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Hindsgavl: Chamber Music in Denmark - Intimate and immersive performances in beautiful surroundings

An intensive and congenial festival of chamber music on Denmark’s picturesque ‘Garden Island’.

All concerts and recitals take place in a charming country house, where both artists and audience sleep.

From Handel to Dvořák; performances by international musicians including Iestyn Davies, Piotri Anderszewski, Anna Lucia Richter and Steven Isserlis.

Time to explore the vibrant cities of Århus and Odense, home to outstanding museums.

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Considered solely in terms of the musicians who perform there, Hindsgavl can claim to be one of Europe’s finest chamber music festivals. Resident instrumentalists for the 2023 edition include Iestyn Davies performing with France’s celebrated Ensemble Jupiter; pianist Piotri Anderszewski; and cellist Steven Isserlis. The vocal talent on display is no less impressive, with a recital from German soprano, Anna Lucia Richter. 

But the musical programme, superlative though it is, is only part of what makes this festival so special. All the concerts take place in the magnificent Hindsgavl Castle, whose history dates back to the early thirteenth century and includes moments of international significance – it was here in 1814 that King Frederik VI signed the treaty renouncing Denmark’s claim to Norway. 

The castle is also where the festival musicians eat and sleep; like many of the audience members, we will stay there too, guaranteeing opportunities to mix with the musicians in an informal setting and to hear them rehearse and discuss the music they will perform. 

Nor are the musicians the castle’s only attraction: its exquisite grounds are punctuated by pavilions, streams and ponds and feature orchards and gardens that supply ingredients for the castle’s chefs (breakfast and a pre-concert dinner are included each day on site). Hans Christian Andersen was a frequent visitor to Hindsgavl and described its view – which now takes in an extensive deer park as well as the ‘Little Belt’ separating the island of Funen from Jutland – as one of Denmark’s finest. 

A centre for music-making since 1951, Hindsgavl now offers its fortunate festival-goers a heady combination of architectural, natural and musical beauty.

Day 1

Fly at c. 10.00am from London Gatwick to Copenhagen (Norwegian) and drive to Hindsgavl Castle, crossing the straits between Zealand and Funen on the 12-mile Storebælt Bridge. There is a little time to settle into rooms before an introductory lecture and dinner. An evening concert with Tetzlaff Piano Trio, Christian Tetzlaff (violin), Tanja Tetzlaff (cello), Kiveli Dörken (piano). Beethoven, Trio in C minor, Op.1, No.3; Dvořák, Trio No.2 in G minor, Op.2; Tchaikovsky, Trio in A minor, Op.50.


Day 2

Start with a lecture on this evening’s performance before driving to Odense, a delightful town where old and new blend well with little cobbled streets, rehabilitated industrial buildings, riverside parks and a Gothic cathedral. There is some free time, perhaps to visit the Hans Christian Andersen birthplace museum. Return to Hindsgavl in time for an afternoon ‘Young Talents' concert: Piano Quintets. Schulhoff, Fünf Stücke für Streichquartett; Dvořák, Piano Quintet No.2 in A Op.81. Dinner precedes an evening concert with Ensemble Jupiter (Thomas Dunford, artistic direction and lute) and Iestyn Davies (countertenor). Handel, Ode for the Birthday of Queen Anne 'Eternal source of light divine'; Theodora 'The Raptur’d Soul'; Belshazzar 'O Sacred Oracles of Truth'; Semele 'But hark! The heavenly sphere turns round'; Semele 'Despair no more shall wound me'; Suite No.4 in D minor HWV 437 Sarabande; Theodora 'Kind heaven'; The Triumph of Time & Truth 'Mortals think' and 'On the valleys, dark and cheerless'; Saul 'Oh Lord, whose mercies numberless'. 


