We arrived in Munich on the 8th, and left for three days exploring Southern Bavaria, staying in Oberammergau, with King Ludwig's castles, traveling through Garmisch and Mittelwald, where I visited their school for violin makers and two practitioners of the art. This small village up in the mountains on the Austrian border used to be on the main road between Italy and Germany, and one of Stradivarius' students landed here and set up shop, and finally a school for violin making. While not a violin expert, at each shop when I pulled out my audio press credentials, they graciously demonstrated their best products available, and demonstrated their production skills. It's amazing how minute variations in wood quality, thickness, shape, etc., can determine which instrument will be superb, and which should be used by a 12 year old. Their ears must be superb, as I could hear no difference to the sound of their tapping on the individual wooden pieces to determine whether they were correct or not. These guys would make great audiophile tweakers.
Unhappily, a visit to Dieter Ennemoser's business to learn the secret of how he makes his C-37 varnish failed, so we went on to Berchtesgaden where a visit to a beer hall gave us an almost free night of Oompah Band playing by a local group that was great, at least after a couple of steins of the local beer. From there, travel brought us through Austria to the Melk Abbey on the brown "Blue Danube", where Bruckner once served, where we attended a service complete with great organ and choir music, much of which had been composed there.
Arriving in Vienna a day before our hotel reservations, we ended up driving to Baden bei Wien, a thermal bath area, founded by the Romans, where the Austrian aristocracy went to get out of Vienna's filth in the summer, where Beethoven composed his Ninth Symphony in a house next to the hotel we stayed at. That night we attended a very good concert by the Sinfonietta Baden doing the Egmont Overture and Seventh Symphony. While just a local pickup group, playing in the casino's ballroom, they played with gusto, with the evening being well worth the
€20 Euro charge (about $24 at the present rates of exchange).
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complete listing of show exhibitors.
here to see our previous year's show report.