The Music and Art of Dresden

A programme designed especially for the connoisseur

Peter Medhurst | music specialist, pianist, baritone

Tom Abbott | art specialist, historian, tour manager

Julia Debruslais | cellist     Jeremy Limb | pianist

7 days from £2,899 • Departing 27th February 2018


When the Russian composer Dmitri Shostakovich visited Dresden in 1960 to write the score for the Soviet film ‘Five Days – Five Nights’, a film concerned with the ruin of Dresden, he was so shocked by the destruction of the once great city that he wrote his String Quartet No 8 in C minor in just three days as a direct emotional response to the devastation he saw. The quartet stands as a symbol for the futility of war and all that was lost in the infamous bombing of 13th/14th February 1945.

Today, however, Dresden is once again back on its feet and the regeneration of the city is one of the great achievements and wonders of our time. Once more, the visitor can appreciate its musical heritage and artistic greatness and our exclusive programme takes in the full compass of all that is on offer.

Our tour is further enhanced by the presence of cellist Julia Debruslais and pianist Jeremy Limb who – along with Peter – present various programmes of music associated with Dresden and its surrounding locations. Their recitals will include works by Abel, Weber, Schumann, Wagner, R Strauss and Shostakovich.

Jeremy plays Clara Schumann’s Prelude No 1 in G minor Op 16, composed in Dresden in 1845


Day 1

Flight to Berlin, lunch in Luckau, coach to Dresden, private drinks reception & dinner at the West Bellevue Hotel

Our odyssey begins with an early morning Easyjet flight from Gatwick to Berlin Schönefeld. In order to streamline our journey, special priority booking (Speedy Boarding) has been arranged for both the outgoing and the return journeys. On arrival in Berlin, we are met by Peter & Tom and, once we have all gathered, we will transfer by coach to Dresden via the district of Dahme-Spreewald and the beautiful city of Luckau – often dubbed ‘the pearl of Lower Lusatia’.

In Luckau we will be able to relax over an included lunch at our carefully selected restaurant, and – with time permitting – we will take a brief afternoon walk through the historic centre of the city. We then continue our journey to Dresden to check in for six nights at the West Bellevue Hotel. After some time for relaxation from the journey, we will enjoy a private drinks reception followed by dinner, both of them served in our hotel.

Julia and Peter play Schumann’s Träumerei from Kinderszenen Op 15 No 7 arranged for cello & piano, 1838

Day 2

A day in Dresden, morning lecture, New & Historic Green Vaults, lunch, tour of the Cathedral, private organ recital, private viewing of Dresden Palace Chapel

Today will be spent in Dresden and after the morning lecture, we will make our way over the Augustus Bridge into the city centre to view the treasures of the New Green Vault. This museum contains work by the royal goldsmith Johann Melchior Dinglinger (left) as well as other outstanding masterpieces of historic Baroque jewellery. After free time for a coffee break, we will accompany Tom for a visit to the Historic Green Vaults, magnificently restored following extensive damage in the last war. After the Vatican, the Historic Green Vault, founded in 1733, is said to be the oldest museum in the world.

Following an included lunch, we will make our way to the Catholic Cathedral (above) where the resident organist will delight us with a private recital and a guided tour of the building. Peter will also play the organ here. We then hope to have a private viewing of the Dresden Palace Chapel (to be confirmed nearer the time). The evening is at leisure, or you may wish to go to a concert or the opera. Tickets will be organised through Tailored Travel.

Peter plays JS Bach’s Prelude in F BWV 928 written for WF Bach, organist of St Sophia, Dresden

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

Day 3

A day in the Elbe Valley, Pirna, Pillnitz, Wagner Lohengrinhaus, Wagner Hunting Lodge, piano recital by Jeremy, lunch, Pillnitz Palace gardens, Carl Maria von Weber Museum

Today will be spent in the picturesque Elbe Valley and our first port of call will be the town of Pirna. Interestingly, the Italian painter Bernardo Bellotto, Canaletto’s nephew, painted more scenes of Pirna than of Dresden, for which he is famous the world over (see above). The Pirna canvasses capture beautifully the architectural detail of the town’s church spires, all set against a backdrop of lush vineyards and wood clad hills. Our explorations of the city will also take in the 16th century church of St Marien.

