Join us in Amsterdam for four nights of wonderful music, dance & tulips as the clocks go forward and Spring arrives! Highlights include a Sunday morning concert at the Concertgebouw and an evening duo recital with Martha Argerich and Steven Kovacevich and the Dutch National Ballet classic performance of Swan Lake. Add to this visits to the Rijksmuseum & Van Gogh Museums, a day at magical Keukenhof, great food and the canals of this beautiful city and you have a perfect spring break.
We stay at the 4* NH Amsterdam Centre (bed & breakfast included) located opposite a canal in the Vondelpark & 19th century ‘Museumplein’ district – home to the three most important museums of Amsterdam – the magnificently restored Rijksmuseum, the recently extended Van Gogh Museum and the Dutch home of contemporary art the Stedelijk Museum.
Civilised flying times with KLM from Manchester (or another airport to suit you) out Saturday morning at 1040am and back Wednesday afternoon landing at 5pm so giving us three full days in the city. You can also travel by direct Eurostar from St Pancras if you prefer (an easy change in Brussels is required on the return).
After arriving on Saturday we join a canal boat just opposite the hotel and spend an hour cruising the canals of the city to get an immediate orientation & immersion into this great city. This evening we have a Welcome Dinner at a highly regarded fish restaurant.
On Sunday morning we head to the Concertgebouw for our first concert. It's a 15 minutes pleasant flat stroll but a transfer will be provided if the weather is inclement. Each Sunday morning at 11am a special hour long concert takes place and today we have a performance of Beethoven's 3rd Symphny "Eroica" with Maestro Markus Stenz and the Netherlands Radio Orchestra. Immediately after the performance we enjoy a lesiurely brunch at a noted local brasserie. Our seats for this concert are in the 2nd row of the circle.
Sunday afternoon is free to explore at your own pace or to add (at additional cost) another performance at the Concertgebouw - a choice of either the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra (recently voted ‘Finest Orchestra in the World’) performing Franz Schubert's 9th Symphony "The Great" and Lotta Wennakoski 'Sole' for flute & orchestra under the baton of Thomas Hengelbrock or a chamber concert in the Recital Hall with the Amsterdam Piano Trio playing Beethoven, Ravel & Shostakovich. See additional costs below.
This evening we have stalls seats reserved at the Concertgebouw for the legendary Martha Argerich and Steven Kovacevich (her former husband!) in recital. Their programme includes three works by Claude Debussy - Prélude à l'après-midi d'un faune; Lindaraja and En blanc et noir and Rachmaninoff's Symphonic Dances, op. 45.
On Monday we take full advantage of being in Holland in springtime and visit what is considered the most beautiful spring garden in the World - Keukenhof. We start our day with a visit to the Van Gogh Museum and then join our coach for 45 minute ride south of the city to our destination. Keukenhof is said to be "the best day out among the flowers! Over 7 million bulbs will bloom this spring, with a total of 800 varieties of tulips". Besides the spacious 32 hectares of flowers you can enjoy the spectacular flower shows, inspirational gardens, unique art and the Tulpomania exhibition at the Juliana Pavilion. We head back into Amsterdam late afternoon and this evening is free.
On Tuesday morning we visit the magnificently restoted Rijksmuseum – starting with a private guided overview before having free time to explore this huge collection. The hotel is just five minutes walk from the museum so you are free to explore as much as you wish and make your own way back to the hotel later in the day.
Our finale is an evening at the contemporary 'MusiekTheater' home of the Dutch National Opera & Ballet. We have wonderful seats in the raked stalls (giving excellent sight lines) for their 1988 production of Swan Lake. Choreographed by the late artistic director of the company Rudi van Dantzig, the production was hailed by critics not only as a milestone of dance history in the Netherlands but also as surpassing most other interpretations of the piece.
On Wednesday your morning is free until we depart for the airport at 130pm and fly back to Manchester late afternoon or continue to London for two nights and join our party there for a performance with the London Philharmonic conducted by Vasily Petrenko and Kenneth Macmillan's masterpiece Romeo & Juliet at the Royal Opera House! (please ask for details).
Sunday afternoon concert costs:
- Amsterdam Piano Trio: £35
- Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra with Thomas Hengelbrock £95 / £70 (stalls) or £55 (Podium)