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JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
#1878167 04/12/12 10:43 AM
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JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!

We are in the very early planning stages of a 2013 tour of
European Piano Makers, historic sites, music museums, cathedrals, castles, composers homes, and more.

Our 2011 tour was so much fun and such a great success we've decided to organize a new tour for summer 2013. Why not until 2013? Because it takes time to organize a tour like this. Besides, it will give you time to put the funds aside, and plan ahead for a major trip.

However it will only happen if we get enough positive responses (trust me, it's a lot of work to organize).

Possible Itinerary:

Germany & Italy - 12 Days - Piano Manufacturers - Concert Halls - Music Museums - Amazing Scenery - Shopping - Restaurants - Historical Sites - Good Food & Drink - Composer's Homes - Cathedrals - Castles - Concerts - Pianos - Music!



All while being chauffeured around in an air-conditioned tour bus all our own, and accompanied by a top-notch tour guide



So please read this entire thread and let us know if you are interested.

If you followed our 2011 tour you know how much fun everyone had, and how amazing the tour was.

[Linked Image]
(photo courtesy of Lilylady)

PICTURES FROM 2011 EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR...
If you aren't familiar with our previous tour, or would just like to see the pictures again, this thread contains pictures of our 2011 European Piano Tour

LOTS More Pictures Here!

And Here!

(seriously, take a few minutes to check out the pictures)

For details of how we organized the 2011 tour, including destinations, hotels, costs, itinerary etc., see This Thread

For the 2013 European Piano Tour

We would like to again visit some of the places we enjoyed in 2011, but also change things up a bit and visit some new places. Germany and Italy are on the top of our choice list. Depending on how much time (and money) participants are willing/able to invest, we are considering adding to the adventure.


We also plan to allow more time in places where everyone said "I wish we had more time here" :-)

One example might be the museums where they not only had the most incredible collection of keyboard instruments (some of which they actually encouraged us to play), but lots of other great collections.

[Linked Image]


And there were parts of the countryside that were so beautiful it took your breath away. We'll try to leave a little more time for picture taking in some of these areas.

And we would love to visit Robin (Meloy-Goldsby, the Piano Girl) again at the castle where
she plays. Everyone agreed this was one of the major highlights of the trip.

Of course the central theme of the tour is built around visiting piano factories for a first-hand look at how some of Europe's finest pianos are crafted. Even there we will ask our hosts to shorten the technical presentation allowing more time for playing the pianos and enjoying the showrooms (and surrounding town). We may also try to visit one of the action manufacturers, or as Lilylady suggested, the Henle publishing house in Munich.

We are considering the possibility of starting or ending the tour in Italy, with a visit to Fazioli. While this would add to the cost of the trip, we think it would be worth the expense and time. Not only because we would like to see the Fazioli operation, but because of Italy itself.

Everyone I've ever spoken to who has visited Italy falls in love with the country, the food, and the people.

Anyway, at this point we want to get some idea of how many people might be seriously interested in joining us for a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. We will combine pianos, music, good food and drink, good company, and beautiful scenery. The tour will include visiting piano makers, cathedrals, castles, music museums, composers homes, and much more.

It is likely this will be somewhere between a 10 and 14 day tour. Probably in June 2013.
It will not be cheap, but you will get more than your moneys worth. Besides, what price can you put on a lifetime of memories?

IF INTERESTED PLEASE RESPOND TO THIS THREAD (or email me webmaster@pianoworld.com ) if you think you might be interested in joining us.
We will then include you in a direct email list of interested people, keeping you up to date as details develop.

If we get enough interest we will work on firming up the details, including the timing, itinerary, and costs.

We hope to see you in Europe in June 2013!


Our 2011 Group...

[Linked Image]

Last edited by Piano World; 05/09/12 09:08 PM. Reason: updates

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Re: JOIN OUR 2013 EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1878219 04/12/12 12:12 PM
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Yippie!

Twice in a lifetime trip?

I still think of all the wonderful places, experiences and people that we enjoyed touring with in 2011. Twas my trip of a lifetime, for sure.

Will highly recommend it and possible will save my pennies to do a second one (what piggy bank might I break this time?)

Oh and please get Guenther, tour guide extraordinaire, if he'll have us!

Italy would be my choice, mostly for proximity and all that I have heard/read/viewed, although Estonia could be a nice side trip for those who can do before or aft.

Put me down for a tentative yes.


"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: JOIN OUR 2013 EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
lilylady #1878221 04/12/12 12:20 PM
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Originally Posted by lilylady
Yippie!

