The Elbphilharmonie has been shining above the port of Hamburg for five years and has become a must-see cultural landmark in the Hanseatic city.

The 5th anniversary of Tuesday January 11 is to be celebrated with a nine-day festival and a new luminous work of art in April – due to the corona pandemic, however, some concerts have to be postponed, including the monumental work ” Arch “by Jörg Widmann to 300 Contributors. Instead, Kent Nagano and the Philharmonic State Orchestra present an alternative program. Also on the guest list: Sir Simon Rattle, Daniel Barenboim, Jordi Savall, Charles Lloyd and John Scofield.

The concert audience tripled

“The Elbphilharmonie is constructed music which not only reflects the diversity of the vast world of music, but is a total work of art with an ambassadorial function,” said Professor Christian Höppner, Secretary General of the German Council of music, dpa. When Corona stopped in March 2020, 2.7 million spectators had already attended nearly 2,500 concerts in the two halls of the Elbphilharmonie. With 1.2 million visitors per year to the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle, concert audiences in Hamburg have almost tripled. The square, the observation platform at a height of 37 meters, awaits its 15 millionth visitor in March.

“The main task of the Elbphilharmonie – to expand the audience for classical music – has been completely fulfilled,” artistic director Christoph Lieben-Seutter said in a dpa interview. For Kent Nagano, principal conductor of the State Philharmonic Orchestra, the Elbphilharmonie is “an absolute success”. “A concert hall has to sound great, of course, but that’s only part of the story. It is equally important that a concert hall be a meeting place for society. And that’s what the Elbphilharmonie achieved. This gave Hamburg a new cultural identity. Also internationally. My mom in California also says: I love the Elbphilharmonie, ”said dpa’s Nagano.

Ten years of work

The construction of the Elbphilharmonie was anything but a success: construction time was reduced from three to ten years, and costs fell from 77 million to 789 million euros. But soon after opening, the universally lamented tomb of millions of people became a famous monument. Burgers and tourists alike are mesmerized by the ‘glass wave’ by architects Herzog & de Meuron and enjoy the 360-degree view of Hamburg harbor from the observation deck at a height of 37 meters. And they flock to concerts in both the small and the large hall, where classic stars from all over the world join hands.

The Elbphilharmonie hall is set to become one of the top ten concert halls in the world – and for many it is. “I like the room. He’s very, very honest. You can hear it all. It’s also a very big challenge, you have to play really well. The hall is like an instrument that we play, ”explains Kent Nagano. And his American colleague Alan Gilbert, conductor of the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchester, added: “The biggest challenge for me is of course, in concrete terms, to give exceptional concerts. The acoustics of the hall are suitable for almost any type of music, if you know how to use them. “

Appointment requested for Bob Dylan

All important orchestras and artists have been invited several times since the opening – from the Berlin and Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra to Teodor Currentzis. In the field of classical music, artistic director Lieben-Seutter is also perfectly happy. But beyond the classic, there are still some wishes. “We also receive requests from the biggest names and legends who would like to appear here. The problem is usually the appointment schedule which has been full for years. For example, we can’t find a date for Bob Dylan at the moment. “(Dpa)