Music & Art in Berlin & Leipzig

with Peter Medhurst

23rd – 30th April 2012



Monday 23rd  April

Depart the UK for your early morning flight to Berlin.  We will take an orientation tour of the city straight from the airport, with time for a leisurely lunch & a relaxing afternoon recital on 18th century Silbermann Organ in the Marien Church followed by a chance to stretch your legs, with a walk through the city. Transfer by coach to the hotel, to check in and a group dinner is included this evening.


Tuesday 24th April

Morning lecture.

Guided walk along the historic Unter den Linden, which is Berlin’s famous boulevard and runs east–west from the site of the former Stadtschloss royal palace at the Lustgarten Park, to Pariser Platz and the Brandenburg Gate.  As we walk along, there will also be a chance to view the Singakademie, where Mendelssohn conducted the famous 1829 revival of Bach’s St Mathew Passion.  Then, on to view the Art and sculpture collection at the National Gallerie.  The gallery was designed by Friedrich August Stüler who envisaged a temple-like building raised on a plinth, with a monumental exterior staircase and magnificent stairway inside. In 1866, building work began, and when Stüler died the same year Johann Heinrich Strack took over the site management. The National Gallery was opened on 21st March 1876.  We will spend time looking particularly at the early 19th century German Romantic paintings. Lunch (not included) at a recommended Italian restaurant.  After lunch will be a chance to see the Brandenburg Gate and The Jewish memorial. The remainder of the afternoon will be at leisure where you may choose to explore the city independently. (please see the section “what else to see and do” to get some ideas of places of interest to visit.)

Evening at leisure (please see the section “ concerts and operas”).


Wednesday 25th April

Morning lecture

We will spend the morning visiting the Berlinerdom (Berlin Cathedral) an impressive basilica known as the “Protestant St. Peter’s.”, where we hope to have a private organ recital. The building dates only from 1905, but stands on the site of several earlier structures. After a private organ recital by one of the Cathedral organists, we will be taken on a tour of the Cathedral and the crypt with its royal tombs.

After lunch (not included) we visit the Charlottenburg Palace, a building designed by Johann Arnold Nering, which was expanded shortly after Frederick became the first Prussian King in 1701 as Friedrich I.

Charlottenburg Palace. The palace, designed by Johann Arnold Nering, was expanded shortly after Frederick became the first Prussian King in 1701 as Friedrich I. In 1740 Frederick the Great commissioned the expansion of the east wing to complement the longer west wing.  The palace was completely destroyed in 1943 during an allied air raid, however, after the war the building was meticulously reconstructed.

Evening at leisure


Thursday 26th April

After the morning lecture we will travel to Potsdam to visit Sans Souci, the famous palace built by Frederick the Great in the early 1740s.  It was at Sans Souci that CPE Bach directed the King’s private orchestra and wrote sonatas and concertos for the flute playing monarch to perform.  After a stroll through the palace’s magnificent gardens we will have lunch in the historic town centre. We also visit the Cecilienhof Palace, an English style, half-timbered manor house where the Potsdam conference took place in 1945. Remainder of day at leisure in Potsdam and an opportunity to see the house where Mozart stayed in 1789.


Friday 27th April

After the morning lecture, we will spend the first half of the day at the German Music Archives in Gaertnerstrasse.  The Archives contain historic recordings from Germany’s past as well as the mediums on which they can be heard eg wax cylinder players, phonographs, early record players, radios etc.  The coach will transfer those who wish, to Museum Island where you can join Peter Medhurst for a tour of the Gemäldegalerie (Picture Gallery), also known as the Old Masters Museums which has one of the world’s most impressive collections of European painting exhibiting an astonishing range of European art from the 13th to the 18th centuries. Work includes Botticelli, Dürer, Rembrandt, Rubens and Titian & for Rembrandt fans this is the world’s largest collection with over 16 of his paintings. Alternatively you may have the afternoon at leisure


Saturday 28th April

Today we will leave early by coach for a day in the city of Leipzig, once home to Bach, Mendelssohn, Wagner and Goethe. We will have a guided tour through the city, taking in the Market Square and St Nicholas’ Church (where Bach also had musical connections), visit St Thomas’s Church, where JS Bach was cantor,and where we hope to hear the afternoon Bach recital and then walk over to the Bach Museum for a tour of the permanent exhibition, and visit Mendelsson House, and is now the only surviving house in Germany directly linked with Mendelssohn.  It contains, the composer’s tall music writing desk, a selection of his watercolours, some manuscripts and various items of period furniture.

