Austrian Summer Music Festivals SOLD OUT - WAIT LIST, August 13 to 26, 2019
Surely, “Salzburg” comes immediately to mind when any mention is made of “Austrian Music Festivals” - that elegant, iconic event provides the keystone in the arch of our Summer Festivals Tour for August 2019. The question is, which of the many other Austrian festivals to include as well! What we decided on, in addition to four days of top-drawer concerts and operas at the Salzburg Festival, are visits to the Innsbruck Festival of Ancient Music, the Lehár Operetta Festival in the imperial resort town of Bad Ischl, and the Grafenegg Festival, also featuring top flight orchestras, soloists, and conductors, which takes place in a palace setting near Vienna.
 
That busy performance schedule will be balanced by walking tours, an optional excursion to Berchtesgaden, as well as ample free time at each destination for you to visit the sites and museums that most interest you . . . or simply to relax, whether at a café in the picturesque cities or cruising on lovely Lake Wolfgang in the Salzkammergut mountains.

 
Participation is limited to 22 travelers - advance interest is very high!
Reservations will be honored in the order deposits are received.
The tentative, online form may be found by clicking on the blue "Reservation" button below the description.

All photographs are by Dean and Zsofi, unless otherwise indicated; click on any thumbnail to access the slide show.

CONTENTS AND COSTS

PACKAGE PRICES

sharing a double: $5,725
single occupancy: $6,850




Prices are stated in
U.S. Dollars
based on an exchange rate of
$1.20 to the Euro.



Prices include:

Accommodation in the following four-star hotels:

The Penz
Innsbruck, 3 nights


Hotel Stein
Salzburg, 4 nights


Seehotel Brandauer's Villen
Strobl, 2 nights


Hotel Kaiserhof
Vienna, 3 nights


Breakfast each day

Lunch or dinner 8 days

  Airport transfers

Ground transport by
private coach

  Five performances
* see note below

 Tours with expert guides
as described at the right



  We are arranging for
group fares on the only convenient flights:


Outbound via
Lufthansa and Austrian
Departing Houston August 13,
one stop, arriving Innsbruck
  August 14 at about 2:30 PM


Morning return from Vienna, August 26, arriving Houston
early that afternoon

 
Advantages of Group Air:

♦Best available prices
♦Prices locked in
♦Advance payment
not required
♦In case of delay or cancellation,
the group is usually rebooked together

You might be able to book the same route, using award miles, with either Lufthansa or United. 



You may make a tentative reservation by submitting the online form, accessed via
the button below.

We will then send you the
official reservation form;
your place on the tour
will be guaranteed
when we receive that form,
along with your deposit.

  * NOTE  REGARDING  
  PERFORMANCES
  


    At this time, we can offer only    
         limited information on the     
performances that you find in the   tour description. That is especially
   the case in Salzburg, where the   
  schedule is closely guarded until 
                     November.                    

                                                             
     While we can guarantee first     
  category seats for the oratorio in  
   Innsbruck, the operetta in Bad     
 Ischl, and any of the four concerts 
       in Grafenegg you select, we      
     cannot, at this point, promise     
 specific seating categories or even  that we will be able to get tickets to
  every listed performance for our   
                dates in Salzburg.               

                                                              
    In November, you will receive a 
  list of all the performances and a  
  form on which to indicate which  
       you wish to attend, both in       
         Grafenegg and Salzburg.        
 For Salzburg events, you will also 
   select preferred price categories       (and could end up with seats in  
the   category above or below that  
 requested). We will not know until
  January or February exactly what 
tickets we will get in Salzburg. The
 tour price includes the cost of first 
   category seats for one opera and  
     one major symphony concert.    
   If you prefer two operas (or no    
   opera) that is fine; you can also         request seats for additional        
 performances. If the eventual cost 
   of all your seats varies from the   
  amount budgeted, we will adjust  
   your final invoice accordingly.     


 

THE PROGRAM AT A GLANCE



August 13, Tuesday: Depart for Europe. We will offer group rates on the only viable route from Houston to Innsbruck, via Frankfurt, returning from Vienna (details in the column to the left). If you decide to travel separately, plan to arrive in Innsbruck not later than late afternoon on the 14th.

