top of page

Music in the Loire Valley

Musical Workshops, Performances & Conversations
with Jon Manasse & Jon Nakamatsu
and the Ying Quartet
May 24–June 2, 2022
Trip Status:  CLOSED 


Tour Cost: from $6250

which includes  a $500 contribution to either the 

Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival or the Bowdoin International Music Festival

Single Supplement:  $1000
Activity Level: excursions require 2 hours of walking at a slow pace

Château de Noirieux

Our Loire Valley trip will provide chamber music lovers (along with fans of the 2 Jons and the Ying4) 8 full days of bliss. (Jon Manasse and Jon Nakamatsu are Co-Artistic Directors of the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival, and David and Phillip Ying are Co-Artistic Directors of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.) Staying in the beautiful Château de Noirieux and the Chateau des Briottieres near Angers, these world-renowned musicians will treat us to daily music sessions and at least one concert which will be open to the public at the château. The venue for most musical events will be at Chateau de Noirieux, whose Pleyel grand piano provides an excellent instrument for Jon N and an excellent accompaniment to the Ying Quartet. 


We have wonderful excursions planned for our travelers, including a tour of the renowned tapestries at the Angers Chateau, contemporary tapestries and galleries, a vineyard,  and the town of Montreuil-Bellay. And we will do what the French do best: experiment with the French paradox of tasting wines and cheeses. We will dine exquisitely in the Michelin-star restaurant of the Chateau de Noirieux, which is gracefully elegant but has a casual ambiance.


This musical journey is a fundraiser for the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. However, it is not just for members; it is for all chamber music lovers. We hope you can join us for this extraordinary musical experience!

brio at night.jpg

Chateau des Briottieres


Chateau Brissac



In June 2019, clarinetist Jon Manasse, pianist Jon Nakamatsu and cellist David Ying of the Ying Quartet—traveled to the Loire Valley in France, where they led eight days of glorious recitals, musical demonstrations, conversations, and concerts for a group of about 25 fans. This trip was a fundraiser for the CCCMF. To get a taste of our time together, click here to see the photos from 2019.


Jon Manasse
Clarinetist & Instructor

Among the most distinguished classical artists of his generation, clarinetist Jon Manasse is internationally recognized for his inspiring artistry, uniquely glorious sound and charismatic performing style.

Recent season highlights include return performances with the Seattle Symphony Orchestra and debuts with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra, Erie Philharmonic, The Chappaqua Orchestra, Montana’s Missoula Symphony Orchestra and Oregon’s Rogue Valley Symphony. With pianist Jon Nakamatsu, he continues to tour throughout the United States as half of the acclaimed Manasse/Nakamatsu Duo. The Duo’s activities include the world premiere performances of Paquito D’Rivera’s The Cape Cod Concerto with Symphony Silicon Valley, conducted by Leslie B. Dunner.

Jon Nakamatsu
Pianist & Instructor

American pianist Jon Nakamatsu continues to draw unanimous praise as a true aristocrat of the keyboard, whose playing combines elegance, clarity, and electrifying power. A native of California, Mr. Nakamatsu came to international attention in 1997 when he was named Gold Medalist of the Tenth Van Cliburn International Piano Competition, the only American to have achieved this distinction since 1981. Mr. Nakamatsu has performed widely in North and South America, Europe, and the Far East, collaborating with such conductors as James Conlon, Marek Janowski, Raymond Leppard, Stanislaw Skrowaczewski, Osmo Vänskä and Hans Vonk. He also performed at a White House concert hosted by President and Mrs. Clinton.

Mr. Nakamatsu studied privately with Marina Derryberry and has worked with Karl Ulrich Schnabel, son of the great pianist Artur Schnabel. He is a graduate of Stanford University with a bachelor's degree in German Studies and a master's degree in Education.

The Ying Quartet occupies a position of unique prominence in the classical music world, combining brilliantly communicative performances with a fearlessly imaginative view of chamber music in today's world. Now in its third decade, the Quartet has established itself as an ensemble of the highest musical qualifications. Their performances regularly take place in many of the world's most important concert halls; at the same time, the Quartet's belief that concert music can also be a meaningful part of everyday life has also drawn the foursome to perform in settings as diverse as the workplace, schools, juvenile prisons, and the White House. In fact, the Ying Quartet's constant quest to explore the creative possibilities of the string quartet has led it to an unusually diverse array of musical projects and interests.