Twice in a lifetime trip?

I still think of all the wonderful places, experiences and people that we enjoyed touring with in 2011. Twas my trip of a lifetime, for sure.

Will highly recommend it and possible will save my pennies to do a second one (what piggy bank might I break this time?)

Oh and please get Guenther, tour guide extraordinaire, if he'll have us!

Put me down for a tentative yes.

thumb

Great, I hope you can join us again lilylady, it really was a magical time.
Luckily you have lots of fantastic pictures to prove it.

I'm not sure Kathy and I have paid off our credit cards from the last tour yet, but you only live once!
And I agree, I plan on doing my best to get Guenter again, he is a major reason the 2011 tour was such a success.

And as my father always like to say "you won't do it any younger".



- Frank B.
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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1878980 04/13/12 01:39 PM
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I loved every minute of the tour, but a little more shopping time would have been nice. While I have fond memories of walking across Munich one night after dinner with Eric, Bob and Ken, to go to the Hard Rock Cafe to buy T-shirts and walking back late in the rain, a bit more shopping time would have been great.

And I'm glad to hear you're going to try to get Guenther again. He is so knowledgeable and has a delightful sense of humor.

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Agilita #1879525 04/14/12 11:43 AM
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Gosh, where to even start, the trip was a bust from start to finish, why would anyone even consider doing another sausage tour of Ohio after that . . . what was that? Piano World? Oh, sorry, thought this was Sausage World, well, that is a different matter eh?

Sandy and I will certainly sign up for 2013. We will be again (hopefully) be living in the States (vice England), not sure doing what, but let me tell everyone reading this, this tour is definitely one you plan your life around. For the cost and the amount of planning put into this, you cannot beat what you’ll get out of it.

Frank has encouraged feedback from the 2011 tour participants and hope everyone is honest in their desires (and gripes) about the 2011 tour. The earlier and greater your input, the more success everyone will have to top the first tour. So, with that lead-in let’s start with what we thought was negative or “less desirable” about the 2011 tour:

Bus seating capacity. It was unfortunate, the very first bus we had to travel around Hamburg and take us to Bonn was PERFECT! It was reduced capacity (36 or so persons), lots of room between seats and even a table and snack area in the back. From then on, we were in a high capacity bus (52 or so), nice bus BUT just did not need to be packed in with the small group we had. I list that first, if we could only change one thing, it would be to have a full sized bus with limited number of seats.

Certainly a major item for most of us traveling Americans was the lack of Air Conditioning in the hotel rooms. Having lived in Europe for a few years now, we have come to expect that and actually travel with two, small travel fans. Elle did her best to get us air conditioned rooms but, due to circumstances beyond her control, we ended up with a number of warm nights.

I would be remiss if we didn’t comment about the location of the hotel rooms. The Rheinhotel Dressen was perfect but some of the latter ones, for example the one next to “Boobs” were in areas we really did not care to leave the hotel. Now this we understand is a tradeoff between cost and location of the town. Let me add, all the hotels themselves were fine, just some had questionable locations.

Those three items are really about it which, for the first time, is not bad at all! Now for some possible improvements in the itinerary. As we found out, it did not need to be 100% piano or music themed every day. For example, as already mentioned, we could have easily spent most of the day at Das Technische Museum Wien. A place like that, that has piano’s or music would be fine to see the pianos and then give the group a few hours exploring the rest of the museum.

A number of non-piano spouses who came along had seen enough piano’s after the first 15 minutes into Steinway. What would be ideal is to have an alternate activity for spouses (or those tired of seeing “yet another piano”). It can be something simple enough as dropping them off in the centre of town or at a castle and, making sure they have cell phones, picking them back up later in the day.

A few more outside dinners like the one we had at the end of tour (and then went to see the red moon) would be nice.

As to what to see or where to go in 2013, there should be (in my opinion) only one repeat from 2011 and that would be Steingraeber & Söhne in Bayreuth. Although a night in Schloss Lerbach would be ideal but that I'm sure will be too cost prohibitive.

Speaking of cost, perhaps there could be optional extras for those that want to pay for a more expensive (better view) room, such as a room with a view of the Rhein or a quiet room not facing the street.

I know I’ve gone on too long but you did ask and I hope this encourages others to put down their thoughts and desires. In all honesty, if we changed nothing from the 2011 tour, it would still be worth it and delightful to do again, it was that great!