Lunch (included in the price) will be taken in a room in the Turkish café nr St Thomas’ where Schumann is known to have written the Davidsbunde.  Return to Berlin for an evening at leisure.


Sunday 29th April

Morning lecture

Morning tour visit to the Museum of Musical Instruments, Berlin.

It is located next to the Berlin Philharmonic Concert Halls, and is one of the finest and most comprehensive instrument collections in the world. The museum possesses an extraordinary array of over 3000 instruments, including an almost complete set of early 17th century woodwind instruments of the Naumburg waits, including crumhorns, shawms and dulcians, lutes and bowed instruments, rare Baroque reed woodwinds, some instruments of the Prussian court, eighteenth century brass hunting horns and processional trumpets, pocket violins, mechanical musical clocks as well as the 1929 Mighty Wurlitzer Cinema Organ, once owned by Werner Ferdinand von Siemens, grandson of the Siemens Company’s founder.

Afternoon & evening at leisure. (Optional Evening River Cruise will be offered closer to departure)


Monday 30th April

After breakfast check out of your room and your luggage will be stored. This morning we visit to Historisches Museum. It contains 8,000 historical objects testify to political events and struggles as well as to social, economic and intellectual developments. Spread across two floors of the former Prussian armoury building, it presents an enthralling and intellectually enriching tour of the vicissitudes of German history. If you prefer, you may choose to take a boat trip in the River Spree.

Late afternoon/ early evening transfer to the airport for your flight to London.


Please note that due to the itinerary being written so far in advance the exact days of excursions may alter dependant on local conditions, opening times and at your tour leader discretion. Peter Medhurst reserves the right to amend the itinerary for tour enhancement purposes.


What else to see & do – With the city offering so much of interest to suit everyone, there is never time to rest! Whether your interest is fine art, local history, architecture, parks & gardens or the modern way of Berlin life, there is plenty to entertain you. Just a few suggestions of where to visit in your free time are: Kaiser-Wilhelm Gedachtniskirche, Kurfurstendamm, Kulturforum (Museum of Applied Art in particular), Tiergarten, Museum Island where you will find Altes Museum, Neues Museum, Bode Museum, Alte Nationalgalerie (masterpieces) and the Pergamon (especially recommended),  Alexanderplatz, Jewish Museum. We recommend you do a little research before travelling to plan your free time.


Concerts & Opera – It would be unthinkable to visit Berlin on this specialist music tour without getting the chance to enjoy a concert or two! Once the programmes are available, we will advise you of the option of concerts and operas that are available and give you the chance to book them up, including the famous Berlin Philharmonic! (All concerts are subject to availability.)


8 days, from £1375 per person (based on shared room occupancy)




This new 4 star modern hotel is well located in the heart of the city, within easy reach of restaurants, shops and some of the historical sights of the city. Facilities include all you would expect from a 4 star hotel; comfortable en suite bedrooms, a lobby bar serving snacks, bar & restaurant, terrace and meeting rooms for your lecturers. Bedrooms come with bath & shower,  hairdryer,  flat screen TV, , desk, air conditioning, minibar, iron and ironing board, laptop safe, blackout curtains, direct dial phone, an armchair for relaxing and  wireless internet access for those who need it



  • Return scheduled flights from Heathrow to Berlin (times tbc, but we will aim for a morning flight out and late afternoon flight home in order to maximise your time in Germany.)
  • 7 nights accommodation on bed and breakfast basis at detailed 4 star hotel
  • 1 evening meal (drinks not included) and 1 lunch
  • Full touring itinerary, as detailed, with entrance fees as applicable
  • Expert local guide & tour manager
  • Services of your Expert lecturer (Peter Medhurst)



  • Single room supplement – £210 per person
  • Travel Insurance    £55 if aged 70+ / £30 if aged 69 or under
  • Drinks, meals not mentioned above, tips, items of a personal nature
  • Gratuities


HOW TO BOOK – 3 options

1. Call 020 7251 0045 quoting “Berlin with Peter Medhurst” and make a booking over the phone with a debit or credit card.

2. Complete & send the enclosed Travel Editions booking form & return with a cheque

3. Book online at




Please be aware that there is likely to be a lot of walking involved in this itinerary, so please be prepared by bring suitable footwear. Should you have any walking difficulties at all, please ensure you advise us at the time of booking in order that we can assess the suitability of the tour & ensure your needs are met.