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Music in the Mountains - 13 nights from $14,750 per person twin share

VERBIER, DAVOS AND GSTAAD MENUHIN FESTIVALS
with Marshall McGuire


Experience music-making as breathtaking as the scenery at the ‘crème de la crème’ of European summer music festivals, in Switzerland’s Verbier, Davos and Gstaad Menuhin Festivals

In glorious Alpine and lakeside settings, enjoy a stellar line-up of world renowned orchestras, conductors and soloists , attending 15 performances across the Verbier, Davos and Gstaad Festivals. In Verbier, enjoy concerts by Daniil Trifonov, Pinchas Zukerman and Mischa Maisky, and in Gstaad attend bravura performances by Maxim Vengerov, Roby Lakatos and Hélène Grimaud. In between, spend two days at the Davos Festival, where each year gifted young musicians such as the Berlin-Tokyo Quartet are invited to perform chamber music in ever-changing combinations.


Between performances, relax, refresh and reinvigorate in the glorious Swiss Alps, and enjoy jaw-dropping scenery on the famous Glacier Express.

TOUR LEADER

Acclaimed Australian harpist Marshall McGuire has performed as a soloist with the Australian Chamber Orchestra, English String Orchestra, Les Talens Lyriques, Australian Brandenburg Orchestra, Melbourne Symphony Orchestra and the Australia Ensemble. He has appeared at numerous international festivals, and is currently Director of Artistic Planning at Melbourne Recital Centre. He has performed in caves, on the beach at Orpheus Island, at the Château de Chantilly and in a 12th century chapel in Wales. Playing music in exotic and beautiful locations is his passion.


At a Glance

> Experience music-making of the highest calibre at the Verbier and Gstaad Menuhin Festivals, with concerts by Trifonov, Zukerman, Vengerov and Grimaud
> Meet the next generation of rising chamber music stars at the Davos Festival
> Enjoy a day on Switzerland’s famed Glacier Express, the narrow gauge train that runs along the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Rhaetian Railway through Albula and Bernina
> Visit the tiny mountain Principality of Liechtenstein, nestled between Switzerland and Austria
> Marvel at the magnificent scenery of verdant valleys and pristine alpine lakes at every turn


Need an airfare with your package? Just ask your consultant for the best fare at the time of booking!


Nights: 13

Departs: Geneva, Switzerland
Deal ends: Until Sold Out. Space is limited.
Operator: Renaissance Tours

Inclusions

Tour price includes
> Premium (category 1) tickets to all included performances
> Pre-performance talks by your tour leader, Marshall McGuire
> Accommodation in centrally located 4 and 5 star hotels with breakfast daily (B)
> Other meals as per itinerary (L = Lunch, D = Dinner), including wine with dinners
> Hotel/airport transfer on departure
> Comprehensive sightseeing, including local guides and entrance fees as per itinerary
> Transportation throughout on comfortable, air-conditioned coaches
> Gratuities for local guides and drivers
> Hotel porterage (one piece per person)


Tour price does not include
> International airfares 
> Airport/hotel transfer on arrival
> Items of a personal nature, including telephone, laundry, taxis, room service etc.
> Travel insurance (a condition of travel; please ask your consultant for assistance)


ITINERARY

Monday 30 July 2018 Arrive Geneva
Arrive in Geneva in the afternoon on suggested Qatar Airways
flights via Doha. Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist
you with your travel arrangements.
Make your way to the hotel and check in, before a special welcome
dinner with Marshall and fellow music-lovers. D


Tue 31 Jul Geneva – Verbier
In the morning, depart Geneva for Verbier. Set high in the Swiss Alps,
Verbier is located on a south-facing terrace in the Val de Bagnes,
and its rolling grassy hills rise to meet the great alpine conifer
forests, while in the distance some of the mountain tops still retain
their snowcaps even at the height of summer.
This evening, attend a performance by Russian piano phenomenon
Daniil Trifonov, one of the headliners of the Verbier Festival 2018,
performing works by Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff, Schumann
and more. B L


