Beethoven in Vienna
Departing 21 April 2018

Itinerary

Day 1

We meet at Heathrow Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight to Vienna. On arrival in Austria, we are met by Peter Medhurst, our music expert, and Tom Abbott, our art historian and tour manager. We then transfer by coach to the centrally located 4* König von Ungarn Hotel for a six night stay. After an included lunch at the hotel, we take a walk through the medieval streets in the immediate environs of the hotel and the cathedral. En route we see - among other things - the house where Mozart died in 1791, and visit the venue where the first performance of Beethoven’s Piano Quintet in Eb Op 16 took place. This building is now the Café Frauenhuber and it is here that we enjoy afternoon coffee and cream cakes. Following an evening lecture from Peter on music in Beethoven’s Vienna, we attend a drinks reception and enjoy a welcome dinner, both served in our hotel.

Day 2

This morning you may choose to attend our lecture in the hotel, or join our optional excursion to hear the Vienna Boys’ Choir performing High Mass at the Hofburg Chapel. Later, we visit the Austrian Theatre Museum, in the Lobkowitz Palace. It was in this building that Beethoven’s 3rd Symphony ‘The Eroica’ was premiered in 1805; and in the same hall where this took place, Jeremy Limb and Peter will give a recital of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 21 Op 53 ‘The Waldstein’ and the song cycle ‘An die ferne Geliebte’. We then go to nearby Café Demel for a lunch and follow this with a visit to the State Hall National Library. The former court library was designed by the Viennese Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach and his son Emanuel. It is the largest Baroque library in Europe, and it was here that Beethoven’s patron and dedicatee of his 1st Symphony, Baron van Swieten, was court librarian from 1777 until his death in 1803. After a visit to the Augustinian Church, we make our way to the Albertina Art Collection for a guided tour. The Albertina has one of the largest and most valuable graphical collections in the world, and contains works such as Dürer’s ‘Hare’ and Klimt's studies of women. This evening you may choose to join our optional excursion to the Opera.

Day 3

This morning is spent in the Bösendorfer-Saal of the Figaro House, the place where Mozart lived from 1784- 87 and where Peter and Jeremy present a study morning (9.30-12.30) on the Beethoven Piano Sonatas. After an included lunch, we make our way by coach to the Liechtenstein Garden Palace (dating from 1700) and enjoy a private tour of its magnificent art collection. On show are paintings by Raphael, Rubens, Molenaer and Ricci, all displayed in sumptuously decorated rooms. The evening is at leisure.

Day 4

After the morning lecture at the hotel, we make our way by coach to the Viennese suburb of Oberdöbling to visit the museum known as the ‘Eroica House’. Although Beethoven never lived in the building (the Austrian archivist, Josef Böck-Gnadenau misidentified the house), the museum is a memorial to the summer of 1803, when Beethoven stayed in Oberdöbling and wrote the lion’s share of his 3rd Symphony. We continue to Beethoven’s house in Heligenstadt (another Viennese suburb) and where in 1802 Beethoven wrote the famous ‘Heiligenstadt Testament’. The Testament is a letter (never sent) to his two brothers in which he lamented his advancing deafness, and momentarily contemplated suicide as being the only way forward. An included lunch will then be served at a carefully selected local restaurant followed by a return to the centre of Vienna to enjoy a recital by Jeremy at the Bösendorfer piano show room. Time permitting, we may pay a visit to the Karlskirche, before making our way to the Secession Building, built by Joseph Maria Olbrich in 1897 and which famously contains Gustav Klimt’s Beethoven Frieze of 1901. The Secession Building is an architectural manifesto of the rebel artistic movement spearheaded by Gustav Klimt. Crowned with a golden leaf globe, it is home to a fine collection of works by pioneering artists that continue to redefine contemporary art. Again, time permitting, we may visit the Vienna Museum to see the celebrated Biedermeier Rooms. The evening is at leisure.

