Thursday, November 17, 2016

Plaza of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Opened

From a media release:

Plaza of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg Opened

Visit the Plaza
Discover What's On at the Concert Hall

Toronto November 2016 – Before the first concerts take place in Hamburg’s newest landmark and concert hall on 11 and 12 January, the Plaza of the Elbphilharmonie marked its opening with a ceremony. The Plaza is a public observation deck situated between the former warehouse and the new glass structure. On 31 October, the keys to the building were handed over to the City of Hamburg by construction company Hochtief, thus officially ending the construction phase.
Elphilharmonie Hamburg overlooking the harbour

The opening of the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will take place on 11 and 12 January 2017. But Hamburg already gained a new attraction today: the Elbphilharmonie Plaza. The observation deck of the concert hall, which follows a public square concept, is located at a height of 37 metres between the historical brick warehouse foundation and the new glass structure. Visitors reach the deck via an 80-metre-long escalator which leads to a large panorama window. From there, the path follows a second smaller escalator and spaciously designed stairs to the Plaza itself. An exterior walkway around the building offers fantastic views of the city and the harbour. The interior features the entrances to the concert halls, the hotel lobby, various restaurants and the Elbphilharmonie gift shop.

Hamburg’s First Mayor Olaf Scholz: »With the Elbphilharmonie, Hamburg has gained an impressive structure whose architecture has already become an integral part of the city’s skyline. The architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron and the construction company Hochtief have created something unique in the Elbphilharmonie. Ticket presales are evidence of how excited Hamburg and its guests are about the new concert hall. Initial impressions of the trial concerts in the Grand Hall are overwhelming.«
Escalator to the Elbphilharmonie Plaza

The Plaza: a place for encounters

As of Saturday, 5 November 2016, the Plaza is also be open to the public. As the visitor capacity is limited, admission will be regulated by the issue of tickets. For spontaneous visitors, these are available free of charge on the day of their visit; reservations for a fixed admission time can be made (subject to availability) at www.elbphilharmonie.de/en as well as in the Elbphilharmonie visitor centre (€2 reservation fee per visitor).

From 11 and 12 January 2017: festivals for anyone and everyone

The official launch of the Elbphilharmonie will be marked by the ceremonial opening concerts on 11 and 12 January, which will feature the NDR Elbphilharmonie Orchestra and its inaugural performance as the orchestra in residence. Additionally, the Recital Hall will be opened on 12 January with a concert by Ensemble Resonanz, the ensemble in residence of the Recital Hall.
View from the Elbphilharmonie Plaza by C. Michael Zapf

On the following day, the Philharmonic State Orchestra Hamburg will be giving its first performance in the Elbphilharmonie. What is more, as part of the opening festivities, the programme features guest performances by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra and the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, pianist Mitsuko Uchida, jazz pianist Brad Mehldau, legendary band Einstürzende Neubauten and other attractive concerts. The next festival highlight is already scheduled for February: from 9 to 28 February, Lux aeterna features sounds and works dealing with the theme of spirituality and transcendence. With the Salām Syria festival from 16 to 18 March, the Elbphilharmonie will pay homage to the musical tradition of one of the most oppressed countries in the world. Concerts by, among others, internationally renowned Syrian clarinettist and composer Kinan Azmeh and a joint concert by NDR and Syrian Big Band will please the ear. Additional festivals focusing on themes including Island, New York, the transatlantic culture zone between Africa, Europe and the United States, minimal music and the symphonic works of Ludwig van Beethoven round off the programme of the inaugural season.

• More information: www.elbphilharmonie.de

Anyone who does not wish to wait for the official opening of the hall in January can now, thanks to Google Street View, take a virtual expedition through the Elbphilharmonie and explore, among other things, the new concert hall there.
Elbphilharmonie Plaza

About the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg
With the opening of the Elbphilharmonie on 11 and 12 January 2017, Hamburg is continuing to pursue its path as a city of music, once again demonstrating that in Hamburg, the future is made up of contrasts. In the HafenCity Hamburg, Europe’s biggest inner-city urban development project, situated between the historic Speicherstadt warehouse district – a UNESCO World Heritage site – and the port, the Elbphilharmonie Hamburg will be a new attraction for everyone living in Hamburg and their guests. The spectacular new landmark houses three concert halls offering a varied programme of music, a large music education area, a hotel, a range of places to eat and drink, and the Plaza – a 360° public viewing platform with breathtaking views over the whole city from a height of 37 metres above ground level – and which opens on 4 November 2016.

The Elbphilharmonie Hamburg was designed by the Swiss firm of architects Herzog & de Meuron: its dazzling new structure rises up to a height of 110 metres above the former Kaispeicher A, a historic warehouse that was previously used for storing tea, tobacco and cocoa. With its unique architecture, the new concert hall represents diverse, maritime flair of Hamburg – a city that is built on tradition and modernity and continues to successfully reshape its future with courage, creativity, innovation and cosmopolitanism. It symbolises the city’s ruggedness and beauty, these ubiquitous contrasts that are so characteristic of Hamburg’s appeal.

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