Wed 01 Aug Verbier
Begin the day with a talk by Marshall on the upcoming performances
in the Verbier Festival, and then attend a concert by two rising stars
of Austrian Classical music, cellist Kian Soltani and pianist Aaron Pilsan,
performing sonatas by Bach and Brahms.
The afternoon is at leisure before a performance of Brahms’s
Double Concerto in A minor and Symphony No 4 in E minor
by Pinchas Zukerman and Amanda Forsyth, accompanied by the
Verbier Festival Chamber Orchestra. B L


Thu 02 Aug Verbier
After a pre-performance talk by Marshall, attend a concert by
the Ebony Quartet collaborating with guest pianist András Schiff,
performing Schumann’s Quintet in E Major and an innovative
version of César Franck’s Quintet in F minor. The piano part was
originally written for the composer’s friend Camille Saint-Saëns,
who performed it at the Paris premiere in 1880.
In the evening, enjoy the Verbier Festival Orchestra and Israeli cellist
Mischa Maisky performing a trio of powerful works from the
Romantic Era to the late 20th century: Beethoven’s Symphony No 5,
Dvořák’s Cello Concerto in B minor and Leonard Bernstein’s
Candide Overture. B L


The Verbier Festival
The brainchild of Swedish music historian and record executive
Martin T:son Engström, the Verbier Festival was established in
1994, and was deliberately held away from the large cities in
which classic music festivals are usually held so as to encourage
a collaborative atmosphere between established and emerging
musicians. In subsequent decades the Festival has grown to
comprise the Verbier Festival Orchestra and the Verbier Festival
Chamber Orchestra. Along with up-and-coming performers,
the Festival attracts some of the greatest musicians on the
international circuit – Daniil Trifonov, Pinchas Zukerman and
Mischa Maisky to name but a few.


Fri 03 Aug Verbier
Enjoy a morning talk by Marshall, followed by a concert by
young Canadian piano prodigy Jan Lisiecki, performing works by
Schumann, Ravel, Rachmaninoff and Chopin.
In the evening, attend a performance by the La Cetra Barockorchester
Basel under the artistic direction of Andrea Marcon. Named after
a lyre-like string instrument used in Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo, La Cetra
was founded in 1999 to perform significant works of Baroque
and Classical music on original instruments, and tonight they will
perform a collection of works by Monteverdi with Czech mezzosoprano
Magdalena Kožená. B L


Sat 04 Aug Verbier – Glacier Express – Davos
Check out from the hotel and travel to Davos via the scenic Glacier
Express, a narrow gauge railway whose stunning views and triumph
of civil engineering has seen it entered on the UNESCO World
Heritage list. Opened in 1904, the Glacier Express (which connects
the Albula and Bernina railways) links scores of tunnels and covered
galleries which bore through the solid limestone of the Central Alps,
and the construction of the railway opened the villages of these
isolated valleys to the outside world.
Arrive in Davos in the late afternoon, and in the evening attend
the Opening Concert of the Davos Festival, featuring the works of
Cage and Brahms. B


Sun 05 Aug Davos
After a morning talk by Marshall, continue your experience of the
Davos Festival with a ‘Musical Walkabout’, a gentle stroll between
several churches in the town of Davos with performances at each
stop by choir ensembles and solo artists. The Musical Walkabout
culminates with a performance on the Schatzalp, the ‘Magic Mountain’
which watches over Davos, reached by a short funicular ride.
The afternoon and evening are at leisure to enjoy Sunday in
summery Davos at your own pace. B


Mon 06 Aug Davos
Enjoy a day-trip to the village of St Moritz, the delightful Alpine
resort known as ‘The Top of the World’. Located at 1,800 m in the
Albula Alps, in the upper reaches of the Engadin valley, St Moritz
is graced with a beautiful glacial lake and a charming collection of
buildings rising up the mountain from the lakeshore.
After lunch in St Moritz, return to Davos for an evening concert by
the Berlin-Tokyo Quartet, an ensemble formed in 2011 by students
at the two conservatories of Berlin. Tonight, this energetic young
group will perform string quartets by Morton Feldman. B L


