In The Footsteps of the
Great German Composers
With KING FM Host Brad Eaton
Berlin * Leipzig * Dresden * Prague
December 3-13, 2014
Designed exclusively for KING FM radio listeners, this classical music journey promises to be an amazing adventure. The opportunities for knowledge, music, food, and sheer fun will thrill you. Accompanied by local historians you’ll stroll through some of Germany’s most beautiful cities and walk in the footsteps of Handel, Wagner, Telemann, Mendelssohn, Mahler, Grieg, Schumann and Bach during the festive holiday season.
Your classical music adventure starts in Germany’s capital city. There is simply nothing like Berlin. Recent visitors have realized that they’ve only scratched the surface and must come back, and it’s only in the last five years that many of Berlin’s prime attractions have reopened or been built from scratch. This most significant and fascinating old-new metropolis is now the Cultural Capital of Europe!
Avant-garde architecture and grand symphony halls of Berlin give way to days of music heritage and living history in Leipzig and Dresden. Don’t miss out. Join KING FM host Brad Eaton and walk in the footsteps of the Great German Composers!
HOTELS & ITINERARY AT A GLANCE
3 Nights: Berlin- Hotel Eurostars *****
3 Nights: Leipzig- Radisson Blu Hotel ****
3 Nights: Innside by Melia Dresden****
3 Nights: Prague- Hotel Yasmin **** (post tour extension)
WAYS TO SAVE $250!
- Make your deposit before July 1, 2014 and pay your final balance by check to save $150
- KING FM Travel Club alumni save an additional $100
An abundance of festive holiday markets * In-depth historic walking tours of Leipzig, Dresden and Berlin * Four classical events /concerts including a private concert in Schumann’s home in Leipzig * Backstage tour of the Semperoper Dresden * Intimate tours of the composers’ homes and museums * Multi-course dining experiences highlighting regional specialties * Wine tasting with the producers in Saxony * A river cruise on the Elbe River * Berlin – Europe’s new Capital of Culture, including new world-class museums * The romantic world of Royal Potsdam * The Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie * Time to stroll the avenue Unter den Linden and the Prussian-built Brandenburg Gate * A fun, small group of fellow KING FM travelers.
- With KING FM classical music host Brad Eaton
- Fully guided by local Earthbound Expeditions historians
- Nine nights of accommodation in European-style four-star hotels
- All breakfasts and eleven additional multi-course meals highlighting regional cuisine & dishes
- Transportation by private air-conditioned motor coach
- Five glorious classical music events (see details on last page of itinerary)
- Gratuities for your guides and drivers
- Entrance fees to museums, palaces, composers’ homes
- City and local maps
- A river cruise on the Elbe
- Daily historic walks with local historians
- Alumni appreciation discounts applied towards future journeys
11 Days/10 Nights (when including optional overnight flight)
*$4,195 Per Person Double Occupancy (land portion only with 23-29 Guests)
$935 Single Supplement
Group flight departs December 3, 2014 from Seattle
Trip begins in Berlin on December 4, at 6:00pm (Guests must depart the USA on December 3)
Trip ends in Berlin on December 13
Post-Tour extension to Prague ends December 15th-
*Based on an exchange rate of 1 USD = .74 EUR
*Small group comfort charge of $250.00 applies to groups smaller than 23 people
Group Air Option $1,480.00: Delta Airlines: Seattle –Amsterdam – Berlin
For added convenience, we have reserved a group flight which is subject to availability and special terms. Please call our office for more information about this option. The price includes taxes, fuel surcharges, ticketing and airport transfers while in Germany.
December 3: Seattle to Amsterdam
December 4: Amsterdam to Berlin
December 13: Berlin to Amsterdam
December 13: Amsterdam to Seattle
“It’s easy to play any musical instrument: all you have to do is touch the right key at the right time and the instrument will play itself.”
