THE MUSIC & ART OF BERLIN

with Peter Medhurst & Tom Abbott

11-15 March 2020  |  5 days from £1,999

This exclusive tour to Berlin explores the music and culture of one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities in the world.  Private organ recitals, private tours, especially planned walks, inclusive lunches, and dinners with wine will all add to the experience.

Bookings through Tailored Travel 020 7064 4970


Peter Medhurst plays JS Bach’s Prelude in F BWV 928

The instrument played here is a chamber organ built by John Snetzler in 1750


I T I N E R A R Y


Day 1

We make our own way to London Gatwick Airport for our direct scheduled Easyjet flight to Berlin. Speedy Boarding has been arranged in order to streamline the journey for everyone. On arrival we are met by Peter and Tom and transfer by coach to the centre of Berlin. En route, Peter and Tom will begin to tell the story of Berlin and its extraordinary history, and once in the centre of the city, Peter will give the first of his organ recitals at our carefully selected church. After the music, we make our way to the Kempinski Hotel Bristol for our five day stay. After check in and time for some relaxation, a lecture by Peter introduces us to some of the music associated with Berlin. A drinks reception in the hotel is followed by dinner in the restaurant, which includes wine, water and coffee.

Day 2

The day starts after breakfast with a 9.00am lecture on Carl Maria von Weber’s great opera ‘Der Freischütz’, which was premiered in 1821 in the Schauspielhaus. The opera was a landmark of German national expression after the Napoleonic wars and, through its music, symbolised the re-kindling of the German spirit after years of warfare. Following the lecture we leave the hotel and make our way to the boulevard Unter den Linden on which are sited all the main buildings and museums that we wish to explore today. On the agenda are the Neuewache, Bebelplatz, and the Sing-Akademie zu Berlin, as well as the opera house built for Frederick the Great in 1742. We also view the Singakademie, where Mendelssohn (left) in 1829 gave the first modern performance of Bach’s ‘St Matthew’s Passion’.

An included lunch is at a restaurant near Museum Island, the area where we spend the afternoon. Our first visit is to the Old National Gallery, which opened to the public in 1876 and which contains a fine selection of paintings by key 19th century German artists such as Friedrich Schinkel, Arnold Böcklin, Caspar David Friedrich, Moritz von Schwind and Friedrich Overbeck (Overbeck’s painting of Franz Pforr, right). We then make our way to the Pergamon Museum to view its monumental buildings, which include the Pergamon Altar, the Ishtar Gate of Babylon, and the reconstructed Market Gate of Miletus. This evening there will be an optional opera or concert in Berlin (subject to availability).

Day 3

We depart early this morning for Potsdam, a city situated 20 miles to the south west of Berlin. On arrival we enjoy a private tour of Frederick the Great’s summer palace, Sanssouci (lower right). The building is one of the finest in the German Rococo style and it is where CPE Bach directed orchestral concerts in which Frederick the Great played the flute solos (left). After a coffee break, we make our way to one of the local churches for the second of our organ recitals by Peter. The music performed will draw on the repertoire associated with the period of Frederick the Great. Included lunch is at the Flying Dutchman in Potsdam, a local hostelry that specialises in East German cuisine.

The afternoon will be spent at the historically important Cecilienhof, built in the style of an English country house and famous for being the venue for the Potsdam Conference in 1945. On our return to the hotel – and to wrap up today’s theme – we enjoy a lecture with some music written especially for Sanssouci, including samples of concertos written by Frederick himself. This evening there will be another optional opera or concert in Berlin (subject to availability).

Day 4

This morning’s lecture is on masterpieces in the Gemäldergallerie, a gallery that displays the main selection of paintings of the Berlin State Museums. We follow this with a visit to the collection 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.

When we have finished at the Gemäldergallerie we will visit the nearby musical instrument collection at the Philharmonie and – subject to permission – Peter will demonstrate some of the keyboard instruments, as well as guide us through the collection. After an included light lunch, the afternoon is at leisure. This evening there is an included farewell dinner in our hotel.

Day 5

After we have checked out of the Kempinski Hotel Bristol hotel, we will make our way to the Brandenburg Gate, without doubt the most iconic edifice in Berlin, and for many, the architectural nerve centre of the city. From there we walk around the corner to the Holocaust Memorial to spend some time among its extraordinary and thought provoking structures. We continue by coach to the 17th century palace of Charlottenburg for a tour of the state apartments, after which we make our way to the Reichstag to enjoy an included three-course lunch at the Käfer restaurant situated at the top of the German Parliament building. The restaurant will allow us to enjoy some of the most spectacular views over the city. We then transfer by coach to the airport for our British Airways flight back to Heathrow.


Features

Tour limited to 24 passengers

Lectures by Peter Medhurst days 1-4

Two private organ recitals by Peter Medhurst in Berlin & Potsdam churche

Thomas Abbott – professional tour manager & art historian

Centreally located Berlin Hotel

All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities included

Return scheduled flights from Gatwick to Berlin

Included welcome & farewell dinners (with drinks reception first night)

Included light lunches on Days 1 to 4 (with a glass of wine, water, coffee)

Included lunch at the Reichstag on Day 5 (with half a bottle of of wine, water, coffee)

Audio headsets included on days 2 to 4

Private executive coach for all day trips & transfers


What we will see

Neuewache

Bebelplatz

Berlin State Opera House

Singakademie

Museum Island – Old National Gallery & the Pergamon Museum

Sanssouci Palace, Potsdam – guided tour

Cecilienhof Palace, Potsdam

Gemäldergallerie

Musical instrument collection at the Philharmonie

Brandenburg Gate

Holocaust Memorial

Charlottenburg Palace – tour of the State Apartments

The Reichstag


Optional

Opera or concert on Days 2 & 3


The Accommodation

We stay four nights in Classic Rooms at the Maritim Hotel Berlin (www.maritim.com). Centrally located next to the idyllic Tiergarten and close to the lively Potsdamer Platz, the hotel has two restaurants and a bar and all rooms are en suite. A welcome dinner is included at the hotel’s restaurant on the first evening and the remaining nights are on bed and breakfast basis. NB A limited number of Superior Rooms on the upper floors and Comfort Rooms on the middle floors are available at a supplement – see below.


Extras to the tour

Insurance £44

Single room supplement £99
Comfort Room upgrade supplement – twin/double room £20pp, single room £30pp
Superior Room upgrade supplement – twin/double room £30pp, single room £50pp
Optional concerts & opera
Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the hotel
Flight details may be subject to change.
Price based on twin share. Minimum numbers required.
Normal booking conditions apply.

For further information contact

Tailored Travel

Tel: 020 7064 4970

Email: info@tailored-travel.co.uk

Download booking form here:

Any air holidays and flights in this brochure are ATOL protected by the Civil Aviation Authority.

Tailored Travel’s ATOL number is 5605


The art and music experts

Peter Medhurst (above) 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, Rome, Naples, Madrid and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections). He did his training at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg as well as privately in London.

Thomas Abbott (above) 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, Thomas commenced and completed his graduate studies in the history of art and architecture, specialising in the art of the Italian and German Baroque.