One last thing I want to put in, while there is no question that we must have Guenter or the trip is off, I would also trust that Elle will again plan this for us (Ich meine wirklich dass, Elle!).

-Jim & Sandy Fariss

Last edited by BritishJim; 04/14/12 11:44 AM.

[Linked Image]
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1879851 04/15/12 01:43 AM
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I would consider joining at least for a part of the trip. I will be watching out for the itinerary and cost estimates as they develop. My issues are costs and travel time. I travel a lot and am allergic to spending long hours on the road. But joining in for one or two cities would be very appealing.

When I travel, I enjoy leisurely shopping after spending time getting from A to B. It also gives one time to walk around a town and absorb the ambiance with no stress, as well as time to discover some little hidden gems such as lesser known sites and museums. I also would vote for the shopping time.

Outside eating is a european must and a standard on nice summer days. The first question most ask at a restaurant is whether there is seating in the garden. You can't beat the ambiance of a night in an Italian trattoria eating under the stars. It would be great to organize meals in such places as much as possible. Most have indoor seating for when the rains roll in.


Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1879930 04/15/12 07:45 AM
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Keep the feedback coming folks, plans are starting to take shape. We just need to guage the interest.


And for those of you who were with us in 2011, I agree 100% about getting Guenter again. I emailed him and received this reply:


"Hello Frank!

Good to hear again from you, and, needless to say, I would love to work with you again!
I can cover all the mentioned areas, just in Venice we would need an official guide of Venice for a 3 hour tour of St. Marks and the palace as I am not allowed to guide ther, but be could see more of the town together without an official guide!
Just got up and haven´t sat down for breakfast yet, so I just do this now and think about some extra ideas for the trip!

Greetings from a rainy Munich!

Guenter"


- Frank B.
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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1879949 04/15/12 08:48 AM
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"Hello Frank!

Good to hear again from you, and, needless to say, I would love to work with you again!
I can cover all the mentioned areas, just in Venice we would need an official guide of Venice for a 3 hour tour of St. Marks and the palace as I am not allowed to guide ther, but be could see more of the town together without an official guide!
Just got up and haven´t sat down for breakfast yet, so I just do this now and think about some extra ideas for the trip!

Greetings from a rainy Munich!

Guenter"


That does it for me!






"Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination, and life to everything."
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1881391 04/17/12 06:21 PM
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If I can get a live in dog sitter, Doreen & I will probably be coming. We visited Venice last year, and its a great place to start or end. There is a lot to see and experience once you get past St. Marks and the other tourist traps. I look forward to seeing the Fazioli factory. Their workmanship inside and out is outstanding.
Julius


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1885636 04/24/12 10:45 AM
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Would like to suggest two places to visit albeit both a bit esoteric. Sauter pianos in Spaichingen, Germany for the variety of finishes and styles. The other is the Renner factory (Stuttgart? I’m guessing would be the best of the three to see?)


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1889211 05/01/12 02:42 AM
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You know what? This is like my 'backward' (ok... not so much but still). I'm not sure I can make it to Germany or the whole trip, but I think I might be able to join you for the Italian part! wink

I'll look into things, but it will take time.

One quick question though: Can I take part, if I have my own schedule? Like I'll arrange my own accommodation, stay and tavel arrangements (especially since I'll be coming from Greece)?

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1889977 05/02/12 11:17 AM
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Italian part for me too! Joining the group for tours and dinners is especially nice!

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1892177 05/06/12 10:11 AM
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Depending on the cost estimate I'm interested in this trip. The testimonials from previous participants makes it sound wonderful.


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
lilylady #1892943 05/07/12 12:47 PM
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When I first saw the e-mail Frank sent about the 2013 tour, I thought I'd already been on the tour of a lifetime and wasn't considering it. But, going to Italy is on my list of things to do and seeing that some of the 2011 group are planning to go again, well, I'm seriously considering it also. We were really a friendly great group, weren't we?

The past 10 months since the tour have been a bit stressful for me. My husband was laid off from his job and I had my second cancer diagnosis. But, I'm almost completely recovered and ready to go as long as the cost isn't too prohibitive.

(And this all is reminding me that I was supposed to send pictures from the tour to a few people and haven't done so. Apologies, I'll try to rectify that.)

Last edited by Agilita; 05/07/12 12:48 PM.
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1893172 05/07/12 08:30 PM
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Sorry to hear about your husband, and your diagnosis, but...

