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Hungary, Slovakia, and Austria, a 9-day tour

Overview

OVERNIGHTS

  • Overnight Flight
  • 3 nights Budapest
  • 2 nights Bratislava
  • 2 nights Vienna

PERFORMANCE OPPORTUNITIES

  • Budapest:  concert
  • Budapest:  joint concert and exchange
  • Bratislava:  joint performance
  • Vienna:  concert finale

DAY 1:  Overnight Flight

Begin your Performance Tour, as you depart the United States on your trans-Atlantic overnight flight!

DAY 2: Budapest (D)

Your full-time tour manager escort will greet you upon your arrival in the capital city of Budapest, straddling both sides of the Danube River.  Hungarian classical music is well known throughout the world, with composers such as Béla Bartók and Franz Liszt, and Budapest has well preserved its cultural and folk traditions.  Transfer to your centrally located hotel, where your escort will provide a familiarization briefing and walking tour of your neighborhood.  Tonight, celebrate with dinner, music, and dancing at a local Gypsy restaurant serving traditional Hungarian fare.

DAY 3:  Budapest (B/D)

Enjoy breakfast at the hotel, provided each morning of your trip.  Your exploration starts right away, with a half-day sightseeing tour with local guide of the architectural gem of Budapest, often considered the “Little Paris of Central Europe” and the “Pearl of the Danube”.  Buda and Pest, along with Óbuda, were united into a single city in 1873.  Your guide will educate you of Hungary’s thousand year history as you visit Castle Hill, and the 13th century Matthias Church; you will also see Parliament, the Royal Palace and the Chain Bridge.  Visit the Basilica of St. Stephen, the city’s largest church which houses Szent Jobb (the mummified Holy Right Hand of St. Stephen).  Enjoy some free time with your escort to wander the cobble-stoned streets of old Buda and enjoy lunch on your own.  This afternoon, share a guided tour of the 19th century Budapest State Opera House.  Present your concert debut in Budapest!  A warm-up rehearsal is scheduled at your venue, prior to your performance.  Afterward, dinner is served at a local restaurant.

DAY 4:  Budapest (B/D)

This morning visit the prestigious Liszt Ferenc Music Academy, rich with history and prestigious alumni.  The Art Nouveau building is home to manuscripts donated by Franz Liszt, among other treasures, and has its own performance venue.  Alternatively, you might visit the Bela Bartok Conservatory.  Join a local school or community ensemble this afternoon, for a joint concert and exchange.  The evening is free for further exploration on your own, and you may wish to catch one of the musical offerings at Vigadó Concert Hall or the Hungarian State Opera, subject to availability and schedule.  There is also the opportunity to visit one of the city’s Turkish-era thermal spas; your escort can assist with suggestions and arrangements.  Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 5:  Bratislava (B/D)

Depart Hungary today for the nearby Slovakian capital, the ancient city of Bratislava.  There is time for a stop in beautiful Szentendre for a walk with your escort.  This baroque small town is famous for its Hungarian artists and features many galleries, museums and monuments.  Along the way, you will also pass by the charming towns of Visegrad and Esztergom!  Upon arrival in Bratislave, meet with a local guide for an afternoon sightseeing tour of the easily walkable historic city centre, with its cobblestones, plazas, and “men at work” sculptures.  Visit the Old Square, and also see Parliament, Sant’ Martin Cathedral, Michael’s Gate, and climb up to Bratislava Castle to experience the contrasting vista of 18th century Rococo buildings with communist-era constructions!  There is time to wander through old town; be sure to sit back at one of the many cafes for traditional pancakes, gelato, and the area’s thick hot chocolate!  Dinner is served at a local restaurant this evening.

DAY 6:  Bratislava (B/D)

This morning visit the Johann Nepomuk Hummel Museum, featuring the life and works the composer, his musical instruments, and samples of his work.  The remainder of the day is free to spend exploring on your own, or with your escort.  This evening perform a joint concert in Bratislava, with a local ensemble!  Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant.

DAY 7:  Vienna (B/D)

This morning travel by coach from Bratislava to the historical music center of Vienna!  There is free time for lunch, allowing for the opportunity to savor one of Vienna’s famed desserts, sachertorte!  Afterward, meet with a local guide, for a panoramic tour to see the magnificent buildings of the Ringstrasse, the Opera House, the Hofburg, and the Karlskirche, with entrance to St. Stephan’s Cathedral; be sure to take in the famous lacy spires!   You will also stop at the Zentralfriedhof, one of the largest cemeteries in the world, to visit the final resting place of composers such as Beethoven, Brahms, Schubert, and Strauss.  A highlight is your visit to Schloss Schönbrunn, summer home to the Habsburg family, birthplace of Marie-Antoinette, and where Mozart often performed.  Dinner.

DAY 8:  Vienna (B/D)

This morning visit Mozart’s House for a guided tour; it is here where he wrote “The Marriage of Figaro”.  Enjoy free time for further exploration of the city with your escort.  This afternoon present your concert finale, in Vienna!  There is time for a warm-up rehearsal at your venue.  Celebrate your last night in Europe with a “Heurigen” traditional family style dinner in the village of Gumpoldskirchen, with local music!  Share new memories of your time abroad, and toast your successful performance tour!

DAY 9:  Departure (B)

After a final breakfast at the hotel, your escort will transfer you to the airport and assist with check-in for your return flights to the United States!


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What’s with the Dolphins?

We are often asked about our logo and mascots, “What’s with the dolphins?”…”You are specialists in performance and education tours, right?  Or are you an aquarium?”  And our answer is always, “It’s a long story. Yes. NO.”


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Events

We are excited to exhibit at these 2016 conferences:

  • ACDA Eastern, Boston
  • ASTA, Tampa
  • MMEA, Boston
  • Chorus America, Cincinnati
  • TCDA/TODA/TBA, San Antonio
  • ICF, Danville
  • NYSSMA, Rochester

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