Munich to Berlin: Art, music, & literature
Australian Book Review in Germany
June 2–15, 2018
ABR’s third international cultural tour, in partnership with Academy Travel, took us to Germany. Once again the tour was led by Peter Rose, ABR Editor and CEO, and Christopher Menz, ABR Development Consultant and former gallery director. The two week tour commenced in Munich at the beginning of June and then headed north, visiting Bayreuth, Weimar, Dresden, and Berlin where it concluded. It was a great success with a marvellous itinerary that included walking tours and visits to art galleries, museums, and libraries, as well as taking in opera and musical performances, capped off by major literary event at the Australian Embassy in Berlin. The highlights were many but included visits to the Glyptothek, Alte, and Neue Pinakotheks in Munich; Goethe’s House and the Duchess Anna Amalia Library in Weimar; and the magnificent collections and buildings of Dresden (including the rebuilt Frauenkirche) and Berlin. Among some great opera performances, we were fortunate hear Simone Young twice, first conducting Janáček’s From the House of the Dead in Munich and then a superlative Tosca, staring Elena Stikhina, in Berlin. Other musical highlights in Berlin were Offenbach’s Bluebeard at the Komische Opera and a concert by the Berlin Philharmonic in Simon Rattle’s final season, which included the world première of Notturno inquieto by Brett Dean. During the final week, the Australian Embassy in Berlin hosted a special literary event ‘Australians in Germany – A Cultural Exchange’ at which writer Anna Funder and artist Brook Andrew were in conversation with Peter Rose. Around one hundred guests enjoyed the stimulating exchange and the Embassy’s hospitality.
Shakespeare: Australian Book Review in England
June 14–25, 2017
ABR's second international tour, in partnership with Academy Travel, was a twelve-day Shakespeare-themed visit to England. We visited Stratford-upon-Avon, the Glyndebourne Opera Festival, and London. Highlights included performances of Antony and Cleopatra and Salome by the RSC in Stratford, Brett Dean's new opera Hamlet in its premiere season at Glyndebourne, and Romeo and Juliet at Shakespeare's Globe in London. The tour included a fascinating walking tour of Stratford, as well as visits to Charleston, house of Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant, and to Middle Temple Hall, where Twelfth Night was performed in 1602. In London we also visited the National Portrait Gallery, The Wallace Collection, the Courtauld Institute and the British Library. The tour was led by Peter Rose and Christopher Menz.
Endorsements from ABR’s 2016 US tour.
‘My recent experience travelling on the east coast of the United States with the inaugural ABR tour group was a truly exceptional one. The knowledge and expertise of the tour leaders meant our itinerary took us to places, and even introduced us to people, not usually accessible to ordinary travellers. In all, it was truly memorable!’
‘ABR’s small group tour to the United States in 2016 focused on literature, history, art and theatre. The program was well-thought-out, varied and balanced. The tour leaders were attuned to particular interests of individual group members and helped them where necessary to further explore those interests in the different venues we visited. One of the excellent features was the number of private viewings and guided tours specially tailored for our group.’
Australian Book Review in the United States
Australian Book Review’s sixteen-day US tour – led by Peter Rose and Christopher Menz – took us from Washington, DC to New York City. It was the first of its kind undertaken by the magazine. Our aim was to take ABR on the road with a party of keen readers and supporters. The tour began at the Australian Embassy in Washington, where the Editor was in conversation with Geraldine Brooks (newly gonged at the Ambassador’s residence an hour earlier) and Anna Funder, before a capacity audience.
Along the way we visited writers’ homes (Emily Dickinson, Mark Twain, Louisa May Alcott, and Edith Wharton’s opulent The Mount), great libraries (Morgan, Beinecke, Library of Congress, the New York Public Library), and several new or reopened art museums, including the Met Breuer and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, and the magnificent Art Museums in Cambridge, as well as several museums that weren’t known to everyone in the group (Smithsonian American Art Museum, The Phillips Collection, Wadsworth Atheneum, Philip Johnson’s Glass House, Yale Center for British Art, and the Clark in Williamstown, with Tadao Ando’s superb new extension).
There was also much theatre and opera, all in a spirit of enquiring conviviality. We met writers, librarians, publishers, journalists, curators, and diplomats. Two highlights on our penultimate day in New York were visits to the offices of the New York Review of Books (where Peter Rose and Robert Silvers exchanged copies of their magazines) and Farrar, Straus and Giroux, whose president and publisher, Jonathan Galassi, spoke about his new books and his keen interest in Australian writers.
Photographs from ABR's US tour