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2019/20 season – the highlights

Many highlights, little time - we have summarized a small part of the Elbphilharmonie season for you!

With over 2 million concertgoers and some 10 million visitors to the Plaza since its opening in January 2017, the Elbphilharmonie looks forward to an extremely rich and varied concert programme for its 2019/20 season.

SEASON 2019/20
SEASON 2019/20

In its fourth season, the Elbphilharmonie presents music from Great Britain, places composers Weinberg, Xenaiks, Chin, Reiter and Gubaidulina in the spotlight, plays loads of Handel, congratulates Beethoven on his birthday, and has lots more to offer besides

Even more about the Elbphilharmonie Season 2019/20 can be found here:

MEHR: Saison entdecken

Once again, some 380 concerts are planned in the Grand Hall out of a total of about 1,250 events at the Elbphilharmonie and the Laeiszhalle. The Grand Hall continues to be booked practically to capacity.

To Mark the Occasion: »Britain Calling«

While the world continues to hold its breath over the seemingly never-ending Brexit saga, the Elbphilharmonie devotes a festival lasting several days to the country’s most recent classical music titled »Britain Calling«. The focal point is the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, which celebrates its 100th anniversary in 2020. Lithuanian conductor Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla has been the CBSO's principal conductor since February 2016, and her acclaimed Elbphilharmonie debut in December 2017 prompted the invitation for this residency.

The orchestra, whose first concert in 1920 was conducted by none other than Sir Edward Elgar, rocketed into the premier league of international orchestras nearly 40 years ago with Simon Rattle on the rostrum. Since then, the CBSO, whose previous conductor was Andris Nelsons, has maintained its position as Britain's number one orchestra outside London.

Mirga Gražinytė-Tyla conducts three concerts with the CBSO in the Elbphilharmonie Grand Hall (7-9 Oct) as well as the Birmingham Contemporary Music Group in the Recital Hall for the opening night (6 Oct). The programme consists entirely of British music composed over the last 100 years, from Edward Elgar and William Walton to George Benjamin and Rebecca Saunders, and also holds a few surprises in store, such as the Second Symphony by Ruth Gipps (1945).

Handel with Care

Oratorios and Operas by the German Baroque master from his London years

Before the Elbphilharmonie was opened, hardly anyone would have dared to predict that the Grand Hall offers wonderful surroundings for the performance of Baroque music, oratorios and concert versions of opera. As the concert hall's acoustics can show some of its special strengths in this repertoire, too, the new season includes no fewer than four reference works by George Frideric Handel, one of the greatest composers of his day. And all four concerts feature an excellent line-up.

With the Orchestra of La Scala, Milan, and Cecilia Bartoli, Bejun Mehta, Philippe Jaroussky and other soloists, Giovanni Antonini puts a dream cast on stage for Handel's »Giulio Cesare« (5 Nov). Scarcely three weeks later, Marc Minkowski gathers some of the best singers of the younger generation with his Musiciens du Louvre and Marianne Crebassa in the title role for »Ariodante« (22 Nov). The NDR Chor, soloists and Holland Baroque are conducted by Klaas Stock in the »Messiah« (22 Mar). And conducting from the harpsichord, Harry Bicket escorts his English Concert through the score of »Rodelinda« with Lucy Crowe in the title role (23 Apr).

The Laeiszhalle in turn also plays an important part in the Handel series: on the one hand, in the Grand Hall Thomas Hengelbrock marks the start of his residency with the Balthasar Neumann Choir and Ensemble in Hamburg with »Dixit Dominus«, a psalm setting that Handel wrote as a young man during his time in Italy. Ivor Bolton has been invited to perform the Handel oratorio »Alexander's Feast« together with Concerto Köln and the ChorWerk Ruhr at the Laeiszhalle as part of the series Das Alte Werk (14 Nov).

Last but not least, »A Baroque Odyssey« is promised by the French early music ensemble Les Arts Florissants, which celebrates its 40th anniversary in 2019. The programme of their Elbphilharmonie debut in the Grand Hall features extracts from operas by Rameau, Lully, Charpentier, Purcell – and Handel. The conducting duties are shared by William Christie and Paul Agnew, while Sandrine Piau (soprano) is among the vocal soloists.

MEHR: Alte Musik in Elbphilharmonie & Laeiszhalle

With two festivals whose programmes will be announced on 20 June and 22 October respectively, the Elbphilharmonie turns the spotlight on the music culture of two very different regions. »Ganz Wien« (28 Feb-1 Mar) looks at all the strangeness and morbidity, the black humour and unique style of music that the Viennese song genre has contributed to world culture, ably supported in this endeavour by musicians and ensembles like Willi Resetarits, Ernst Molden, Der Nino aus Wien, Neue Wiener Concert Schrammeln, Sigrid Horn and 5/8erl in Ehr’n.

