Rick Steves, America's leading authority on European travel, teams up with the Seattle Symphony for a musical journey that begins in the United States and touches down in seven different European countries. This unique concert celebrates music's power to stir the patriotic soul. Playing musical tour guide, Steves utilizes his extensive knowledge of European history and culture to help set the context for each piece. Then, the orchestra performs a selection of stirring 19th-century anthems by Romantic-era composers, including Grieg, Smetana, Strauss, Elgar, Wagner and Verdi. Each selection honors a particular nationality, while the finale, Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" (Europe's official anthem) pays homage to the continent's motto of "United in Diversity." The music is accompanied by a montage of evocative video images from each country.
Lee Mills is internationally recognized as a passionate, multifaceted and energetic conductor. He has led performances with the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra that have been hailed as having a “sonority of unequalled liveliness and quality,” working alongside such artists as Simone Porter, Conrad Tao, Eliane Coelho and the Smetana Trio. His conducting engagements outside of the Brazilian Symphony Orchestra include the National Symphony Orchestra, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the São Paulo State Symphony Orchestra, the Saint Louis Symphony Orchestra and the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra.
Guidebook author and travel TV host Rick Steves is America's most respected authority on European travel. In 1976, he started his business, Rick Steves' Europe, which has grown from a one-man operation to a company with more than 100 full-time, well-travelled employees at its headquarters in Edmonds, Washington. There he produces a best-selling guidebook series on European travel, America's most popular travel series on public television, a weekly hour-long national public radio show and more.