For over 60 years, ACFEA has been arranging concert tours to the best known and most prestigious cultural centers in Europe, and our enthusiasm for these destinations has never waned. However, our network of offices and representatives has expanded greatly in recent years and we can now offer you the ACFEA experience in many less traditional places throughout Europe.
Music, and particularly choral music, has played a central part in the history of all three Baltic countries (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania). It became an expression of defiance against Soviet domination in the 1980’s, when any nationalist tendencies were regarded as subversive, and music helped to unite the population. This cultural importance continues to this day, and visiting groups are very well received by appreciative audiences.
ACFEA has been sending groups to Bulgaria and Romania for several years, but we would like to send many more. What these countries lack in infrastructure (although that is improving all the time) they make up with genuine hospitality and a deep love of music. It is certainly something different, for the group that has been everywhere.
The Czech Republic has been one of our most popular destinations for touring choirs and orchestras ever since we first started working there in 1986. Our range of musical contacts in all the major cities, as well as smaller towns and villages, is substantial. We have also been arranging more and more tours to Slovakia over the years, and can offer a wide range of excellent venues, if you want to go slightly off the beaten track.
Ireland has a relatively small population outside the major cities, but what it may lack in numbers it makes up for in warmth and hospitality. The scenic attractions of the Emerald Isle are incomparable, from the sub-tropical coastline around County Cork and County Kerry to the austere beauty of Connemara.
Apart from the obvious reasons to visit Italy, such as the architecture, museums, landscape, food and climate, Italy offers fantastic opportunities for performing groups of all kinds. Visiting choirs are welcomed in many of the finest churches and cathedrals, both for concerts and mass participation opportunities.
On February 17, 2008 President Hasim Thaçi declared Kosovo independent; Europe’s youngest country was officially recognized by the
UN in June of the same year. Although part of the Serbian and Ottoman empires for centuries, Kosovo had at times enjoyed some degree
of autonomy and for the past several years has been rediscovering its identity through a resurgence of interest in the arts.
Despite being devastated during World War II, Poland’s cities have been painstakingly reconstructed and their majestic central squares are among the finest in Europe. Music has always played an important part in Polish daily life and we generally find that audiences are large and appreciative.
ACFEA was one of the first tour companies to pioneer concert touring in Russia, in the days when it was still the Soviet Union and tour groups were monitored by KGB ‘minders’. Things have changed a lot since then, but there are still fantastic musical experiences to be had and shared with Russia’s highly sophisticated audiences.
What makes Scandinavia a unique destination for a concert tour is the fantastic range of venues. All the major churches have excellent organs, pianos and sound equipment, and are very flexible about repertoire. Many concert halls, even in the major cities, are open to the idea of presenting amateur groups.
The United Kingdom’s wide range of musical contacts for choirs, orchestras and bands is second to none. There are opportunities for excellent church choirs to sing services in cathedrals during July and August, and a variety of music festivals that welcome visiting performers.
While concert venues are still an integral part of performances in Africa, some of the most lasting musical memories may be at an impromptu sing along at a township, witnessing residents sing with such exuberance as they go about their daily lives, or learning African music during a workshop with a local conductor.
South Africa contains a huge kaleidoscope of cultures, which is the reason it is called ‘the rainbow nation’. Groups and individuals come to South Africa to perform but leave touched, feeling that they have made a difference in the lives of others and in turn been influenced by a land and people unlike anything they have encountered before.
One of the largest countries on Earth, China offers countless performance tour options from metropolises like Beijing and Shanghai to lesser-known cities like Xi'an, Hangzhou and Nanjing. While South Korea, Japan, Vietnam and Cambodia can't begin to match China in size, they more than make up for it with wonderful people, magnificent culture and great performance opportunities.
South Korea and Japan are two exciting destinations that are relatively new to the ACFEA tour repertoire. In both countries, ancient cultures come together with modern cities to create fascinating places to visit. Audiences are extremely friendly with a wide range of venues and performance options.
The magnificent scenery, casual lifestyle and hospitality of Australia and New Zealand are coupled with a rich tradition of and a love for singing. Both countries have beautiful cosmopolitan cities that rival anything in the world, and getting off the beaten track offers a taste of the unique nature of rural life.