Happy to hear you are almost completely recovered (you are meant to be a survivor), and that you are considering joining our "second adventure of a lifetime" :-)

Best,

Frank B.
P.S.
Yes, you really were a friendly group, which made the tour that much
more enjoyable.

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1894419 05/09/12 08:34 PM
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Sounds at least as good as the first tour. If I haven't moved to Bali by then, I'll go.


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Palindrome #1895366 05/11/12 12:32 PM
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Jim*, it's wicked hard to maintain a piano on an island (humidity, etc.).

Seriously, are you moving to Bali?

*I hope I remember correctly which tour member was Palindrome!

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1898435 05/17/12 03:50 AM
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I don't think I could join the whole tour, but I would love to participate in the Italian portion and maybe get up to Germany to see Robin at the Schloss!!!


If I just came to the Venice portion, I'd take care of my own accommodations and I could probably help with organizing for the group for meals etc.


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1898673 05/17/12 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Piano World
Keep the feedback coming folks, plans are starting to take shape. We just need to guage the interest.


Hi, Frank,

I am interested in joining the 2013 Piano World tour. I had really wanted to go on the 2011 trip but was not able to do so.

Would it be possible to do a tour of the Sauter piano factory for 2013?

A R


Sauter 122 Masterclass (M-Line)
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1899093 05/18/12 08:08 AM
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Hi A R,

I hope you can join us.

We haven't finalized the itinerary yet, it's still in development.

All of the piano companies have extended invitations to us, so it becomes
a matter of narrowing it down for this trip.

We have realized most people do not want a detailed technical tour of the factories.
A quicker tour touching on the highlights, followed by more time actually playing the newly minted pianos appears to be the way to go.

Speaking of tours, we will likely visit our friends at Mason & Hamlin in Haverhill, MA again this year. Make sure you are subscribed to our free newsletter to receive announcements.


- Frank B.
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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1905301 05/29/12 09:42 PM
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i think going to italy is a terrific idea. in addition to visiting fazioli, you really might consider visiting the val di fiemme where the wood is harvested for ciresa soundboards, used by fazioli. these are the forests where stradivari selected tonewood for his violins, and they have been managed by a community collective since the 1300s.

i visited there when researching my book, though that part of my research didn't make it into the final pages. the folks at ciresa helped me a great deal, and the val di fiemme in the italian alps is a magical place. i would love to return there some day.

i might be in the minority in that i find the more technical the tour, the more interesting, but there is more to learning about piano manufacture than just the piano making factories--there are the action and hammer makers, and the soundboard makers, and the forests those trees come from...

GRAND OBSESSION is supposed to be released in german in about a year, and i am already thinking about how i might help the german publisher launch it, so perhaps there will be a happy confluence?


piqué

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Grand Obsession: A Piano Odyssey
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
BritishJim #1906238 05/31/12 07:46 PM
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I am interested. Seeing some big rebuilders shops would be cool

Melissa Warren

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1908736 06/05/12 09:59 AM
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What about Amateur Pianist Seminars in Europe. Has anyone been to the World Piano Conference in Novi Sad, Serbia? Lots of very interesting presentations on a variety of pedagogy. And. Serbia is beautiful country, and very inexpensive. The conference is hosted by Dr Dorian Leljak. Usually held in July. I plan on returning next year.

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1915815 06/19/12 02:53 PM
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I'm interested!


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1916834 06/21/12 03:26 PM
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I'm keeping an eye on this... but I suspect it will be over my budget like it was last year. Is there already a rough approximation what the tour will cost?


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1922592 07/04/12 11:50 AM
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Definitely interested if it fits my work schedule (I have some unavoidable commitments). I'd definitely like to see the Steingraeber works if possible.

My wife would come along -- she's a non-pianist and one of those who'd appreciate some non-piano excursions as "breakouts." I suspect she'd even be willing to organize some of that stuff.


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Agilita #1925612 07/11/12 10:10 PM
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Originally Posted by Agilita
Jim*, it's wicked hard to maintain a piano on an island (humidity, etc.).

Seriously, are you moving to Bali?

*I hope I remember correctly which tour member was Palindrome!


I used to be an Indonesian translator (this during the Viet Nam conflict, but I can still speak the language some). I'm determined to get back there for a spell of several months, as soon as I'm finally retired.

And with regard to maintaining a piano in the tropics, it may be time to repost "A Humid Recital Stirs Bangkok."


