Wednesday, July 11
A driver will be waiting for you – either at the Marseille-Provence Airport (30 minutes from Aix-en-Provence) or the nearby railway station; Aix-TGV (20 minutes from Aix-en-Provence) – to take you to one of the finest hotels in this cultural center of the South of France. Aix is a University town located about 30 minutes north of Marseille, the most important port on the Mediterranean Sea. Some even make allusions to Aix being the Paris of the South with its tree-lined Cours Mirabeau bedecked with cafes, hotels, and shopping – sometimes called the Champs Elysées of Provence.
Sofitel Grand Hôtel Roi René
Our program runs concurrently with the Festival d’Aix Opera Series, and thus, accommodations are difficult to find this time of year. But not to worry – we are already holding a room for you. We’ll help you choose the best option with regard to amenities and location according to your personal preference once you begin the registration process.
While breakfast is included with your hotel accommodation, most days you’ll have the freedom to explore the many fine restaurants in the centre-ville. Unlike Paris, you’ll find most people capable and willing to communicate in English, but we will also have French speaking staff members on hand to help you secure reservations at the perfect bistro or café, or simply to deal with other needs as they arise.
Most of the seminars and rehearsals for the Choral Symposium will take place in the facilities adjoining the famous Cathedral St. Sauveur, located just inside what was once the city wall back when Aix was part of the Roman Empire. And should you grow weary of walking the cobblestone streets of the old city, the Diabline; a fleet of small shuttles is available to take you just about any place you’d want to go.
Finally, to wrap up your first day in the South of France, we’ll welcome you to a reception hosted by Paul and Carol Head so they might tell you about a few of their favorite places in and around Aix and introduce you to a few of their favorite French wines. If you’re not too jet-lagged, you can even catch the concert that evening featuring the Conducting Scholars in their Symposium debut.
Bienvenue à France. We know you will make so many memories in the days to come.