Day 5

The morning lecture at the hotel is followed by a guided tour of the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Opened around 1891, it is Austria’s largest art museum and contains works by Raphael, Brueghel the Elder, Rembrandt, Vermeer and Caravaggio. It also contains magnificent paintings by the Venetian artist Bernardo Bellotto of views of Vienna, and show what the city would have looked like when Beethoven arrived there in the 1790s. After an included lunch we walk to the nearby Musikinstrument Museum for a guided tour of its superb collection of musical instruments. We will particularly concentrate on instruments - and paintings of composers - that stem from Beethoven’s time in Vienna, including pianos by Walther, Stein and Ehlers and portraits of Hummel, Walther and Beethoven. When finished, we make our way to the Pasqualatihaus, named after its owner Josef Benedikt Baron Pasqualati, and the place where Beethoven spent eight years living in the apartment on the fourth floor. It was here that the composer worked on his 4th, 5th, 7th and 8th symphonies, and where he also worked on his opera ‘Fidelio’. This evening you may choose to join our optional excursion to the opera.

Day 6

After the morning lecture in the hotel, we spend the morning at the palace of Schönbrunn, commissioned in 1696 by Leopold I, completed in 1730, and adapted in the mid-18th century for Maria Theresa. Our audioguided deluxe tour will include Maria Theresa’s bedroom, hung with Brussels tapestries, her breakfast room decorated with needlework worked by her and her daughters, and the Hall of Mirrors, where Mozart, aged 6, gave his first Viennese recital. The gardens were laid out with fountains and statues, and later, on the Gloriette Hill, a colonnaded arcade was added, from which can be enjoyed an extensive view over the city. After an included lunch at the Palace in the Café Residenz, we visit Schubert’s Sterbewohnung, the house where Franz Schubert died on 19th November 1828. The exhibits document the last weeks of the composer’s life, his death and his funeral. Schubert is important in the unfolding of the Beethoven story since not only was he a torchbearer at Beethoven’s funeral, but the ‘point and counterpoint’ aspect of their careers highlights the ways in which the composers were viewed by the early 19th century Viennese. The remainder of the afternoon is at leisure in Vienna, and this evening we enjoy a farewell dinner at the nearby Sky Restaurant - a magnificent eatery overlooking the rooftops of central Vienna.

Day 7

After a summing up lecture, we check out of our hotel, and following a swift visit to the Museum of Military History, we continue to the Upper Belvedere Palace. Here, Tom guides us around the magnificent art collection, paying especial attention to the paintings on the uppermost floor, which reflect everyday life in Vienna during the early part of the 19th century. The Upper Belvedere also contains the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection, which you may wish to seek out. After an included lunch, we return to Vienna Airport for our direct scheduled British Airways flight back to Heathrow.

Tour Features

Tour limited to 24 passengers

Tom Abbott - professional tour manager & art historian

Jeremy Limb - pianist

Six lectures by Peter Medhurst

Beethoven Piano Sonatas study morning with Peter & Jeremy in the Lobkowitz Palace

Centrally located historic 4* hotel

Welcome & farewell dinners included

Included lunches every day

All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities included

Direct scheduled British Airways flights from London Heathrow to Vienna

Personal audio headsets on days 1 to 6

Walking tour of Vienna’s medieval streets

Afternoon coffee & cream cakes at Café Frauenhuber

Austrian Theatre Museum, Lobkowitz Palace

Recital by Jeremy & Peter of Beethoven’s Piano Sonata No 21 Op 53 ‘The Waldstein’ & the song cycle ‘An die ferne Geliebte’.

State Hall National Library

Augustinian Church

Albertina Art Collection - guided tour

Recital by Jeremy at the Bösendorfer piano show room

Liechtenstein Garden Palace - private tour of its art collection

‘Eroica House’ in Oberdöbling

Beethoven’s house in Heligenstadt

Karlskirche

Secession Building

Biedermeier Rooms at the Vienna Museum

Kunsthistorisches Museum - guided tour

Musikinstrument Museum - guided tour

Pasqualatihaus

Schönbrunn Palace

Schubert’s Sterbewohnung

Museum of Military History

Upper Belvedere Palace

Hotel

We stay six nights at the centrally located 4* König von Ungarn Hotel in Vienna (www.kvu.at). Located just behind St Stephen’s Cathedral, facilities at the hotel include a restaurant and a bar. All rooms are ensuite and feature television, telephone, hairdryer, mini bar, and an in room safe. A dinner is included in our hotel on the first evening (set 3 course dinner without drinks), and at The Sky Restaurant on our last night, whilst the remaining four days are on bed and breakfast basis.

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020 7064 4970
if you have any queries regarding this tour

Tailor make your group tour

If you are a Group Organiser and think you can get a group of 15 or more, we can tailor make your own tour exclusively for your group.

Call us on
020 7064 4970
to tailor make the perfect tour
for your group