January 31, 2022     Encore Tours

The 17 Best International Venues for Touring Choirs


At Encore, we believe that successful music programs and great music travel go hand in hand, and our knowledgeable staff is dedicated to ensuring that your choir’s performance tour is a truly unforgettable experience. We know that every ensemble has their own unique goals and desires, which is why our trips are fully customizable to ensure that your itinerary is ideally suited to your group.

Choosing a venue may seem daunting, but our team can help you make the perfect selections based on your choir’s size, experience, ability, and repertoire. No matter where you perform, we guarantee that the acoustics, stage size and venue type will be suitable for your choir.

Want to check out some of the possibilities for your choir’s upcoming performance tour? Take a peak at some of the our favorite international choir venues that are available to touring ensembles!

Scuola Grande di San Rocco – Venice, Italy

Completed in 1560, the design of the Grand School of San Rocco was similar to other schools in Venice, characterized by two halls, one at ground floor level, the other at first floor level. The upper hall provides a magnificent performance space that can accommodate large choral ensembles (in addition to many other types of ensembles). Years ago, the school was also an important patron of music, employing musicians such as Giovanni Gabrieli. In 1958, Stravinsky’s Threni premiered at the school, with the composer himself conducting. An excellent option for your next choir tour!

Chiesa di San Gaetano – Florence, Italy

Constructed during the 1600’s, Chiesa di St. Gaetano has become the archetypical baroque church in the wealthiest part of town. The façade, with its sculptural decorations, is somewhat unusual for Florentine churches. As is common in Baroque churches, the interior is impressive and richly decorated. The venue is ideal for medium to large choirs and can accommodate audiences of up to 200 people.

Peterskirche – Vienna, Austria

© Bwag/CC-BY-SA-4.0 

The Peterskirche (or St. Peter’s Church) is one of the oldest churches in Vienna, Austria. This Baroque-style church was inspired by St. Peter’s Basilica of the Vatican and is nestled in the centre of Petersplatz square. The breathtaking interior includes a Baroque organ built in 1751, a kaleidoscope of colors, and beautiful domed ceiling. Peterskirche offers incredible acoustics and frequently hosts organ recitals, choir performances, operas, and other events. The first church on this site appeared in the late 4th century, making this a truly unique opportunity to perform in one of the area’s most historic venues.

St. Nicholas – Prague, Czech Republic

This gorgeous baroque-style church, which is centrally located in the Old Town Square of Prague, was completed in 1735. The interior was inspired by the chapel of St. Louis-des-Invalides in Paris. Not only is this a beautiful church with wonderful acoustics, but its prime location allows your choir to easily attract large audiences.

L’Église de Saint-Sulpice – Paris, France

The Church of St. Sulpice, built in the seventeenth century, is the second largest church in Paris. An important Roman Catholic church, it is home to a very impressive Gnomon, an astronomical measurement device that was installed so the bells could be rung at exactly the most appropriate time of day. The church is famous for its Great Organ, revered as the most impressive instrument of the romantic French Symphonic Organ Era. There have been a few modernizations over the years, but overall, it is nearly exactly the same as when Aristide Cavaillè-Coll reconstructed it in 1862. This is a beautiful venue, and may be a particularly appealing option for any organ enthusiast.

L’Église de la Madeleine – Paris, France

La Madeleine is a prestigious performance venue in the 8th arrondissement of Paris. This Roman Catholic church was built in true Neo-Classical style, inspired by the Roman temple Maison Carrée, with over fifty columns carrying the building. The church’s pipe organ was built in 1845, restored in 1927, and the organist position has been held by major organists and composers, including Saint-Saëns and Fauré, to name a few! The standards for performing as this venue can be quite stringent, but any ensembles that have the opportunity to perform here will certainly cherish this memory for the rest of their lives!

St. Stephen’s Cathedral – Vienna, Austria

In the heart of Vienna stands St. Stephen’s Cathedral, an iconic church with its towers dominating the Austrian skyline. St. Stephen’s was constructed in 1137 above the ruins of two earlier churches. Unmistakable with its colored tile roof, it has become one of Vienna’s most recognized landmarks. As host to hundreds of performances each year, this venue is a great option for your choir’s next performance tour.

Salzburg Cathedral – Salzburg, Austria

Between 1181 and 1600, a Romanesque cathedral was standing in the place of the present one; its foundations can be seen in the crypt of the church. There’s a reason Salzburg is often referred to as “Rome of the North.” The cathedral was hit by American bombs during World War II. It took ten years of hard work to restore the considerable damage. The last part of the restoration was the reconstruction of the four organs. This historical venue is a must-perform!

