The South of France


Playing for audiences in Europe where music is enthusiastically embraced is a very rewarding experience that every developing musician will remember and be inspired by. This is a fantastic opportunity for music students at the high school and college level to work with Maestro Julien Benichou in a more intimate musical setting.

The 2017 Chamber Orchestra tour will be taking approximately 30 serious young musicians to the south of France for an exciting and enriching 11 day trip. This tuition based tour will include three or four performances for the general public in the south of France, two of which are at well established music festivals. Our host town of Saint Hippolyte has arranged for a collaborative day with the music students at their music school. And finally a variety of visits to historic and fascinating sites and some time to spend next to the Mediterranean and to hike in the Alps will give the Chamber Orchestra students a taste of life in the south of France. Maestro Benichou is excited to share this tour of his home country with these students.


Festival du Vigan

July 16-17, 2017

Le Vigan is a small town in the Langadoc-Rousillon region. Nestled in the Arre river, it has history tracing back to at least the 3rd century BCE. In 1053 the Count of Toulouse founded a monastery - the priory of Saint-Pierre Vigan - and gave it to the Benedictine monks of the Abbey of Saint -Victor de Marseille. Later, in the 18th and 19th centuries Le Vigan gained notoriety in the industry of raising silkworms and manufacturing silk. 


Festival de Chaillol

July 22-24, 2017

Saint-Michel-de-Chaillol is a ski town in the high Alps of Southeastern France. It is a relatively young town, with some parts of the old town dating back into the mid-late 1800's, but is currently known for the abundant skiing and the weeks long music festival in the summers.


Concert in St-Hippolyte-du-Fort

St Hippolyte-du-Fort is a small town on the Vidourle river about 50 km northwest of Nîmes. Sitting on the southern edge of the mountains and forests of the Cevennes, St Hippolyte built a fort at the start of the 18th century for the Camisard War (French and Provencal History). Features of St Hippolyte-du-Fort include a large number of sundials (20th-c) and ancient fountains. Many of the houses are 17th-18th century.


Mozart Concerto No. 1 for Flute and Orchestra, Jean Ferrandis, flute

Mozart Concerto No. 3 in G Major for Violin and Orchestra, Philipe Bride, violin

Vivaldi Concerto for Violin "The Four Seasons", Spring and Summer, Amos Fayette, violin

Bartok's Roumanian Folk Dances

Georges Bœuf Orbes

Selections from the operatic repertoire and other songs



Jean Ferrandis

Flautist and conductor Jean Ferrandis enjoys an international career that takes him throughout Europe, Asia, and North America.

He has presented recitals, performed chamber music, and appeared as soloist with orchestra in such prestigious concert halls as the Salle Pleyel and Theatre des Champs Elysaes in Paris, Alice Tully Hall in New York, the Tapei Arts Center, Wigmore Hall in London, La Fenice in Venice, Hamarikyu Hall in Tokyo, the Vigado in Budapest, the Palau de la Musica Catalana in Barcelona, and the Moscow Tschaikovsky Conservatory, under such conductors as Leonard Bernstein, Tibor Varga, Laurent Petitgirard, and Yoram David.


Philip Bride

Philip Bride worked with of Gérard Poulet and Henryk Szeryng. In New York he had the great honor to work with with Zino Francescatti. After four years as a first violin in the Orchester de Paris, he won the concertmaster position of the Paris Chamber Orchestra. As a conductor, Philip Bride succeeded Jean-Pierre Wallez as musical director of the Ensemble Instrumental de France. Since 1991, he has been the director of the National Conservatory of Marseille where he directs violin master classes. From 1994 to 1997, he has been the first guest conductor of the Orchester Philharmonique de Marseille, and also is the artistic director of the Nuits Musicales of the Palais Carli in Marseille.

He plays on a violin Giovanni Battista Rogeri of 1710.


Amos Fayette

Violinist Amos Fayette enjoys a diverse career as an orchestra and chamber musician, instructor, and concert producer.  While currently a Fellow at the New World Symphony, he has been a member of the Annapolis Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Philharmonic Orchestra of the Americas, and Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, as well as a substitute musician with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra. He has also enjoyed guest concertmaster engagements with the Annapolis Symphony, Mid-Atlantic Symphony, Illinois Symphony, and Tucson Symphony. During his time at New World, he has become the coordinator for the Musician's Forum Series. As a chamber musician, Amos is the former first violinist of the Delorean String Quartet, a group that played to rave reviews throughout the 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons in and around Baltimore and Washington D.C.

In his spare time, Amos enjoys cooking and spending time with his family's herd of Dachshunds.



La Couvertoirade

This well-preserved fortified town was owned by the Knights Templar, under orders from the Commandery of Sainte-Eulalie, from the twelfth century. The Templars built the fortress there during the 12th and 13th centuries; its two upper floors have since been removed. Following their dissolution in 1312, the Templars' property in the causses was taken by the Knights of St John of Jerusalem who were responsible for building the curtain wall at La Couvertoirade between 1439 and 1450.

Like other Larzac villages, the population fell rapidly in the 19th century, to as few as 362 by 1880. Today, it is largely inhabited by craftsmen working with enamel, pottery, weaving and similar crafts.



Arles is a city on the Rhône River in the Provence region of southern France. It's famed for inspiring the paintings of Van Gogh, which influenced the contemporary art displayed at the Fondation Vincent Van Gogh. Once a provincial capital of ancient Rome, Arles is also known for many remains from that era, including Arles Amphitheatre, now hosting plays, concerts and bullfights.


La cascade de la Vis à St Laurent le Minier

The waterfall of the Meuse, in the town of Saint-Laurent-du-Minier, is a beautiful place to sit with family or friends to enjoy a relaxing day.


Palais des Papes, Avignon

The Palace of the Popes stands as the mighty symbol of the church’s influence throughout the western Christian world in the 14th century. Construction was started in 1335 and completed in less than twenty years under the leadership of two builder popes, Benedict XII and his successor Clement VI. The Popes’ Palace is the biggest Gothic palace in all of Europe (15,000 m2 of floor space, which is the equivalent of 4 Gothic cathedrals).


Carrières de Lumière

From Hieronymus Bosch’s most emblematic triptychs, such as The Garden of Earthly Delights, The Temptation of Saint Anthony, and The Hay Wagon, to Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s remarkable compositions of flowers and fruit, and the village festivities depicted by the Bruegel dynasty, the Carrières de Lumières embraces the fascinating worlds of the great masters who represented these animated scenes of life and the duality of a world shifting between good and evil. Their work shares the same excellent facture and incredible inventiveness. Bosch’s hallucinatory imagination and Arcimboldo’s highly creative and improbable faces are complemented by the joyous triviality of Bruegel’s works, whose many figures are inspired by reality. 


Château des Baux-en-Provence

The Château des Baux is a fortified castle built during the 10th century, located in Les Baux-de-Provence, Bouches-du-Rhône, southern France.

Barcelona is the largest city on the Mediterranean Sea.
Founded as a Roman city in the Middle Ages, Barcelona became the capital of the County of Barcelona. The origin of the earliest settlement at the site of present-day Barcelona is unclear. The founding of Barcelona is the subject of two different legends. The first attributes the founding of the city to the mythological Hercules. The second legend attributes the foundation of the city to the father of Hannibal, Hamlica Barca of Carthage.

Barcelona has a rich cultural heritage and is today an important cultural centre and a major tourist destination. Particularly renowned are the architectural works of Antoni Gaudí and Lluís Domènech i Montaner, which have been designated UNESCO World Heritage Sites. 

Barcelona is one of the world's leading tourist, economic, trade fair and cultural centers.