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Great Music Masters of Vienna

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“The gaiety of the town, the beauty of the surroundings, the sympathetic and vivacious public, how stimulating these are to the artist.”

 –Johannes Brahms 

Dr. Robert Greenberg is Music Historian-in-Residence with San Francisco Performances. A graduate of Princeton University, Professor Greenberg holds a Ph.D. in Music Composition from the University of California, Berkeley. He has seen his compositions-which include more than 45 works for a wide variety of instrumental and vocal ensembles-performed all over the world, including New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Los Angeles, England, Ireland, Greece, Italy, and the Netherlands. 

He has served on the faculties of the University of California, Berkeley; California State University, Hayward; and the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, and has lectured for some of the most prestigious musical and arts organizations in the United States, including the San Francisco Symphony, the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the Van Cliburn Foundation, and the Chicago Symphony. For The Great Courses, he has recorded more than 500 lectures on a range of composers and classical music genres. 

Professor Greenberg is a Steinway Artist. His many other honors include three Nicola de Lorenzo Composition Prizes and a Koussevitzky commission from the Library of Congress. He has been profiled in various major publications, including The Wall Street Journal; Inc. magazine; and the London Times


  • ​Gain insights into the life and works of four great composers, on guided visits to their homes and haunts with Wondrium expert Robert Greenberg. 

  • Take an after-hours tour of Schönbrunn Palace, where young Mozart played for the court of Empress Maria Theresa, and enjoy a classical concert under the vaulted ceiling of the Orangerie. 

  • View rare treasures on a guided tour of the Collection of Historic Instruments and step into the Eroica Hall at the Palais Lobkowitz, where Beethoven premiered his Third Symphony. 

  • Set off on an excursion to the spa town of Baden bei Wien, and discover the different reasons Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert sought sanctuary there. 


Starting at $6,350 per person  

7 Days, 6 Nights | April 15-21, 2024

Robert Greenberg

During the 18th and 19th centuries, Europe’s promising young musicians flocked to Vienna, producing and performing what would become the masterpieces of the Classical period. From Mozart’s The Magic Flute to Schubert’s Ave Maria, the spirit of the music created during these years permeates the lively streets of Vienna still. During the 200th anniversary of Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony premiere, explore the legacy of the city’s music masters with acclaimed composer, pianist, and musicologist Robert Greenberg. On an itinerary based on Professor Greenberg’s popular courses, follow in the footsteps of Haydn, Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert to the homes where they composed, the palaces where they performed, and the cafés and shops they frequented. Through private tours and concerts and an excursion to Baden bie Wien, delve deep into the circumstances and personalities that shaped their incomparable bodies of work. 


Arrive in Vienna and transfer independently to our hotel in the city center. After time to settle in, head into the streets of Vienna with a local guide for an overview of the city’s historic heart and its enduring musical heritage. This evening, gather at a local restaurant for a welcome dinner. 

Included Meals: Dinner 

Accommodations: Hotel Bristol 

This morning, join a local guide for a walk through the Burggarten to view a marble monument to Mozart, commissioned by Emperor Franz Joseph at the end of the 19th century. Continue to the Neue Burg to visit the world-renowned Collection of Historic Musical Instruments. See some of the most important baroque and Renaissance instruments in the world, including exquisite, painted harpsichords and unique string instruments, as well as pianos played by the likes of Mozart and Mahler. Enjoy time at leisure to browse the art collection at the adjacent Kunsthistorisches Museum and have lunch. Then set out for the Haydnhaus, where Joseph Haydn spent the last years of his life. Meander through rooms where the celebrated composer created his final works, examining Haydn’s original compositions and instruments. Cap off the day with an after-hours tour of Schönbrunn Palace, the lavish summer residence of Empress Maria Theresa, where six-year-old prodigy Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart first played before the imperial court. After dinner at the palace restaurant, attend a Mozart and Strauss concert in the elegant Orangerie. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Accommodations: Hotel Bristol

After breakfast, make your way on foot to nearby St. Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna’s spiritual center, where Haydn sang as a choir boy and Mozart’s funeral was held. Then see magnificent artifacts at the Treasury of the Teutonic Order and learn about its connection to Mozart. This afternoon, visit the Musikhaus Doblinger, which began as a music library in the era of Schubert and Beethoven. A special guided tour will cover the history the of this music shop and you’ll get the opportunity to view their vast selection of music sheets and books. Enjoy an after-hours private guided tour of the Mozarthaus. Here, Mozart spent some of his most successful years and composed “The Marriage of Figaro” and performed chamber music with Haydn. Listen to a short private concert before continuing to dinner nearby. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner

Accommodations: Hotel Bristol

Begin the day with a guided tour of Palais Lobkowitz and its Theatermuseum, where a marvelous collection of props, costumes, and stage models illustrate three centuries of Vienna’s performing arts. Beethoven often performed here, and our visit includes the ballroom where he premiered his Symphony No. 3, “Eroica.” Next, travel to the northern district of Heiligenstadt, once a country village known for its therapeutic mineral springs. With a local guide, discover the haunts of Beethoven, who sought a cure for his hearing difficulties here. Visit the Beethoven Museum, set within the composer’s apartments, where he drafted the famous Heiligenstadt Testament. Later, gather at the hotel for another lecture by Robert Greenberg. During an evening at leisure, there may be an opportunity to attend a classical concert (depending on concert schedules). 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Lunch 

Accommodations: Hotel Bristol

Travel south to the spa town of Baden, a retreat for Vienna’s aristocracy as well as artists and musicians such as Beethoven, Mozart, and Schubert. Tour the house where Beethoven came regularly in hopes of a remedy for his encroaching deafness, and see some of the folios he wrote here—including parts of the legendary Ninth Symphony. Back in Vienna this afternoon, visit the Zentralfriedhof to pay your respects at the graves of Mozart, Beethoven, and Schubert, who are buried here alongside other greats such as Johannes Brahms and Johann Strauss, father and son. Gather with Professor Greenberg for a talk in the hotel. 

Included Meals: Breakfast 

Accommodations: Hotel Bristol 

After breakfast, visit the Pasqualatihaus, Beethoven’s home for eight years, where he produced his sole opera, Fidelio, and worked on numerous symphonies. Then stop at Schubert Geburtshaus, birthplace of Schubert, the only Classical master born in Vienna. At the Lichtentaler Church, learn about Schubert’s time as an organist; two of his masses were first performed here under his direction. With luck, we’ll catch a private organ recital inside the church. Continue to Währinger Schubertpark, where Beethoven and Schubert were originally buried one year apart before being transferred to Vienna’s main cemetery. Tonight, toast Vienna’s Classical masters at a farewell reception and dinner at Griechenbeisl, the oldest inn in Vienna, which has served the likes of Schubert and Strauss. 

Included Meals: Breakfast, Dinner 

Accommodations: Hotel Bristol

After breakfast, transfer independently to the airport for your flight home. 

Included Meals: Breakfast

After breakfast at the hotel, transfer to the airport independently for your flight home. 

Included Meals: Breakfast

Hotel Bristol – Vienna

Originally built in 1892, this art deco gem has hosted Vienna’s high society for well over a century. Located across from the Vienna State Opera, this luxury property has long been a favorite of opera fans wishing to travel in style, and has also entertained high-profile guests such as Teddy Roosevelt and George Gershwin. Although there were some updates made in 2013, expect to see many traditional embellishments: polished brass elevators with leather benches, an 18th-century mahogany grandfather clock in the lobby, marble accents, antique chandeliers, and ornate stained glass throughout the common areas. Rooms and suites are elegantly appointed with period furnishings and modern amenities. The Bristol Lounge serves seasonal Austrian on their all-day menu, and the hotel bar is famous for being the first American-style bar in Vienna. Amenities include a business center and a gym, both open 24 hours a day, as well as an experienced Clefs d'Or concierge service. The Bristol is within walking distance to nearly all of the city center's attractions, as well as upscale shopping streets, the Hofburg Congress, and the Event Centre. The Karlsplatz Metro Stop is right in front of the hotel. 


The information imparted to us and the cultural experiences were both exciting and eye-popping. On this trip, we were able to completely relax and enjoy each day because The Great Courses planned and executed this tour so well.

–Mark & Rachel H.

The Great Courses delivers. If you're looking for an educational adventure with like-minded people, then this is a go-to.

–Karyn A.

Due to the well-planned pacing and cultural aspects, it wasn't just a canned touristy event but really showed a lot of the localities. The Great Courses really went all out to make this a great tour.

–Teresa L.

Stuart Sutherland 

Journey on the Jurassic Coast

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