We  return to our coach for a scenic ride through ‘Little Saxony’, with Graupa as our destination. Once there, we will visit two Wagner museums, first, the Lohengrinhaus; and, second, the Hunting Lodge, where Jeremy will give a piano recital of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll. Wagner (above) spent the summer of 1846 in Pirna when he was employed as Royal Saxon Court Conductor in Dresden. We continue on to Pillnitz for lunch and afterwards visit the gardens of the famous Pillnitz Palace, sited on the banks of the Elbe. Our last excursion of the day is to the Carl Maria von Weber Museum where we will be given a guided tour of the collection.

Jeremy plays Robert Schumann’s Happy Farmer from Album für die Jugend Op 68,

composed in Dresden in 1848

Day 4

A musical study morning, the Albertinum, lunch, Albertinum museum, dinner at the hotel, private evening concert

Today we have a special study morning (9.30 – 12 30) with Julia, Jeremy and Peter. Together they will perform and discuss a selection of music – mainly Romantic – written by composers who had an association with Dresden and its surrounding regions.

Music will include Weber’s Allemandes Op 4 as well as his Adagio and Allegro transcribed for cello and piano by Gregor Piatigorsky, Schumann’s Adagio and Allegro Op 70 and Vogel als Prophet from Waldszenen Op 82 (music right, sound track below), as well as Shostakovich’s Cello Sonata in D minor Op 40.


Jeremy plays Robert Schumann’sVogel als Prophet from Waldszenen Op 82,

composed in Dresden in 1848/9

After an included lunch, we will spend the afternoon in the Albertinum, a magnificent Renaissance Revival building (1884-87) housing a collection of paintings ranging from Caspar David Friedrich (above) to Ludwig Richter, and sculptures from Auguste Rodin to the 21st century. After an included dinner in our hotel we will enjoy a private evening concert with Jeremy & Julia.

Day 5

Catholic Cemetery of of Dresden, view Graves of Seydelmann, Tichatschek & Weber, Freiberg, private tour of Freiberg Cathedral, private organ recital, lunch visit to Silbermann Organ Museum

The Catholic Cemetery of Dresden famously contains the graves of a range of eminent musicians and before we depart by coach to spend time in Freiberg we will visit the resting places of Franz Seydelmann, composer (see recording excerpt below), Josef Tichatschek, first Rienzi and Tannhäuser in Wagner’s operas, and Carl Maria von Weber, the first great German Romantic composer (right).

In Freiberg we will visit the Cathedral and have the resident organist take us on a private tour of the building, as well as treat us to a private organ recital. After lunch, we go to Frauenstein to visit the magnificent Silbermann Organ Museum which documents the life and work of the great 18th century Saxon organ builder, Gottfried Silbermann. We then return to Dresden for an evening at leisure.

Peter plays an excerpt from Sonata No 6 in D by Franz Seydelmann, composed in Dresden c1780

Day 6

A day in Dresden, morning lecture, visit to Gemäldergallerie at the Zwinger, lunch, a walk through historic Dresden to see the Bruhlsche Terrace, the New Synagogue and the Church of our Lady, Dresden Palace, farewell dinner

Our penultimate day is spent once again in Dresden and after a morning lecture, we walk to the Gemäldergallerie at the Zwinger to view the old masters. Works here include paintings by Raphael, Rubens, Vermeer (see above The Procuress) and Bellotto. Tom and Peter will guide us around the collection, but there will be plenty of time to explore the galleries at leisure. After an included lunch, we re-visit the Zwinger to view the porcelain museum and we follow this with a walk through the city, taking in sights such as the Bruhlsche Terrace, the New Synagogue and the Church of our Lady. Later we return to the Dresden Palace where it will be possible to visit rooms not yet seen on the tour. Alternatively, the remainder of the afternoon could be spent at leisure. A farewell dinner will be served in the hotel.

Jeremy and Peter play Piano Duet No 2 from Six Pièces Op 10 by Carl Maria von Weber

Day 7

Visit to the Meissen Porcelain factory, visit town of Meissen, ride on the famous panoramic elevator to see the Albrechstburg and the Cathedral of Meissen, lunch, return to Berlin for the flight home to London

After we have checked out of our hotel, we travel to the Meissen Porcelain Factory to experience 300 years of porcelain history as well as to view a range of masterpieces from the past and the present factories. We then take the coach into Meissen to the famous panoramic elevator and ride up to the Albrechstburg and the Cathedral (above) for a swift viewing of the buildings. The Albrechtsburg is a late Gothic castle that dominates the town centre of Meissen, and adjacent to it is Meissen’s Gothic Cathedral built between 1260 and 1410. We relax over an included lunch prior to transferring back to Berlin airport for our return flight back to London.

