Germany

Wave of the baton creates political intrigue

Daniel Barenboim's global approach has displeased major powers

Politics in classical music is not new. Mozart, Beethoven, Wagner, Shostakovich, and countless other composers were politically active and, at times, censored. Almost every mid-20th-century conductor, singer, and instrumental soloist was politicized by World War ...

Absorbed in history-rich Berlin

The city's chock-full of culture, monuments and off-the-beaten-path finds.

Berlin was always on our list of places to go someday, but the timing just never seemed right for one reason or another. As it turned out, May 2015 was the 70th anniversary of the ...

Mignon isn't just a cut of beef

Esoteric pick of the week is a Schumann rarity

Esoteric pick of the week: Requiem für Mignon by Robert Schumann. Schumann is not an esoteric composer, but Mignon is definitely a specialized topic of interest. In Europe she is considered the most successful heroine ...

Berlin in 7 Days or Less

I knew Berlin was a big city, but I never knew how big until I explored it on foot. I had seven days to see the major and not-so-major sites. Since the fall of its ...

Summer of Wagner

Bayreuth has been the big festival for decades.

July and August are Wagner months on account of the annual Bayreuth Festival in Bayreuth, Germany. The festival has been running since 1876, and has been impossible to attend for most of that time. However, ...

Bamberg, Germany: the "beer city"

Nine breweries and a UNESCO designation make it a Bavarian must-stop.

The nearly four-hour train journey north from Munich whipped us past a landscape of farmland, old Bavarian villages and rolling hills. Our destination: the historic city of Bamberg. We booked a small room at the ...

Münich's surfers

Finding a Bavarian surf "break" miles from any ocean.

Sitting near the base of the Alps in southern Germany, Münich's nearest coastline would be where Venice slowly sinks into the Adriatic some 300 miles away. But while one might make the case a gondolier ...

Saarbrücken, Germany

International history, international flavor.

Saarbrücken, the capital of the German state of Saarland that’s right on the French border, was part of an independent nation-state created after WWI. It changed political control back and forth: at times it was ...

Brahms versus Schutz

The World Cup of Composers.

We’re going to go Bach versus Bach here in the second match of Germany’s World Cup of Composers: Johann Sebastian Bach (papa Bach) versus his son, Carl Philipp Emanuel Bach. CPE Bach was a classical ...

Luxe Stuttgart, Germany

Wineries, car museums and castles: the refined home of Mercedes and Porsche.

Stuttgart isn’t as frantically busy as many other cities in Europe and even in Germany can be, but it’s lively and thriving. With luxury auto manufacturing, palaces and wine, the city is a place to ...

Leipzig, Germany

A change of pace in this historic, music-rich urban center.

Leipzig, in what was East Germany, was one of Europe’s most important music centers. I knew Felix Mendelssohn Barthody and Johann Sebastian Bach lived here. As it turns out, Clara and Robert Schumann, Richard Wagner, ...

About the beer: Oktoberfest in Munich

An American's take on the world's biggest beer festival.

I took another swig of crisp, clean German lager as I spied the nascent Oktoberfest fairgrounds across the street. Only the steel frames and brewery names were up – the stark beginnings of the world’s ...

No worries in Potsdam

Germany's Versailles is an easy side trip from Berlin.

“You’re American? What are you doing here? Usually Americans just visit Berlin.” This was the response I received after a vendor asked me a question in German. Apparently, most American tourists forego 1,000-year-old Potsdam, Berlin's ...

Go Gallic in Trier

Germany's oldest city is chock-full of ancient history.

Germany’s most ancient city is Trier, its name derived from the Roman name Augusta Trevororum under Caesar Augustus. It was known as the “Second Rome” before Constantinople. While the Romans had been in neighboring Gaul ...

Shoestring Travel: Berlin

Taking you to European destinations on a dime.

After venturing around London, we hopped on a plane for Berlin to continue our European adventure. (To help with the story, here’s a little background on our adventure: My husband just graduated from the University ...

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