Many of our tour participants have wondered that after experiencing the amazing sights, scenery and cultures that Latin America has to offer. Audiences are friendly, enthusiastic and interested in hearing all varieties of repertoire. Your group can partake in cultural exchanges and joint concerts with all sorts of dynamic local choirs and orchestras.
Argentina and Uruguay are two wonderful countries that can be combined for a magnificent South American concert tour. Argentina is a land of extremes: its hectic urban centers contrast with a staggeringly remote hinterland. The one common thread is that the people possess a curiosity, passion and fervor for life.
Brazil is South America’s largest country and one of the most intriguing due to its wonderfully diverse population. The distinctive Brazilian identity sets itself apart with its unique musical style, culture and language. The country is vast, therefore various itineraries are possible.
Cultured and quirky, Chile is equal parts laid-back locale and emerging tourist hotspot. With cities that boast traditional Incan culture, elegant colonial architecture, amazing archeological finds such as Machu Picchu and shiny beachside resorts, Peru offers many worlds in one. Between the indigenous areas of La Paz, the silver mines in colonial Potosi, the Amazonian jungle, the beautiful Lake Titicaca (which also borders Peru) and the rugged Andes, Bolivia is a study in extreme nature and lively culture.
In the past couple of decades, Colombia has been able to reinvent itself by focusing on education and the arts. It’s a country of many contrasts, where traditional meets avant-garde, and majestic colonial architecture stands side by side with modern high rise buildings. The creative energy is palpable in cities like Bogota, Cali, Cartagena and Medellin, where audiences are eager to attend concerts.
Costa Rica is dynamic, innovative and ecologically focused. It’s a great destination for those groups wanting to combine music and nature. Given the country’s manageable size, it is quite easy to cover various regions with short drive times. It only takes a few hours’ drive from the capital San Jose to be able to gaze at the majestic Arenal Volcano or to reach the beautiful coast.
Only 90 miles from Florida, Cuba has a tropical climate with a multiethnic population of over 11 million people. Home to 7 cultural and 2 natural sites listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list, three mountain ranges and over 22 percent protected natural area, Cuba’s diversity is obvious in both its urban and scenic landscapes. It has a rich musical history with many performance venues throughout the country.
Mexico is a fascinating country with a colorful history, rich traditions, natural splendor and welcoming people. A group exploring Mexico on a concert tour will be able to visit perfectly preserved colonial towns such as San Miguel de Allende and Puebla, witness majestic landscapes and experience local cultures.
While ACFEA has specialized in international tours for many years, we've expanded our domestic tour operations for groups that want to stay closer to home. Many groups like to alternate domestic and international tours while others like to get their tour feet wet with a domestic trip before considering an international tour.
For many years, we have arranged tours to New York, Washington, D.C. and other major cities as well as festivals throughout the country. Recently, more and more groups are discovering the diversity that the USA has to offer by visiting and performing in areas such as colonial Williamsburg, Savannah, Yellowstone National Park, New Orleans, Alaska and Hawaii. Each region of the USA offers a unique musical history, culture, landscapes and cuisine.
ACFEA regularly sends groups on tour to over 50 countries. However, nearly every year a group asks us to arrange a tour to a destination that is new for us, knowing we can still provide them with a top quality concert tour experience.
Ecuador is a country that takes great pride in its indigenous and European heritage from the Andes to the Galapagos. It has two UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and Quito and Cuenca are both exquisite and perfectly preserved 16th century cities. The opportunity to be able to perform in a gorgeous colonial church or concert hall can be an amazing experience for all involved.
India is very keen to welcome performing arts groups and, contrary to the widely held misconception, has the infrastructure to offer a safe, comfortable and healthy experience. More important, however, and the most compelling reason to visit this incredible country, is the vast range of cultural opportunities on offer: they will love your music, but you will love the diversity, the color, the energy, the scenery, the temples, the philanthropic possibilities, the millennia-old history – and so much more. No one is ever quite the same after visiting India.
Stable and secure, the kingdom of Jordan provides a wonderful taste of the Middle East, from contemporary Amman to ancient Petra to the seaside resort of Aqaba. Performance opportunities can range from modern cultural centers to open air Roman amphitheaters that are thousands of years old. No matter where you perform, you’ll find wonderful audiences not oversaturated with touring groups.