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Summer Vacation Ideas For String Musicians

Are you a passionate string musician, looking for summer vacation destinations that honor your calling? You're in luck!

From music camps to intercontinental, classical music hot spots, there are plenty of itineraries worth your while.

Enjoy Summer Camp with a Civilized Twist

There are many reasons string musicians should fill at least one or two weeks of their summer at one of the nation's amazing summer camps. Not only do you get instruction from professional musicians and from a wide range of musical genres, you also get to meet musicians from all over the county – and the world.

Summer music camps are inspiring and, in an era when networking matters, the connections you make this year or next could help pave the way to future music school entrances, orchestra auditions, or music gigs.

Expand your horizons with a trip abroad

Unless you're playing contemporary, jazz and/or music from other cultures, odds are the majority of your classical music repertoire originated in Europe. One of the best ways to deepen your connection with the music you play, its history and – of course – it's composers is to travel to the places where it all got started.


Nobody would argue that Austria, particularly Salzburg and Vienna, is the heart of classical music. A summer vacation spent in Austria allows you close proximity to the same architecture and culture that inspired some of the greats – including Mozart, Haydn, Schoenberg and many more.

During the summer months, you'll enjoy free nightly concerts at the City Hall, where you'll be serenaded by none other than the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, and video playbacks of the Vienna State Opera.

Of course, if you're investing that much in a musician-themed vacation, time it in sync with Salzburg's Mozart Festival - which runs July 20th through August 30th for 2018 - and be blown away. Other Austrian highlights worth "noting" on your itinerary include:

  • Schonbrunn Palace where a 6-year old Mozart gave a historically famous performance for the Imperial Family
  • Mozart's birth house and the Mozart Museum
  • St. Stephens Cathedral, where Viennese composers such as Schubert are honored regularly with live performances of their works
  • Tours of the Sound of Music's cinematographic sites (hard to resist, regardless of how cliche it might be)
  • The Vienna State Opera House


As long as you're in Austria, plan a train trip and/or stop-over in Germany. You'll enjoy watching the beautiful and diverse European scenery go by and there's plenty to do once you arrive when it comes to honoring some of the country's musical greats – such as Wagner, Beethoven, Bach, and Schumann (like Austria, there are almost too many to count!).

What the Mozart Festival is to Salzburg, the Bayreuth Festival is to Wagner's Germany. This summer, Bayreuth's Festival takes place over the same span of time as the Mozart Fest (late July through end of August) so you'll need to plan your travels according to personal priorities. The festival is hosted by the Bayreuth Festival Theatre, an opera house dedicated solely to performing Richard Wagner's 19th century works.

Other music-themed sites to take in while you're in Germany include:

  • Berlin. The majority of the composers born in Germany lived in and/or performed in Berlin, plus its Philharmonic is one of the world's best.
  • Garmisch-Partenkirchen for the annual Richard Strauss Festival
  • Zwikau and Leipzig where you can tour two of Robert Schumann's homes, which are also museums
  • The Beethoven House in Bonn, which serves as both a memorial site to Beethoven's birthplace, as well as a museum and historic/cultural center.


Italy is the home territory of none other than Vivaldi, Puccini, Monteverdi, Scarlotti, and the list goes on. As such, it makes a wonderful destination for summer travelers interested in visiting music history, (early fall is even better to skip the crowds) not to mention an incredible travel spot in general.

If you enjoy the classical music festival scene, events like the Puccini Festival or the Rossini Opera Festival are both wonderful additions to any Italian tour. Other classical music destinations enjoyed by string musicians and the public include:

  • Gallery of the Academy of Florence. Yes, it houses the David. However, the Galleria dell'Accademia de Firenze is also home to a tenor viola made by Stradivarius as well as dozens of instruments from the Luigi Cherubini collection.
  • The Teatro della Pergola is the oldest opera house in Italy (nearly 400-years and counting) and countless historic classical moments have transpired there, including the premier of Verdi's Macbeth.
  • Bergamo is the hometown for multiple musical greats, including some of the most progressive composers of the 17th century, Alessandro Grandi and Tarquinio Merula.

Not able to accommodate a European-based classical music tour this year? Put it on next year's bucket list and reinvigorate your commitment to string instruments and the world of classical music.

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