Johann Sebastian Bach
YOUR KING FM CLASSICAL JOURNEY BEGINS…
DAY 1- December 3
Depart for Germany—optional group flight available
DAY 2- December 4
Guten Morgen! Arrive in Historic Berlin
Devastated, then divided for two generations, Berlin has been rebuilding for a mere two decades. The results are stunning and have catapulted the city back to the first rank. Top notch orchestras and opera companies thrive, several world-class museums have recently reopened over the last few years, and the boulevard of Unter den Linden has been re-laid. Recent visitors have been overwhelmed by the kaleidoscope of things to see, hear and do in what has become Europe’s cultural Mecca. Enjoy a welcome feast and orientation with your KING FM host Brad Eaton and Earthbound Expeditions guide. Sleep in Berlin (D)
DAY 3- December 5
The Berlin Wall and Museum Island
This morning we embrace Museum Island, home to a unique and growing ensemble of world-class exhibition spaces. Many of the buildings are sights in themselves. And then there are the collections… First stop, the peerless Pergamon. This is also your chance to fit in a visit to another of the Island’s many great museums.
This afternoon we’ll see the most evocative surviving stretch of the Berlin Wall and experience how this monstrosity came to be built, and what it meant for this city. Sleep in Berlin (B, L)
DAY 4- December 6
West to the City of Bach, Leipzig!
We soon arrive in the historic city of Leipzig. While Bach lived in Leipzig the population was just 30,000. And the city was the second largest in Saxony, the center of the German printing and publishing industries (many of Beethoven’s works were first printed here), an important European trading center, and site of a progressive and famous university. It was also one of the foremost centers of German cultural life, with magnificent private dwellings, streets well paved and illuminated at night, a recently opened municipal library, a majestic town hall, and a vibrant social life. Outside its massive town walls were elegant tree-lined promenades and extensive formal gardens. The old-established university drew scholars and men of distinction from far and wide, and the famous book trade contributed much to the cultural life of the city. One of Leipzig’s most important features was its international commerce. When the Leipzig Trade Fair was in progress, the respectable town was transformed into a show-ground, mixing business with pleasure, and was popular with members of the Royal Court of Dresden. Many connections were established between nations on these occasions and this, in turn, had a beneficial effect on the civic economy and culture as well as the international variety of its music.
Among the many great names in musical history who lived and worked in the city in the past were Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy, Clara and Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, Edvard Grieg, Albert Lortzing, Gustav Mahler and Hanns Eisler. In addition, Leipzig’s rich musical heritage includes the Gewandhaus Orchestra – presently working under star conductor Riccardo Chailly – and the world famous St. Thomas Boys Choir which looks back on a proud tradition of almost 800 years.
Over the course of the next three days we’ll walk in the footsteps of the great composers and learn firsthand how this city of high culture and trade impacted their works. Enjoy an included dinner this evening with your host and guide. Sleep in Leipzig (B, D)
DAY 5- December 7
In the footsteps of Schumann
After enjoying a hearty Saxon breakfast we are off to the former living quarters of Robert and Clara Schumann. Robert Schumann and Clara Wieck are Leipzig’s most famous lovers from the 19th century. After their wedding on 12 September 1840 in the village church at Schönefeld, near Leipzig, the celebrated female pianist and the still unknown composer moved to Inselstrasse. Among other things, the “Spring Symphony” and the first movement of the Piano Concerto in A minor were created during this period. Today the Schumann House presents an exhibition on the life and work of the musical couple and the anniversary of Schumann’s birth is celebrated in Leipzig every September. To cap off our tour you’ll enjoy an exclusive private concert featuring the works of this dynamic couple.
