Maestro! offers a full range of international travel, touring and production solutions for a diverse mix of internationally-celebrated performers, arts management companies, orchestras, choirs, dance companies & special projects.
The fall in the value of the Pound against the Euro, US Dollar and a host of other currencies since 23rd June, 2016 means that Maestro will be forced to charge a currency surcharge for the first time on our overseas holidays for the remainder of this year (and for Berlin in April 2017 which is already on sale).
If you have already booked with us we are writing to you this week to explain the likely position. If you are thinking of booking you will note that holidays on our website have had the costs updated to indicate the cost at the current rate of €1.18/£1. If we see a recovery in the value of Sterling at the date that your holiday balance is due then of course these savings will be reflected in your final balance letter.
Under the 'Package Travel Directive' Maestro are responsible for absorbing the first 2% of any increased costs and if the surcharge exceeds 10% you have the right to cancel your holiday. At this time we don't envisage reaching anything like the 10% figure.
Our new programme of holidays for 2017 onwards which will be published shortly will be costed at the current rates of exchange and are therefore unlikely to be effected.
If you have any concerns or questions please don't hesitate to call us.
Sadly travelling musicians continue to be the victims of an ever more automated airline industry. In days gone by airline staff would not only be respectful to professional musicians travelling with their priceless instruments but could be contacted by fone or fax and advised "Miss xxx is travelling with you today" and would, almost without exception, ensure that they were looked after .....
Today most airlines subcontract their check-in and other airport services to 3rd parties who are working for a low-cost carrier one minute and a legacy carrier the next. Some staff work under contracts that would "dismiss them instantly" if they dared show initiative or flexibility. Such is the vast majority of the airline business today.......
Today the International Federation of Musicians has published a ranking of 114 airlines, grading them Green, Amber or Red by their attitude and helpfulness to musicians on the move.
A pitiful total of nine airlines are ranked 'Green' (including Delta and Southwest – the world’s two largest airlines). Green airlines comply with the US FAA regulation on instruments, and allow instruments in the cabin – provided they fit in a locker or under a seat (there are no specific size limitations).
British Airways and Easyjet are ranked 'Amber' while rather surprisingly Lufthansa are relegated to the ranks of the 'Red' brigade.
Maestro! fight a constant battle with a wide range of airlines to try and ensure that travelling musicians (and their priceless instruments!) are treated both with respect and common sense. Sometimes it feels like a losing battle and we hope that informative lobbying by professional bodies such as the FIM and IAMA (International Artist Manager's Association) will continue to focus airlines on this important and valuable part of their business.
so said the Arts Desk review after Thursday night's exciting BBC Prom concert at the Royal Albert Hall with Vasily Petrenko and 25 year old cellist Alekey Stadler (pictured right) who arrived with less than 3 hours to spare.
Truls Mørk, the Norwegian cellist who should have performed was taken ill on Thursday morning which resulted in a stressful few hours for Sandra Parr at Royal Liverpool as she scoured Europe to find a musician of the hightest callibre to replace Mr Mørk. Her efforts were well rewarded with the young Russian cellist who is based in Berlin and had performed the concerto with Ashkenazy and San Francisco Symphony earlier this year.
The audience at the 'sold out' Royal Albert Hall were treated to an exciting and wonderfully assured performance of which the Arts Desk review commented:
Stadler excelled in the finger-shredding finale, while sparks flew in the orchestra. His encore, the Sarabande from Bach’s Suite No. 2 in D minor, was a gift quietly given. A young man to watch.
Maestro! were pleased to be able to take more than 80 supporters of the Liverpool Philharmonic to London for a three night visit which also included an evening at the Globe Theatre for their new production of A Midsummer Night's Dream, A second Prom with Wirral born Stephen Hough, a private tour of the theatre and costumes collection at the V & A and a champagne lunch at a private London club. Maestro! also arranged the logistics for the almost 100 strong orchestra.
Our next visit to London will be in April 2017 when Vasily Petrenko conduct's the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra in a performance of the monumental Verdi Requiem.