There is no end of learning. -Robert Schumann Rules for Young Musicians
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
BritishJim #1925844 07/12/12 12:09 PM
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I really enjoyed the trip and found the group fun and friendly. Guenther was excellent and the places we went were perfect. I liked the bus and found it comfortable.I agree with British Jim about the location of the hotels in an objectionable part of town was not a good thing. Also how about travelling in April or May-so air conditioning is not necessary. June was uncomfortable without air conditioning.
I liked the idea of eating meals with the group but unfortunately, I found the meals of lesser quality than what I expected especially considering the cost of the trip. I ate elsewhere a couple of times and found much better meals were available. Also drinks of any kind were not included with meals and you should have been able to get a glass of iced tea, coffee, or a soda with your meal without paying extra for it.


qtpi
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
qtpi #1951565 08/30/12 01:35 PM
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I read, with great envy, about the last trip and the posted pictures were fabulous. I would be interested in joining next years jaunt.

I would also like to see the Sauter factory as by then, I will own one.

Cheers,

allthumbs


Sauter Delta (185cm) polished ebony 'Lucy'
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Single Malts Forever!
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1952643 09/01/12 02:44 PM
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A little lost here, and envious just like "allthumbs," with everyone's posts from the previous trip, but they definitely make this sound like a really exciting trip-to-be.

I am interested and will watch as the details come together. I was thinking of a vacation that would immerse me in both Music History and Food History.

Germany and Italy sound wonderful.

Thanks!
Melissa


Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1990224 11/24/12 06:39 AM
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I keep looking at this thread and keep drooling more and more... :-/ I think that this trip is starting to look excellent!

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1995911 12/07/12 11:22 AM
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Hi Frank:
Do you have dates for the European tour yet? Even approximate dates? When will you have the details nailed down?


Mus. B and Mus. M in Classical Piano Performance; Fulbright Scholar, Vienna, Austria; Bosendorfer 225, Yamaha Disklavier C2, Kawai KG-2G, Baldwin 5'4" Grand, Yamaha Clavinovas CLP 170 and CLP 930.
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1996850 12/09/12 10:26 AM
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Hi virtuosaval2,

We've been working behind the scenes with our tour guide from the previous European Tour but do not have the official agenda yet.

It's looking more and more like we will be waiting until
2014 to do this tour.

For one thing, we want to do it right (we will be sharing the details and asking for feedback).

The other challenge is that Kathy and I have a lot going on right now and aren't able to devote as much time and effort to the tour as we would like.

We are both selling our places (her's is sold, my manufactured home in Largo, Florida is still available ).

If all goes well we will be buying a home together in Maine and moving in after the first of the year. The place needs to be renovated which will take up some of our time.

After that we will be able to devote much more time to the tour, a project we are very excited about!



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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #1997094 12/09/12 08:49 PM
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Thanks, Frank!! I was wondering who is the contact person for the WDR historic instrument collection in Cologne, Germany. I might be there this summer and I'd love to see the collection. You can message me if you don't want it public. Thanks!


Mus. B and Mus. M in Classical Piano Performance; Fulbright Scholar, Vienna, Austria; Bosendorfer 225, Yamaha Disklavier C2, Kawai KG-2G, Baldwin 5'4" Grand, Yamaha Clavinovas CLP 170 and CLP 930.
Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #2056286 03/29/13 01:27 PM
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Nothing seems happening here anymore. Has it been moved to 2014?


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #2057295 03/31/13 09:08 AM
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This all sounds so wonderful. Please keep me up to date with information. It's April already and June is so close. I doubt I can swing it but would love to follow in your footsteps sometime in the future, maybe even 2014.


[Linked Image][Linked Image]


Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #2059348 04/04/13 01:36 PM
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Hope you will join us.I am interested and will watch as the details come together.
Germany and Italy sound wonderful.

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #2112167 07/03/13 11:15 AM
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Took a quick look at the 2011 trip, looks like it turned out to be quite a success.


Yamaha MOX8 Synthesizer

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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #2156633 09/24/13 02:15 AM
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There are lots of ways that you can explore Europe; trains, planes, and automobiles. But nothing beats a relaxing river cruise. If you've already seen Big Ben and are looking for something more, maybe a river cruise is in store for you.




childrens party bag fillers

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Piano World #2207221 01/03/14 12:57 AM
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Now it’s the best timing to make a few plans for the future and it is the moment to be happy. I have learn this submit and if I could I want to suggest you some fascinating things or tips.

Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
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Any updates on this?


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Re: JOIN OUR NEW EUROPEAN PIANO TOUR!
Piano World #2641741 05/09/17 12:46 PM
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This is great tour! laugh

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