Sunday, 15 May 2016

A striking new concert hall - Hamburg's Elbphilharmonie opens in 2017

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg - Photo Maxim Schulz
Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg - Photo Maxim Schulz
Hamburg's striking new Elbphilharmonie concert hall opens in January 2017 and so the 2016-17 Hamburg orchestral season recently announced includes not only the regular concerts in the historic Laeiszhalle but the opening festival for the Elbphilharmonie and a series of concerts there in 2017. The NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and Ensemble Resonanz are the resident orchestra and ensemble at the Elbphilharmonie whilst the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra is resident at the Laeiszhalle. (You can read about my 2013 visit to the unfinished Elbphilharmonie in my article on this blog). Both orchestras along with the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra will be performing during the concert hall's opening festival.

Elbphilharmonie aims to be a 'Concert Hall for Everyone', the publicly accessible Plaza opens on 4 November 2016 and the Elbphilharmonie’s concert programme is intended to appeal to all with its carefully structured design, quality and accessibility. The building itself promises to be highly striking, but the opening festival includes all the local orchestras and many visitors in a highly enticing series of concerts. In many ways they need to be, the hall was supposed to open in 2010 and since then costs have rocketed (the final budget being around ten times the original planned).

Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg - Photo Maxim Schulz
Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg - Photo Maxim Schulz
For the opening of the Elbphilharmonie on 11 & 12 January 2017 Thomas Hengelbrock conducts the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra with soloists including Jonas Kauffmann and Bryn Terfel. Then on 13 January, Kent Nagano conducts the Hamburg Philharmonic State Orchestra and choir of Hamburg State Opera in the premiere of Jorg Widmann's Oratorium. Also in the opening festival, Jeffrey Tate conducts the Hamburg Symphony Orchestra in Beethoven's Missa Solemnis with soloists Camilla Nylund, Sarah Connolly, Klaus Florian Vogt and Luc Pisaroni, and Ingo Metzmacher conducts the Elbphilharmonie Orchestra in Schoenberg's Moses und Aaron with soloists Franz Grundheber and John Daszak.

Visitors to the opening festival include Riccardo Muti and the Chicago Philharmonic Orchestra, Ingo Metzmacher and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, the Arditti Quartet, Mitsuko Uchida, and Iveta Apkalna will put the hall's new organ through its paces.

Further ahead, highlights include the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra's Into Iceland festival, the Salaam Syria Festival,  Diego Fasoli's conducts Rossini's La Cenerentola with Cecilia Bartoli, Frederic Wake-Walker and Mahogany Opera Group will be taking Rolf Hind's Lost in Thought, Ian Bostridge and the Britten Sinfonia perform Britten's Curlew River,

Full information and tickets from the Elbphilharmonie website and the on-line concert year-book is on Issuu

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