Enjoy a traditional Saxon lunch. Then the afternoon is yours to explore and discover. Now we are in the former East Germany and you’ll find Leipzig celebrating 20 years of freedom, a freedom it partly owes to itself. You’ll see the streets where demonstrators toppled the East German dictatorship and enjoy a private tour around the local headquarters of the secret police – stormed by people-power! This afternoon you may wish to visit the “Alte Rathaus” (old city hall), the Stasi Museum which highlights the brutality of East Germany’s secret police or wander through some of Leipzig’s quaint passages and book stalls. Sleep in Leipzig (B, L)
DAY 6 – December 8
In Pursuit of Mendelssohn and Bach
Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy was a major influence on European musical history – and he in turn was influenced by his experience of Leipzig. Under his musical direction, the Gewandhaus Orchestra became a first-class orchestra. Moreover, Mendelssohn is renowned for his rediscovery of Bach. The performance of the St. Matthew Passion under his musical direction in 1829 initiated “the Bach Renaissance”. He is also credited for the foundation of the Conservatory of Music in 1843, Germany’s oldest music academy, which bears his name today. Mendelssohn’s domicile became a meeting place for famous contemporaries such as Robert and Clara Schumann and Richard Wagner. It is the composer’s last remaining private residence and today accommodates the worldwide unique Mendelssohn Museum. After touring the home you’ll be treated to a private concert featuring works by Mendelssohn.
There will be time for an independent lunch before meeting your guide this afternoon for glimpse into the world of Bach. Leipzig is where Johann Sebastian Bach spent 27 of his most productive years. A brand new Bach Museum opened only three years ago – and it’s been brilliantly done. This being Germany, the interactive sound stations actually work. You could even just relax while listening to the catalogue of his music. With a bit of luck they might even be playing the organ at his old church over the road. Then stroll over to the St. Thomas Church. Bach worked here as a cantor for 27 years, and today, his remains are buried below the altar. Since 1212, St. Thomas Church has also been home to the famous St. Thomas Boys Choir. Sleep in Leipzig (B, D)
DAY 7 – December 9
Leipzig to Historic Dresden
This morning we make our way east to a city, known as the “the Florence of the North.” Our journey will take us to the banks of the beautiful Elbe River and past quaint villages and medieval castles. En-route we’ll tour Germany’s smallest wine-producing region. The Saxon Wine Route offers a wonderful blend of picturesque vineyards and local architecture. This part of Saxony enjoys a particularly favorable climate. Grapes have been grown here for over 850 years, and the local porcelain manufacturing tradition dates back almost 300 years. It was wine and porcelain, together with rich silver deposits, that brought fame and fortune to Saxony.
After meeting the producers and enjoying lunch, we head to Dresden: our home for the next three nights. The city was for many years the capital of Saxony and lay at an important trade route. It was here that musical giants such as Handel, Bach and Wagner lived and worked. After checking into our centrally located hotel, we’ll set out to explore the historic core of this once cultural capital and make our way to the “Dresden Sings” event, for those interested.
Every year, the traditional “Dresden Sings & Makes Music” concert takes place with the impressive backdrop of the Schlossplatz – not only is it an open-air event, but it is open to everyone, even in the musical sense: for many songs, the audience is cordially invited to join in the singing. The 2014 Stair Singing at the Brühlsche Terrasse will be led by the Singakademie Dresden and its conductor Ekkehard Klemm in honor of the Singakademie’s 130th anniversary. True to this season’s theme, the anniversary singers and their choral colleagues will unfold a colorful program highlighting the works from five centuries, framed by Weber’s Freischütz Overture and the Finale of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony!
About the Artists: Elbland Philharmonie Sachsen, Singakademie Dresden, Members of Dresden Choirs, the Berliner Singakademie, Jenaer Madrigalkreis, Münchner Motettenchor and further members of the Association of German Concert Choirs, Ekkehard Klemm [Conductor], Andrea Thilo [Moderation] et al.
Sleep in Dresden (B, L)
DAY 8- December 10
A Day of Culture and Art in Dresden
Today we set out to discover the artistic masterpieces of the city. Lovers of art will fall in love with the impressive old masters collection housed in the Zwinger museum. August the Strong, elector of Saxony (also king of Poland), built this baroque masterpiece, modeled after Versailles, in 1719. Here he staged tournaments and kept dozens of concubines. His physique was called Herculean, his temperament Rabelaisian, but he also had a great love for the arts. Today, this artfully symmetrical complex of buildings holds a collection of museums. The damage caused by the British air raid in 1945 was so devastating that some locals feared the Zwinger would remain a ruin forever. However, it’s been restored and it’s back in business, welcoming new generations of art lovers.