The Elbphilharmonie's Easter Festival has become something of a tradition, making a cross-genre exploration each year of musical and geographic connections in the world's cultures. After »Transatlantic« (2017), »Caucasus« (2018) and »Venice« (2019), audiences in 2020 can look forward to a musical journey down the »Silk Road« with its many legends and myths and its history of trade, cultural exchange and international understanding (9-14 Apr). Two concerts have already been announced: on the Thursday before Easter, the Symphoniker Hamburg joins forces with the International Choir Academy Lübeck and soloists to perform Tan Dun's »Buddha Passion« with the composer himself conducting, while on the Tuesday after Easter, Uzbek singer Gulzoda Khudoynazarova brings songs in her native country's shashmaqam tradition to the concert hall Elbe (14 Apr).

Vielfalt und Fülle: das Education-Programm

Extensive as ever, yet in a constant state of flux: that is the Elbphilharmonie and Laeiszhalle’s education programme in the 2019/20 season. There is another set of Twinkle Concerts carefully sorted by clothing size: from XS for the very youngest age group (Ages 0–1), in the Elbphilharmonie's Kaistudio or at selected external venues, in the mornings through to XXL for teenagers (Ages 14+) in the Grand Hall's evening programme. In addition, numerous school and kindergarten concerts are again on offer.

The Elbphilharmonie’s World of Instruments offers a wealth of attractive workshops where visitors can try out all kinds of different musical instruments and even play them together in with other people. A new item in the coming season is a workshop with modular synthesizers for people aged 16 and older. The five non-professional ensembles Audience Orchestra, Family Orchestra, Creative Orchestra, Gamelan Ensemble and Chor zur Welt again invite amateur musicians to take part in musical exchange and to develop their skills in a team setting.

A large-scale community project for young people aged 16 and upwards entitled »Songs of the Silk Road« culminates in a concert appearance in the Grand Hall as part of the »Silk Road« festival (11 Apr), and another Long Night of Singing creates good vibes throughout the building on 13 June.

MEHR: das Kinder- und Familienprogramm

Mehr zur Saison 2019/20

All that Jazz – ...

Next season's jazz programme features a conspicuous number of female musicians, and continues to place the emphasis on the piano. Thus virtuoso Hiromi makes her debut in the Grand Hall in the »Jazz at the Phil« series (12 Nov), while Carla Bley, now something of a living legend in the field of improvisation, and her trio open the series Jazz Piano in the Laeiszhalle Recital Hall (30 Sept). The Julia Kadel Trio (27 Jan) from Berlin can be heard at the same location, where the trios of pianists Fred Hersch (28 Oct) and Shai Maestro (20 Nov), neither of whom has ever appeared in this series before, can also be experienced.

The Recital Hall at the Laeiszhalle is also the venue for three New York projects helmed by women: guitarist Mary Halvorson's band Code Girl (15 Oct), the excellent line-up of the New York Trio headed by Polish-German saxophonist Angelika Niescier (31 Jan), and Swiss pianist Sylvie Courvoisier's trio with equally prominent accompanists (22 Mar).

MEHR: Jazz in Elbphilharmonie & Laeiszhalle

The two grand masters Brad Mehldau (12 Mar) and Chick Corea (27 Mar) return to the Elbphilharmonie, and after several appearances in the Recital Hall, Austrian guitarist Wolfgang Muthspiel makes his Grand Hall debut with his Large Ensemble. Branford Marsalis has already found out on more than one occasion how well suited the Grand Hall is to jazz, but now his trumper-playing brother Wynton Marsalis makes his first appearance at the Elbphilharmonie together with his Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra (12 Feb).


ECM Records – the music released on this label often seems to be enveloped by a special aura. The label's figureheads are well-known jazz artists on the one hand and classical musicians (ECM New Series) on the other: Keith Jarrett, Jan Garbarek, Eberhard Weber and the Art Ensemble of Chicago, and in the classical section Arvo Pärt, Sir András Schiff and Kim Kashkashian. ECM celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Manfred Eicher, the style-defining producer of nearly all ECM recordings, was in his mid-20’s when founded the label in 1969. From the outset, he applied to improvised repertoire the quality standards used at the time for recording and pressing classical music, and he also set great store by aesthetic cover design, something that soon became a hallmark of quality. In the course of 50 years, ECM has built up a unique catalogue of important recordings, the majority of which are still available.

In February 2020 Manfred Eicher is in charge of the Elbphilharmonie's »Reflektor« for four days (3-6 Feb). Fans can look forward to a mixture of artists and contemporary music styles that has been carefully planned and coordinated down to the last detail – projects that are especially close to Eicher's heart. The programme will be announced on 20 June 2019.

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