Tour Leader
  • Hotels
  • Inclusions

Overview

Join us as we follow in the footsteps of Beethoven from Bonn to Dresden, Leipzig, Prague and Vienna, celebrating the life and music of this composer. The program includes nine performances of opera and orchestral music in some of Europe’s leading venues, and is timed to coincide with both the Beethoven Festival in Bonn and the Dvorak Festival in Prague. The musical program is complemented by background talks, visits to historic sites and galleries and fine dining in each city. In addition, we visit some key museums devoted to Beethoven and his times, enabling you to fully immerse yourself in the cultural, artistic and musical world of each city.

Highlights

Performance Program

Best available tickets to nine outstanding orchestral and opera performances are included. Final program details for all performances will be confirmed by April 2021.

Bonn, Beethoven Festival

  • Two orchestral performances: one piano concert and one symphony

Dresden

  • Two operas in the Semperoper, announced April 2021
  • A concert in the Kulturpalast, announced April 2021

Prague, Dvorák Festival

  • Two concerts in the splendid Dvorák Hall, Rudolfinum

Vienna

  • 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, with its extraordinary cathedral and art collections.

Days 4–7: In Dresden: attend three performances , and visit nearby Leipzig, where Bach and Mendelssohn lived and worked.

Days 8–10: In Prague: attend performances at the annual Dvořák Festival. Explore Mozart and Beethoven’s sojourns in Prague and visit aristocratic villas and castles around 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 including the State Opera.

Detailed Itinerary

Start & Finish

The tour begins at the hotel in Bonn and concludes in the hotel in Vienna. Emirates offer suitable connections into Dusseldorf 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 6 September: Arrival Bonn

This evening we meet in the hotel at 6pm, where we enjoy early drinks at canapés with your tour leader Tom Ford. Overnight Bonn (C)

Tuesday 7 September: Beethoven in Bonn – Performance I

Bonn is synonymous with Beethoven and the Beethoven House 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 its wonderful collection in time for 250th anniversary of the composer’s death. After a pre-performance talk and our visit to the Beethoven Museum, we take a guided walking tour of Bonn, including Bonn Minster, the University and the Altes Rathaus, another of the city’s architectural jewels 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: To be announced
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Wednesday 8 September: Cologne – Performance II

Beethoven’s first know public performance was held in Cologne. He was just seven years old, with his father advertising him as a six-year-old to draw comparison to child prodigy Mozart. This morning we explore the city’s heritage on our walking tour, including 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 afternoon before our evening performance. Overnight Bonn (B)

Performance details
Venue: To be announced
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Thursday 9 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 10 September: Dresden History and Architecture – Performance III

Dresden boasts an astonishing musical history, stretching back to Heinrich Shűtz, Weber and Wagner, offering one of the richest classical music landscapes in all of Germany. 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. This evening we attend a performance. Overnight, Dresden. (B)

Performance details
Venue: To be announced
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Saturday 11 September: Leipzig – Performance IV

Our tour of Leipzig today explores the cities exceptional musical heritage, from JS Bach, to Mendelsohn, who founded, the Leipzig Conservatorium, Wagner, Robert and Clara Schumann, Gustav Mahler, Hanns Eisler and Edvard Grieg. Following the tour, we enjoy lunch in the Auerbachs Keller, a 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. After lunch, we return to Dresden with time to relax before an evening concert. Overnight Dresden (B, L)

Performance details
Venue: Kulturpalast, Dresden or Semperoper
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Sunday 12 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, we enjoy a performance together. Overnight Dresden (B)

Performance details
Venue: Kulturpalast, Dresden or Semperoper
Program: To be announced
Performers: To be announced

Monday 13 September: Wagner Museum

Today we depart Dresden and travel by private coach to Prague. On our way we stop to visit Graupa, for a guided visit 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. We continue to the picturesque town of Pirna, 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 14 September: Prague – Performance VI

The elegant city of Prague, with its skyline of gothic spires and narrow 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 or National Theatre, Prague
Program: Dvorak Festival repertoire to be announced early 2021

Wednesday 15 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 or Estates Theatre
Program: Dvorak Festival repertoire to be announced early 2021

Thursday 16 September: Ceský Krumlov

This morning we depart Prague for Vienna, stopping en route in the picturesque town of Ceský Krumlov. Ceský Krumlov, a UNESCO World-Heritage listed 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 17 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 or Musikverein
Program: To be announced early 2021

Saturday 18 September: Art in Vienna – Performance IX

The Habsburg legacy in Vienna extends beyond music to exceptional collections, which live on today in Vienna’s museums. 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: State Opera or Vienna Konzerthaus
Program: Program to be announced early 2021

Sunday 19 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 20 September: Departure

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

Royna McNamara

A musician, educator and conductor, with degrees from the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and the University of Sydney.

Royna has organised numerous music tours to France, Germany, Italy, Spain and the UK. She has a strong personal interest in art and photography and has studied the link between travel and its impact on creativity. Royna holds a B Mus Ed from the Conservatorium of Music, where she was awarded the prize for Outstanding Final Year Student. She also holds a Masters of Education from the University of Sydney, where she was awarded a scholarship to study Music Performance Practices.

Royna also completed a conducting course with Jerry Nowak, where she expanded her repertoire by conducting school and semi-professional ensembles. She has conducted numerous concerti with some of Sydney’s leading musicians, including Clemens Leske, Joshua Tsai and Simon Tedeschi. Royna has also conducted choral and instrumental ensembles in prestigious venues such as Notre Dame in Paris, the basilica of St Mark’s in Venice, Canterbury Cathedral, Lambeth Palace and the Sydney Opera House.

For twenty years, Royna was Director of Music at Abbotsleigh and continues to use her expertise in Music Education for the NSW Education Standards Authority (NESA) and the NSW Association of Independent Schools, where she is currently the Convenor for Music Professional Learning. She has also worked as a session lecturer in Music at UNSW and the University of Sydney.

We asked Royna, what motivates you as a tour leader?

“Travel opens the mind, fosters creativity and develops cultural understanding. I find it extremely rewarding to ignite a curiosity and love of travel in others.”

“I am always open for new experiences. I believe the arts can communicate when words sometimes fail. I hope that my fellow travellers return home with fresh perspectives, greater knowledge, and a lifelong desire to keep travelling.”

View Bio & Upcoming Tours

Hotels

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. www3.hilton.com/en/

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. www.melia.com/en/

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. www.clarionhotelpragueoldtown.com/en/

Vienna, Hotel Intercontinental (4 nights)

Situated in Vienna´s city centre with views across the Stadtpark, the 4-star InterContinental Vienna is ideally placed to explore historic Vienna with its concert halls and sights such as St Stephen´s Cathedral. Exclusive shopping areas such as Kärntnerstrasse or Graben are a short 10-minute walk away. Best of all, the Konzerthaus is just around the corner. www.ihg.com/

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

Tour Details

Fitness Requirement

Grade Two
i

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.
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Bookings

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Speak to a consultant

For further information or to secure a place on this tour please contact:
Hannah Kleboe (02) 9235 0023 or 1800 639 699
(outside Sydney)
hannah@academytravel.com.au

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