From Jon, Jon & David

“We are thrilled to be a part of this amazing journey to the Loire Valley! We’ll enjoy more than a week full of music, open rehearsals, discussions, Q&As, performances—all from the comfort of the incredible Château de Noirieux. This is a unique opportunity for us to make and hear music in the most intimate environment and to share this joy with you in a way not possible during the normal concert season. We hope you will join us for all the delights of this truly extraordinary experience. See you in 2022 in France!”

Anchor 1


Please note: This trip is a fundraiser for two organizations: the Bowdoin International Music Festival and the Cape Cod Chamber Music Festival. Because we anticipate approximately 35 people in total, we have made reservations at two chateaux, both of which are 4-star hotels, Chateau de Noirieux, and Chateau des Briottieres. Reservations for the trip, as well as chateau and room choice, are on a first-come, first-serve basis. Images of the grand houses and some of the available rooms are shown. You can see more information on the Chateaux websites, which are listed.

Deluxe Rooms, the Chateau des Briottieres

The Oak Room, the Yellow Room, The Green Room, the Friends Room, or the Bird Room: all located on the chateau first floor.

Magnificent view on the Parkland, so quiet...


These five rooms are larger than the "Charm rooms of the "Fruitier" and well located in the chateau. A very good opportunity to live like royalty...


Standard Chateau Room

These ten rooms of the castle are furnished like real private apartments. Period furniture, canopy beds, alcoves, and luxury fabrics, and open onto the park.

pink room.jpg

The Pink Room

Chateau des Briottieres


Deluxe Rooms, the Chateau de Noirieux

There are 3 Deluxe rooms on the first floor at Chateau de Noirieux. Each is individually decorated in its own style, Louis XIII, Louis XV or Louis XVI, but they all have the same feeling of elegance, charm, and tranquillity. The views over the Loire Valley are stunning! 

Standard Chateau Room

There are 9 of these, 4 of which are on the ground floor of the manor house. Please reserve the ground floor only if you have mobility issues. Our Standard guestrooms are located in the Manor House. Tranquillity and comfort to make you feel good all over.

Go for a stroll along the river behind the Chateau



Joan Hill
Owner, Host, & Director

In 2008, the seed of Artful Journeys was planted in her brain, when Joan brought together all of her life's passions, her love of music, an affinity for the beautiful things in life, and an ability to organize events to give birth to Artful Journeys, a program of art education trips for the soul.

Joan was born and raised in the apple country of the Hudson River Valley in New York; her father was a gentle, very tolerant, educated land surveyor, and her mother was the efficient business administrator and home engineer. The youngest of four children, Joan was encouraged to pursue anything she wanted, but also to do her best. Sometimes that was very difficult, especially succeeding three very accomplished siblings.

Gordo and Lisa pix.jpg

Lisa Carlson-Hill

Gordon Hill


Gordon and Lisa live outside of Boston, MA and enjoy traveling, learning, music and keeping up with their energetic dog... who will soon join them on kayak adventures. Gordon works officially as an engineer and semi-officially as a musician.  He is the violin player for The Wicked Pickers. Gordon has a strong interest in music that blends multiple styles and influences. Using his home studio, he has recorded and mixed the Pickers' CDs, where he also built electric violins.  Lisa works officially as a medical social worker and semi-officially as a yoga/mindfulness teacher. She has a strong interest in neurobiology and wellness; as well as cooking.  Their two young adult children add extra fun to the mix, including their semi-successful attempts at getting Lisa and Gordon to start running.

Jessica Edgar

Jessie grew up on Cape Cod and is very excited to be joining the Artful Journeys team! She studied music and psychology at Columbia University and is currently pursuing a masters in musicology at Oxford University. With interests in choral performance and auditory perception, Jessie combines her interests in performing as a soprano and pianist with her love of academia. She loves the outdoors, learning and traveling. 



Cost:  $6250 per person double occupancy​​
  • All rooms, $6250, double occupancy
  • Deluxe and Junior Suite–$500 extra per person

  • $1000 single supplement

  • NOTE: A  deposit of $500 per person is required upon registration.

  • Airfare is not included to enable travelers to use their “travel points,” upgrade flight arrangements, or to extend their trip.  

  • Not included are personal purchases and cocktails.

  • Travel insurance is strongly encouraged

  • Covid vaccinations and booster are required.  The cost of covid testing is not included in the trip price.

  • Masks must be worn in most public places.



For details or questions, please click here to contact Joan Hill.
To register for this journey, please click below:

A detailed itinerary and policy page will be provided upon registration.

Please note that PayPal remittances must go through the form on this website.  Thank you.

bottom of page