St. Peter’s Basilica – Rome, Italy

Charged as being “the greatest of all churches of Christendom,” St. Peter’s Basilica, in Vatican City, is nearly 400 years old and possesses a wealth of history, culture, and art. Adorned with works of famous Italian Renaissance artists such as Michelangelo, St. Peter’s is a popular site not only for Christians, but for historians and tourists alike. Not only have Encore groups had the opportunity to explore such a remarkable sight, but some have actually performed for the Pope himself!

Cathedral of Seville – Sevilla, Spain

Built to demonstrate Seville’s wealth in the years after the Reconquista, the Seville Cathedral is the largest Gothic cathedral today and the third-largest church in the world. According to legend, the cathedral’s builders had decided to build a church “so beautiful and so great that those who see it built will think [they] were mad.” It may have taken hundreds of years to complete, but with 80 chapels, beautiful domes, and a stunning interior, performing here is sure to leave your choir with memories of a lifetime.

Segovia Cathedral – Segovia, Spain

Carlos Delgado; CC-BY-SA

Built between 1525-1577 during the reign of Carlos V, Segovia Cathedral is a Gothic-style Roman Catholic cathedral located in the main square of Segovia. The church, which is located at the highest point in town, was designed by Juan Gil de Hontañón and dedicated to the Virgin Mary before being consecrated in 1768. The building’s structure features three tall vaults, beautiful stained glass windows, and a bell tower that reaches almost 90 meters. The original spire, which suffered severe fire damage, was actually the tallest tower in Spain at one point. This venue not only provides gorgeous views, but also provides your choirs with a unique opportunity to perform in a historic cathedral.

Salisbury Cathedral – Salisbury, England

Considered to be one of the leading examples of early English architecture, Salisbury Cathedral is topped with the tallest church spire in the UK. Visitors can take the Tower Tour and view the hollow interior of the spire. The cathedral also contains the world’s oldest working clock (1385 A.D.) and one of the four surviving copies of the Magna Carta. With so many treasures housed inside this gem of a church, it’s no wonder Salisbury Cathedral is a prestigious venue where our choir groups love to perform.

Bath Abbey – Bath, England

Bath Abbey, an Anglican parish church and former monastery, was founded in the 7th century and is dedicated to St. Peter and St. Paul. The church is a UK Listed Building (historic landmark) and contains various war memorials and monuments in the form of plaques and stained glass. The abbey is often used for secular civic ceremonies, religious services, lectures, and concerts, and while it is home to its own choral groups, it has also been a popular venue for visiting choirs.

Southwark Cathedral – London, England

On the River Thames lies the Gothic Southwark Cathedral, the mother church of the Anglican Diocese of Southwark. The venue is suitable for both choirs and orchestras wishing to perform a concert or within a church service. To perform in this venue, your ensemble must be approved in advance!

Basilica of San Marco – Venice, Italy

Located on Piazza San Marco, the Cathedral is not only the most famous of the churches in Venice, but it’s also one of the best known examples of Byzantine architecture. Over the centuries, it has become a symbol of Venetian wealth and power. This explains its nickname, Chiesa d’Oro, which in Italian means “church of gold.” The church also contains multiple choir lofts, which was the inspiration for the development of a Venetian polychoral style. So hop a boat to Venice and come perform in what was once a vital home to the famous Italian Renaissance!

Christ Church Cathedral – Dublin, Ireland

Situated in medieval Dublin, Christ Church is not only the seat of the Roman Catholic archbishops but is also the seat of the Church of Ireland. Founded around 1028, the cathedral was rebuilt and renovated many times throughout history and is now accented by flying buttresses, high arching stone ceilings, and, most notably, the Grand Organ, which appears to be floating in the air! The Cathedral is home to one of the most reputable choirs in Ireland, whose origins trace back to 1493, when the choir school was founded.

St. Stephen’s Basilica – Budapest, Hungary

St. Stephen’s Basilica, the largest church in Budapest, is dedicated to Hungary’s first king, St. Stephen. It has played a very active role in the Budapest music scene, since its consecration in 1905. The head organists of the church have always been very high level musicians. In the last century, the basilica has hosted choral music, classical music, and contemporary music performances.

Inspired to take your ensemble on an international performance tour? Get a quote today!

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