August 14 - 17: Innsbruck
Once the seat of the imperial court of Maximilian I (1459-1519), Innsbruck is one of the most charming cities in Europe. Located right in the heart of the majestic Alps, the provincial capital of Tyrol offers a wealth of culture and attractions, from historical buildings to priceless art objects. Emperor Maximilian I chose Innsbruck as his residence because it was the ideal base for expanding his empire into what is now Western Europe. A reminder of his reign, the famous Golden Roof, with its 2,657 gold-plated copper tiles, was built to celebrate the emperor’s marriage. The Hofburg (Imperial Palace) in Innsbruck, along with Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofburg in Vienna, is one of the three most important historic buildings in Austria. Maximilian’s Mausoleum, in the Hofkirche, is still considered one of the most important pieces of Renaissance architecture in Central Europe. Towering high above the city is Schloss Ambras: a beautifully preserved Renaissance-style castle housing Europe’s oldest collection of arts, armaments and books; you might want to spend your afternoon at the big Renaissance Festival, underway while we are there. The renowned Portrait Gallery features over 200 paintings of outstanding historical and artistic value, including works by Lucas Cranach, Peter Paul Rubens, Anthonis van Dyck and Diego Velásquez.  For art lovers, there’s also the extensive and impressive art collection at the Tyrolean State Museum Ferdinandeum; and for admirers of works by architect Zaha Hadid, there are the impressive Bergisel ski jump and the Nordkette funicular. You can take the funicular from the city center, and just 20 minutes later, find yourself in the high Alps!
 
St. Jakob’s Cathedral, a visual feast of over-the-top baroque by the Asam Brothers, is the perfect venue in which to hear an oratorio by Handel – our concert at The Innsbruck Festival of Early Music, one of the most important festivals of historically informed performances. Details are not yet public, but we can expect to hear top-flight singers and instrumentalists in the world of early music.
 
August 17 -21: Salzburg
We arrive in Salzburg in plenty of time for you to get settled at the perfectly located and newly renovated Hotel Stein before taking the short 5 or 10-minute walk to one of the festival venues for a performance of your choice from the several offered this busy Saturday evening. We suggest you plan to get there early, to watch the parade of elegantly dressed celebrities. Sunday brings an even more dizzying variety of possibilities, morning, afternoon and evening, ranging from solo recitals and chamber music to a major symphony concert and at least one opera. Our final two days at the Salzburg Festival, while not quite so packed, will offer opportunities to hear the world’s great soloists and ensembles. We have budgeted for everyone to have seats at two major events (one symphony concert and one opera) but the choice of exactly which is up to you.* Beyond those two included performances, we encourage you to attend as many more as you are inclined to and can find the time for (at additional cost); we will get the best available seats for you in the price category you prefer.
 
One day, we are joined by an expert guide for a half-day walking tour of the old city, taking us from the winding alleyways of the medieval era to the grand buildings and public spaces associated with Salzburg’s centuries under the rule of Prince-Archbishops. We’ll get acquainted with the profound architectural influence of Baroque master Fischer von Erlach while everywhere encountering sites associated with the life and work of the city’s favorite son, Mozart.
 
Another morning, we are offering an optional excursion (at extra cost) into the Bavarian Alps to the small town of Berchtesgaden, the site of Hitler’s Eagle’s Nest “retreat,” now housing a museum chronicling the Nazi era.

August 21 - 23: Bad Ischl / Wolfgangsee
The little spa town of Bad Ischl in the Salzkammergut was the summer capital of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy.  It all started in 1828, when the physician of the royal but childless couple Archduke Francis Charles and Princess Sophie of Bavaria advised them to visit the spa at the resort town to “take the waters.” The princess subsequently succeeded in bearing a child, who – as Emperor Franz Joseph – was himself to spend many summers with his wife Sisi at the Kaiservilla /Imperial Villa, described by the emperor as "heaven on earth."
 
As soon as the weather became warm in Vienna, the Habsburgs escaped to the Salzkammergut - with nobility and artists right behind them! Among the several composers who owned or rented villas there was Franz Lehár – who claimed that this was where “the best melodies come to me.” His villa is preserved as he left it – with his art collection, personal effects, plus musical and theatrical memorabilia on display. Honoring his legacy in Bad Ischl, the Lehár Operetta Festival takes place annually at the historic Theater Hall of the Kongresshaus (1875), built to host elegant balls and galas. Damaged by fire in 1965, the interiors were reconstructed to allow for state-of-the-art stage technology, and it is here that we will enjoy Ralph Benatzky and Robert Stolz’s Im Weissen Rössl / The White Horse Inn, a cheeky, delightful musical comedy about the head waiter of the White Horse Inn in St. Wolfgang, who is hopelessly in love with the owner of the inn. The operetta is a memorable musical extravaganza with standout show tunes.
 