Day 3

A lecture on this today's performances. followed by some free time to explore the grounds of the castle. A late morning boat trip from the castle’s private jetty takes in the beautiful coastline of Funen, with lunch on board. Return to Hindsgavl in time for an afternoon concert with V Coloris Quartet, Stefan Diaconu (flute), Felicia Greciuc (oboe), Jonas Lyskjær Frølund (clarinet), Niklas Kallsoy Mouritsen (horn), Antti Salovaara (bassoon). Hans Abrahamsen, Walden; Carl Nielsen, Blæserkvintet Op.43. Dinner in a seafront restaurant precedes an evening concert with Piotri Anderszewski (piano). Bach, Overture in French style; Szymanowski, Fra mazurkaer, Op.50; Webern, Variations for piano, Op.27; Beethoven, Piano Sonata No.31 in A flat, Op.110.


Day 4

A free morning before a lecture and afternoon ‘Young Talents’ concert with the Heathcliff Trio, Ashley Tong (violin), Sebastian Kolin (cello), Jonathan Siahaan (piano). Haydn, Piano Trio Hob. XV:27 in C; Ravel, Piano Trio in A minor. Dinner before an evening recital with Anna Lucia Richter (soprano) and Gerold Huber (piano). Mozart, Sehnsucht nach dem Frühlinge, Dans un bois solitaire; Abendempfindung; Als Luise die Briefe ihres ungetreuen Liebhabers verbrannte; Schubert, Heidenröslein; Auf dem Wasser zu singen; Der Zwerg; Im Abendrot; Der Wanderer an den Mond D870; Korngold, Liebesbriefchen (fra Op.9); Glückwunsch (fra Op.38); Alt-Spanisch (fra Op.38); Sonett für Wien (fra Op.41); Berg, Vier Gesänge Op.2; Richard Strauss, Der müde Wanderer; Das Rosenband; Allerseelen; Zueignung. 


Day 5

Drive in the morning to Århus, crossing by bridge to Jutland. A tour of Arne Jacobsen’s town hall (finished 1942), one of Modernism’s icons, and some free time. Suggested is ARoS Art Museum (2004), a brick and glass cube housing historic Danish art, as well as some significant pieces of modern art, or the Old Town Museum where 16th- to 19th-century buildings from all over Denmark are reassembled to form an enchanting little town. Return to Hindsgavl in time for an afternoon concert with Asya Fateyeva (saxophone), Eckart Runge (cello), Andreas Borregaard (accordian).  J.S. Bach, Goldberg Variations. A lecture and dinner before an evening concert with Steven Isserlis (cello), Irene Duval (violin), Miriam Ålien (violin), Sào Soulez Larivière (viola), Mishka Momen (piano): Debussy, Cello Sonata in D minor; Ravel, Duo for violin and cello; Fauré, Piano Trio, Op.120; Shostakovich, String Quartet No.3 in F, Op.73.


Day 6

Drive to the fishing village of Kerteminde, which was home to Johannes Larsen (1867–1961), leader of the Funen school. His house, studio and gardens are preserved with a new gallery building (Danish Museum of the Year 2007). Lunch here before continuing to Copenhagen airport. Fly to London Gatwick, arriving at c. 8.00pm.

Price, per person

Two sharing: £3,520 or £3,370 without flights. Single occupancy: £4,070 or £3,920 without flights.


Flights (economy class) with Norwegian (aircraft: Boeing B737); coach or boat for excursions as specified in the itinerary; accommodation as described below; breakfasts, 5 dinners with wine, water and coffee (4 of these are 2-course pre-concert buffets); 2 lunches; all admissions; all tips; all taxes; the services of the lecturer and tour manager.


Tickets for 9 performances are included.


Hindsgavl Slot: historic 4-star hotel in a converted castle. All rooms have showers only

How strenuous?

There is a fair amount of walking and standing around in museums. Participants need to be fit enough to manage this, the city centre walks and to cope easily with stair climbing. There is a lot of driving on the first and last days. Average distance by coach per day: 90 miles.

Are you fit enough to join the tour?

Group size

Between 10 and 22 participants.

Travel advice

Before booking, please refer to the FCDO website to ensure you are happy with the travel advice for the destination(s) you are visiting.