The most important museum in the complex is the Gemäldegalerie Alte Meister (Old Masters Picture Gallery). This gallery, one of the best on the Continent, has as its showpiece Raphael’s Sistine Madonna. You’ll also find Giorgione’s Sleeping Venus, Antonello da Messina’s The Martyrdom of St. Sebastian, Titian’s Tribute Money, and many famous works by Veronese, Tintoretto, Correggio, and Annibale Carracci. You’ll also see Flemish, Dutch, and German paintings by Van Dyck, Vermeer, Dürer, and Rembrandt, among others. The Rubens collection includes his spectacular Neptune, full of rearing horses, and an exquisite St. Jerome.
Enjoy an included lunch and a free afternoon. This evening you’ll be treated a performance of the Nutcracker at the State Opera house. Sleep in Dresden (B, L)
DAY 9- December 11
A Leisurely River Cruise through Saxony
After a relaxing morning in Dresden we depart by river boat to explore what is affectionately called the “Swiss Saxony.” Enjoy the cozy comfort of the warmly heated salon ships. Take in the impressive scenery of the Albrechtsberg, Lingnerschloss and Eckberg castles, as the ship sails upriver to the romantic Pillnitz chateau, the Baroque summer residence of the Saxon kings and regents. In the afternoon we’ll return to Dresden and enjoy a final Saxon feast. This evening will be another included classical concert-TBA. Sleep in Dresden (B, D)
DAY 10 – December 12
North to Berlin via Potsdam or Continue on to Glorious Prague
Today we travel to the outskirts of western Berlin for the Royal City of Potsdam. See where German Emperors enjoyed their gardens and their many palaces – each one more splendid than the last – and entertained themselves by building pretend Italian churches and Russian villages. This royal idyll was humbled in 1945 as Churchill, Truman and Stalin decided the post-war fate of Europe in the same rooms where we’ll stop for coffee. Enjoy a final farewell lunch in Potsdam before checking into your hotel in the late afternoon. Sleep in Berlin (B, L)
NOTE: For those wishing to visit Prague, you’ll be departing this morning for the Czech Republic with an Earthbound Expeditions expert Czech guide by train. Details below. (B, D)
DAY 11- December 13
Your KING FM Classical Music Adventure through Germany Concludes
Your guide will accompany you to the airport this morning. Return home with a lifetime of happy memories. Gute Reise! (have a good trip)
-Itinerary Details Subject to Change-
Home to Dvorak, Smetana & Mozart
Marriage of Figaro & Rusalka!
“Neither a lofty degree of intelligence nor imagination nor both together go to the making of genius. Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius.”
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Three Night Prague Extension – December 12-15
$875 per person in a shared double room
$190 Single Supplement
- Fully guided by an expert Czech Earthbound Expeditions guide
- Train tickets from Dresden to Prague
- Three night hotel stay in a centrally located charming four star hotel
- Breakfast, plus a welcome dinner and an additional multi-course lunch
- Concerts tickets to either the National Theatre to hear Rusalka or the historic Estates Opera to hear Mozart’s Figaro! (best seats available)
- City maps
- Entrance to Jewish quarter and Prague Castle
- Airport transfer on the final day (if on the group flight)
Classic Prague Post-Tour Itinerary
DAY 10 – December 12
South to Historic Prague: Post Tour Begins!
After breakfast this morning, we’ll depart on a three hour train ride south to the historic city of Prague.