We are spending our two nights in the Salzkammergut, not in Bad Ischl but at a spa hotel just across the Wolfgangsee (Lake Wolfgang) from the real White Horse Inn! If you want to visit the place that inspired the operetta, you will have ample time during your free day to take a lake steamer over – whether for coffee, a glass of fine Austrian wine, a classic Austro-Hungarian dessert, a full meal, or just to sit out on the sun terrace taking in the magnificent view over the lake and the mountains.
 
On the way to Vienna, we stop at St. Florian, one of the most beautiful Baroque monasteries in Europe, where composer Anton Bruckner sang as a choirboy and later on taught. Today, it is the site of an annual festival honoring the composer.   Since we cannot make this evening's gala performance, the festival's director has invited us to attend the final dress rehearsal of Bruckner's Second Symphony, in C Minor. Afterwards, he promises an insider’s tour of the buildings and grounds, including a moment at Bruckner's grave, under the altar, and a visit to the splendid monastery library. 

August 23 - 26: Grafenegg / Vienna
The Grafenegg Festival is set in the romantic Grafenegg castle park, not far from Vienna. Under the artistic direction of pianist Rudolf Buchbinder, the world's most renowned orchestras, conductors, and soloists come to perform on the open-air stage and in the new concert hall. The castle’s English garden delights visitors not only with rare plants from all over the world, but also with modern works of art – refreshed over time and always surprising – like the Buchsdom Tower by American artist Mark Dion. The park is a perfect backdrop for a picnic basket filled with local specialties, enjoyed before a concert, whether in a shady spot under centuries-old trees, beside the goldfish pond, or on one of the lawns in front of the castle. For your “included” concert, you may choose either of two performances by a world-class orchestra, formerly associated with an imperial court, one an all-Tchaikovsky program conducted by its super-star music director, the other featuring a noted pianist/conductor in two piano concertos and a symphony. The dinner picnic plus transportation to the concert and back are included for the one you select as "included." A Swiss chamber orchestra and a prominent Asian symphony orchestra present concerts on Sunday, morning and evening; you may attend either or both (transportation included) as an extra cost option, with or without the picnic.
 
Many in the group will have visited Vienna before, perhaps many times, yet for others, this could well be their first time in this most musical of cities. Knowing that, we have decided to wait till we learn just who is in the group, in order to tailor our “thematic” Saturday morning tour to suit the interests of the greatest number in the group. Meanwhile, everyone will have the rest of that day as well as Sunday to visit one - or several - of the city's 60+ museums or sign on for ad-hoc tours that best suit their interests.
 
August 26 - Monday:
We get you to the Vienna airport in time to check in for your flight home . . . or onward to your next travel adventure!

 

Dean at the box office, Salzburg Festival
Dean at the box office, Salzburg Festival
Otto Wagner Church, Vienna
Otto Wagner Church, Vienna
Sacher Torte
Sacher Torte
Innsbruck
Innsbruck
Old Town, Innsbruck
Old Town, Innsbruck
Schloss Ambras
Schloss Ambras
Golden Roof, Innsbruck
Golden Roof, Innsbruck
Salzburg from the roof of the Festival Halls
Salzburg from the roof of the Festival Halls
Hans and Rita Graf join us for lunch
Hans and Rita Graf join us for lunch
Champagne at intermission, Mozarteum
Champagne at intermission, Mozarteum
Kaiser Villa, Bad Ischl
Kaiser Villa, Bad Ischl
Wolfgangsee
Wolfgangsee
Weisses Rössl, St. Wolfgang
Weisses Rössl, St. Wolfgang
Lake steamer, Kaiser Franz Josef I on the Wolfgangsee
Lake steamer, Kaiser Franz Josef I on the Wolfgangsee
Concert at St. Florian photo © Reinhard Winkler
Concert at St. Florian photo © Reinhard Winkler
Hofburg, Vienna
Hofburg, Vienna
Grafenegg Palace - photo © Alexander Haiden
Grafenegg Palace - photo © Alexander Haiden
Grafenegg Concert Shed - photo © Klaus Vyhnalek
Grafenegg Concert Shed - photo © Klaus Vyhnalek
 
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