Tue 07 Aug Davos – Liechtenstein – Lucerne
In the morning, check out from the hotel and travel to Lucerne
via Vaduz, capital of the tiny Principality of Liechtenstein. Nestled
between Switzerland and Austria, Liechtenstein emerged from the
labyrinthine politics of the Holy Roman Empire as an independent
state, and has maintained that status ever since, now enjoying one
of the highest standards of living in the world. With an area of only
160 sq km, the micro-state has a very particular national politics –
during a constitutional dispute, an exasperated Prince Hans-Adam II
once threatened to quit the country and sell the whole thing to Bill
Gates! Fortunately, he relented.
Enjoy a guided tour of Vaduz followed by some free time to explore
this little gem of the Alps.
In the afternoon, continue to Lucerne, before dinner in the evening.
B D


Wed 08 Aug Lucerne – Gstaad
In the morning, visit the villa in Tribschen overlooking Lake
Lucerne where Richard Wagner lived from 1866 to 1872,
composing Die Meistersinger von Nürnberg and parts of Siegfried and
Götterdämmerung. Then continue to Gstaad in the afternoon.
This evening, attend the first of our performances in the Gstaad
Menuhin Festival, with a concert by violinist Maxim Vengerov 
and the Menuhin Academy Soloists playing a range of works by
Beethoven, Bloch, Tchaikovsky, Sarasate, Fauré, Bazzini and Paganini.
B L


Gstaad Menuhin Festival
Famed violinist Yehudi Menuhin founded the Gstaad Festival
(later named in his honour) in 1957. He had moved to the
area with his family earlier in the decade, and was enchanted
by Gstaad’s blend of German-speaking culture with Italian
influences. The Festival brings together acclaimed international
musicians to perform with friends and collaborators, as Lord
Menuhin said, “in a relaxed atmosphere”. The Festival is now
one of the highlights of the Swiss summer, with more than
50 concerts performed over a two-month period, ranging
from Baroque to Classical, Romantic and contemporary
classical music.


Thu 09 Aug Gstaad
Travel to the nearby town of Gruyères for a guided tour of a
traditional Gruyère cheese factory and an authentic Swiss lunch,
followed by a tour of the town’s picturesque castle and a quaint
local chocolate factory.
In the evening, return to Gstaad for a concert by the flamboyant
and mercurial Hungarian violinist Roby Lakatos, known for his
combination of Classical, jazz and Romani string music traditions.
B L


Fri 10 Aug Gstaad
Spend a morning and afternoon at leisure in Gstaad, nestled within
the pleasant countryside of the Berner Oberland (Highlands of Bern).
In the evening, after a talk by Marshall, attend a concert by bold
and inventive French pianist Hélène Grimaud performing Brahms’s
Piano Concerto No 1 in D minor and Symphony No 1 in C minor
with the Gstaad Festival Orchestra. B


Sat 11 Aug Gstaad
In the morning, attend a talk by your tour leader followed by a
performance by Bulgarian pianist Victoria Vassilenko as part of
Gstaad’s ‘Matinée of Young Stars’. From a family of musicians,
Vassilenko was the winner of the George Enescu Competition
in 2016.
Enjoy a special farewell lunch with Marshall and fellow travellers to
celebrate the conclusion of a fortnight of music in the mountains.
In the evening attend our final concert, with Moldovan violinist
Alexandra Conunova and Menuhin Heritage Artist and harpsichordist
Jean Rondeau performing a series of concertos by J.S. Bach and his
musically gifted progeny W.F. Bach, C.P.E. Bach and J.C. Bach. B L


Sun 12 Aug Gstaad – Geneva - Depart Geneva
Check out from the hotel and transfer to Geneva Airport in time
for flights departing from 15:00 onwards. Tour arrangements
conclude on arrival at Geneva Airport.
Renaissance Tours or your travel agent can assist you with your
flights and other travel arrangements.
B


Dates & Departures 

30 July – 12 August 2018 

Per person, twin-share
AUD 14,750


Single Supplement*
AUD 2,950


Deposit per person (at time of booking)
AUD 1,000


*Single travellers may request to share.
Please advise at time of booking.


Terms & Conditions 

Offers subject to availability. Amounts payable to third parties not included. Please check all prices, availability and other information with your travel consultant before booking.