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American Organists in France (7/5/19 - 7/12/19)

Happy Holidays!
Dear organ tour participants, I am writing on this Boxing Day, after a very full Advent and Christmas season, to wish you a happy New Year. I am so thrilled that you will be joining me in Paris next July for an amazing trip. Our access to the best organs in the city and surrounding areas make this trip exceptional. We have room for more people so, if you know someone who might enjoy this experience, please be sure to invite them. We have so much to look forward in 2019: great music played on the world's best organs, and of course camaraderie and French wine. Cheers, everyone! Ed
Posted on 12/26/18


Tour Details:

Departure City: I will book my own round-trip air transportation. I will meet the group at the first hotel.
Duration: 8 Days
Overnights: Paris 6


Jul 5, 2019 Overnight Flight
Departure from the United States (flights not included).
Jul 6, 2019 Paris
Bonjour and welcome to Paris! Upon arrival, make your own way to our centrally located hotel by taxi or navigating the Metro (subway). This hotel will be your home for the entire week which means no hotel changes! Here your Encore Tour Manager will meet you to give an arrival briefing at 5:30 pm. Then enjoy a fabulous dinner together at 6:30 pm. Paris is famous for its cuisine and this tour is sure to highlight some of the best that Paris has to offer! (D)
Jul 7, 2019 Paris
This morning, a Parisian guide will take us on a sightseeing tour of the Latin Quarter. We will see the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens and the Sorbonne. We will then travel as a group to arrive at l'Église de la Madeleine, which is situated in one of the most exciting parts of Paris. The Madeleine Church was designed in its present form as a Roman temple to the glory of Napoleon's army. To its south lies the Place de la Concorde, to the east is the Place Vendôme, and to the west l'Église Saint-Augustin. Aristide Cavaillé-Coll finished this instrument in 1846 and we will have the chance to meet the local organist, Mr. Houbard, and play the instrument from 12:15 - 2:15 pm. This afternoon is free for exploration on your own. We will enjoy dinner together this evening. (B,D)
Jul 8, 2019 Paris
This morning at 9:30, we will have a special visit of Maurice Durufle's private apartment. Despite its modest size, Durufle had installed a three manual organ in the apartment! Later today we will gather at the Abbey of St Germain-des-Prés, one of the oldest Romanesque churches in Paris which was begun in the 6th century. Here we will have a workshop with Monsieur Serra, the resident organist, at 1:00pm and then will take turns practicing on this four manual and pedal instrument with 90 ranks from 1:30 until 7:00 pm (30 minutes per person). Enjoy a break until our recital at 8:00 pm at St. Germain-des-Pres. Dinner will be together after the recital. (B,D)
Jul 9, 2019 Paris
This morning, at 10:00 am, visit the baroque organ at St. Gervais. We will meet the parish organist, Olivier Trachier, and are invited to play at this historic organ. Afterwards we will visit l'Église de la Sainte-Trinité at 2pm, where Olivier Messiaen was organist. We will meet the current organist, Carolyn Schuster-Fournier, and have the chance to play this afternoon. The organ is still to Messiaen's specifications with 3 manuals and pedal with 82 ranks. The organ is in the rear gallery of the church which is common for Parisian churches, but here we will climb the stone spiral staircase and use the rope handrail that Messiaen had installed to help him up those steps in the final years of his life. In the later evening, we will enjoy a celebratory dinner and return to our hotel using our metrocards. (B,D)
Jul 10, 2019 Paris
This morning is yours to explore Paris at your own pace, using your metrocard to get around the city. In the afternoon, we will continue our travel to Notre Dame de Chartres Cathedral. This cathedral, designated as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, is considered the high point of French Gothic art. It is not only famous for its organ and organ playing competition, but also for its labyrinth and being the only Gothic cathedral in the world to have all of its original stained glass intact. We will have a chance to meet the local organist and to play this famous instrument (4 manuals and pedal with 98 ranks) at 2:15 pm. We will return to Paris by motor coach for dinner together. (B,D)
Jul 11, 2019 Paris
This entire trip is a mountain-top experience but this day will truly take the cake. We will travel to Rouen where we will visit l'Église Abbatiale Saint-Ouen from 8:30am to 11:00am. Although this church has been decommissioned, it is still a national cultural treasure which houses the unaltered organ by Cavaillé-Coll built in 1890. It is considered one of the most important organs in France. Here we will have the chance to play the large four manual organ with its power 32' Contre Bombarde! Afterwards, transfer to Versailles to visit the magnificent chateau, then attend a presentation of the organ with the resident organist of la Chapelle Royale du Chateau de Versailles at 3:00 pm. We will return to Paris where we will have a very special farewell dinner together. (B,D)
Jul 12, 2019 Departure
Make your own way to the airport for your return flight to the United States or to whatever your next destination may be. A bientôt! (B)
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Tour Cost:

Cost Per Traveler: $3,059
Cost breakdown
Program Fee: $3,059
Total Group Fees 1:
1 Valid through 3/15/19

Additional Fees (as applicable)
Single Room Supplement: $570
Ultimate Protection Plan: $240
Comprehensive Protection Plan: $200

Full Payment Deadline: 3/15/19

What to See


Le Bon Marché, Métro: Sevres Babylon
First opened in 1838, this shopping center is considered to be the first department store in the world!

Les Halles, Métro: Les Halles and Châtelet
Since the 12th century, this large, central wholesale marketplace has been a popular shopping destination.  The area has been rebuilt since the 1970s and now features beautiful sculptures, fountains, and mosaics.