Considered by many to be the most beautiful city in Europe, Prague is the city of Kafka and the place Mozart loved best. The city is also home to three historic opera houses, the Czech Philharmonic and several chamber orchestras. In short, it’s heaven on earth for classical music lovers. It is also your home for the next three nights. Tonight enjoy a multi-course dinner in the heart of Prague hosted by your guide. Sleep in Prague (B, D)
DAY 11 – December 13
Prague’s Old Town & Historic Jewish Quarter
Our historic walking tour of Prague will start at its center, Wenceslas Square. We continue our stroll to Prague’s most famous landmarks. En-route to the Old Town Square we’ll see the illustrious Estate Opera House. The Estates Theatre opened in 1783, is Prague’s oldest theatre and its finest neo-classical building. In 1786 Mozart’s Marriage of Figaro was first performed at the Estates Theatre. Then, in 1787, Mozart himself conducted the world premiere of Don Giovanni here, to a packed house. The Czech public simply adored him!
Our journey continues to Prague’s stirring medieval Jewish quarter. Accompanied by your expert Czech guide, we’ll take time to savor this culturally rich neighborhood with a stop in the Old Synagogue, a place of worship for over 700 years. After enjoying a traditional Czech lunch (and beer) the afternoon is yours to further explore Prague.
DAY 12- December 14
Charles Bridge & Prague Castle
After breakfast we make our way past Charles University to Charles Bridge. We’ll cross the very river that lends its name to Dvorak’s symphonic Czech masterpiece, the Vltava. Then we’ll ascend the hill to one of Europe’s most impressive castles.
Founded in 880, Prague Castle is considered the most significant Czech monument and according to the Guinness Book of World Records, is the largest coherent castle complex in the world. A UNESCO World Heritage site, it consists of a large-scale composition of palaces and ecclesiastical buildings of various architectural styles, from Roman-style buildings from the 10th century through Gothic modifications in the 14th century.
This afternoon enjoy a final magnificent classical concert. Sleep in Prague (B, L)
DAY 13- December 15
Return Home to the USA
For those on the group flight depart early this morning to Frankfurt connecting on to Seattle.
Transfer to airport included this morning, for those on the group flight. Bon Voyage!
-Itinerary Subject to Change-
7:00pm, December 5: Berlin
December 7: Leipzig
Special private concert in the Robert and Clara Schumann Residence Museum
December 8: Leipzig
An exclusive private concert in the former home of Felix Mendelssohn
December 10: Dresden
December 11: Dresden
Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker to be performed at the historic Dresden State Opera
Concert & Schedule Notes-
Earthbound Expeditions is not responsible for any changes regarding the program, performers, times and/or dates which the concert organizers December alter. If, for reasons a concert is changed or cancelled a substitute concert will be found. Opera houses and symphony halls generally release tickets first to season subscribers. Please note that our staff will make every effort to book the very best seats available.
About Your KING FM Host Brad Eaton
Brad Eaton has hosted the Morning Show on Classical KING FM since 1989. His love for classical music was sparked after hearing a performance of the Helsinki Philharmonic during his senior year in high school in Astoria, Oregon. The son of an Army officer, Brad and his family moved often and traveled widely, awakening a lifelong passion for travel and culture. During his tenure with KING FM, Brad has hosted 25 trips with listeners and traveled to five of the seven continents. Brad and his guests have enjoyed musical experiences ranging from a chamber music concert on the Great Wall of China and a gamelan performance on Bali, to a Mozart opera in Buenos Aires and countless journeys across Europe, exploring the music and homes of the great classical composers. Brad will share his vast, eclectic knowledge, humorous anecdotes, and insights about the music and lives of the great German composers.
About Your Earthbound Expeditions Guide
Holger Zimmer (pictured here with a fellow guide) is a native of Germany, though he spent his early years traveling throughout Europe and the U.S. He also studied English literature and drama in Berlin, Germany and Dublin, Ireland. He divides his time between working as a tour guide and a broadcast journalist for various international media such as BBC, ARD German Radio, ORF Austrian Radio and RTE Irish Radio. He enjoys music of all kinds – ask him about his band!
RESERVATIONS & QUESTIONS
Please contact Earthbound Expeditions at (800) 723-8454
Or, you may contact Julia Maywald, Major Gifts Director, Classical KING FM
(206) 691-2961 or
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