Musica a Due promises to be a dream trip for chamber music enthusiasts. We will stay in the charming town of Bergamo for 4 full days and then in the more bustling metropolis of Milan for 4 days. While accompanying us throughout the trip, the 2 Jons will not only help us understand the music we hear, but will also perform in unique venues.
Jon Nakamatsu Bio
Jon Manasse Bio
Bergamo: 4-star Hotel Cappello d’Oro in the lower part of town, but easily accessible to the funicular to the upper town.
Milan: 4-star Hotel de la Ville right in the center of historical Milan, steps to La Scala and the Duomo.
The first town to rest our heads and explore is Bergamo, a city divided into upper and lower parts, and about 1 hour northeast of Milan. A walking tour on our first full day will acquaint us with both lower (newer) and upper (older) Bergamo. There will then be free time to visit museums, shop, and revisit places that sparked intrigue.
Polish up your taste buds: One day will be devoted to regional cuisine and wine. We will attend a cooking class and do a wine tasting tour.
And another day will be devoted to poking around the museums and churches and gardens of the old town.
The last afternoon and evening will be magical: We will visit the beautifully restored and frescoed Villa Medici Giulini with its fabulous collection of working pianos from the harpsichord to the modern pianos. There we will meet the owner, Fernanda Giulini, and hear a private recital of period music performed on period instruments. The 2 Jons will also offer up something very instructive and fascinating. This will indeed be a special evening: it will truly be an evening of authentic chamber music.
Dinner will follow.
From Bergamo, we will transfer to Milan. For those of you who have never been there, a walking tour will be arranged. For those who know Milan well, we can explore less well known sites and museums. The evening will take us to La Scala for a performance of Il Nozze di Figaro.
The second morning in Milan will help clarify the previous evening: we will tour Ansaldo, La Scala’s production facility. Here we can see set models and costumes of many performed operas, and stage sets and props in production.
Again, this afternoon and evening will be magical. We visit another collection of Ms. Giulini, but this time it will be a collection of stringed instruments in Milan. Here she has at least harps and guitars; I am not sure what else. We will hear a recital on these instruments, followed by a performance by Jon Nakamatsu and Jon Manasse. Dinner will follow.
Cremona: Day-long excursion from Milan
We will visit Cremona, the famous home of quality stringed instruments—Strads, Guarneris, and Amatis . Here we will have a walking tour of the very livable town, a tour of a violin workshop, a visit to the Violin Museum with a recital in its fabulous hall and a little free time to wander around.
Our last day in Milan will be a free day, time to catch up on more museums and sites, or shop for those very famous Milanese fashions, and, sadly, pack. A Gala Farewell Dinner will bring this trip to a close.