End of the tour

The Music and Art Experts

Peter Medhurst – music specialist, pianist, baritone

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 (Vivaldi’s birthplace), Rome, and Delft (with its Vermeer and 17th century Dutch School connections) and over the years Peter has been associated with a number of companies including Travel Editions, Cox and Kings, Success Tours, Heritage Travel, Tailored Travel, and Voyages to Antiquity.  Peter did his training at the Royal College of Music and at the Mozarteum in Salzburg.

Tom Abbott art specialist, historian, tour manager

Tom 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. He has recently led seminar tours to the United States exploring the works of Frank Lloyd Wright, and the School of Nancy, France, as well as tours focusing on the art of the Netherlands from the Golden Age to the Contemporary. Tom is associated with the Foundation of Prussian Palaces and Gardens.

Julia Debruslais – cellist

At 16 Julia Desbruslais won an open scholarship to study the cello with Florence Hooton at the Royal Academy of Music. During this time she won many awards including the Suggia Award and the Leverhulme Chamber Music Scholarship. Under the direction of Sydney Griller she was a founder member of the all-female Fairfield String Quartet. On leaving the Quartet, she became Co-Principal Cello with the London Mozart Players, where she regularly performs with the Chamber Ensemble and has appeared as a concerto soloist. She is Principal Cello with the London Jupiter Orchestra and also the artistic director of the LMP.  Julia has a great passion for inspiring young children and is one of the leading lights in the vast education programme of the LMP

Jeremy Limb – pianist

Jeremy Limb is the great grandson of Sir Arnold Bax, the distinguished 20th century English composer.  Jeremy read music at Queen’s College, Oxford, then studied piano at the Royal College of Music. Since leaving the the Royal College of Music he has broadcast on BBC Radio 3 as part of their Young Artists’ Forum concert series; given numerous recitals round the country, and in 1997 won 1st Prize in the 18th Brant National Piano Competition. He now works as a freelance musician in various capacities – soloist, accompanist, sight-reader, repetiteur (including work for English National Opera), as well as arranger, composer and performer of all types of music including jazz/pop. He is also a writer and performer of comedy and was nominated for the LWT New Comedy Writing Award for his play ‘Play Wisty For Me’ – The Life of Peter Cook.

The Accommodation

Our hotel for the week is the splendid 4* West Bellevue Dresden where we stay for six nights Located on the banks of the River Elbe, facilities at the hotel include a restaurant and a bar. We have Classic Rooms (Deluxe Rooms available at a supplement – see below) with ensuite facilities and featuring television, telephone, hairdryer, an in room safe and air conditioning. Dinner is included in our hotel on the evenings of Days 1, 4 and 6, while the remaining three days are on bed and buffet breakfast basis. Part of the building dates back to 1724 and is a charming reminder of old world Dresden.  The hotel will be the venue for our study morning on day 4.


Tour limited to 24 passengers

Lectures by Peter Medhurst including a special study morning with Julia & Jeremy on Day 4

Tom Abbott – professional tour manager & art historian

Jeremy Limb – pianist

Julia Debruslais – cellist

Private recitals from the resident organists at Dresden’s Catholic Cathedral & Freiberg Cathedral

Piano recital by Jeremy of Wagner’s Siegfried Idyll at the Hunting Lodge in Graupa on Day 3

Private evening concert with Jeremy and Julia on Day 4

Centrally located 4* hotel

Dinners included on days 1, 4 & 6

Included lunches every day

All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities included

Direct scheduled from London Gatwick to Berlin

Executive coach in Germany

Personal audio headsets on Days 2 to 6

Extras to the tour

Insurance £44

Single Classic Room supplement £149

Single Deluxe Room supplement £249

Upgrade to Deluxe Room (twin/double) supplement – £100 per person

Local accommodation tax to be paid directly to the hotel

Flight details may be subject to change | Price based on twin share

Normal booking conditions apply

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

Tailored Travel’s ATOL number is 5605