Did you/Do you/Will you ever travel for classical music

June 7, 2020, 4:19 PM · Discussion came up with a friend of mine who had forked over $1000 + travel accommodations to see the Ring performed in Chicago (which of course has since been cancelled).

Do you travel or schedule vacations around classical music, and which performers/repertoire would be the ones to tip your scale towards putting the airfare + lodging money? Is this a regular thing in the classical music world in the same way that people follow different bands or pop musicians around?

Replies (16)

June 7, 2020, 4:22 PM · I'll kick it off:

I have traveled (and made it a part of the vacation) for classical music. Although being from Chicago I am fortunate enough to have a lot of repertoire played here, sometimes (kind of often, actually), there is better programming by other orchestras, and I am a very big fan of Hilary Hahn and I've traveled to see a Bach concert of hers. Given the large cities that tend to have this kind of classical music culture it's also a nice way to travel to cities I have not visited before.

On my bucket list, I'd definitely put a full-scale Mahler 8.

June 7, 2020, 5:08 PM · I have travelled to London regularly for years, either for the Proms, Opera or something at St Martin in the Fields. Always worth it. I also have family in the area, which makes visiting some what more affordable than forking out for a hotel.
Last time I was in Iceland, I saw the Iceland Symphony Orchestra (unintentional), and it was a real treat!

My trips to Ireland are also circled around music, but instead, traditional music. I often play with my cousins and attend local sessions, which is always a highlight of my trips!

Edited: June 7, 2020, 5:19 PM · If someone tells you they fly from San Francisco to Sydney twice a year for music, it's not really music. It's that stuff they call "opera."

I took my family to Charlottesville to see Steve Isserlis with Steve Doane and Raphael Bell at the Paramount. Then we stayed overnight and took the early morning tour at Monticello. I've traveled for art exhibits too, usually to DC or Richmond.

Edited: June 7, 2020, 6:12 PM · I used to say I travel for architecture, art, theater, and music but really, it was all about food.

Still, I did attend concerts just about everywhere I went from the big opera houses to little jazz clubs.

Those days seem so long ago, another life almost.

June 7, 2020, 8:43 PM · I have "traveled"-but only via bus from NYC to Washington DC, to see an important recital of Ms. Shoji playing solo Bach & Reger. So after the concert, I just took another bus service back to the City, arriving in the AM hours of the following day. She does not perform often enough here, so I felt it was a must-attend performance for me, and more than well worth the time and trip.

I do not plan to do airplane classical concert vacation-traveling in the future-even if these were normal times-as I am not a frequent traveler, and enjoy NYC's concert scene, which I am lucky to have access to. But there are many opera fans who travel to see performances of the Ring around the world, and in these cases, I see why it does make sense for such music lovers to arrange a special vacation. In recent years-up to our current COVID era-many great violinists I really enjoy have been coming here, so I have been quite privileged; love this beautiful City.

Edited: June 7, 2020, 9:04 PM · I've driven the 2+ hours from Sacramento to San Francisco for concerts. Once even for a community orchestra where I knew none of the musicians (I knew one regular member of the orchestra who did not play or attend that concert), just because I wanted to reward them for playing a lesser-known piece that I like (Berwald, Symphony No. 3). I haven't traveled farther than that.
June 7, 2020, 11:53 PM · We're quite lucky where I live. Our local concert hall attracts a lot of pretty decent orchestras with soloists a lot of the time. The only downside is that they are all symphonic concerts. If I wanted to attend a solo recital or somone specific, I'd have to hop on a train and go to one of the London concert halls
June 8, 2020, 12:25 AM · I would travel to see Hilary Hahn, Vengerov, Ray Chen, Kavakos, Berlin Phil, Zimmerman, and others, but I will never travel to see people like Sterling!
June 8, 2020, 12:31 AM · Shoulda read title, Lindsey isn’t classical!
June 8, 2020, 12:46 AM · I'd travel to see Hilary, Vengerov, Perlman, Zukerman and Shlomo. Not outside of the UK though. I think thats a bit excessive
June 8, 2020, 2:29 AM · Sure. I simply won't take a commercial flight in the US without being paid to do so, but I'd plan a fairly serious road trip, say up to 2 days each way, around the right artists' performance. Yitzhak Perlman, Ray Chen, Rachel Barton Pine, and Hilary Hahn come to mind immediately. So do Scott Slapin and Tanya Solomon (together or individually), Kim Kashkashian, Yuri Bashmet, and anything any of them are involved with. I'm sure there's a good handful of string quartets and chamber ensembles that are equally worth the trip if they happen to be within two days' drive if I have (or can take) the time off.

Bundling a visit with friends and/or relatives into either leg of the drive could be a nice bonus.

June 8, 2020, 5:02 AM · I travelled 8250 miles for a music camp (where we played classical music). Does it count?
June 8, 2020, 6:45 AM · Whenever we plan a trip, I always look to see if any good concerts are available. We're lucky to be empty nesters with some savings, so we've had the good forunte to hear Mahler 9 while visiting friends in Chicago, Andras Schiff playing Brahms with the Zurich Tonhalle Orchestra, and Igor Levit play Prokofiev with the Paris Conservatoire. But those were all concerts we happened to attend on vacation, rather than vice versa.

The only time we've actually built a trip around a concert was when we bought tickets to the Salzburg Festival to hear the Vienna Philharmonic play Mahler 7. Like James T, I'd be willing to travel for a good performance of Mahler 8.

A good resource for finding performances around the world is Bachtrack . You can search by performer, composer, or location, so if you happen to be traveling and want to see if there's a performance worth taking in, this is a good place to begin looking.

June 8, 2020, 10:33 AM · We have done two family vacation trips to Vienna, and multiple Opera tickets were the center piece of the trip. Before the current shut-down we would drive several hours to San Francisco for their first-rate symphony and opera.
June 8, 2020, 10:45 AM · I might for classical, but I would go anywhere in the US if I found out jazz musician Hermeto Pascoal was on tour. That's probably the one musician I would do that for.
June 8, 2020, 11:15 AM · The title of this thread reminded me of "would you, could you, eat them on a train?"

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