The Music and Art of Berlin

Musical instruments at Sans Souci

JS Bach – Brandenburg Concerto No 1, 3rd movement

It is Berlin’s plethora of arts institutions and remarkable museums and galleries that have given the city the status of a cultural trendsetter. Peter Medhurst explores this rich cultural vein that singles out Berlin as one of the most vibrant and dynamic European cities in the field of music and the arts. Joining Peter will be Tom Abbott, a lecturer and licenced guide who is well known by cultural societies and groups in the UK.  Tom has a Masters degree in History of Art and History of Science from the Technische Universität Berlin and specialises in German history and the arts.

with Peter Medhurst

To book please visit or call 020 7251 0045



Day 1

Fly from London to Berlin. On arrival, transfer by coach to Berlin’s centre with introductory talk on the city and its history by Tom. Visit the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (right) and hear a 30 minute organ recital by Peter. Continue to the hotel for check-in before a lecture introducing the music and art of Berlin.

Dinner tonight will be in the hotel restaurant.

Day 2

Felix MendelssohnFollowing a 9 o’clock, lecture there will be a walk along the major east-west boulevard Unter den Linden, starting at the Gendarmenmarkt with brief visits to the Neue Wache, the Bebelplatz, the State Opera and the Berliner Sing-Akademie (now the Gorki Theatre) where Mendelssohn (left) conducted his revival of Bach’s St Mathew Passion in 1829.

This afternoon visit the Alte Nationalgalerie, which shows a collection of Neoclassical, Romantic, Biedermeier, Impressionist and early Modernist works,followed by the Pergamon Museum, home to a breathtaking antiquities collection.

Day 3

Frederick the Great playing the Flute at Sans SouciFull day to Potsdam, the capital of the region of Brandenburg. Situated on the River Havel, Potsdam is the equivalent of Windsor, home to Prussian Kings and German Kaisers until 1918.

Visits here will include Frederick the Great’s Sans Souci, where CPE Bach accompanied sonatas and concertos performed by the monarch; and the Cecilienhof Palace, built in the style of an English country house.

This evening’s lecture will be on the art and music at the court of Frederick the Great and will include samples of concertos written by Frederick himself.

Day 4

A lecture on the key paintings of the Gemäldegalerie, which displays the main selection of painting of the Berlin State Museums, will be followed by a visit to the gallery itself.  Paintings discussed in the gallery will be Dirck van Baburen’s Flute Player of 1624 (left), Gerard ter Borch’s Concert of 1675, as well as Vermeer’s Lady Drinking and a Gentleman of 1658, and Tischbein’s Self Portrait with his First Wife at the Clavichord of 1756-7.

From here, walk via the Philharmonie Concert Hall to the Musical Instrument Museum, which houses 3,500 instruments from the 16th century onwards. The balance of the day is at leisure.


Day 5

A morning city tour will take in Berlin’s Cold War sites, the Brandenburg Gate and the Holocaust Memorial. This will be followed by a three-course lunch at the Käfer restaurant on the roof terrace of the German Parliament building.

The rest of the afternoon will be free for you to spend as you wish before a late afternoon transfer to the airport for the return flight home.



The music and art specialists

Peter Medhurst is well-known in the world of the arts as a singer, pianist, scholar and lecturer, who in addition to his appearances on the concert platform and in the lecture hall, sets aside time to devise and lead tours abroad for small groups of art and music connoisseurs.  His particular interests are centred on the music, art and history of Vienna, Salzburg (with its strong Mozart link), Berlin, Halle (Handel’s birthplace), Dresden, Venice, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has worked for a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Heritage Travel and Tailored Travel.


 Thomas Abbott graduated in Psychology and Art History at Carleton College, Minnesota, and studied at the Louvre School of Art History in Paris. 1987 he moved to Berlin leading tours in Germany, specialising, of course, in the German capital. While in Berlin, Tom commenced and completed his graduate studies in the history of art and architecture, focusing particularly on the art of the Italian and German Baroque.




Located in the city centre, in the City West area, this four-star superior hotel is modern and stylish with warm colour scheme

throughout. Rooms are spacious, comfortable and well-appointed with private bathrooms with bath/shower, air-conditioning, flat-screen television, tea/coffee making facilities and a fridge. The hotel restaurant serves Mediterranean cuisine, though there are a number of eating options on your doorstep. For more information please visit


• Return flights with British Airways from London Heathrow to Berlin

• Four nights’ bed and breakfast at the Hotel Berlin, Berlin, based on shared occupancy of a twin/double room

• Three lectures by Peter Medhurst • One dinner with wine at the hotel restaurant and a three-course lunch at the Käfer restaurant • Transfers, tours and entrance fees • Peter Medhurst and Tom Abbott throughout


Please note timings are provisional and could be subject to change. Flights are reserved with British Airways from London Heathrow to Berlin: LHR / TXL 10.15 / 13.00. TXL / LHR 19.40 / 20.35

NB All tours include a considerable amount of walking so are not suitable for those with walking difficulties. The exact day to day timings of visits may vary according to opening schedules or at the lecturer’s discretion


This tour is part of Travel Editions

‘Art and History Abroad’ series for 2013/2014