The Saint Ouen Flea Market, Porte de Clignancourt, 18th arrondissement
On the outskirts of the city, you'll find this popular flea market.  With over 2,000 stalls filling 17 acres of shopping heaven, Parisians and travelers alike browse the market every weekend.  Here you can find antique furniture, art, glassware and jewelry, as well as books, records and vintage clothing.  You're guaranteed to find something rare and beautiful.

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La Conciergerie, Métro: Cité
Eighteenth century prison held Danton, Robespierre, and Marie Antoinette during her final hours. Open daily.

National Museum of the Middle Ages - The Baths and Hôtel de Cluny, Métro: Cluny La Sorbonne
Built on the site of former Roman baths. Holdings include Dame à la Licorne tapestry and the oldest sculpture in Paris. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

Le Musée Carnavalet, Métro: St.Paul
Occupying two adjoining mansions, the Hôtel Carnavalet and the Hôtel le Peletier, this museum's holdings include fascinating pieces of Parisian and French history. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée d'Orsay, Métro: Solférino
Housed within an old train station, this museum contains an impressive collection of sculpture and impressionist work, sure to be a favorite. It houses works from the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries including Monet, Renoir, Cassatt, Van Gogh, Gauguin, Matisse,  and Degas. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Marmottan, Métro: La Muette
Begun with Paul Marmottan's donation to the Académie des Beaux-Arts and augmented by a large bequest of his father's art to the little museum by Monet's son Michael, the Musée Marmottan houses Monet's late Waterlilies and impressions as well as works by Sisley, Renoir, and Pisarro. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée Rodin, Métro: Varenne/Invalides
Housed in the magnificent Hotel Biron, which was once Auguste Rodin's residence, this museum boasts impressive gardens of over 2,000 rose bushes as well as some of Rodin's most famous works: The Thinker and The Kiss are among them. Open daily, closed Monday.

Musée National Picasso, Métro: Chemin Vert/St. Paul
The largest collection of his works in the world. It is housed in a beautiful 17th century hotel, the Hôtel Salé. Open daily, closed Tuesday.

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L'Arc de Triomphe, Métro: Charles de Gaulle-Étoile
Commissioned in 1806 for Napoléon, although he died without ever seeing this edifice in its finished state. Incredible views of Paris and down the Champs-Elysées from the top. Beneath the Arch is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Open daily.

La Bibliothéque Nationale de France, Métro: Bibliothéque-François Mitterand
This incredible structure, in the form of four enormous glass books, houses the French National Library, also known as the La Grande Bibliothéque, the last of Mitterand's Grand Projects. Open daily.

Le Pont Neuf, Métro: Pont Neuf
Despite its name, this bridge is actually the oldest in Paris, and features turret-shaped recesses. Construction began in 1578 with Henri III and finished in 1604 with Henri IV.

Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

L'Hôtel de Ville, Métro: Hôtel de Ville
This has been the site of Paris city halls since 1260. The current structure, completed in 1882, is a néo-Renaissance marvel. Information center is open Monday through Saturday. Free admission.

Les Deux Magots, Métro: St. Germain des Prés, 6, Place St. Germain des Prés
The place to see and be seen in the Quartier Latin. 1950s haunt of intellectuals and philosophers. 

Les Buttes de Chaumont, Métro: Buttes-Chaumont
With 5 kilometers of walking paths, this park is full of beautiful panoramic opportunities.

La Tour Montparnasse, Métro: Montparnasse-Bienvenüe
The Eiffel Tower is an iconic symbol of Paris, but lines to go to the top can be long and tiresome.  A great alternative that gets you a better view of the city skyline is the Tour Montparnasse, the only skyscraper in Paris. Although the tower is considered an eye sore for many Parisians, it is open everyday and offers a 360 degree open-air view of Paris.  There is no pre-booking needed and the tour can take less than an hour.  It is sometimes said by the French that the view from the top is the most beautiful in Paris, as this is the only place from which you cannot see the tower!

The Château de Vincennes, Métro: Château de Vincennes
Since its construction in the 14th century by Charles V, the Château has been, along with the Louvre, one of the most importat castles in French history.  Now after a 10-year rennovation, the Château has opened its doors for the public to explore.

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Café de la Paix, Métro: Opéra, 12, Boulevard des Capucines
Most beautiful and expensive café in the city of lights, this societal landmark is adjacent to the Opéra building and was designed by the very same Garnier.

Chez Omar, Métro: République/Temple
A trendy, Moroccan restaurant with nice outdoor seating.

Le Vaudeville, Métro: Bourse
Known to be an incredible (and hip) dining experience,this bistro retains its marble walls and Art Deco carvings from 1918.

Le Train Bleu, Métro: Gare de Lyon
In the heart of the Gare de Lyon train station, this restaurant was built to impress foreign visitors in 1900.  With gilded archways and beautiful murals painted on the ceilings, it is truly an elegant dining experience.

La MediterraneeMétro: Odéon
A favorite of Hollywood stars, be sure to make reservations early for this upscale seafood restaurant!

Café Marly, Métro:  Palais--Royal Musee du Louvre
Tired after you're trek through the Lourve?  Be sure to stop at this quaint bistro for a light lunch and a glass of champagne.

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What's Included

  • All sightseeing and entrances as listed in the itinerary
  • Basic gratuities for tour manager and bus driver
  • Direct billing to participants
  • Liability coverage in excess of $50,000,000
  • Private deluxe air conditioned motor coach
  • Services of a professional Tour Manager throughout your travel program
  • Superior 3-star and standard 4-star hotels, double/twin occupancy with private bath

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