In June of 2020, 47 members of the WWU Symphony Orchestra will embark on a six-day, eight-night performance tour of the musical capitals of Prague and Vienna. On their concert programs, the WWU Symphony will be giving the world-premiere of Gideon Klein's (1919-1945) Chamber Symphony. A Jewish composer of Czech heritage, Klein was among hundred of prominent artists imprisoned at Terezín—a sort of model camp used by the Nazis to deceive the world about their treatment of Jews and other prisoners—before being murdered at the Fürstengrube concentration camp shortly after his 25th birthday. Among Klein's Terezín compositions is a three-movement Piano Sonata, which will be presented for the first time in a new adaptation for orchestra on this tour. This represents a significant contribution to the discourse on Holocaust-era music by Western students.
Following concerts in Prague and Vienna, the tour will culminate in a festival performance at the Golden Hall of the Musikverein, one of the world's most hallowed concert halls, in celebration of Ludwig van Beethoven's 250th birthday. For a young musician to perform on a stage shared by such luminaries as Brahms, Bruckner, and Mahler is the opportunity of a lifetime.
In addition to giving performances, Western's student musicians will spend time exploring many priceless cultural and historical landmarks, including the Terezín concentration camp, Vienna's Imperial Palace, and a number of sites frequented by Beethoven and other classical masters.
The Western Symphony Orchestra has engaged with Music Celebrations International to manage all logistical components of the tour, including ground transportation, housing, most meals, concert arrangements, and visits to cultural landmarks and museums. MCI has a sterling reputation and decades of experience in managing international travel for academic and professional ensembles.
Costs for this once-in-a-lifetime tour are calculated on a per-student basis, and amount to $3,652 for each participant. That amounts to $175,000 for 47 students (the maximum our ground transportation will allow). Our goal is to limit the financial responsibilities of our students to no more than $2,000 each, which leaves $81,000 to be raised. $2,000 represents a major financial hardship for many students, so any funding that is raised beyond our goal will be refunded directly to them to ease the financial burden of this opportunity.
Monday, June 22, 2020
Depart to Prague, Czech Republic
Tuesday, June 23 – Prague / Terezín
Arrive in Prague
Excursion to Terezín (former fortress and Nazi Concentration Camp for children), including entrance to the fortress and Museum of the Ghetto.
Continue to Prague with a panoramic tour of the city upon arrival
Wednesday, June 24 – Prague
Morning guided tour of Prague
Performance as part of the American Celebration of Music in Czech Republic
Thursday, June 25 – Vienna
Morning transfer to Vienna
Stop at the Vienna City Cemetery to visit the graves of Beethoven, Strauss, Brahms, Schubert and the Mozart Memorial
Take a short panoramic tour of Vienna that acquaints visitors with the main attractions and landmarks
Friday, June 26 – Vienna
Half-day guided tour of Historical Vienna includes the Ringstráße, Imperial Palace, State Opera, Town Hall, Burgkapelle (home of the Vienna Boys Choir), Palace Stables, Strauß Monument, and entrance to Schönbrunn Palace
Afternoon guided tour of Musical Vienna includes entrance to the Haus der Musik and a visit to the Beethoven Heiligenstadt apartment
Performance at Minoritenkirche as part of the American Celebration of Music in Austria
Saturday, June 27 – Vienna
Rehearsal in the Golden Hall of the Musikverein
Excursion to Kahlenberg to walk the “Beethoven trail” (a route he often walked), and visit the Vienna woods