Blog contributor: Mary Byrne, Flutist, Teacher, and Musicologist
After decades of being unsure about jazz music, one day I found myself at Preservation Hall in New Orleans weeping and singing along at the same time. I witnessed my sister – a non-lover of classical music – slip into a similar state of ecstasy upon hearing the music of Joseph Haydn sung in the Imperial Chapel in Vienna. Travel does that to you! It heightens the senses. It challenges understandings and perspectives. It piques curiosity, reveals hidden ideas, and demystifies remote notions. Quite simply, travel makes real the things we can’t experience at home.
The homeland of classical music is Europe, and this coming May 2019 I will be leading 25 travellers into the heart of Europe to experience the best classical music on the ground where it was born: Musical Milestones 2019.
Berlin – our first stop – places us in the modern city of Deutsche Grammophon, cabarets, and the Berlin Philharmonic. A stop at Potsdam and a stay at Dresden will seat us in two of Europe’s great Baroque musical courts.
For two nights at Leipzig we will walk the footsteps of Johann Sebastian Bach, Felix Mendelssohn, and Richard Wagner.
Forging to the east, we visit the UNESCO heritage centres of Wrocław and Kraków in Poland, where western classical and eastern traditional music meet.
We end our tour in Budapest to the strains of music by nationals, émigrés, and expats floating above the waters of the hot springs and the Danube.
To make the tour easy on you, Musical Milestones 2019 comes complete with regional cuisine, centrally-located hotels, private coach travel, and full-time local tour staff. The centerpiece of the tour will be a selection of classical music concerts and cultural experiences unique to each destination. Plenty of free time and options for extra concerts give you opportunity to follow your own interests or to sop up Europe’s incomparable ambiance. But … what makes the tour particularly special is that get to do all of this and you will have the attention of an expert musician and musicologist – myself, Mary Byrne – to animate your musical experiences and connect the dots of musical history and heritage along the way.
Join us! Share this news! Give a gift! Treat yourself! Seize the opportunity! Just come on along! Not only will your tour result in a tax-deducatable donation to the VCM to keep the music flowing here at home, your tour promises to be a musical adventure unlike any you have ever experienced.