8372 - Germany to have a new architectural and musical landmark: The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg


The Elbphilharmonie in Hamburg, Germany (April 2016). © Maxim Schulz.
Located in the modern HafenCity area of Hamburg, on the banks of the Elbe River, the spectacular building designed by Swiss architects Herzog & de Meuron houses three concert halls, a large music education area, the Plaza – a 360° public viewing platform with views over the whole city from a height of 37 meters above ground level – and a hotel. The orchestra in residence, the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra, will perform two special opening concerts led by its chief conductor Thomas Hengelbrock on January 11 and 12, 2017.

The Grand Hall, the largest of three concert halls and the centerpiece of the Elbphilharmonie, sits 110 meters on top of the former Kaispeicher A, a historic warehouse that was previously used for storing tea, tobacco and cocoa. The dazzling new glass structure seats 2,100 at 50 meters above ground level, set in an acoustic environment designed by internationally acclaimed acoustician Yasuhisa Toyota. With its spectacular architecture, the Elbphilharmonie reflects the unique maritime character of Hamburg – a city that is built on tradition and modernity, ruggedness and beauty.

The program at the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will range widely to reach the largest possible audience and includes classical music, world music, pop and jazz. The opening concerts on January 11 and 12, 2017 will be followed by a three-week festival featuring ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin-based band Einstürzende Neubauten. With more than 300 events to choose from, the program for the first half of 2017 offers musical experiences for everyone.

With 1.8 million inhabitants, Hamburg is Germany’s second largest city after Berlin. The Hamburg Metropolitan Region, with its 5 million residents, is one of the most productive and prosperous regions in Europe. As a centuries-old port and trading city, Hamburg maintains relations throughout the world and is Northern and Eastern Europe’s hub for importing and exporting. Boasting flourishing trade and a booming logistics industry, Hamburg is also Germany’s media capital. The city is considered to be the greenest metropolitan region in Europe: one-fifth of the city’s area is covered by water. Furthermore, Hamburg is shaped by two rivers: the Elbe and the smaller Alster with its dammed-up lake in the city center. Surrounded by these two rivers, a maritime city unfolds, including everything from the elegant district of Blankenese to other vibrant quarters. In recent years, ambitious urban development projects such as the HafenCity Hamburg, the city’s culture-rich location on the water, have attracted an ever-increasing number of tourists to Northern Germany. Hamburg has since risen to be ranked in the top ten destinations of European cities.